Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Andrea Lafferty spins lies against transgender teachers to hurt ENDA

In the latest attack on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, Traditional Values Coalition's Andrea Lafferty again spins the phony claim that ENDA will force children to be trapped in classroom with "drag queen teachers."

She goes into even more offensive detail in a One News Now article:

Every state will be forced to make cross-dressers, drag queens, transsexuals, and she-males* (male-female hybrids) into protected classes. Therefore, every school district in America will be forbidden by law to reassign any she-male teacher because this would be considered "discrimination." Thus, children will be trapped in classes taught by men who dress as women, and students will be indoctrinated to affirm that this is normal behavior.

To prove this theory, Lafferty pulls out three instances in which she claims that transitioning teachers were allowed to continue teaching over the objections of parent, thereby endangering children.

Lafferty tries to use these three examples as proof of her point. However, she only proves that one must never take the words of religious right spokespeople as fact without investigation.

Lafferty's first claim:

• In 2008, students and parents were outraged to learn that a female music teacher at California's Foxboro Elementary School underwent surgery to become a man. Parents were not informed about this so-called sex change in advance so they could remove their children from her class. In addition, the kids were required to refer to her as "Mister." The school district refused to notify parents about this she-male's so-called sex change because of "privacy laws" – that is, federal HIPPA laws.

Truth - According to this article on the ABC news site, some parents were upset about not being informed, but for the most part, many of the parents allowed their children to remain in the class. Furthermore, the children did not seem to have a problem with it.

Lafferty's second claim:

• In 2006, students in New York's Batavia High School were forced to remain in the class of a male teacher who was undergoing so-called surgical transition to female.  Parents were refused the right to opt their children out of his class because he claimed protection under New York's disability laws, and, therefore, had to be accommodated by the school district.

Truth - According to this article in the New York Times, parents objecting to the teacher were in the minority. Of the more than 100 students assigned to the teacher, only the parents of five objected. Furthermore, some students were very supportive of the teacher.

Lafferty's third claim:

• In 1999, Minnesota music teacher Alyssa Williams underwent a so-called sex change operation from male to female while teaching at a Middle School in the Anoka-Hennepin School District.  Parents were angered when their children were subjected to this man's bizarre sexual transformation. The school superintendent said they could not reassign the man to another position because it would have violated state law which gave special protected rights to transgendered individuals.

Truth - There was a lot of controversy involving Williams (seeing that it was over 10 years ago) which possibly led her to eventually resign. But according to this article, much of it didn't come from students, but outside interests:

After she (Williams) voluntarily disclosed her transgender status, parents staged student walk-outs, TV news trucks took up residence in front of Blaine's Roosevelt Middle School, The American Center for Law and Justice threatened legal action, and a group of about three dozen parents - several who had no children in the district - became fixtures at monthly school board meetings.

And yet the numbers were always in Williams' favor. Of the roughly 445 sixth- and seventh-graders who passed through Williams' music classes, the parents of only 25 of them took advantage of the district's offer to transfer their children out of her classes.

The article goes on to say that some in the community were furious that the attention led Williams to resign.

So basically, Lafferty's claim that ENDA (and transgender teachers for that matter) would endanger children is a bunch of nonsense.

In all of these cases (which Lafferty outrighted distorted), it was the children who probably acted more mature than the adults.

But again, I guess some consider  truth and integrity as honorable casualties when one is trying to stop those "evil homosexuals."

Related posts:

The 30 Dirty? Why can't the religious right stop lying about ENDA?

Religious right groups can't make up their minds when lying about ENDA

No wonder the Traditional Values Coalition is considered a hate group

Family Research Council exploiting Amanda Simpson's appointment to stop ENDA
Family Research Council head misrepresents credible information to hurt ENDA

Bathrooms, Church Exemptions, and Lies: Five ways the religious right misrepresents ENDA

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Bill S said...

And it's my understanding that the term "she-male" is derogatory, and offensive to transgender people.

BlackTsunami said...

it is HIGHLY offensive.

Ken said...

I get a laugh every time I read anything from the right wingnuts...they LOVE to say "so-called". If they could no longer say "so-called", their writing would shrink by half. I understand that they've learned that using those words indicates their disdain, but give it a rest! "So-called" sex change?? What else would she call it?

Wade@MacMorrighan.Net said...

Also, notice how their website (and her comments) NEVER posits the fallacious question, "Do you want women dressed as men teaching your kids at school?!", obviously because by taking this sexist approach of men betraying the "high status" of their gender they can create an emotive and homophobic resonance. Indeed, Arthur Evans, in his "Witchcraft and the Gay Counterculture", has a great segment on this topic wherein he finds that in no culture where women are valued equally with men (as a gender) do we find homophobic attitudes when their sacred Gay priests dress as women or, "betray their gender!"

Wade@MacMorrighan.Net said...

I've also contacted CBS to voice my disapproval of asking someone to "debate" a topic from an established Southern Poverty Law Center hate-group!

Rosemary Waigh said...

These transphobic parents probably take their children's acceptance of trans teachers as proof that the children have been "damaged" by them.

Anonymous said...

Why do these people hate so much? Locally I note a business owner who took umbrage at a young teen working the window at Burger King whose name is Isis. The business owner threatened a boycott if the teen did not immediately change her mind and demanded that the business should fire the teen.

The Facebook comments were so ugly that my daughter became concerned for the teen and called the police to alert them to the threat. The upshot is the teen no longer wears a nametag because her manager told her that if protests continue, she will be moved off the window and if that did not placate these haters, then she would have to be let go.

Different situation but same hatred. Why do these people hate so much? Hate takes so much time and energy and saps the soul and mind. Why do these people spend so much of their resources on things that really don't matter in the scheme of things.

I so hate that Jazz is subjected to this but sadly I am not surprised