Central Illinois school board member makes transphobic anti-mask argument
A school board member at Morton Unit School District 709 has used a transphobic comment to defend his anti-mask stance in local schools.
This is the same school district that was the focus of protests over a teacher making anti-LGBTQ and racist comments during a class.
Board Member Bart Rinkenberger made the comment in response to a meme saying that people who say “all lives matter” are the same people objecting to masks meant to protect against COVID-19
In his comment to the meme, which used a classic Twilight Zone set up of “Imagine a world..”, Rinkenberger used the same set up.
“Imagine a people so conflicted that they allow a child to decide what gender they want to ‘be’ but won’t allow them to decide to wear a mask or not.
“Kinda crazy when you think about it that way, huh?”
He’s also posted a Facebook video using religion for his opposition mask mandates and pushing to make them optional for students.
“So bad enough he uses his school board position as a pulpit for his religiosity to go against CDC and state mandates, he then makes an unacceptable transphobic comments,” said Lulu Bernard, one of the organizers of the protest a couple weeks ago.
Though initially the school district defied the mandate issued at the beginning of August, the Morton school board did vote to follow the statewide mandate.
Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker issued the mandate on Aug. 4 ahead of the school year.
According to Chalkbeat Chicago, 41 of the state’s 852 districts are on probation for not enforcing the order.