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Guest Opinion

Suspended Central Bucks policies were reasonable


Prior to the recent Central Bucks School Board elections, if one had listened only to major media reports and certain candidates, one would have gotten the unmistakable impression that the four recently suspended policies dealing with issues of sexuality and advocacy were targeted at specific groups and with extreme prejudice.

But if one reads the policies, one will wonder how those claims were even close to the truth.

Policies 109.1 and 109.2 simply prohibited the district from supplying sexually explicit material of any sort. Thus, any claim that these policies targeted specific persons is patently false.

Additionally, these policies speciously were referred to as “book bannings.” But no one was trying to stop any given book from being printed or any parent from supplying said books to their own children, only that public funds were not to be used for their distribution.

One must wonder if Central Bucks is now in the same position as other school districts where its students can access books that are too obscene to be read at its own school board meetings (logic?).

However, the deleterious effects of laissez-faire approaches to human sexuality should be obvious. One need merely look at current society and think for a moment how many problems go back to sexual relationships that should not have been pursued.

The “need” for hundreds of thousands of elective abortions per year comes immediately to mind.

Policy 321 was directed to prohibit advocacy of all types, whether from the political left or the political right. It explicitly stated that speech about controversial topics, without mentioning any specific topic, was to be handled in the same way the school district teaches about world religions. One can teach facts about various religions without advocacy. One can also teach facts about various types of sexual expression without advocacy.

Finally, Policy 123.3’s stated purpose was that “Separate athletic teams on the basis of sex preserve fairness, provide increased opportunity for girls, and are safer.” It went to great lengths to ensure that anyone can participate in any sport with one exception: “Athletic teams or sports designated for ‘females,’ ‘women’ or ‘girls’ shall not be open to students of the male sex.”

There is a legion of data detailing the superior physical ability of the males on average versus females on average. Just search the web for “Men and Women’s Olympic Track and Field Records” or records pertaining to any other sport where physical power is of the essence. In addition, there are more and more reports of biological males who were mediocre in a given sport who, upon switching genders, then dominate that same sport in the women’s league.

However, this issue has a point of legitimate concern. It is well documented that persons suffering gender dysphoria are many times more likely than the general populace to suffer from comorbidities such as anxiety and depression. So here, there is a factual problem about how to balance the mental well-being of some persons versus fairness and safety of others.

Still, after reading the policies, I was aghast at how the media in general distorted them. The policies have been called “hateful.” Hateful how? The only hate I’ve seen comes from those who disagree with these policies. On the national level, at a recent congressional hearing, all Pennsylvania U.S. Rep. Summer Lee could do is accuse women’s sports activist Riley Gaines of “transphobic bigotry” before Gaines even got a word in.

Facts are not phobias. Given the highly subjective nature of claims about human sexuality, and the patently disastrous consequences of the sexual revolution, there should be, at the bare minimum, a recognition that reasonable people can support the issues that were covered by the Central Bucks policies.

Sometimes what makes you “feel” good is not truly good for you. This was the time-tested philosophy behind the policies that were suspended.

I urge that we stop the name-calling and the assumptions of ill-will and have an open, rational debate.

Charles D. Dern, Ph.D., lives in Plumstead and is an adjunct lecturer of philosophy and theology.

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