A parent who sent an email critical of the Florida school superintendent who implemented a radical transgender policy that strips away parent rights, found officers from the school district’s brand new police force at his door the next day.
This is a fairly shocking level of intimidation, and certainly at least some parents must have got the message: Shut up, sit down and let us handle your children. Or else we may come knocking.
We wrote about this radical policy last week, but confess we did not see this tactic coming. The essentials are this:
At the recommendation of the Sarasota County School District’s LGBTQI Task Force, School Superintendent Todd Bowden issued “guidelines” to govern how the district’s more than 50 public schools handle transgender and gender questioning students — starting as young as kindergarten. This stealthy radicalization of local policy comes just as the Trump administration considers rolling back the Obama administration’s un-scientific and lawless expansion of Title IX.
The Sarasota County school guidelines implement a full-blown transgender protocol allowing students to use whichever bathroom and locker room corresponds with the gender with which they “identify;” and forces everyone else to use the pronoun of the students’ choice. But maybe the biggest affront is that the guidelines also say that parents can not be informed of their child’s decision to identify as a different gender, because some trans activists claim the schools are a “safer” environment than the home.
It was keeping it secret from the parents, along with the general egregiousness of the rest of the policy, that attracted a lot of controversy. A 31-year-old Sarasota father of a young child not yet in the school system, sent the superintendent a brief email criticizing the guidelines.
“If Sarasota County schools will not keep my daughter safe from mentally ill male students who want to use the same bathroom as my daughter then I will. Listen very clearly, if/when something happens to little girls at school by transgender males exposing themselves in bathrooms/locker rooms or worse, you will be held liable. See you around.”
The superintendent decided that being “held liable” or maybe “see you around” was a physical threat and went to the school police about it. Of course, the letter-writer is right. The superintendent is totally liable, or responsible, because he bypassed both the School Board and the public in making the decision. That level of authoritarian action would seem to expose him to legal liability, which is the obvious point the father was making.
The twist is that the school district is still in the process of building its brand new internal police force — one of very few in Florida — in the wake of the Parkland shootings last year and hasty Florida legislation passed under the pressure of emotional activism. That means this particular superintendent, with his apparent tendencies, now has a quasi-personal police force. No one wants to think he would possibly use it in such a way, but it is not out of line with his heavy-handed tactics.
So while the letter-writing father was at work, his wife called him to say that two school district police officers showed up at their house. It’s not clear, but apparently the officers do not even have any jurisdiction off school property. They said they were there about the email.
That’s a scary situation for anyone, and certainly a parent. To their professional credit, once the father showed them the email, they realized there was nothing to it and apologized for being there. However, it turns out that school police were also at the letter writer’s father’s house, questioning him and his neighbors.
Of course nothing came of it because there was nothing there in the first place — nothing to it except to display a classic intimidation move from a Superintendent that has a bit of a reputation for playing hardball and intimidating others — including school board members who he supposedly answers to.
It’s safe to say that the message has been received by other parents who are uncomfortable with boys being allowed in the bathroom and locker room with their daughters at school, and are very uncomfortable with their Johnny being Sue at school and the school keeping that information from them and accommodating Johnny as Sue.
The message? Keep your mouth shut.