The transgender issue has created a new set of challenges, as politicians, religious leaders and school administrators scratch their befuddled heads over what needs to be done. As soon as one mole is whacked (i.e., the use of public restrooms), another rears its non-gendered head and decisions have to be made. The most recent mole involves Mix Steel, as “they” wish to be called.
Stay with me.
Mix Vica Steel, formerly Mr. Vince Busenbark, a science teacher at Allis Elementary School in Wisconsin, received permission from his principal to show a video of him “coming out” (transitioning from male to female) to every K-5th-grade child. Only after children came home from school upset did parents learn about this incident.
In the video, Busenbark reads to the children They Call Me Fix, a book which includes dialogue like this: “BOY or GIRL? Are you a boy or a girl? How can you be both? Some days I am both. Some days I am neither. Most days I am everything in between.” At the video’s conclusion, Busenbark said, “And now, let me introduce myself anew. I am going to take my wife, Stella Steel’s, last name, and I am going to use not mister, not miss, but ‘mix.’ So, you can call me ‘Mix Steel.’ And for my pronouns, you can call me ‘they,’ ‘them,’ and ‘their.’”
“They” then suggested that people who disagree with “their” transgenderism are motivated by “fear” and “hate” and depicted those folks as ghostlike, scary people. On Busenbark’s Facebook page, “they” said the purpose of showing every student the video was so that “all [the children] can know who I am and who I am becoming.”
Liberty Counsel, a religious liberty law firm, claims the teacher violated district policy and the constitutional prohibition against schools enforcing any kind of “orthodoxy.” “It is outrageous that school administrators would allow a male science teacher to expose children to propaganda that promotes confusion about basic biology and to instruct students to address him by a false name, title and pronouns,” Liberty Counsel founder Mat Staver said. Liberty Counsel is demanding all public records be made available so they can find out why parents were not alerted and refers to this as “inappropriate activism in the classroom.” In an interview, Staver’s question “How do you unring that bell?” was, in my opinion, well-founded.
Immediately, an article appeared defending Mix Steel’s video and claiming that since no sex-ed was involved, no parental reply was necessary. “I happen to think that the teacher showed excellent judgment in her explanation. It reflects the real-life struggle of trans folks… Furthermore, the kids are learning a valuable lesson about tolerance and diversity which applies to the child with a physical deformity or the student with a learning disability or the kid with mixed-race parents or the kid with gay parents.”
Ummm, seriously? Comparing disabled children who did not choose that path to someone who opted to transgender is preposterous. Also, disabled people, mixed-race or gay parents do not have days in which they are “in between.” Nor do they show personal videos, claiming those who have issues with them are motivated by fear and hate. Could one not say the same of Mix Steel who offers those who disagree no respect? Where is “their” concern for the rights of malleable children when “they” force the children to call “them” by a neutered name? (Trust me, I’m driving myself nuts here.)
In response, one involved parent wrote on Facebook, “I’ve had to sit down with my kids and explain that what they heard is flat-out wrong and incorrect. We will be kind to others, but we WILL NOT be involved in adult games of make-believe. Shame on those that support this!” Pay attention, Readers. It’s just a matter of time before our communities are going to have to choose which mole we want to whack.