Bill Maier, the well-paid Focus on the Family “licensed” psychologist-in-residence who holds no license to practice psychology in the state of Colorado, is the latest to weigh in on the transsexual teacher in Batavia, New York, accusing school officials there of forcing people to accept “clearly pathological” behavior.
Never mind that the high school teacher who came back to school this year as a she instead of a he has resulted in much of an uproar – and never mind that the American Psychological Association does not identify transgendered ot transsexual as a mental disease.In the Sept. 8 Citizen Link, the Colorado Springs-based ministry’s newsletter, Maier is quoted saying “allowing the teacher to now show up as a woman is not the solution.”
This, from the article, ominously headlined “Kids Must Take Classes from Transsexual Teacher”:
“Many leading medical and psychiatric experts,” [Maier] said, “believe that Gender- Identity Disorder is a psychiatric condition that should be treated with psychotherapy, not surgery.”
Maier said that while school officials in Batavia are right to express compassion for the troubled teacher, they have no right to blatantly ignore the moral objections of parents in their district.
“This case in New York, and the outrageous ‘sexual minority indoctrination’ legislation recently passed by the California State Legislature, should be a wake-up call to America’s parents,” he said. “In many school districts in this country, ‘tolerance’ has an ominous new definition — the forced acceptance of behavior that is clearly pathological.”
On Sept. 7 the New York Times reported on the unidentified teacher, and the district’s handling of how they notified parents and students that their teacher is now a she. While a handful of parents wanted to move their students from her classroom, the overwhelming response was positive.
“Kids were talking about who was going to sit with whom at lunch and trying to find their lockers,” Richard G. Stutzman Jr., the district’s superintendent was quoted saying. “We had an extremely positive opening, given all the attention that’s been paid.”
According to the Times: The parents of 5 of more than 100 students assigned to the teacher’s classes asked that their children change classes. The requests were denied. “Curriculum changes, we accommodate,” Mr. Stutzman said, “but we do not change teachers.”
“I e-mailed her and told her I hoped she could focus on earth science and not all of this controversy,” Marilyn Drilling, who has two daughters in the teacher’s classes, said of her after the parents’ meeting.
“All I’ve heard is great, great things about her as a teacher, and that’s what matters.”
One of Ms. Drilling’s daughters, Kristen, a freshman, said she and her friends shared her mother’s perspective. “I think it’s about what she wants to do – it’s not up to us,” Kristen said. “I think this is harder for her than it is for us.”
At its website, the American Psychological Association answers numerous questions and answers about GLBT issues, including a response to the question, “What kinds of mental health problems do transgender people face?”
Transgender people experience the same kinds of mental health problems that nontransgender people do. However, the stigma, discrimination, and internal conflict that many transgender people experience may place them at increased risk for certain mental health problems.
Discrimination, lack of social support, and inadequate access to care can exacerbate mental health problems in transgender people, while support from peers, family, and helping professionals may act as protective factors.
Gee, discrimination, lack of social support… is that what Maier and his employer, Focus on the Family, are trying to subject the teacher to in the Citizen Link article – which encourages people to e-mail the superintendent directly, including providing his e-mail address?
Last month, Colorado Confidential, and the Colorado Springs Independent, reported on Maier’s lack of a psychology license in Colorado (his psychology license in California is listed as “inactive”). Maier, who is one of Focus’ top five paid employees, with a compensation package of $108,000, has been in Colorado four years. He regularly acts as a media spokesman for the Colorado Springs-based ministry, expounding the organization’s positions on family, gay and lesbian issues.