A transgender equality bill recently passed in California will transform public school culture in ways that are hard to foresee.
The bill, which was signed in August by Gov. Jerry Brown, takes effect Jan. 1. It will allow transgender public school students to choose, based on their gender identity, which bathroom and locker room to use, as well as whether to join the boy’s or girl’s sport team.
Dr. Stephen Posegate, associate professor of music, voiced his concern for the bill’s possible changes.
“Education is, amazingly, a political world,” he said. “We might think what’s best for the kids is what drives us, but there are all kinds of agendas that certain groups have. From the founding fathers who wanted freedom of religion right up to today’s world, and in today’s world, the politics of gender identity are very active.”
Posegate taught in the public school system for 20 years before coming to California Baptist University. His concern goes beyond the public school system to something more personal, though.
“I’m a father of daughters,” he said, “and it would have made me very uncomfortable to think that people who are physically boys could have been walking in on them in a restroom or a locker room.”
Katie L. S. Davis, sophomore early childhood studies major, expressed similar concerns.
“From a Christian perspective, it is another negative development taking us farther and farther away from the Lord’s desire for our lives,” she said.
In addition, Posegate voiced his concern about the support public schools will receive as a result.
“In this case, more Christians will withdraw from the public school and go to private schools,” he said. “We need all the support we can get for public schools.”
From concerns over the safety of children to the moral ambiguity of transgender issues, there is no doubt that the bill is controversial. Posegate said only time will tell what the effects of the development will be on public schools.