If you had given up hope for bipartisanship in the Nevada legislature, fret no more as Senate Republicans shared in the delayed Democratic outrage over a ‘discriminatory’ valentine sent in part of a school choice event last month during the legislative session.
Three weeks ago, advocates for school choice, on behalf of a majority of parents who support school choice in Nevada’s failing public school system, rallied in front of the legislative building on Valentine’s day. At the end of the event, a valentines card of red and white hearts with handwritten notes was given to state Senator Dallas Harris, who is chair of the new LGBTQ+ caucus and is a black, “openly gay lawmaker.”
According to a scoop from the Nevada Independent:
The first few messages contained standard handwritten messages from students: “Nevada’s children deserve the best,” and “Be a sweetheart and support school choice.”
But one contained a different message: “No more CRT [Critical Race Theory] or LGBTQIA+ in our schools.”
As a Black, openly gay woman serving in the Legislature, the 37-year-old Harris said she felt sadness and surprise when she read the note.
“I’m fairly comfortable, I’d like to think, in my skin and in knowing who I am, and it bothered me,” Harris said in an interview. “I want people to think about the children in these environments who may be gay or just not sure. Or maybe African American, and how that message will resonate with them in their learning environment.” (emphasis added).
Harris linked the message on the valentine with the movement by states across the country banning gender-affirming care for transgender minors and adults, making it illegal to perform drag in public spaces and rejecting Black history courses.
“This is a backlash against some of that progress that we’ve made over the last few years,” she said. “It’s an attack on an idea that people who are different deserve rights and should be treated equally, too.”
Harris said the message she received makes her hesitant to agree to publicly fund schools that may have fewer guardrails against anti-LGBT instruction than public schools.”
In expected fashion, Senate majority leader Nicole Cannizzaro and her fellow Democrats, seized on the opportunity to amplify Harris’s concern and demanded an apology from school voucher advocates and organizers further adding that “they should expect some tough questions in the months to come” in relation to school voucher programs:
Majority Leader @Nicole4Nevada is 100% right. There is no place for hate in the Silver State and it is unfathomable that school voucher advocates would deliver this message to @DallasHarrisNV at their lobbying day at the #NVLeg. The fact that nobody has apologized is shameful. https://t.co/g7aup4HuXm
— Steve Yeager (@SteveYeagerNV) March 7, 2023
Senate Republicans, led by Senate Minority Leader Heidi Seevers Gansert, were quick to heed and condemn. “I strongly condemn the message Senator Dallas Harris received,” Seevers Gansert said. “I am offended by the note and I don’t believe this matter reflects the values of all students and families who want more school choice in Nevada.”
— Nevada Senate Republicans (@NVGOPSenate) March 7, 2023
As Democrats have held the legislative majority for years, they have passed a series of education bills that have codified LGBTQIA+ instruction in grades K-12.
AB 261, sponsored by Sen. Harris, but not supported by Seevers Gansert, requires school districts, in part, to acknowledge and instruct “on the history and contributions to science, the arts and humanities made by persons of marginalized sexual orientation or gender identity.”
Furthermore, Senate Bill 225 was passed during the 79th Session of the Nevada Legislature and signed into law by then Governor Brian Sandoval in June of 2017. The language of SB 225 added a third requirement to the Model Policy for safe and respectful learning environments: “requirements and methods for addressing the rights and needs of persons of diverse gender identities or expressions.”
In her statement to the NV Indy, Harris worries about children who might be gay.
Perhaps this comment adds to the parental concerns regarding the overt sexualization of children in public schools. Instead of worrying about the sexuality of a six year old, maybe Nevadans are concerned that a majority of public school children are illiterate and that their literacy has taken a back seat to a political agenda.
Speaking of political agendas, Harris is pictured standing in front of a Black Lives Matter fist prominently displayed in her office. Outside of causing an estimated $2 billion of damage during their “mostly peaceful” George Floyd protests, and spending millions in donations on mansions instead of donating to rebuild impoverished and torched communities, their founders proudly admit they are “trained marxists.”
Has Senator Harris apologized for the actions instigated by a marxist-led group she proudly supports? A simple search indicates that she hasn’t.
— Senator Dallas Harris (@DallasHarrisNV) April 20, 2021
These trained marxists of BLM share marxist roots with the racial demagogues behind Critical Race Theory. The segregation by race and discrimination towards certain races is fundamental to this theory and instructed without apology.
Since Sen. Harris uses the banning of gender affirming care for minors as an example of recent LGBTQIA backlash, she may have missed the Assembly hearing last week on AB 193, drafted and submitted by her Democratic colleagues.
During the Assembly Judiciary Committee hearing, lawmakers heard from a variety of supportive experts who testified that the human brain is not fully functional until the mid-20s, and that incomplete brain development deprives children of the ability to make decisions, especially those that affect their future.
It is a political and disingenuous stretch to assign the actions of one person to an entire movement of activists and parents fighting for a better education for Nevada’s children. It is also a Democratic political tactic to use this red herring to put the school choice movement and Republican lawmakers on defense, albeit three weeks later.
During the expected “tough question” session that Sen. Cannizzaro has promised, maybe that would be a good time for Republicans to ask some tough questions of their Democratic colleagues.
In the spirt of bipartisanship, Republican lawmakers could demand apologies and condemnation from Democratic lawmakers for protecting a failed, public education system and for failing to protect children who, according to Democratic experts, are not physically capable of making adult decisions.
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