Letter to the Emerson School Board

March 6, 2017

School Board of Emerson
Emerson Board of Education Office
133 Main Street
Emerson NJ, 07630

Dear Emerson School Board Members,

I am a parent of two young sons. My oldest will shortly begin his journey through Emerson schools. One month ago, I was in the gym at Memorial, signing him up for Kindergarten. When my family and I were looking for a home in Northern New Jersey, having access to a high quality education was important to us. We are excited to be living in Emerson and participating in Emerson’s schools.

I am writing to voice my support for the district policy (5756) regarding transgender students adopted by Emerson in June 2016. As a person of faith, I believe everyone is made in God’s image. People of faith are called to support all students, regardless of gender, race, class, social background, and sexual orientation. We have a vested interest in providing the best education to all students. A student cannot utilize the amazing educational opportunities available to them if they are not embraced for who they are.

I look forward to my children growing up in a school district that proactively affirms and supports transgender students. I want my kids to grow up in an environment where diversity is welcomed. A diverse school environment might make them uncomfortable when they encounter new ideas, experiences, and people. But a welcoming and inclusive school district will help turn discomfort into curiosity, conversations, and new friendships.

In light of the recent changes to the guidance about transgender students provided by the US Board of Education, I invite the Emerson Board of Education to continue its current policy. By supporting transgender students, the Emerson Board of Education supports all students.

Sincerely,

I wrote this letter in support of students. If you agree with this movement in civil rights, celebrate school districts who get it.

#IStandWithTheJCC Rally

On Friday, March 3, I might have been the only Christian clergy (I didn’t see other collars) at a rally against Anti-Semitism. Over 100 bomb threats against JCCs and Jewish Day schools have occurred in the last few months. At least two Jewish cemeteries have been desecrated. Nazi symbols are being spray painted and carved on church doors. The rally yesterday took place at the JCC on the Palisades and was publicized the evening before. I’m glad I was able to show up and be present. There’s much more to do.

#StandwithGrimm: A Brief Before the US Supreme Court

There is a case before the US Supreme Court pitting a transgender youth against their school district. The youth wants to use the restroom that matches their gender identity. The school district is saying no. A “friend of the court” brief was filed on behalf of over 1800 religious leaders supporting the youth. I’m on page 100 in the appendix of names. Gavin should be allowed to use the restroom of that matches his gender identity.

Save the ACA: In the Background

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