Words cannot express the gladness felt when I see our State and Town School district place importance and emphasis on stopping harassment, intimidation and bullying of any kind. The recent policy passed on transgender students is a testament to the views echoing our founding fathers in that all humans have an inherent God-given right to make choices and pursuit happiness.
With that said, I applaud Board Members Mark Cilli and Natalie Buccieri for their equally brave posture in exercising their first amendment right when placing their contrary vote. Contrary to what was stated by former board member Adina Leuthner saying that it was “an embarrassment”, it is a triumphal testament to the freedoms we now have and always ought to strive to maintain.
History has taught us that the foundational mechanism of western civilization is freedom of thought and speech. In voting No, these two board members exercised their given authority to weigh the policy presented, analyze its probable ramifications, and make an educated determination with the best interest of our township students and parents in mind; tasks for which we elected them to perform.
I want to remind all that the “heavy criticism” voiced against their contrary vote does not and should not drown out the voice of these two board members. Mark Cilli, when prompted, voiced an excellent concern as to possible ramifications of the law, by pointing out the “unintended consequences to title IX protections if athletes born as males but identify as female play in female sports”. Regardless, the compelling picture here is that elected town officials were singled out, and heavily criticized for deliberating on a policy that seeks to stop harassment, intimidation and bullying?
As someone who was heavily bullied in grade school for the mere fact that I could not speak English, I can identify with the matter in a very personal way. I am extremely proud of the steps we are taking to end mistreatment of any kind in our schools, but equally proud that my elected board members are individual thinkers who exercise their rights to serve my township. let us not commit the very wrongs we are setting out to make right.
God bless Vernon Township.