School District U46 (Elgin, Illinois) School Board Member Jeanette Ward offers a profile in courage, grace, and wisdom, while fellow board members Veronica Noland and Melissa Owens offer profiles in hypocrisy and ignorance. Their hypocrisy and ignorance were revealed during a recent school board meeting discussion about proposed changes to the “Student Code of Conduct.”
In 2013, the board voted to add the terms “sexual orientation,” “gender identity” and “gender-related identity or expression” to the section of school board policy on bullying and harassment. Those are the only conditions constituted by subjective, internal feelings and volitional behavior to be specifically identified. Since board policy then concludes with the inclusion of “any other distinguishing characteristic,” there exists no necessity for naming any characteristic, let alone ones constituted by subjective feelings and volitional behavior.
But bad became worse this past Monday night when the board voted to add this language from board policy to the “Student Code of Conduct,” which all parents must sign in order to enroll their children in District U46. Prior to the 5-2 vote, with Phil Costello joining Ward in opposing the change, Ward asked if, under the policy change, students would be guilty of bullying if they refused to use the “pronoun preference for a gender dysphoric student.”