If there's one thing the religious right thrives upon, it's incidents which they can exploit and manipulate against the LGBTQ community. Religious right groups love to canonize 'ordinary American citizens' as victims of a so-called gay agenda which threatens to wreck their lives. That's pretty much what their "religious liberty" argument was all about. Now it would seem that they may have found two individuals to aid in their recent attacks against transgender youth.
From Oregon Public Broadcasting:
Two educators in Grants Pass were terminated by the school board Thursday. The board found North Middle School Assistant Principal Rachel Damiano and science teacher Katie Medart used district time and resources to promote their campaign to challenge school policies on gender identity. Both Medart and Damiano are outspoken opponents of policies meant to accommodate transgender students in Oregon schools. Last spring, they launched an online campaign called I Resolve. I Resolve calls for a rollback of those policies. For instance, they say teachers should not be required to call students by their preferred pronouns or name. They also want to change signs on restrooms and locker rooms to say “anatomical male” and “anatomical female.”
Can't you just see the headline - "Two educators fired because they would not adhere to the 'transgender agenda.'"
I can picture Tony Perkins and the Family Research Council or the Alliance Defending Freedom and the Liberty Counsel salivating over the mileage they could get out of this. They can probably go all day with different Fox News shows while pseudo-experts such as Abigail Shrier and the TERF community can pump up the situation to sell more books or make more ridiculous arguments about how women are being "erased."
But let's not get too hasty. Like the vast number of religious right cause celebres, this one has very interesting mitigating circumstances which may be conveniently overlooked. As the above excerpt said, an investigation found that the ladies used district time and resources for their anti-transgender campaign.
But it gets worse. One of the ladies seemingly exposed a student's personal business:
Medart, in particular, was accused of creating a disruption in the school district. In a video posted online, she talks about a student who had come to her with gender identity questions. Although she doesn’t mention the student by name, many in the district recognized who she was talking about.
Both former employees are suing claiming that their First Amendment rights were violated, so it will be interesting to see what happens next. One thing is for sure, though. I don't think it's fair to claim that these ladies are victims. Using district resources for their own personal campaign in itself is a huge no-no, but mentioning private conversations had with students strikes me as worse. It's a violation of trust, not to mention something which could expose said student to embarrassment and violence. It was an absolutely selfish thing to do.
On that alone, I fail to see how being terminated was not an appropriate action.