Commentary

Pat McCrory, Tim Moore, Phil Berger, Dan Forest: Not smarter than a sixth grader

As the post below indicates, North Carolina’s elected leaders will take the latest step in their five-year-long crusade to make our state a symbol of discrimination and exclusion (not to mention a national laughingstock) tomorrow when they call a special session to pick on transgender people. It is an act of such transparent ignorance and ill will that even a child can see through it.

Proof of this can be found in today’s edition of Raleigh’s News & Observer in which a sixth grader from Durham deftly puts all of these hypocritical old men in their place. Here is Joanna de Andrade’s essay: “McCrory’s hypocrisy unfair to transgender students.”

“One of my best friends is transgender. At our school, the policy for bathrooms as it is across Durham Public Schools is that students who are transgender use the teacher bathroom. But this is an issue at many schools due to the lack of teacher bathrooms on all floors of the school.

At our school, we have two teacher bathrooms, both on the first floor. We have three floors. In the sixth grade, students have only one time designated to go to the bathroom without needing a pass or missing class and work time. This time is lunch. Our lunch is on the third floor. This means that if my friend needs to use the bathroom, he needs to walk up and down two flights of stairs.

Gov. Pat McCrory has been making hypocritical statements. A couple months ago he stated that local school districts should be able to make the decision if transgender students and workers can use the bathroom of their gender. Then just recently Charlotte made a decision, and McCrory wrote a letter to the attorney general that made it seem that transgender people who need to use the bathroom are criminals and people who are going to put your children at risk of harm.

He used firm statements like “disregard the safety and privacy concerns of parents and students.” Another strong statement was, “This will remove local districts’ flexibility and force the federal government’s views on all of our schools.” Then he stated, “Let’s defend our schools and protect the autonomy of our local school districts.” This letter is showing McCrory’s hypocrisy. Now, many people have a similar opinion to McCrory’s, and this opinion is that it puts cisgender people at risk. They say that some people may pretend to be transgender just to “stalk” people in the bathroom.

My response is that maybe someone might do this, but he or she will be caught, and some people just need to use the bathroom.

I don’t think that it is very fair to force people to go all the way to a bathroom two stories up just because they aren’t biologically a boy or girl. May this bring to light inequalities that face our world and show that, as young as middle school students are, we can make a difference.

Joanna de Andrade, 11, is a sixth-grader at Lakewood Montessori Middle School in Durham.”

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