CJ Weintraub, a senior at Central Bucks West High School who is non-binary/transgender, questioned the district’s priorities.
“As a student in this district, I wish the administration would put more effort into making sure all students feel safe, instead of making sure their image is pristine, because you don’t tell us. make no mistake,” Weintraub said. “You can’t say you listened to the students and then censor our very existence in the same breath. I am here to point out discrimination at the source, begging you, the school board, to look within and act with us, rather than against us.
Leo Burchell, a senior at Central Bucks West High School who is transgender and president of the school’s Sexuality and Gender Alliance club, has spoken at board meetings and organized with other LGBTQ students.
“I can scream until I’m hoarse and you still won’t listen,” Burchell said. “Do you have the courage to look me in the eye and tell me why you are making my days at school difficult?” We will protest these policies until they are all reversed.
A dozen parents came out to support the policy, some wearing Moms for Liberty t-shirts.
Tricia Doebler, a Central Bucks parent and vice president of Bucks County Moms for Liberty, a national organization known for lobbying for book censorship, spoke about “parental rights” and keeping the district away from decisions about her child.
“My child and I have the strongest partnership you’ll ever see,” Doebler said. “We will allow teachers into our partnership, but I will not allow anyone to interfere.”
Doylestown resident Donna Shannon said she thinks the pride symbols are divisive. “When a group, whether big or small, has such a catchy, flamboyant symbol that isn’t inclusive, it’s not just a distraction, but a trigger for a negative response,” Shannon said. “No one else likes having someone else’s point of view imposed on them.”
But LGBTQ students feel like others’ views are forced upon them and their experiences silenced.
Casey, the Lenape Middle School student, had a pointed question for the school board, referring to the recent decision to censor library books and classroom materials.
“Are you going to ban people soon too?”