School District U-46 Barn-Burner of a Board Meeting
School District U-46 Barn-Burner of a Board Meeting
Written By Laurie Higgins   |   09.14.16

(Please make sure to watch the linked video excerpts!)

So much to say about Monday night’s barn-burner of a school board meeting in Illinois School District U-46, so little time.

Laurie's Chinwags_thumbnailThe meeting started at 7:00 p.m. By 6:00 p.m. the meeting room was filled to capacity, and attendees were sent to two upstairs overflow rooms to watch a livestream of the meeting. Approximately 58 visitors spoke, with 37 speaking in opposition to the school board’s decision to allow a student to use the locker room designated for persons of the opposite sex and to do so without telling U-46 parents of this decision. The remaining 21 spoke in favor of these decisions. In the overflow room where I was seated, pro-transparency/pro-single-sex facilities supporters vastly outnumbered anti-transparency/pro-co-ed supporters.

Accusations of hate flew during the lengthy meeting. Well, to be more accurate, accusations of hate flew from the Left to the Right as usual. Leftists accused those who reject Leftist assumptions about modesty, privacy, the meaning of biological sex, parental rights, and gender dysphoria of being hateful. Ad hominem epithets are infinitely easier to hurl than arguments are to make.

Some of the most obnoxious comments were expressed by school board member Veronica Noland, Rich Jacobs, and (my personal favorite) Bartlett High School English teacher (why am I not surprised) Gary Lorber.

Lorber is also the 1st vice president of the local teachers union, the Elgin Teachers Association.

Lorber’s theatrical performance is a must-see, replete with fallacies of logic (e.g., ad hominem, appeal to ridicule, moral high ground, appeal to emotion, appeal to spite, bandwagon, and strawman). Lorber was shockingly unprofessional, referring to two of his own school board members as part of a “cast of cackling cronies.” His performance included repeated melodramatic proclamations that he will “be there,” wherever injustice—as he defines it—is to be found, and he presumptuously asserted that the students he is paid by taxpayers to teach English are his kids.

Rich Jacobs’ comments too were replete with fallacious reasoning, beginning with misrepresenting Jeanette Ward’s actions and then imputing ugly motives to her by accusing her of “intentionally fanning the flames of hatred.” Now that’s what I call “sickening” bullying.

Jacobs also stated that Mrs. Ward reached out to “fringe political groups known for their hate and divisiveness.” Some questions for Jacobs: What are the names of the “fringe political groups” to which he referred? What makes them “fringe”? What specifically constitutes hatred in Jacobs’ view? Is it the expression of moral and ontological assumptions with which he disagrees that constitutes hatred? Does he believe that love requires the affirmation of every desire, belief, and action held by others? Or is he the arbiter of which desires, beliefs, and actions must be affirmed in order to love others? How is the decision to allow gender-dysphoric students in opposite-sex locker rooms less divisive than opposing such a practice?

Jacobs is the “husband” of homosexual activist and Kane County judge, John Dalton. In 2011, Dalton was asked by the homosexual newspaper Windy City Times, “Are you active in the LGBT community?” Dalton responded, “I have for the last 20 years…worked, whenever the opportunity has presented itself, for equal rights. Some of the things I’ve done more recently include working with the School District U-46, which is the second largest school district in the state.”

Board member Veronica Noland, using Leftist language to convey Leftist dogma, referred to children whose “gender is not the same as the one assigned to them at birth.” News flash for Noland: No one is “assigned a gender” at birth. The objective sex of persons is identified at birth.

Noland implied wrongly that opponents of co-ed restrooms seek to force gender-dysphoric students into restrooms and locker rooms that correspond to their sex. She either didn’t listen to all the speakers or dishonestly ignored their comments, because multiple speakers who oppose co-ed restrooms and locker rooms recommended a compromise of allowing gender-dysphoric students to use existing single-occupancy restrooms.

After claiming to listen to all stakeholders, Noland proceeded to call those who dissent from her ideology “narrow-minded fear mongers.” Nice to see how she “represents” the whole community

Not to worry, folks, in the service of representing “all children,” compassionate Noland will make special accommodations for those non-gender-dysphoric students who don’t want to share private acilities with the opposite sex. Objectively female children have Noland’s kind permission to exit the formerly all-girls locker room and change elsewhere, and objectively male children are similarly permitted to exit the formerly single-sex boys’ locker room and change elsewhere.

Perhaps the most arrogant and ironic statement came from school board member Traci O’Neal Ellis who began with this quote from Anne Bradstreet: “Authority without wisdom is like a heavy axe without an edge, fitter to bruise than polish.” Ellis futilely attempted to suggest that allowing gender-dysphoric students into opposite-sex locker rooms and restrooms without informing parents constitutes exercising authority with wisdom, and that those who oppose such a decision are exercising authority devoid of wisdom and consequently are “bruising” children.

She further asserted that district policy that prohibits discrimination based on “gender identity” requires the district to allow gender-dysphoric students in opposite-sex private spaces. Such a claim flies in the face of the Illinois Human Rights Act which prohibits discrimination based on “gender identity” and says the following in its section on exemptions:

Nothing in this Article shall apply to: Facilities Distinctly Private. Any facility, as to discrimination based on sex, which is distinctly private in nature such as restrooms, shower rooms, bath houses, health clubs and other similar facilities for which the Department, in its rules and regulations, may grant exemptions based on bona fide considerations of public policy.

In addition Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 explicitly states that public schools may maintain separate restrooms and locker rooms for boys and girls.

For those who prefer not to listen to Ellis pontificate, the full text of her statement can be read by clicking here.

Here are some questions for the U-46 epithet-hurlers, including but not limited to Lorber, Jacobs, Ellis, and Noland:

1.) Why is it more hateful to believe that locker rooms and restrooms should correspond to objective sex than to believe that they should correspond to feelings about one’s sex?

2.) Do parents have an intrinsic right to know if their children will be sharing restrooms and locker rooms with persons of the opposite sex?

3.) Do students have an inalienable and intrinsic right not to share restrooms and locker rooms with persons of the opposite sex?

4.) Does objective biological sex per se have any meaning?

5.) Would you object to gender-dysphoric students changing clothes out in the open areas of a locker room designated for persons of the opposite sex?

6.) Would you object to a gender-dysphoric student showering in the locker rooms designated for persons of the opposite sex if those students didn’t object? If so, why would you object?

7.) Since U-46 believes that existing anti-discrimination policy requires the district to allow “trans” students to use opposite-sex restrooms and locker rooms, may “cisgender” students use opposite-sex facilities as well? Wouldn’t prohibiting “cis boys” from using girls’ facilities constitute discrimination based on “gender identity”?

8.) If separate restrooms and locker rooms for gender dysphoric boys and girls are equivalent to separate restrooms and locker rooms for blacks and whites—as Attorney General Loretta Lynch asserts—then why aren’t separate restrooms and locker rooms for “cisgender” boys and girls equivalent to racism? And why aren’t separate restrooms and locker rooms for gender-dysphoric boys and “cisboys” equivalent to racism?

9.) Does the district have any Muslim or Orthodox Jewish students? If so, does the district know how these students and their parents view co-ed restrooms?

10.) Some supporters of sex-integrated restrooms and locker rooms object to the term “co-ed.” How many gender-dysphoric boys must be allowed in a girls’ locker room (or vice versa) before it can be called a “co-ed” locker room? 1, 2, 5?

11.) Will gender-dysphoric students be required to use opposite-sex facilities?

12.) What are the restroom and locker rooms practices with regard to “gender fluid” students?

Who has a “personal agenda”?

While “progressive” U-46 board members routinely promote and implement their subjective assumptions about modesty, privacy, parental rights, the meaning of biological sex, and gender dysphoria through practices and policies, they accuse those who dissent from their views of promoting a “personal agenda.” Hmmm…Curiouser and curiouser.

Long-Range Leftist Plan

Some find solace in the delusion that U-46 will continue the current practice of providing overseers who  stand near the private changing area when the gender-dysphoric student is using it. How charmingly naïve–or ill-informed.

The Left will allow no such accommodation to long remain. During this transitional period (pun noticed but not intended), cunning Leftists will allow privacy curtains. But not for long. They will continue their quest for total societal capitulation to their make-believe world. They will not stop demanding that everyone treat gender-dysphoric persons as if they are, in reality, the sex they wish they were. In the Orwellian world of Leftists, who insist even on controlling speech through force of law if necessary, there will be no long-term compromise. Resistance—so they believe—is futile.

Unless conservatives act with tenacity and boldness, there will be no separate changing areas for students who reject their sex. Everyone will be compelled to join them in their delusional, immodest world. Boys will have unrestricted access to girls’ facilities and vice versa. Everyone will be forced to refer to delusional boys by pronouns that correspond to and denote those who are objectively female. You see, it’s harder for gender-dysphoric boys and men to maintain their delusion when people keep using those darn correct pronouns.

It’s only a matter of time before Leftists tear down those walls segregating boys from girls, because the ultimate goal is “dismantling the gender binary.” Leftist ideologues have “deconstructed” marriage, and now they seek to “deconstruct” human nature. It’s quite a remarkable feat to delude hordes of sheeple or coerce them into pretending that the naked Emperor is actually an Empress wearing a dress. But maybe we shouldn’t be surprised. It’s not the first time in history that tyrants have managed to delude or coerce masses of sheeple into acquiescing to lies.


Not one Leftist responded to the idea expressed multiple times during the meeting that students are entitled to physical privacy when engaged in intimate bodily activities. Moreover, they also conveniently avoided saying that students have no such rights.


While many Leftists took umbrage at any suggestion that any gender-dysphoric student might ever engage in harassing or abusive behavior toward an opposite-sex student in a locker room, they studiously avoid discussions of what constitutes harm. Is harm only constituted by physical assault, or might harm include being seen partially unclothed by persons of the opposite sex? Might harm include the erosion of modesty? Some speakers last night shared that their children and others find nothing objectionable about sharing private spaces with opposite-sex persons. Is that a good thing, or is it an indication that harm has already been done?

“Progressives” routinely exploit children to advance their perverse, morally relativistic, culturally oppressive, anti-science agenda. Leftist adults caterwaul that any public expression of views they don’t like about what constitutes the good for children who suffer from gender dysphoria harms those children. In truth, it is “progressives” who harm confused and suffering children, first by affirming disordered thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and then by using those children as human shields to silence dissent.

Love vs. hate

U-46 “progressives” seem to believe that love, respect, and support necessitate affirming whatever each individual believes, feels, and chooses to do. Conservatives, in contrast, believe that love, respect, and support necessitate knowing and affirming what is true, which often entails disapproval of the beliefs, desires, and volitional acts of others. The two worldviews are irreconcilable. Ironically, “progressives” don’t apply their principles consistently. Not only do they not affirm the beliefs, feelings, and actions of conservatives with regard to modesty, privacy, the meaning of objective biological sex, parental rights, and gender dysphoria, but they also call conservatives ugly names.

Equality, empathy, compassion, inclusivity, diversity, tolerance, and liberty

U-46 “progressives” referenced equality, but commitments to equality demand that society treat like things alike. Boys and girls are by definition different. Even homosexuals implicitly acknowledge that reality when they say they are romantically and erotically attracted only to persons of the same sex. It is not hateful to acknowledge and respect those differences—which include meaningful bodily differences—in private spaces.

During the meeting “progressives” talked about empathy, compassion, and inclusivity, implying that these admirable qualities require boys and girls to share private spaces with persons of the opposite sex. And this illuminates one of the many problems with these subversive practices and policies: They teach all children  that in order to be empathic, compassionate, and inclusive, they must be willing to relinquish their privacy.

Those who once claimed to value diversity, tolerance, and liberty have become bitter Orwellian control-freaks. Welcome to Oceania.

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Laurie Higgins
Laurie Higgins became the Illinois Family Institute’s Cultural Affairs Writer in the fall of 2008. Prior to working for the IFI, Laurie worked full-time for eight years in Deerfield High School’s writing center in Deerfield, Illinois. Her cultural commentaries have been carried on a number of pro-family websites nationally and internationally, and Laurie has appeared on numerous radio programs across the country. In addition, Laurie has spoken at the Council for National Policy and educational conferences sponsored by the Constitutional Coalition. She has been married to her husband for forty-four years, and they have four grown children and ten grandchildren....
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