TV Land’s comedy Teachers took on the issue of gender-neutral bathrooms in Tuesday’s episode, “Sidelined.” There were some funny moments as the show poked fun at how over-the-top and stereotypical its most liberal teacher, Ms. Cecilia Cannon (Caitlin Barlow), can be, but of course, being a typical Hollywood show, the storyline turned out to be very pro-gender-neutral bathrooms. Bear in mind that the show takes place at an elementary school, and Ms. Cannon’s class is made up of special-needs students.
When Cecilia shows up late to work, she’s a complete mess and rushes in with a grocery cart full of toilet paper rolls to make crafts with, and the rolls are covered in tahini sauce she accidentally spilled. She explains that she’s late because she was protesting the use of plastic straws. “They kill animals,” she tells her class. “We know,” one student replies. “That turtle video you showed us made Lauren cry.”
Later, Cecilia finds out that she missed the “morning gossip” about the school’s gender-neutral bathrooms being changed back, and she immediately goes into protest mode. Then she ends up embarrassed when her plan to chain herself to the gymnasium doors before a school council meeting backfires on her:
Ms. Cannon: What happened to the gender-neutral bathrooms?
Ms. Watson: When you bike to work, you miss the morning gossip.
Mrs. Adler: The LSC voted to change them back.
Ms. Cannon: Oh, hell, no. Members of the LSE, we must make all students of Fillmore feel accepted. Bring back gender neutral bathrooms.
Since I’ve been watching the show, I haven’t seen any transgender students included in any storyline, and elementary school seems awfully early to start pushing political agendas on young children. Then again, we’re in an era where leftist celebrities are raising their babies to be “genderless.” Congratulations! It’s a... something! ...who will need its own bathroom in kindergarten! #eyeroll
Miss Cannon later arrives back in her classroom after her failed protest, visibly upset. Her students then hilariously quip about her stereotypical liberal protester traits and help her to become more presentable so that she’ll be taken more seriously.
Student 1: You okay, Ms. Cannon?
Ms. Cannon: I'm sorry, guys. I'm just a little bummed. I tried protesting for gender-neutral bathrooms but no one took me seriously.
Student 2: Can we be honest with you?
Ms. Cannon: Sure.
Student 3: No one takes you seriously because you're a mess.
Student 1: I mean, look at what you're wearing. Are you a teacher or someone selling non-food items at a farmer's market?
Student 3: And after five minutes of hearing you talk about your macrobiotic diet, people wanna hang themselves.
Ms. Cannon: Wow. Okay.
Student 3: We're not trying to be mean, but people make decisions about you based on how you look and act.
Student 1: Yeah, if anybody knows how judgmental the world can be, it's kids in Special Ed.
Student 2: We're just trying to look out for you like you look out for us.
Ms. Cannon: Thanks, guys.
Student 3: Combing your hair once a day says to the world, "I'm not off my psych meds."
Student 1: For style, I'd like to see you simplify. Wearing jewelry from different ethnic groups can look like a potpourri of cultural appropriation. Try this.
Ms. Cannon: MM, how chic.
Student 2: Ants on a log is a simple, healthy vegan snack.
Student 3: And it won't leave you smelling like the dumpster behind Panda Express.
Once Cecilia’s students make her over, she decides to do a formal presentation to the student council in favor of gender-neutral bathrooms, and this time she’s successful. Not so much for what she says, but how she says it and how she looks:
Ms. Cannon: And as someone who's always been on the outside, I believe we should celebrate our differences.
Student 3: Amazing what a comb and a little deodorant can do.
Ms. Cannon: It's our job as educators to protect our students, not alienate them. The more accepting we are of others, including our transgender students, the more we grow in turn.
Ms. Snap: No! What? Oh, sorry. Not "No, I don't support people's gender identities." No, that Davey P. just got pink eye. It's like these little freaks are farting directly into each other's eyes.
Councilwoman Taylor: Thank you, Cecilia, for that very impressive presentation. But we can't vote on the same issue twice in a year. Official policy.
Ms. Cannon: Then why'd you let me get through my whole speech?
Councilwoman Taylor: Because it was so good. And I can promise you this. Gender neutral bathrooms will be the first thing on the agenda next year. I wish more people would show up with such well-thought-out presentations. And the next time that you have a concern or idea, I think that I speak for the council when I say we are all ears. Also, I couldn't take my eyes off your blazer. Is that Ann Taylor Loft?
Ms. Cannon: Ann Taylor.
Councilwoman Taylor: Damn.
Something seems awfully familiar here. Who does Cecilia speak and look like here? Hmm…. Oh, I know! A conservative, minus the transgender talk!
Those special needs kids know a thing or two about professional behavior and style! I just wonder how they feel about attempts to indoctrinate them with liberal politics at such a young age.