Commentary by Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick says his state will not yield to “blackmail” from the Obama Administration after it issued a directive on Friday – the same day that an 8 year-old Chicago girl was nearly choked to death by a man in a ladies’ room – that all public schools in the country must allow transgender students to use the bathroom of their choice.
Politico is reporting on Patrick’s response to a letter released by the Department of Justice and Department of Education on Friday which informs schools districts across the country that failure to allow transgender students to use the restroom or locker room that corresponds to their gender identity could cost the school its federal funding.
Calling this directive “blackmail”, Patrick told reporters that he believes the bathroom issue is “the biggest issue facing families and schools in America since prayer was taken out of public schools.”
Obama’s policy “will divide the country not along political lines but along family values and school districts,” Patrick said. “He says he’s going to withhold funding if schools do not follow the policy . . . ” well, in Texas, he can keep his 30 pieces of silver. We will not yield to blackmail from the president of the United States.”
Public schools in Texas receive $10 billion in federal funds over a two-year budget, but Patrick claims the majority of this is for free breakfast and lunch programs.
“So Barack Obama, if schools don’t knuckle down to force girls showering with boys and force 8-year-old girls to have to endure boys coming into their bathroom, he’s taking money from the poorest of the poor,” Patrick said. “The president of the United States will be ending the free breakfast and free lunch program. That’s what he’s saying.”
Patrick went on to that he received a “standing ovation” on Friday before “a number of caucuses” when he declared that the state “will not be blackmailed by the president’s 30 pieces of silver. We will not sell out our children to the federal government. And the people of Texas and the Legislature will find a way to find as much of that money as we can if we are forced to. There is no compromise on this issue,” he said.
Patrick has even suggested that the superintendent of Fort Worth schools should resign for suggesting rules similar to those being foisted upon the public by the president.
To those who will accuse him of being “anti-this or that”, a neocon, or religious fanatic, he was quick to say that this is far from the typical partisan issue.
“The president is going to find Democrat families will push back against this, Republican families, black families, white families, brown families. This goes against the values of so many people. It has nothing to do with anything being against a transgender child or a gay child. Nothing to do. We address harassment and bullying in the country and in the state,” he said. “This has everything to do with keeping the federal government out of local issues.”
Patrick is not alone is denouncing the new federal guidance.
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory, whose state is suing the government to keep a law passed in his state that protects people from members of the opposite sex being permitted into their restrooms and locker rooms, also condemned the guidance.
“Most Americans, including this governor, believe that government is searching for a solution to a problem that has yet to be defined. Now, both the federal courts and the U.S. Congress must intercede to stop this massive executive branch overreach, which clearly oversteps constitutional authority,” McCrory said in a statement.
Sen. Lamar Alexander, the chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, told CNN that the guidance was not federal.
“This is the kind of issue that parents, schools boards, communities, students and teachers should be allowed to work out in a practical way with a maximum amount of respect for the individual rights of all students. Insofar as the federal government goes, it’s up to Congress to write the law, not the executive departments,” Alexander said.
Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant also issued a statement on Friday calling the directive “outrageous” and directed his state’s education department to disregard the order.
“The directive is nonbinding and does not carry the force of law,” Bryant said. “Because these decisions are better left to the states, and not made at the point of a federal bayonet, Mississippi’s public schools should not participate in the president’s social experiment.”
Meanwhile, crimes committed against women and children in restrooms are continuing with the latest case covered by Newsbusters about an eight year-old Chicago girl who was choked by a man in a ladies’ room and left unconscious in a stall. Thanks to the quick action of the public, the girl was spared any further injury.
While local news covered the story, the national mainstream media chose to ignore it as they continue to trumpet the cause of transgenders while ignoring the privacy rights of everyone else.
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