Led by Mayor Joyce Craig, the Manchester Board of School Committee adopted a sweeping policy granting “equal rights” to transgender and gender non-conforming students in January 2021.  As Democratic Party appendages pushed for the policy, school board members attacked and lied to parents over the policy.  Voices reflecting parental concerns were few and far between on the board.  Former Ward 9 Committeeman Arthur Beaudry’s Motion to Reconsider would go down in flames at a subsequent meeting.  At board meetings and on social media, school board members would dismiss examples of how similar policies led to sexual assaults on women, invasion of privacy in restrooms and unfair competition for girls in sports now forced to compete against biological boys as unfounded “hate speech.”


Tragically, the exposure of not one, but two covered up rapes in Loudoun County Virginia’s public schools has caused parents across the country to demand changes to policies that endanger girls in bathrooms and restrooms.  The father of the first girl raped was arrested and hauled out of a school board meeting after confronting the district over its lies about the rape not happening.  The story not only went national, it was used by the National School Boards Association as an example of why parents protesting Critical Race Theory (CRT), mask mandates and transgender policies should be considered “domestic terrorists” by the U.S. Department of Justice.  Attorney General Merrick Garland would act on the NSBA’s demand and order the FBI to investigate parents who protested their school boards.


My loud and clear opposition to the policy, expressed on my TV show and in a Union Leader Op.Ed. earned me the scorn of Mayor Craig who, in a fundraising email following a newspaper article that noted my interest in running for mayor, cited that Op.Ed. to accuse me of being “against non-discrimination policies in the Manchester School District.”  (Emphasis in the original.)  The irony of the statement is that my piece was all about preventing discrimination against girls and parents by opposing a policy that specifically discriminated against them.  Outside of Beaudry, I was the only public official in the city to openly oppose the policy.

Given what’s been exposed in Loudoun County, it’s time for parents in Manchester to demand that each candidate for office answer the question as to whether or not Manchester’s policy should be repealed; this includes mayoral candidate Victoria Sullivan who was noticeably absent as the battle raged last December, January and February. 


Note well that Manchester’s policy is even more radical than Loudoun County’s as it PREVENTS school officials from disclosing a child’s transgender or gender-nonconforming behavior to parents.  The Loudoun County policy has no such prohibition.  In fact, the Model Policy Guidelines promulgated by the Virginia Department of Education actually encourage school officials to dialogue with parents, stating:

School divisions are encouraged to communicate openly, albeit confidentially, with students and families regarding the student’s gender identity to ensure that appropriate steps are taken to determine a student’s needs and address any privacy concerns and associated risks to the student’s well-being.

So, while it is not known at this time whether or not the parents of the boy who identified as “gender fluid” and wore skirts to gain access to the girls’ bathrooms in two different high schools were aware of their son’s behavior, we do know that Manchester’s policy would prohibit school personnel from informing the boy’s parents of his behavior.  That is nothing short of outrageous.

This isn’t the first time a so called “equity” policy for “trans-equality” has resulted in harm to young girls and more mature women and it won’t be the last.  It clearly demonstrates the hazards such policies pose to the safety of women and demands they be dealt with.  Moreover, they clearly demonstrate that “it can happen here.”  Does Manchester need to wait until it happens here before it acts?

~RH Girard