Springfield school board likely to add sexual orientation, gender identity to non-discrimination policy, bending to federal pressure

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Would the Biden administration stop feeding Springfield students if the school board doesn’t bend to its will on gender identity policies?

That’s the central question behind Tuesday night’s vote by the Springfield Board of Education on whether to list “sexual orientation and gender identity,” or SOGI, as a protected class in the district’s anti-discrimination policies.

Proponents argue the move may be necessary to keep the district enrolled in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s free- and reduced-price lunch program. And they claim that not having an explicit gender identity anti-discrimination policy could endanger the district’s approximate $7 million in federal Title 1 funds for low-income students, which is tied to the school lunch funds.

The board considered the proposal Sept. 26 but it stalled on a 3-3 vote while one member was out of town. The board is expected to vote again Tuesday night with all seven members present. The meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. at the district’s offices in Springfield.

Opponents argue the USDA is highly unlikely to take kids’ lunch money away over such a policy dispute, and that no one is talking about discriminating against anyone anyway.

Board Member Steve Makoski goes even further – arguing the schools shouldn’t be encouraging or enabling gender confusion, or the permanent harms that come with gender transition treatments – which are now illegal for minors in Missouri.

“This is not educating our children. This is indoctrinating our children,” Makoski told The Heartlander. “We don’t discriminate against our children, period. But the last thing we need to do is to be pushing our children down this path of immorality.

“I don’t want to see another child end up taking their life because they’re confused. Well, who’s confusing them? It’s the adults. I don’t want to see another child have to make a decision because they want a double mastectomy. Well, who’s telling them to do that? It’s the adults. I don’t want to see chemical castration. I don’t want to see a child make a decision that they’re not informed to make, that they’re not qualified to make. And they end up suffering for the rest of their life because of some decision that they made when they were a child – and it was brought upon by adults. 

“That’s immoral. Our Lord God Almighty made you to be a male or be a female. It’s as simple as that. And so, I am very against including this language. I do not want to set the stage for this to continue within our district. 

“Therefore, I will vote once again ‘no’.”

He expects the policy to pass, though, since it’s being brought up again.

Makoski voted no last month along with fellow board members Kelly Byrne and Maryam Mohammadkhani, according to the Springfield News-Leader. Board members Judy Brunner, Scott Crise and Shurita Thomas-Tate voted for the policy change, while board president Danielle Kincaid was out of town.

Makoski said he finds it hard to believe the USDA will take food out of the mouths of children because of a principled stand against President Biden’s gender identity agenda.

“I haven’t heard of a case where the USDA has enforced this, where they would actually withhold funds from the school because they won’t include SOGI under ‘sex,’ and the children wouldn’t have food,” he said.

On the contrary, Makoski says harm will indeed be done if the district caves to the Biden administration and passes a policy encouraging gender confusion.

“Our children are very valuable resources,” he says. “They are our future. And the last thing we need to do is to be accepting language such as this that will harm our children.”


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