It’s been a while, but I can still vividly remember what life was like as a teenager: instant crushes, zits, braces, changing bodies, and the superior feeling that no one understands me. My teenage years felt like a rollercoaster– I can’t imagine how I would have handled all those stereotypical feelings on top of the realization that my sexual preference runs against the “status quo.”
Teenagers today have to jump through many more hoops than I did. Imagine that you can’t attend the school of your choice—because of your sexual orientation. Crazy, but perhaps acceptable if the school is private. What if instead that out-of-bounds school survives on your parents’ tax dollars?
A bill before the North Carolina Senate proposes a ban on charter schools that discriminate in their admissions, but it neglects to protect those who are discriminated against because of their sexual preference or gender identity. Some Senate Democrats tried and failed to add sexual preference and gender identity language to the bill. Meanwhile, House Speaker Pro Tem Paul Stam called into question the definition of “sexual orientation” and handed out pamphlets from the American Psychological Association suggesting that homosexuality was a mental disorder.
I am outraged for the obvious reasons, but then there’s this: our elected lawmakers who are funded by our tax dollars (and who by the way are costing us $50,000 a day because they are still in session with no budget passed) – wasted time even discussing this.
Beyond that, let’s touch on charter schools for a second. In my next life, assuming I’m born with no ethics and a ruthless desire to get rich, I’m going to open a charter school. Little state regulation, a guaranteed market demand, and per-pupil state tax dollars to fund my bottom line. Life doesn’t get much better.
By the way, eventually the NC House approved an amendment that included any discrimination at charter schools. I think they should next take up whether we should pave our highways or subsidize dirt so we can build dirt roads.