Why Bathrooms Aren't the Problem

A recent trial is proving that transgender bathrooms aren't the biggest culture issue we're facing. Where safety in public restrooms is the new favored argument in America, college campuses are quickly becoming an anarchists playground. The United States needs a new handbook for educating.

A college coed's face was nearly lifeless as pebbles fell from her cheek from where she lay on the ground near a dumpster. An athletic college swimmer stood to attention when two Swedish students biking across campus saw the young man. The swimmer appeared to grope in the dark over a young woman's silhouette in the shadow of a dumpster. The two foreign students called the man to stop before the college swimmer took off running. The swimmer ran because he was performing lewd acts to the unconscious coed. The foreign students tackled the young man and held him facedown to the ground before authorities arrived to take the perpetrator into custody. The young man and young women likely carried puzzled looks on their faces over the proceeding hours, trying to make sense of a night gone wrong. The coed likely struggled through stages of grief in overcoming the reality of her abuse. The young man likely scratched his head. He may have been simply practicing what he learned in his California college's orientation.

Last year, Hillcrest history instructor Gregg Preston faintly forecasted the aforementioned college abuse scene when he pulled out an article from CNN. Looking down at the two page paper he grabbed from Hillcrest's printer, Mr. Preston opened his class as students finished bites of donuts from their mid-class break by reading portions of the article. The students wouldn't have an appetite after Mr. Preston's lead-in activity for the Advanced Placement history class.

Mr. Preston quoted what was a proposal from the State of California to enact an emphatic yes policy into handbooks of California colleges. The policy stated that students should give one of many affirmative signs to communicate a desire for sexual relations with fellow students. Some wording, used in the article, said the sign may come in the form of a smile, a wink, or a nod. These gestures were taught to be an implied emphatic yes for male students to sexually pursue coeds on and off campus. 

It is easy to see why an athletic college swimmer, intelligent and well respected, who had olympic hopes, acted the way he did. His college campus, during orientation, educated him that responding to a wink, a nod, or a smile with a sexual advance was ok. What the school should have been teaching in orientation was a foundation in virtue. This is why bathrooms aren't the problem. It appears the education is more damaging.

One of the seven primary principles in virtue is prudence. It's something we talk about at Hillcrest in nearly every class. Prudence is the ability to govern and discipline thoughts and actions by the use of reason. Too many college campuses are teaching students to follow their hearts, without educating the mind. One of the signs in Hillcrest's main hall reads, "The heart should never replace the mind, but it can, and should, obey it." 

Mr. Preston's class was introduced with a simple news story that caused many students to scoff at the logic used by leaders and politicians. The Hillcrest student's kerfuffle at the article is a sign that prudence was infused into their classroom experience. As young adults, Hillcrest's juniors and seniors are building their perspectives of the world based on foundations in structures learned in grade school and basic logic gained in their junior high and early high school years. When students become seniors at Hillcrest there is a strong emphasis on developing prudence, helping students apply foundational truths to logic to build a reasoning that guides their life.

Recent news and culture battles want to make bathrooms and gender identity the issue. Bathrooms really aren't the issue. College sexual assault is a horrible thing, but it is only the fruit of poor education. Students need more training, like what they're receiving in Hillcrest's classrooms. This type of education is worth so much more than a diploma, and it positions students to live a life with more than academic success, they become good citizens who can reason.

Listen to Mr. Preston as he introduced this topic to class last year. It is a glimpse at how students are building a holistic view of the world.



Wayne StenderComment