Local Republican Party seeks ban on providing gender-affirming care in Huntley School District 158

The GOP wants parental consent to be required first, though that’s already district policy

The Huntley Community School District 158 administration building

The Grafton Township Republican Central Committee has passed a resolution to ask the Huntley Community School District 158 board to ban gender-affirming care in the district without parental consent.

Orville Brettman, chairman of the Grafton Township GOP, sent out a news release detailing the party’s request to add the following paragraph to the school district policy:

“It shall be the policy of District 158 that written consent from a minor’s parent or guardian be required before any entity, person, school clinic or school staff can provide a minor (under the age of 18 years) any non-emergency medical procedure, medication, pharmaceutical, or any gender modification procedure, gender identification counseling or gender therapy while on School District property.”

However, District 158 policy already requires parents and guardians to sign and submit a form to the school giving permission for a student to take any medication at school, before school staff can administer medication or supervise a student administering it to themselves.

Brettman said that his group is concerned about gender-affirming care in schools, but he didn’t know of any specific cases of a student getting gender-affirming care at school.

“You could consider this resolution preemptive,” Brettman said.

Brettman expressed strong feelings about the resolution in the release.

“The time is long past when God-fearing Americans can stand idly by while evil servants of perverted philosophies foster their abominable practices upon our unsuspecting youth. Parents are a child’s first line of defense and their rights must be preserved,” Brettman said in the release.

Board members Michael Thompson and Dana Wiley, who was appointed to the board this month, are both precinct committeepersons with the Grafton Township Republicans.

Attempts to reach Wiley, who Brettman said asked the press release be forwarded to the Northwest Herald, were unsuccessful.

Thompson said he supports the resolution and doesn’t think it’s controversial. He added that he also hasn’t heard of students receiving gender-affirming care at school, but feels the resolution is “affirming what we believe.”

“It underscores the importance of parental consent for significant medical and psychological decisions involving minors on school property, and parents should never take a back seat to teachers and/or staff when it comes to these issues,” Thompson wrote in a message to the Northwest Herald.

A slate that includes Thompson and current board President Andy Bittman beat four incumbents to take control of the board in last spring’s election. One member of the slate, Gina Galligar, resigned in September and the board appointed Wiley to fill the vacancy.

Issues related to gender identity in schools – such as the use of bathrooms and competition on sports teams by students who are transgender or nonbinary – have created controversy in many states in recent years.