Thursday, November 14, 2019
US flag

Trump bans transgender people from military

President Donald Trump tweeted today that transgender people would not be allowed to serve in the military, because of the high medical costs they incur, the New York Times reports.

As much as this ban itself may be a distraction from other presidential matters—replacing Obamacare, a Russia investigation, and so on—the statement itself has troubled many people, judging from the comments posted on newspaper articles about the decision, which Defense Secretary Jim Mattis found out about only a day in advance.

Furthermore, Mr Trump’s reference to “my” generals is equally troubling. Military personnel serve on behalf of all Americans, not at the pleasure or whim of the president.

I suppose what troubled me most about the decision was the idea that any group may be next. I’m not sure how much money the military spends on healthcare for transgender people, and I’m not sure how much, on a percentage basis, their presence in our fighting forces is disruptive, but who will be next? What group will be banned next from volunteering to serve?

News continues to traipse all over the wire when it comes to transgender students using bathrooms in schools according to their gender identity, not their biological sex.

A federal district court heard arguments on Monday of this week in Pennsylvania. Students from the Boyertown Area Senior High School are suing the school over its transgender bathroom policy, Penn Live reports.

A plaintiff in the case, a high school girl, testified that she had walked into a girls’ bathroom and saw a male student standing near the sink. “I saw the reflection of a male student standing at the sink washing their hands,” she was quoted as testifying. “I didn’t know what to do. I was in shock for a moment … I ran away.”

Her lawyer asked her if she had any objections to lesbians using the girls’ bathroom. “Absolutely not,” she answered. The same applies to transgender students, “as long as they’re the same sex as me. I should be able to use the one marked ‘girls’ and expect that only girls will be in there. My privacy was violated. The school didn’t protect me.”

UPDATE 7/28: In addition to court cases popping up here and there, state departments of education are weighing in. A new “toolkit” from the Minnesota Department of Education seeks to prevent bullying and exclusion of transgender or gender-nonconforming students in the state’s public and charter schools. The 11-page toolkit has already been sharply criticized by conservative Christians. “Predominantly, the toolkit considers only the perspective of gender-nonconforming students, and dismisses and ignores [the] concerns of other students and parents, and includes veiled threats,” NBC News quoted Stephani Liesmaki, communications director for the Minnesota Family Council, as saying.
Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

Recent posts

Mercury makes a transit; next in 2032

A transit of Mercury occurred today and was visible from the US, provided you had sunny skies. It was one of longest possible transits.

On the Naperville BWW racist incident

A racist incident at a Naperville, IL, sports bar indicates that the threads of racism are strong, perhaps as strong as ever.

IL bill could excuse absences to vote

A proposed law in IL could give students up to two hours during the school day so they could vote in the upcoming election.

Loan forgiveness gains some bipartisan support

One Republican from GA, who used to work under Betsy DeVos at the US Education Dept, offers a plan to forgive some student loan debt.

A band teacher is IL Teacher of the Year

IL named a band teacher the 2020 Teacher of the Year on Oct. 19. He individualizes music instruction and shares his work with 1000s.

‘Little Shop of Horrors’ bookends Halloween

Several high schools have decided to add a little spook to their musical stages in this season of Halloween. Music makes it happen.

New IL law ensures inclusion of LGBTQ+

A law will take effect next school year in IL that will require students to study LGBTQ history as part of the social studies curriculum.

MoCo doubles down on summer learning loss

Research is at least equivocal about summer learning loss, but maybe there's something to a new plan in Montgomery County, Md.

Downers North lights up the gym for Beth

Ongoing fundraising drives for a Downers Grove N. volleyball player killed by an intoxicated driver in Feb. are going strong in this western suburb.

High-payroll Yankees don’t make World Series

The World Series begins Tuesday, but some of the playoff games can teach us valuable things about youth sports, investment, etc.

Chicago teacher strike enters calendar week 2

Chicago teachers strike for the 3rd day Monday; the union wants smaller class sizes and support for paraprofessionals.