March 23, 2017
Last Monday night the Anoka Hennepin School Board meeting was packed and the testimony was
strong in support of privacy rights of students. The six-member school board and superintendent
heard from the public in a big way regarding whether the largest school district in Minnesota should
adopt a “gender-inclusivity policy” that would give special protection to transgender students. The
question before the A-H Board: Should students who don’t identify as their biological sex be
permitted to undress and shower in the same bathrooms, locker rooms and showers with students
of the opposite biological sex?
If the testimony Monday is any indication, the answer is a resounding “No!” [See links below.]
Parents and community members are realizing the urgency of speaking up to defend our children.
School board members everywhere need to be informed that we the people will not accept this
violation of our children’s dignity, modesty and privacy. Gender-inclusive policies mean that all
children must adopt and affirm the idea that their sexual nature is only what they think themselves
to be. This violates every single child in the most profound way.
One graphic example of the consequences of gender-inclusive school policies is seen in a lawsuit
filed Monday in Eastern Pennsylvania federal district court against a school district, its
superintendent, principal and assistant principal. A teenage boy changing for a PE class reported to
the assistant principal that a teenage girl was undressing next to him. He immediately dressed, left
the locker room, and reported the incident to the assistant principal who told him that he must
change clothes with students of the opposite sex, and “make it as natural as possible,” and that
anything less would be intolerant and bullying against students who profess a gender identity that
differs from their biological sex.
It should not need to come to this! Common sense and respect for all students should compel us to
make the basic dignity of our children a priority.
Schools already know how to reasonably accommodate students with special needs. Michele Lentz,
President of the Child Protection League testified Monday night that the Americans with Disabilities
Act “set a standard of reasonable accommodation.” She spoke from personal experience as the
mother of a child in a wheel chair. She said that the disabled “don’t demand every bathroom be
handicap accessible, that every entrance have a wheel chair ramp, or that every parking spot close
to the door be reserved for our wheel chair vans. People support reasonable accommodations
because they are common sense solutions.” The Coon Rapids High School has already made
considerable changes and investments to respectfully and reasonably accommodate the special
needs of the student.
Nothing requires schools to implement gender inclusion policies—not the Minnesota State High
School League, not the federal Title IX education law, not the federal Departments of Justice or
Education, not the Minnesota Safe and Supportive Schools Act, and not the Minnesota Human
From the testimony of many professionals and legal experts, including reports from the American
College of Pediatricians, Liberty Counsel, and the Alliance Defending Freedom, people are lining up
to stand behind challenges if Anoka Hennepin moves forward with a gender-inclusion policy. The
Child Protection League made it clear that our organization is prepared to support parents in any
legal challenge, just as we have supported Anmarie Calgaro in her challenge to health services and
state agencies for violating her parental civil rights.
Tax deductible contributions to help us fund support for future legal actions may be made to the
Child Protection and Mental Health Fund. Winning is within our reach, but we need your support.
A few of the Anoka Hennepin School Board testimonies and resources are linked below.
- Child Protection League testimony, Michele Lentz
- Parents Action League testimony, Barb Anderson
- Letter from Liberty Council, Mary McAlister
- Letter from Alliance Defending Freedom, Doug Wardlow
- American College of Pediatricians letter to New London-Spicer School Board
- MN School Board Association, Guidance on Transgender Issue, March 7, 2017
- Dr. Olson Testimony
- Hands Across the Aisle, Emily Zinos