Monthly Archives: June 2016

Feds dump on Amherst (Video)

Amherst (Ohio) School Board Meeting, Monday, June 20, 2016.  About 150 Amherst citizens came out to share their concerns about who should be using which bathrooms and locker rooms in the schools.  The impetus for these concerns originate from the federal government’s reinterpretation of Title IX.

Rex Engle, board president, makes an opening statement at the beginning of video Part 1 and a closing statement (minute 26:30) in Part 4.

To get a quick background on the bathroom / locker room issue that has unfolded in Amherst since the federal government sent their “Dear Colleague” letter last month, check out other recent posts:  Being PolicyFluid in Amherst SchoolsThe firestorm begins in Amherst, Ohio, and cis vs trans or policy.




Cis vs Trans or the Bathroom Policy Can of Worms?


Rex Engle, Amherst OH Board of Education president, at 6-20-16 meeting in the junior high gymnasium.

The Amherst Board of Education met this past Monday evening at 4:30 in the Junior High School gymnasium, a venue sized to hold the crowd of interested parties expected there to voice their concerns over the new federally “mandated” bathroom policy.

Board President, Rex Engle, opened the BOE’s meeting in their standard way with the Pledge of Allegiance and included a tiny amount of housekeeping items before he dove straight into Agenda Item 6, the “transgender bathroom policy.”


Amherst resident and parent, Markos Athineos

One-by-one, those citizens who signed up to speak to the Board stepped up to the podium and shared their concerns. Engle did have to change plans slightly when a few audience members complained loudly that they were being prohibited from speaking; it turned out that those folks were late to the meeting and didn’t sign up to speak.  Engle acquiesced and assured the audience that everyone who wanted to speak would be granted the opportunity.  They were still limited to five minutes, no matter what their own timing pieces indicated.   (It took nearly two hours to complete the roster of speakers.)


Kirsten Penton Hill, one of the Amherst residents who spoke at the BOE meeting Monday, 6-20-16

There was only one real surprise that came out during the meeting, something that even the Board might not have picked up on, and it was that “transgender” people felt debased and insulted when they are called “transgender.” Who knew?  They want to be called merely “Trans.”  Again, who knew? 

If you’ve been living under a rock – or in outer space, perhaps – and don’t know what the uproar is about, in a nutshell it is this:

People with boy “parts” shouldn’t be allowed
in the bathrooms where there are

People with girl “parts,” and, of course, vice versa.

But it’s the sexualization of the transgender issue that has nearly obliterated the emotional needs of both Cis and Trans children. (Cis and trans are latin for “on the side of” versus “on the other side of.”)  Cisgenders identify with the male or female anatomies they were born with, while Transgenders identify with the opposite of their naturally-occurring anatomies.

Most of the fear expressed at the podium Monday night was all about those people who are neither Cis nor Trans, but rather the “perverts” who prey on young, unsuspecting children and adolescents who enter bathrooms with the intent to practice their perversity. The other expressions were from folks sympathetic to the emotional needs or disposition of the people who feel they were given the wrong body at birth.

The Amherst Board of Education appeared to be sympathetic to both sides of the argument and even claimed to have been considerate of trans needs right along. It remains to be seen, though, if the Board puts its dollars where its mouth is, and how long they can fend off the Federal government in its quest to insinuate itself into each and every aspect of our lives.  It’s probably not at all about the children, rather it’s about imposing the Federal will on each and every one of us – whether we need it or not.

The Firestorm Begins in Amherst, Ohio (Video)

Just slightly west of Cleveland, OH, is the city of Amherst, an unlikely hot spot for a confrontation between the parents of school-aged children and the federal government.  But that’s where Markos Athineos, Amherst resident and father, finds himself at the moment.

From  the May 23, 2016 edition of the “Amherst News Times” we read:

Federal transgender bathroom policy supported locally

School officials in Amherst, Oberlin, and Wellington say they’ll comply with a new federal bathroom and locker room policy for transgender students.

The policy directive reminds school officials that they must treat transgender students as the sex they identify with including when it applies to bathrooms and locker rooms.”

Athineos was invited to talk about the locally “mandated” bathroom policy at last Saturday’s Totally Engaged Americans meeting in Amherst.  Athineos went into detail about the back-and-forth discussions he had with district superintendent Steven Sayers, which included the written intervention of Ohio’s Attorney General Mike DeWine.

It was clear that Athineos is sympathetic to the plight of the transgender students and pleaded with the superintendent for a reasonable solution.

Below is an excerpt of Athineos’ talk:

Athineos hopes that everyone concerned about the transgender bathroom policy issue – and how it’s being handled in Amherst – will attend an upcoming meeting:

“Please attend the Amherst Board meeting, June 20, at 4:30PM, Amherst Junior High Media Center, 548 Milan Avenue, Amherst OH

Don’t let the safety, modesty and privacy of your kids be violated.”

June 17, 2016 Update to post  –  Markos on the RADIO.

Screen Shot 2016-06-16 at 9.41.06 PM

Markos Athineos was on WHK radio AM1420 on Friday, June 17, 2016.  Listen to the interview here starting at minute 15:20.  Again he explains the up to date situation on bathrooms & locker rooms in Amherst Schools.

Being PolicyFluid in Amherst Schools

Transgender LogoAmherst Schools are walking a fine line by promoting the transgender agenda with regard to bathroom rights, while at the same time never voting on an actual policy change to codify those rights. This issue became front and center when President Obama and the Department of Education posted a “Dear Colleague” letter informing schools that students must be allowed to self-report their gender. It claims that if a school does not treat the student by their self-reported gender, then they may be in violation of Title IX, the 1972 law that generally prohibited certain discrimination between males and females.

It is clear that the 1972 law is speaking only of a person’s biological sex. Any transgender awareness at the time certainly did not reach the halls of Congress. Yet as progressives frequently do when it suits them, they have removed  chromosomes from the definition of “sex” and inserted the term gender identity. So who made this decision? How do they have authority to make this change? And wouldn’t it be better to have citizens buy in to any change through the democratic process? Voting and public discussions are the way to change people’s hearts and minds, not by issuing edicts from on high.

Returning to Amherst, questions were raised about their school policy regarding the transgender issue as defined in the Dear Colleague letter. Those questions went unanswered, though, until Superintendent Steve Sayers announced his support of the edict in the Amherst News on May 23. (And note that Oberlin and Wellington schools have responded as well.) He said the school’s job is to create a safe environment for its students and that this includes allowing students to go to the bathrooms and locker rooms of the gender of their choice. Missing in Sayers’ equation, of course, are the students who feel UNSAFE by sharing a bathroom or locker room with a student of the opposite biological sex. These students are likely being told to get over their transphobia and to stop being a bigot. Quite a lesson from a school alleging a safe environment for all of its students.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine wrote a letter to the Departments of Justice and Education asserting that the Dear Colleague letter was simply a threat and was sent without the force of law. And again he reiterates the political truth that we have known for generations but is antithetical to the philosophies on the left: “There are many, many questions that, consistent with constitutional guarantees, are best left to the decent, common sense judgment of individuals and communities at the state and local level.”

Please watch the Steele News Live video from May 19 on the transgender issue.

And finally, please attend the Amherst School Board meeting at Amherst Junior High School,  548 Milan Ave, Amherst, OH on Monday, June 20 at 4:30 for an evening of public discourse on the matter. As DeWine stated, there can be common sense responses to this issue that should be agreeable to students, parents, and school personnel.