Displaying once again his lack of any self-awareness whatsoever, Governor Paul Le Page said on Thursday that he’s “tired of s***shows.”
LePage named himself the State Education Commissioner on Thursday, after withdrawing his nomination of William Beardsley for education commissioner. Beardsley would have faced strong opposition from Democrats in the Joint Standing Committee on Education, in part due to his controversial remarks about transgender children.
On the issue of transgender children using school restrooms that correspond with their gender identity, Beardsley has stated:
“I feel so badly for little children that are being, you know, kind of decisions being made for them that are outside what we call our normal activities here in the state and imposing those kind of things on a very small child.”
LePage has made it pretty clear that he does not support the Maine Human Rights Commission’s guidelines for public schools regarding restroom usage for transgender children, effectively blocking the commission from working with the Department of Education.
In addition to this “s***tshow” he’s created here in Maine, LePage has spread his ignorance and hatred to Virginia, adding his name to a joint filing in a Virginia federal court to stop a transgender boy from using the boys restroom.
LePage’s ignorance about gender identity is stunning, although not completely out of step with the views of many Americans.
Le Page has stated that by suing on behalf of the Virginian transgender student, the ACLU “might ruin this young person’s life,” adding, “I’m appalled at the lack of parenting that child’s received.”
LePage again: “I just don’t understand how people, at least sane people, would want to allow transgender in our primary schools and our high schools.”
It appears our self-appointed State Education Commissioner could use some educatin’ himself.
Governor, please do us all a favor and get yourself acquainted with some facts:
- Being transgender is not a phase or a choice, but a consistent gender identity
- Imaging studies and other research suggest that there is a biological basis for transgender identity
- The American Psychological Association urges parents of gender-nonconforming children to “work with schools and other institutions to address their children’s particular needs and ensure their children’s safety.”
- A study by the Williams Institute found 78 percent of transgender respondents who had endured physical or sexual violence at school had attempted suicide.
- 72 percent of victims of anti-LGBT homicide are transgender women
- 78 percent of transgender students in grades K-12 experienced harassment, while 35% experienced physical assault and 12% experienced sexual violence.
- 82% of transgender youth report that they feel unsafe at school
- The CDC has determined that “teens experience better health outcomes when their parents support their sexual orientation in positive and affirming ways.”
Governor, hopefully you can get yourself up to speed on the science, the statistics, and the best practices suggested by major American medical associations and government bodies.
Hopefully, you will realize that the role of a public schools is to provide a safe and effective learning environment for all children — including transgender children.
Hopefully, you will realize that it is the role of a parent to do whatever possible to ensure that their child is safe and supported. Parents like Kelly and Wayne Maines and Bridget and Mark Tidd are wonderful examples for all of us in Maine.
And hopefully, you will realize that we “want to allow transgender in our primary schools and our high schools” because, quite simply, transgender children are students too.