This week the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School system announced that it would allow the system’s transgender students to choose whatever bathroom fit their gender identification for this next upcoming school year, a move that has struck the nerve of one Gov. Pat McCrory.
In a directly proactive move to accommodate students, CMS boldly did something for its students that Raleigh has forgotten to do for its citizens: remove obstacles.
Oddly enough, until this past year transgender students in Charlotte/Mecklenburg went to the bathroom of the gender they identified with. I do not know of any news reports that chronicled any trouble with that policy.
Of course McCrory responded – through his press secretary Graham Wilson, who just might have the toughest job in all of North Carolina, hyperbolically speaking. Wilson has to put words to McCrory’s thoughts that are heard in the ears of the rest of North Carolina.
And if you listen to his reasoning for condemning the CMS’s recent stand, you will see how baseless McCrory’s legal stance on HB2 really is.
“Instead of providing reasonable accommodations for some students facing unique circumstances,” the school district “made a radical change to their shower, locker room and restroom policy for all students.
“This curiously-timed announcement that changes the basic expectations of privacy for students comes just after school let out and defies transparency, especially for parents,” Wilson said in a statement. “The Charlotte-Mecklenburg School System should have waited for the courts to make a decision instead of purposely breaking state law.”
Six specific items stick out in that statement that Mr. Wilson issued on behalf of the governor.
- First, there are those “reasonable accommodations.” It seems that if Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools wanted to make accommodations for their students then it would know better than the state what their students might need. And the word “reasonable” and HB2 really do not collide in the same sentence.
- Next, there are these students facing “unique circumstances.” In actuality, HB2 made the circumstances for LGBT students and people more unique, if the word “unique” means “discriminated against.”
- “Radical change?” Really? Many seem to think that the radical part of this whole debate is HB2 itself.
- As for the timing of the CMS decision, Mr. Wilson classifies it as “curiously-timed.” What about the special-session that was called in March to conceive, craft, and pass HB2 in the matter of hours? If that is not “curiously-timed,” then I am curious as to how it would be defined.
- Wilson also refers to “transparency.” Is he referring to the denotative definition of “transparency” or the opaque version practiced by his boss and others in Raleigh that allowed HB2 to also remove the right of North Carolinians to sue in state courts over wrongful job dismissals and the right for localities to set a minimum wage for contracted work?
- The last item concerns the “should have waited for the courts to make a decision” part. They did, Mr. Wilson. They did. And while it is officially a Virginia law case where the decision is made, the jurisdiction of the 4thS. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond reaches North Carolina.
And here is the big part of the HB2 debacle as it pertains to the Charlotte Mecklenburg School system: your boss can’t even enforce it.
When Margaret Spellings explicitly told North Carolina that she would not enforce HB2 on campuses of the UNC system, she pretty much told Raleigh that HB2 was not enforceable.
Unless the governor has plans to finance a policy to enforce HB2 then his words and actually Mr. Wilson’s words are simply political hot air. And to tell the truth, with the court cases concerning the federal government’s anti-discrimination suit and the Voter ID law, as well as lawsuits sure to follow because of environmental ignorance on the state’s part, the governor should be more concerned about other matters than what CMS has done to help its students.
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