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Avoli legislation bullies transgenders students, attempts to sanitize history

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The concept of irony is obviously lost on John Avoli, who in the course of writing legislation that exposed yet again his prejudices against transgenders and minorities, also shows concern for bullying in schools.

The final section of Avoli’s House Bill 1126, and you have to picture Avoli glancing over this with a straight face, actually spells out “the need to create a school environment in which all individuals are treated with dignity and respect and any incident of bullying is taken seriously and handled in a robust manner.”

Pot, meet kettle.

Earth to John Avoli: you’re the bully here.

There’s so much to unwrap with this raw red meat dinner that Avoli is serving up for his base in the 20th, which I hesitate to concede is the House district in which I reside.

That we could elect and re-elect this monster to the House of Delegates is to our utter, everlasting shame.

Let’s start the unwrapping with the prejudices against transgenders.

HB 1126 would require school boards in the Commonwealth to “adopt policies to require each student and school board employee to have access to (i) restrooms, locker rooms, and other changing facilities in public school buildings that are shared only by members of the same biological sex; (ii) lodging accommodations during school-sponsored trips that are shared only by members of the same biological sex; and (iii) a single-user restroom, locker room, or other changing facility in a public school building, upon request, if the school can reasonably accommodate such a request.”

Where to begin here: one, this is an obvious non-starter, with even the Trump- and McConnell-packed U.S. Supreme Court having weighed in on the matter on the other side, by declining to hear an appeal in the case involving Gloucester County in which an appeals court sided with a transgender student who had been the victim of school-sponsored discrimination.

So, this bill doesn’t pass constitutional muster.

Two, it’s just plain mean.

Anybody who personally knows somebody who is transgender – I’m raising my hand here – knows that life is hard enough for transgender folks without having an old white guy try to tell them where they can go to the damn bathroom.

And aybody who knows a kid in school who is transgender – again, my hand is up here – knows that the other kids don’t need more ammunition to use to make the school day for transgender students more hellish than it already is.

And here’s John Avoli, giving them a flamethrower.


Sorry, that’s just what he is.

Next, let’s examine how he wants to use the state code to rewrite the teaching of history in our schools.

And the just plain odd way he goes about this is the section of this HB 1126 that “prohibits any school board employee or individual who provides any school-sponsored program from teaching or promoting to any student or school board employee the concept that (a) any race is inherently superior or inferior; (b) any individual is racist, privileged, oppressive, biased, or responsible for actions committed by others of the same race or skin color by virtue of the individual’s race or skin color; (c) the United States is fundamentally racist; or (d) market-based economics is inherently racist.”

Your guess is as good as mine as to how much Tucker Carlson and OAN this guy consumes each night.

What Avoli and his idiot fellow-travelers are really getting at here is the growing sense among the rest of us that the the lily-white history that was taught when Avoli was in school decades ago, and was taught in school when Avoli was a teacher and school administrator, was anything but the whole story.

News flash: the good ol’ days were anything but, from the perspective of African Americans, Native Americans, Mexicans, minorities, women.

Teaching kids, and adults, that we need to come to a reckoning with the ravages of slavery, the treatment of Native Americans, what Manifest Destiny meant for Mexico, isn’t teaching that “any race is inherently superior or inferior,” that “any individual is racist, privileged, oppressive, biased, or responsible for actions committed by others of the same race or skin color by virtue of the individual’s race or skin color,” that the “the United States is fundamentally racist.”

It’s just … giving them a full accounting of what happened.

An aside here: the line in Avoli’s bill that this kind of teaching imparts that “market-based economics is inherently racist” is … odd.

I’m imagining the confused looks on the faces of fourth-graders when Miss Crabapple writes “market-based economics isn’t inherently racist” on the blackboard.

That Avoli is, as mentioned above, a former teacher and school administrator, is an indication of what we’ve gotten wrong over the years in public education, and need to work to get right.

The good news there, at least, is that he’s a former teacher; the fewer bottom-feeders like Avoli we have bullying transgender students and watering down their lesson plans to teach only the politically sanitized parts of the story, the better.

In the meantime, we’ve got this clown representing us in Richmond.

Literally anybody else, and we’d be better off.

Story by Chris Graham

augusta free press
augusta free press
augusta free press

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