An Oklahoma school board member is citing the First Amendment to shield himself from criticism after sharing a profanity-laden TikTok video attacking parents of transgender children.
Andy McGuire, a board member for Velma-Alma Public Schools in Stephens County, Oklahoma, billed the video, a copy of which was obtained by The Oklahoman newspaper, as a “public service announcement.”
Posting under the handle @savagegent77, McGuire said in the video that he was speaking to parents who think it’s “okay for your child to decide if they want to be a girl or a boy or whatever other ridiculous-[expletive] pronoun you can come up with.”
“It’s going to be a shock, I understand, there are only two genders,” McGuire continued. “Let me repeat, there are only two genders.
“So if in your sick, twisted mind you’ve got some other thought process going on about girls and boys, do us all a favor, find the busiest street that you can find, take your ass out, lay down on the center line and do the world a favor.”
Velma-Alma Superintendent Raymond Rice told The Duncan Banner that McGuire’s comments have no affiliation with the district, but refused to comment further on the matter.
“I’m not going to speak to it — that particular board member is a private individual and was not representing Velma-Alma Public Schools and he wasn’t speaking on our behalf,” Rice said. “He is protected by the First Amendment. Other than that, I will not speak about it.”
When asked by reporters if the issue might arise at a future school board meeting, Rice again refused to comment further on the incident.
McGuire confirmed to the Banner via Facebook Messenger that he was the man in the video, and that he posted the video to his TikTok last week. He said the comments were not made on behalf of the school district, and said the video is protected under his constitutional right to free speech.
“First of all, I am a private citizen/individual and in no way, shape or form do I speak for or on behalf of Velma-Alma Public Schools,” McGuire said. “The things I share on my personal social media accounts are just that … personal. I’m thankful to live in a country where my freedom of speech is protected by the First Amendment.”
Oklahoma has recently been in the news for its approach to cultural issues, which are front and center as school board meetings around the country have become battlegrounds over how — if at all — school districts should address issues of race, sexuality, and gender, as well as the content of or curriculum materials for history and English-language arts classes.
A bill introduced in the state legislature this year would allow parents to ban books with “sexual content,” which some people fear will be interpreted or implemented in a way that leads to bans on books containing LGBTQ characters or content, even if that content is incidental and not crucial to the plot.
Last year, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) ordered the Oklahoma Health Department to stop issuing nonbinary birth certificates after the State Health Department issued a birth certificate with a nonbinary gender marker in response to a lawsuit. Oklahoma Republicans threw a tantrum after the birth certificate was issued, arguing that birth certificates are intended to reflect vital statistics, and should not be amended to include a gender that does not match a person’s assigned sex at birth.
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