Transgender Substitute Brags About Confusing Indiana 2nd Graders

Peter Heck
Peter Heck is a speaker, author and teacher.

Second graders in South Bend Community Schools, one of Indiana's largest public school systems, are getting an education in transgenderism thanks to the district welcoming substitute teacher Meghan Buell into their classrooms.

Meghan, a biological male, dresses and identifies as a female. Thanks to the county's SOGI statute which prevents "discrimination" against an individual on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity, the school district can hide behind the law when parents object to having Buell teaching sexual confusion as normal and productive.

Despite the mean-spirited and hysterical accusations of bigotry leveled against conservative Christians who repeatedly warned about the unintended consequences of SOGI laws, here is a prime example of the end result of such emotionally driven policy. It presents a self-evident answer to LGBT political activists who have demanded, "How does someone else's personal life affect you?"

The objection has never been about policing someone's personal life. It has always been about halting the advancement of a policy agenda that limits conscience rights, religious freedom, and parental rights. The dirty little secret has always been that the movement predicated upon the creed, "Keep the government out of the bedroom," is the very movement forcing their views of sexuality onto others through the power of government.

When the Indiana Liberty Coalition contacted the South Bend Community School superintendent Dr. Kenneth Spells with their concerns, they were sent a response from Human Resources Director Dr. Todd Cummings, who explained,

"The City of South Bend and St. Joseph County have a broad Human Rights Ordinance which protects all citizens against discrimination in employment based on gender identity. Ms. Buell is the Executive Director of TREES and was speaking in LaPorte in that capacity-not as our employee."

While all of that is true – Buell's speech in LaPorte, Indiana was hosted by a third party (the Indiana Youth Institute), and was given in the capacity of the executive director of the Transgender Resource Education and Enrichment Services – Cummings perhaps intentionally ignores that Buell's speech included specific references to his interactions with the second grade students in the South Bend school system.

Buell laughed about the eight year olds being confused about his deep voice and why he was dressed as a girl, but told the audience that he thinks those are great opportunities to teach kids to accept people for who they are – a fine lesson unless that involves disrupting the normal reality testing and cognitive development of children by teaching them it's rational and safe to deny biological science.

Later in his speech, Buell told the audience that he teaches children, "If they want to identify as a marshmallow, we should say OK, let's talk about it."

Buell may be speaking in his capacity as the executive director of TREES, but he is speaking explicitly about the conduct and methodology he brings to the classrooms of South Bend Community Schools.

To demonstrate why this is a concern, perhaps a comparison would be helpful. Imagine if a local youth minister from South Bend was employed there as a substitute teacher. Later, when speaking at a Christian youth conference he boasted how he furthered his ministry in the school, acknowledging that when second grade children asked him about his cross necklace he presented them with the Gospel message of Jesus.

If concerned parents wrote to Dr. Spell about the obvious proselytizing of their children, would the administration dismiss their fears by explaining that the teacher was speaking at a conference in his capacity as a minister, not an employee of the school? Or would the two men rush to the press to assure that the matter was being dealt with, and that all substitute teachers would be expected to adhere to school-appropriate curriculum?

You know the answer, as do I. So why the difference in this case? I feel badly for Buell and the sexual confusion that he trying desperately to reconcile with reality. And while I don't think such individuals are the best candidates to put in a classroom of impressionable children, I understand that SOGI laws prohibit the school system from dismissing him from their substitute rolls.

But surely the district can demand that all their substitutes confine their interactions to the content matter they've been hired to help facilitate rather than subject students to false and dangerous notions that some of them may, in fact, be marshmallows.

Peter Heck is a speaker, author and teacher. Follow him @peterheck, email or visit

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