In Oregon, educators propose alternative to gender identity policy—and face calls to be fired

“We recognize that, excepting very rare scientifically-demonstrable medical conditions, there are two anatomical gender presentations, male and female,” said the proposal by I Resolve. They propose that public school restrooms and bathrooms should be designated for “anatomically female” and “anatomically male” instead of “girls” and “boys.” These rooms may “only be used by persons matching the anatomical designation of the spaces,” they proposed.

Anyone uncomfortable using their “anatomically correct space” may request a private bathroom or locker room, if available, under the proposal.

The proposal suggests that self-identified transgender students be allowed to go by a preferred pronoun or “a derivative of their legal name,” like “Jess” or “Jessie” for “Jessica,” and not a name of their choice. The students may be allowed to do this only with parental permission. Under this proposal, other students and staff are free to accept or ignore the request to use a different name or different pronouns.

The proposal also emphasizes public school staff members’ “civil and constitutional liberties, including their freedoms of speech and expression.”

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The lawsuit contends that the two educators sought input from school district officials – the superintendent and the principal. The principal read the proposal and provided feedback, while the superintendent said he would consider bringing it before the school board for a vote, the lawsuit stated.

After the video became public, the lawsuit alleges, the principal led the school district’s investigation of the educators and “subjected them to questioning on whether their religious beliefs make them unfit to be public educators.”

The lawsuit contends that the district’s first speech policy – requiring that employees who voice their views on “controversial issues” specify that their viewpoints are personal, and not an official view of the district – left employees “to guess whether their speech was on a ‘controversial issue’.” 

District officials “could declare after the fact the content and viewpoint of speech that would be deemed ‘controversial’ and thus subject to the policy’s disclaimer requirement,” the lawsuit said. It also objected to an amended speech policy, saying that the two plaintiffs have ceased much of their speaking on gender-identity issues that students, parents, educators and society are currently faced with.

In early June a county court in Virginia ordered that Loudoun County Public Schools reinstate elementary school teacher Tanner Cross, who had been suspended for opposing a school transgender pronoun policy in a public meeting – although his disciplinary case could continue.

Cross had criticized the proposed policies that, among other requirements, would require that students be addressed by their preferred gender pronouns, rather than the pronouns corresponding with their biological sex.

“I’m a teacher, but I serve God first. And I will not affirm that a biological boy can be a girl and vice versa because it is against my religion. It’s lying to a child. It’s abuse to a child,” he had said at the hearing, the Associated Press reports.

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The court ordered his reinstatement until a full trial is held. Cross has claimed that five school district employees wished to speak up on the pronoun issue but said they declined to do so, due to the district’s action against him.

The school district had claimed he had disrupted school operations, citing six emails from five families of students asking that their children not be taught by Cross. The school district said it planned to appeal to Virigina’s Supreme Court.