Over the past couple of weeks, an Edmonton Catholic School Board trustee, Larry Kowalczyk (below), has pulled out all the stops to demean and harass his worst political enemy: a seven-year-old transgender girl.
The school board recently took up the issue of transgender students and bathrooms because the girl wants to use the girls’ bathroom at her school, like all the other girls do.
Kowalczyk had this to say:
“I see that as a mental disorder, my faith sees it as a mental disorder,” he said, comparing the condition to schizophrenia or a dissociative disorder.
“My stand is with that of the church… God has not made a mistake in the gender of me, or you, or anyone else.”
The school board later met to discuss a motion that would allow the girl to use the girls’ bathroom. It did not go well:
Kowalczyk called into the meeting, and argued against adding specific policies to protect transgender students, reports The Edmonton Sun.
“Every time we do not acquiesce to (transgender students’) demands, we will be called discriminatory,” he said.
From there, according to The Sun, the night dissolved into a shouting match, leaving some in tears.
Of course, there was no real resolution:
In the end, it was decided that voting on the policy would be delayed until October.
Trustee Patricia Grell, who brought forward the motion, called the delay in voting “very unfortunate.”
“Another month goes by now and this little girl has no assurance that she will be protected… that she will be included in her school,” she told the Edmonton Journal.
The encouraging side of an otherwise heartbreaking story is that Kowalczyk’s view seems to be the minority opinion. Most notably, Education Minister Dave Eggen has said the trans-inclusive policy is the only way to go:
“We are monitoring the situation very closely and like I say, I found some of the comments last night to be entirely unacceptable and quite disturbing.
“I have lots of mechanisms at my disposal to escalate if people don’t get their acts together,” he said.
It is the responsibility of educators to help children become their truest, very best selves, something kids cannot possibly do if they’re worried about what bathroom to use. Perhaps trustees who don’t understand that should show themselves out quietly — without ridiculing a child on the way.
(Image via Blogspot. Thanks to Tim for the link)