Attorney Millie Aulbur, Director of Citizenship Education at The Missouri Bar. When researching the citations and sources for the Diocesan Transgender Policy you’d only be surprised if you found someone defending Church teaching, or even mentioning it at all. There are a lot of contributors to that document who are qualified in various things other than what they should be to help formulate Catholic School policy. Read the two articles below about Millie Aulbur, who is the wife of Deacon Mark Aulbur of Immaculate Conception Parish in Jefferson City. She is qualified to at least organize the instruction of others on the rights of same sex couples. This isn’t a commentary or a complaint about that, rather the question parents should ask her and the other contributors to the “process” document is how well they understand the rights of parents. Or, how much experience they have pastoring a parish school, raising children, teaching children, or for that matter instructing parents on the teachings of the Catholic Church. If you scroll down below these articles there is a letter from a parent drawing out the logical questions the new “process” leaves unanswered. Keep in mind that a process naturally leads to a goal. It says in the document that whenever possible the goal is enrollment. Then it says that pastors make the final decision on enrollment. They never define the terms where enrollment isn’t possible which means Bishop Gaydos is cleverly not forbidding the enrollment of transgender students If this is not the case, if we are incorrect, then he should make a clear public statement to the contrary.
From a parent: “The policy for the admittance and accommodations of transgendered students in Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Jefferson City gives little to no guidance to priests and principals, though it claims to do so. To come to this conclusion one does not have to look very hard. For instance, on page four of the document it mentions that parents of other students are on a need to know basis. What does this mean? Need to know about what? Further on page 10 it states that accommodations are to be made for the transgendered student as you would make for any other student with a learning, mental, or physical disability. What does this mean? Does anyone know what these accommodations are? The policy surely does not give an ounce of guidance on these issues. So what are we the parishioners supposed to do in order to determine what this policy really means? We could ask the diocese, but requests to them go unanswered, and when they publish responses in news articles their answers are not consistent. In one place they state that they are just doing what other dioceses across the country are doing, and in another, they say they are at the forefront of diocese in addressing these issues. How can both of those statements be truthful? Simple answer, they cannot. So that leaves us, the lay readers of the document to attempt to discern what they truly say.
In order to determine what the policy means by a need to know basis or all accommodations, we need to look at the documents that the policy cites says about these issues. Now, I could bore every reader and review 17 of the citations, but that is surplusage, we only need to look at one document, the letter to colleagues that is cited. In this document it states that if a transgendered student is going on an overnight school trip that they are to stay in the hotel room with the sex of the students that they are presenting as, and the parents of the other students are not to be notified. What? How can this be? The need to know basis says my daughter may be in a hotel room overnight with someone that is biologically a male and I am not to be notified. This document leads to the conclusion that my daughter will be in a hotel room with someone that is biologically a male and that person who is biologically a male will be changing clothes in a room where my daughter is and my daughter will have to change clothes with them in the room. My daughter will be present when the person who is biologically a male gets out of the shower, and the person who is biologically a male will be present when my daughter gets out of the shower. AND I, THE PARENT ARE NOT TO BE TOLD ABOUT THIS.
It is concerning enough that the parents are on a need to know basis about the accommodations that are being made for the transgendered student and I am not told that my child is in such a rooming situation, but the letter goes on from here. The letter further states that this need to know basis regarding the transgendered person does not stop with the students, but is also to be applied to the teachers. What does this mean to me the reader of the document? This means that your daughters coach, we will call her Ms. Smith, may really not be a female, but may be a transgendered male presenting as a female and the parents of the students are not to be told of this. To some this may not seem like such a big deal at first blush. However, if one is to sincerely think about this and what it means they may come to a different conclusion. Think about it, my daughter is playing a high school sport, Ms. Smith is her coach. Well, where does one find the coach of a high school student? They are on the court or the field, they are present at practice, you see them at banquets and fundraisers, they are on the bus to away games, they are in the hotels with my child, of course they are in a different hotel room than my child is in, and they are in the locker room with my child, the place where my child undresses and showers. Do we really want Ms. Smith who still has all of the reproductive parts as a male, i.e. a penis, in the locker room with our daughters when they disrobe and shower? AND, THE PARENTS OF THE ATHLETES ARE NOT TO BE TOLD OF THIS FACT.
As it can be seen the need to know basis really means that the parents of the other students need to know nothing, and will never be informed when there is a transgendered student in any situation with our children. Further, the accommodations policy which is never defined in the policy can be clearly defined when one reads the cited papers that the diocese has chosen to rely on. The accommodations that are to be offered are every single accommodation that can be thought of. Be it restrooms, hotel rooms, locker rooms, or showers. One may say that the author of this response to the policy of the Jefferson City Diocese is overreaching and reading things into the policy that are not there. But what other conclusion can one come to when there is an undefined need to know policy, and an undefined accommodations policy that is supported with a document that says parents are not to be told when they child is sharing a room with a transgendered student of a different biological sex or lead by a teacher or coach who is transgendered and of a different biological sex than the student?
One final parting thought to all of those that think I have come to an absurd conclusion. I am merely stating what the policy cites as a supporting document in order to define undefined terms. You can either chose to believe what the citations themselves say about these policies, or you can chose to believe the policy developed by the diocese, which has not been offered to the parents who have children in the schools, and intentionally leaves out parts of definitions of words that do not fit the necessary implementation of this policy on all Catholic Schools in the Jefferson City Diocese. Why would the authors of this policy leave out in the definitions section when discussing gender dysphoria the particular line of the source they are quoting, “The Catholic school has a responsibility for the spiritual development of its students. Gender transitioning is contrary to Catholic teaching, and therefore the Catholic school cannot support any transitioning actions.” Why was this intentionally left out? I will let you the reader determine if the authors of this policy and the defenders of it are being honest with you or not.”