What the County Freeholders gave, the Eagleswood School District in Ocean County may take away for another group of sexual minorities if they allow themselves to cave into a single yet vocal parent.
But Ms. McBeth is transgender. It was only a year ago that she completed the process of becoming the woman she always was.
A parent of two children enrolled in the lower grades of the district, 39 year old Mark Schnepp has raised objections to her presence in the schools. He claims it is an affront to his convictions and a violation of his religious beliefs. Intending to publicize his fears, he took out a full page ad in a local paper stating his objections to Ms. MacBeth
spreading trans cooties teaching his children and asked other parents to join him at the next school board meeting this Monday, February 28.
The school board has indicated they will consider the issue in a closed session. The school board was aware that McBeth was transgender when they hired her after performing a full background check.
Thankfully, Ms. McBeth is probably protected from this type of frivolity and hatefulness. In 2001, the NJ Appellate Court ruled that denying employment to someone because they are transgender is sexual discrimination. However, transgender inclusive language has yet to be written into the state's anti-discrimination laws.
According to a GSE-Zogby poll conducted last summer, 70% of those surveyed and 250 clergy from a wide variety of religious institutions indicated their support for transgender-inclusive discrimation laws in the state.
Rallying behind Ms. McBeth is Garden State Equality and Gender Rights Advocacy Association of NJ. Members of the queer community and allies are being asked to attend the school board meeting on Monday at 7pm.
The Eagleswood School District board meeting is held at 511 Main St. Westwood, NJ. Westwood is in the southern part of Ocean County.
If you can make it on Monday, please do. It's important that we don't allow wingnutters who are quick to claim their bigotry is religious discrimation to reclaim the rights we have fought for in NJ.
Alternatively if you can't attend the meeting, you can express your support for Ms. McBeth at the district website. The school district is composed of only the single elementary school. Please take a moment to let the district know you support Ms. McBeth and deserves to do the job she loves.