A member of the Delaware Valley school board is under fire for Facebook activity promoting anti-LGBTQ views.
Steven C. Teague, executive director of the Milford-based TriVersity Center for Gender & Sexual Diversity, wrote a letter to the school board that said “any statements made by a school board official, whose duty it is to provide the highest quality education to a diverse student body, should be subject to scrutiny. Protecting young minds is our highest priority.” The letter was signed by the TriVersity Board of Directors, Simone Kraus, Richard Bloomer, Wendy Kaplan, John Hellman, and Ashley Craig. They asked for a retraction of the social media postings and offered to give the school board LGBTQ+ cultural competency training. “TriVersity is here to help,” they wrote. (Please see the full letter at pikecountycourier.com.)
The school board member, Dawn Bukaj, posted and promoted comments critical of Dr. Rachel Levine, Pennsylvania’s former secretary of health who joined the Biden administration as assistant secretary of health. Levine was the first openly transgender federal official ever to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Dr. Levine has received bipartisan criticism in Pennsylvania over the state’s slow vaccine rollout and high number of nursing home deaths.
Bukaj shared a post from Dwayne McDavitt that said, “Richard ‘Rachel’ Levine refused to answer a straight, specific question. Because he/she is confused about what he biologically is. Can’t change chromosomes XX-XY Basic Biology. Would you let this man make decisions for your child?”
Bukaj replied to a comment regarding Dr. Levine that said, “He hasn’t had any surgeries or ‘removals.’ In God’s eyes and my eyes HE is a man.” Her response was “Science,” along with a smiling emoticon.
Jack Fisher, the school board president, sent an email to Elizabeth Mallard, in response to her complaints about Bukaj, stating that he has asked legal counsel “to address and review the matter.”
Bukaj did not return a request for comment. She has since removed her Facebook page. Before she did, she posted a statement that her criticism was related to Dr. Levine’s handling of Covid-19 in Pennsylvania: “I find it’s always better to ask questions than to presume someone’s thoughts by a post. I absolutely have a problem with the former PA health secretary Dr. Levine and how she handled CV19 in our state. I do think Dr. Levine is dangerous and yet I have friends in the LGBTQ community who I have had spirited debate with because we may hold different views, but we never name call or put each other down. If you have questions send me a message — give me your number and I’ll give you a call, but if your purpose is to troll and try to hurt me to fit your narrative...there’s not much I will be able to say to change your mind — have a nice week.”
The TriVersity letter said “lives may literally hang in the balance,” citing a recent study Journal of Adolescent Health study finding “use of a chosen name confirms gender identity and reduces mental health risks in youth...which makes your apparent condonation of McDavitt’s rhetoric all the more confounding.”
The letter continues, “I am unsure as to whether DV School Board Members must receive LGBTQ+ cultural competency training per your 2015 resolution with the Department of Education. Regardless, I encourage you to seek out additional information.”