ELCO Trans Agenda Update

Vote Russ Diamond for State Representative

[Note: this open letter is in response to a hastily written and bizarre defense from my opponent of her woke gender identity policy at the ELCO school district.]

January 25, 2024

An open letter to my opponent's supporters:

There seems to be some disconnect with reality in your camp regarding the gender identity policy your candidate was responsible for bringing to fruition at ELCO school district, as outlined here.

First, some of you flat out deny that such a policy exists at all. Here is Policy 253, in the flesh.

There are others among you who claim my opponent wasn't actually responsible for this policy. She was the Chair of the policy committee that developed it. She made the motion for the full school board to adopt it. And she spoke glowingly about it at that same meeting. Not sure how that adds up to not being responsible

Here are those meeting minutes, which indicate her Chairmanship and motion to the board (see page 5). And here is the pertinent audio from that meeting.

Because I suspect some of you may claim I manipulated these exhibits in some sinister way, all this information can be corroborated independently at the ELCO school board website.

The Response

In a hastily written and rambling response posted on her campaign's Facebook page, my opponent claims she prayed about this issue. I do not doubt her sincerity in this; I respect her personal faith.

She cleverly infers that her policy has a seal of approval from a prominent Pennsylvania conservative organization. I happen to know first-hand that this is not true at all. She knows this as well. While she may have consulted with them early on in the process, she ultimately went in a different direction on the road to developing Policy 253.

She claims to be personally invested in this issue because of her own children. What she doesn't mention is that her children don't attend ELCO; they attend a fantastic local private school that does not cater to the whims of gender ideology. That's duplicitous and about as divested as one can get.

She laments that I never came to speak to her school board about this issue. This is a complete ruse. I did discuss this issue with her and another school board member at a meeting of the Lebanon County Republican Committee in 2023, where I was informed they would be pursuing a policy that conforms to state law, which requires that school facilities be segregated by sex, not gender identity. I took her at her word.

Further, she complains that I have never introduced a bill in the General Assembly to address this issue, but such a bill is wholly unnecessary as Pennsylvania law is already crystal clear on the matter.

A Rudderless Ship

Then, she tries to turn the tables by complaining about how I referred to former PA Secretary of Health Rachel Levine. Dr. Levine is an adult, not a child under my opponent's supervision. While many chose to spend copious amounts of juvenile energy pointing out Dr. Levine's gender issues, I chose instead to focus on Dr. Levine's professional failures and mismanagement during the COVID-19 crisis in the state. Those who focused on Dr. Levine's gender issues only detracted from those arguments.

Finally, my opponent pivots to lobbing ridiculous and outrageous accusations, which were fabricated and engineered by some of my previous political opponents years before she even moved to Pennsylvania and Lebanon County. She wasn't here to witness how voters utterly rejected those attacks, both in 2014 and 2016. She even invented a new patently false allegation of her own against me, which doesn't seem to align with her professed faith.

She is free to repeat history on that front, as she clearly hasn't taken any time to learn about it, or from it. Resorting to intentionally malicious and false character attacks to sully someone's reputation is a sure sign of a campaign devoid of substance and in dire need of a moral rudder.

The Bottom Line

Here's the bottom line: Policy 253, which was shepherded into existence by my opponent, absolutely enables, sanctions, and promotes gender ideology at ELCO and presumes that children are competent to proclaim themselves to be something other than what they are. It's right there in black and white, defined and memorialized in official school policy.

My opponent could've chosen to adhere to state law, which is clear on the issue. She didn't. She could've chosen to handle this issue in the manner it deserves to be handled, on an individual basis that offers love, grace, and mercy to children who suffer with gender disorders. She didn't.

She instead chose to create Policy 253, which is the camel's nose under the tent for future woke radicals. If you give them an inch, pretty soon they're going to want to be a ruler. For someone who wants to claim the conservative high ground, this is an utter failure.

My opponent is not woke; she's just weak. Despite her assurances to me in 2023 of resolving this issue at ELCO in a responsible conservative manner, and despite seeking the counsel of one of the most prominent family values organizations in the state, she ultimately caved to other forces during the process of developing Policy 253.

This is not the type of leadership voters of the 102nd District need in Harrisburg. In fact, it's not leadership at all.

Own It

If you must defend and justify her handiwork on Policy 253, go ahead, but try not to remain blind to reality simply because you may be hanging onto some previous political grudge against me. In your heart of hearts, you know that Policy 253 is not good policy.

Don't let my opponent make excuses or shift blame for her failure. Hold her feet to the fire and join me in calling on her to rescind this dangerous policy. She can easily do that at the next school board meeting.

It's OK to cheer for "your team," but be mature enough to admit when your team's captain simply fumbled the ball away to the other team.
Russ Diamond

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