Wacky, Wily, and Wicked Ideas in School District U-46

Written by Laurie Higgins

For those too busy to run for their local school boards, too cowardly to attend school board meetings when controversies arise, or too lazy to vote, maybe a Facebook posting by District U-46 community member Phil Benshoof will be a wake-up call in that his views are shared by many cultural regressives [all errors appear in the original]:

you know I am greatly concerned with our school board. I have kept close tabs by watching and/or attending every board meeting the past couple years. Last night was disgusting. Emboldened by Trump’s election, 2 board members and a candidate showed their desires for our district.

This is not a joke. This will affect your kids, your neighbors’ kids, friends’ kids, every kid in this district. It will affect your home value and taxes. They are bringing this fight to YOUR doorstep, and it is time to wake up….You MUST pay attention. You MUST wake up. You MUST vote.

PAY ATTENTION PEOPLE: i’m going to be very blunt. you’ve seen what they said about LGBTQ and transgender rights tonight. they are not joking, they will change the policy if they can

IF CODY [Holt] IS RE-ELECTED AND ENOCH ESSENDROP ELECTED, they will make jeanette [Ward] board president. they will alter the discrimination policy so that in effect it allows discrimination. they will tamper with all curriculum so that it aligns with jeanette’s warped views. they will do everything in their power to break the teacher’s union and bus driver’s union


we all need to work to keep veronica [Noland] and donna [Smith] on the board, and get melissa [Owens] on the board. WE ARE RUNNING OUT OF TIME. now is the time to step up and get involved people! give a little bit of time, a little bit of money and a little bit of persuasion of others to get this done. April 4 is closing fast. heed my words well. it is time to make this happen

…This is imperative that we band together and support candidates that are rational

 I am proud to stand in resistance with you to the christofascist threat to our district

You may be wondering what got Benshoof’s panties in a twist. What repellent words were spoken at a school board meeting that led to Benshoof’s Facebook freak-out? Well, here are the allegedly “disgusting” words spoken by school board member Jeanette Ward:

On Wednesday February 22, President Trump’s administration revoked Obama’s unconstitutional “Dear Colleague” directive to public schools upon which U-46 partially relied when they changed restroom and locker room practices last September. The controversial change in practice, of which I informed the public, permits gender-dysphoric students to access restrooms and locker rooms of opposite-sex students.

Note well that the attempt to use Title IX to justify the practice of allowing gender-dysphoric students access to the private spaces of opposite-sex students ignored the fact that Title IX specifically states that schools are permitted to maintain separate restrooms and locker rooms for boys and girls. A three-judge 4th Circuit Court panel has upheld that interpretation of Title IX.

What is ironic in this controversy is that [CEO] Mr. Sanders said if students were not comfortable sharing restrooms or locker rooms with opposite-sex students, the school would allow them to use single-occupancy staff restrooms (but only after they express their concerns to the principal). So, if a gender-dysphoric boy is not comfortable sharing private spaces with peers of his same-sex, he may access opposite-sex facilities, but if girls are not comfortable sharing private spaces with a boy, they must use single-occupancy staff restrooms.

Why should a gender-dysphoric boy, for example, be allowed to use restrooms and locker rooms only with persons who share his “gender identity,” while the rest of students are not allowed to use restrooms and locker rooms only with persons who share their sex?

Since Obama’s unconstitutional “Dear Colleague” letter can no longer be used to justify allowing de facto co-ed restrooms and locker rooms, I would like to see us craft a policy that protects the privacy and safety of all students. Specifically I would like to see gender-dysphoric students’ privacy and safety protected by allowing them to use private, single-occupancy staff bathrooms with fully locking doors. I would like to see the privacy and safety of the rest of the student body protected by allowing them to use restrooms and locker rooms that correspond to their biological sex. It should NEVER occur (as it did last September) that a student is permitted access to restrooms and locker rooms of opposite-sex students, and such information is withheld from the parents of the other students.

Policies and practices that allow gender-dysphoric students to access the private spaces of opposite-sex students teach all students the lie that objective, immutable sex has no intrinsic meaning, particularly with regard to modesty and privacy. And such policies and practices teach all students the lie that inclusivity and compassion require them to give up their privacy.

So, Benshoof believes the commonsense, historical practice that persists in countless contexts all across the country—and actually the world—of sexually separating objectively male persons from objectively female persons will “DESTROY” District U-46. Support for restroom and locker rooms policies that recognize and honor the objective, immutable scientific fact of sexual differentiation is, in Benshoof’s mad, mad, mad, mad world, an “irrational,” “disgusting,” “warped” act perpetrated against society by “christofascists.”


Once again the mellifluous tones of tolerance from a cultural regressive. It makes one wonder how conservative students and parents—especially Christians—in District U-46 feel when they hear these words, or the words of culturally regressive board member Traci O’Neal Ellis who referred to the Republican National Convention as the “Klanvention.”

Board member Veronica Noland—up for re-election—offered an astonishingly feckless response:

I reject much of what my fellow board member has said regarding the transgender issue. I object to the term “gender dysphoric.” It is an antiquated term….This is an evolution, and we need to stop this type of discrimination that my colleague is trying to perpetuate. So I will reject the notion that we need to address some critical issue because there isn’t one. What happened in September had nothing to do with President Obama’s executive order. The policies were already in place. The law is already clear. That was guidance for schools. We didn’t need guidance because we were already doing it. And we continue to do it….On a case-by-case basis, we meet the needs of these students who are…transgender students….They deserve our protection. They are not abnormal. They’re not dysphoric. They are transgenders. Just as we accept lesbians and gays, we need to accept transgender students and protect them. These are students who are dealing with very sensitive issues….We need to do everything we can to give them that safe environment….So I have no desire to change our policy…..It is about our students and their safety and protection….That does not discount other students, and I think our approach is appropriate: If a student is uncomfortable, then we will accommodate any student. But to perpetuate the ideas that this is somehow putting other students at risk of violence…is preposterous.

I will try to address succinctly the most troubling of her claims, biases, and assumptions, starting from the top of her statement:

  • Okay, Noland objects to the term “gender dysphoria.” So what? Many others object to the term “transgender” which is embedded with arguable Leftist assumptions. Many also object to liberals trying to reinvent grammar and force people to use incorrect pronouns when referring to gender-dysphoric persons. Presumptuous Noland, like so many liberals, evidently believes she gets to control the language everyone uses. Unfortunately, conservatives usually acquiesce out of fear that they will be called names (which they will be). When liberals can’t make an argument, they resort to hurling epithets. Word to conservatives: Deal with it. Liberals understand how critical language is in shaping culture. Don’t give an inch of linguistic ground to regressive Rumpelstiltskins who stamp their feet when they can neither win a debate nor coerce capitulation.
  • Noland declares that the term “gender dysphoria” is antiquated. Yikes! Noland better notify WebMD, the American Psychiatric Association, Psychology Today, New York Times, MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia, and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Disorders (DSM-5), all of which use the term “gender dysphoria.”
  • Recognizing and accommodating sexual differentiation in restrooms and locker rooms does not constitute discrimination as Noland claims it does. If it did, there should exist no sex-segregated restrooms, locker rooms, shelters, or semi-private hospital rooms anywhere. I guess we should expect to see Noland pontificating on the critical need to eradicate all sex-segregated private facilities in the district and everywhere else—all in the name of “anti-discrimination.”
  • When Noland claims that sexually integrating restrooms and locker rooms is not a critical issue, she exposes herself as a superficial thinker. Proclaiming that sexual differentiation as revealed in physical embodiment as male or female has no inherent meaning is an assault on the very meaning of human nature. Someone should ask Noland if she believes objective immutable sex per se has meaning or not. If she says it has no meaning, then there remains no justification for any sex-segregated private spaces. If it has meaning, then she is violating the most intimate aspects of personhood when she allows co-ed restrooms and locker rooms.
  • Noland says policies and laws that require schools to sexually integrate private spaces were already in place before Obama’s now-revoked diktat to schools. Wrong again. Wrong or dishonest. There exists no policy in District U-46 that prohibits the district from requiring that restrooms and locker rooms correspond to the objective sex of students. Noland, the other regressives on the board, and CEO Tony Sanders would have community members believe that the district’s “Equal Educational Opportunities” policy that applies specifically to “educational and extracurricular opportunities” requires co-ed restrooms and locker rooms. These leaders even refer to the Illinois Human Rights Act as a defense. But here’s what the Illinois Human Rights Act actually says: “The Act permits schools to maintain single-sex facilities that are distinctly private in nature, e.g., restrooms and locker rooms.” Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 also explicitly permit sex-segregated restrooms and locker rooms.
  • Noland made the astonishing admission that U-46 was already permitting the sexual integration of restrooms and locker rooms before Obama’s edict. District leaders allowed this when no policy, law, court decision, or executive branch diktat required it. And they allowed co-ed restrooms and locker rooms without notifying parents.
  • Noland stated that using opposite-sex restrooms is a “need” of gender-dysphoric students. It isn’t a need. It is a desire. What would Noland suggest the school do if an able-bodied student who experiences Body Integrity Identity Disorder (that is, someone who “identifies” as an amputee), wants to use a wheel chair, wants to use handicapped parking spots, requests longer passing periods, and requests access to elevators reserved for handicapped students? Would such a request reflect a need of this student?
  • Noland declares, “They are not dysphoric. They are transgender.” Well, most students who identify as “transgender” do, indeed, experience gender dysphoria. That is, they experience discomfort or distress because of a perceived mismatch between their objectively male or female bodies and their “gender identities.” In addition to being “transgender,” they are objectively male or female, and that objective phenomenon matters.
  • Noland desires that “transgender” students be accepted—a desire that conservatives share as well. Conservatives would disagree, however, on what acceptance entails. Accepting people does not require affirming all their feelings, beliefs, and volitional acts. And it certainly doesn’t require the sexual integration of public school restrooms and locker rooms.
  • Noland generously throws a sop to those students who believe it’s wrong to share private spaces with persons of the opposite sex. Noland will let them use single-occupancy staff restrooms. Unbelievable. A gender-dysphoric boy who is uncomfortable sharing a restroom or locker room with persons of his same-sex can invade the private spaces of girls. But a girl who is uncomfortable sharing a restroom or locker room with a person of the opposite sex must use a staff restroom.
  • Noland refers to the safety and protection of gender-dysphoric students but fails to explain how using single-occupancy staff restrooms would put them at risk. In high dudgeon, she says it is “preposterous” to suggest that the sexual integration of restrooms and locker rooms puts anyone “at risk of violence.” She seems absolutely certain that while non-gender-dysphoric boys in U-46 pose a threat to a gender-dysphoric boy in the boys’ locker rooms or restrooms, no gender-dysphoric boy will ever be a threat to girls. Is Ms. Noland discriminating against “cisgender” boys? But setting aside her bias against “cisgender” boys, her statement is irrelevant because Jeanette Ward never accuses anyone of engaging in violence.

Phil Benshoof accuses Jeanette Ward of bringing this fight to the doorsteps of U-46 community members. What planet does he inhabit? How did conservatives start this fight? It was the parents of a troubled student who brought the fight to the school district, and it was the sneaky actions of CEO Tony Sanders and his accomplices on the board who brought the fight to the doorsteps of every district family by deciding to sexually integrate the private spaces of students. The district in effect sucker-punched parents and then when parents justifiably defend themselves and their children, Benshoof blames parents for starting a fight.

Yes, conservatives, no matter how offensive, incoherent, and anti-science are the practices, policies, and materials that liberal school leaders impose on your children using your money, if you don’t roll over and show your vulnerable parts like a submissive dog, you are the instigators.

Let’s hope and pray that District U-46 conservatives come out in droves to vote for Cody Holt and Enoch Essendrop on April 4.

Early voting is underway. In every school district, there are school board elections. PLEASE VOTE! And please urge your conservative friends to vote. Too often liberals are more passionate and persistent in their pursuit of leadership positions than are conservatives. For the good of all children, that must stop.


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