One of the problems with so-called “nondiscrimination” policies that create politicized lists of specially protected people is that once that list gets going, it’s really hard to know where to stop. Basically, every one and their dog wants to be included.
The Rapid City, South Dakota, school board provided an apt illustration of this last night. Taking a vote that sent it sliding way over the cliff of that slippery slope, the board included no less than 16 categories of personal classifications in its nondiscrimination policy. Along with “sexual orientation,” the list now includes things like “student marital status,” “political orientation,” “pregnancy” and “status as a veteran.” It would almost be laughable if the ramifications weren’t so serious.
Even the city officials shied away from taking similar actions, after their attorney advised against adopting an unruly laundry list, pointing out that the more protected classes the city added, the costlier it could become to defend the city from potential discrimination lawsuits. The South Dakota Family Policy Council also tried to convince the school board to at least stick to six basic categories mentioned in some federal laws, such as “race” or “disability.”
But alas, common sense didn’t prevail. Once the ball got rolling, they couldn’t stop it.
Truth is, it makes more sense to not to start on that slope at all. A truly constitutional approach would be to implement an across-the-board anti-bullying policy that prohibits bullying against any child for any reason. This should be based on the constitutional principle that every one has a right to life and the pursuit of happiness— it should not be based on the demands of every special interest group in the community.
It would be nice to see schools start emphasizing what we have in common as Americans—for instance, the Founding Fathers’ teaching that all men are created equal and endowed with unalienable rights—rather than constantly focusing on dividing people into political categories.