In Arlington County, Virginia, not even kindergarteners are exempt from pro-transgender messaging. So reports The Washington Post, which, earlier this month, featured an article about Ashlawn Elementary School, which honored National “Read Across America Day” by hosting a transgender spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). The spokesperson read a story about a transgender child for a room full of kindergarten children.
Prominent media outlets claimed parents were notified beforehand and allowed opt their children out of the event. But those outlets got the story wrong. The letter, written solely in English despite the school’s sizable non-English-fluent population, nowhere mentions “opting out.”
Media, District Lie About Pro-Transgender Event
“Dozens of kindergarten students” sat cross-legged in homosexual activist teacher Jaim Foster’s classroom at Ashlawn Elementary School on February 28 while HRC representative and ‘“transgender rights advocate” Sarah McBride read them a picture book about a transgender girl. The book was “I Am Jazz” by Jazz Jennings, who talked about being a transgender teen on a TLC show.
Also in attendance was Lily Eskelsen García, president of the National Education Association (NEA), an organization that welcomed LGBT groups to serve as official sponsors of this year’s national reading event.
The Arlington school district claimed that “parents were notified by a letter ahead of time and were allowed to opt out of they chose.” Mainstream media crowed that no parents chose this option. One parent quoted by a local television channel stated: “We see children very young who know they don’t identify with the gender they are assigned. Wouldn’t it be better if their classmates understood and had empathy towards them versus treating them different or with disdain or violence?”
However, this record of events is not accurate. A copy of the February 22 letter provided to the Family Foundation of Virginia under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act shows absolutely no offer for parents to pull their kids out of the activity.
Moreover, although the letter notes that a book written by a transgender person would be read to the class, it does not explicitly say that kindergarteners will be told they may have a “girl brain but a boy body” or a boy brain and a girl body, as the book claims. Nor does it say that the kids would be read to by a cross-dressing man who calls himself “Sarah.” Rather, it says only that “there will be discussion around the big ideas of the books which are we want to accept and welcome all people.”
Although Ashlawn draws its students from a multilingual community in diverse northern Virginia — requiring a formal English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program — the school provided only an English-language letter to parents. Linda Erdos, assistant superintendent for Arlington County Schools, claimed in an email to the Family Foundation of Virginia that “while the classes included a small number of students who speak another language at home, the parents of those students speak and read English as well as the second language.”
I previously taught high school ESOL in neighboring Fairfax County, and find it unlikely that every parent who doesn’t speak English as his or her first language fully understood what was being offered to his or her children.
Imposing LGBTQ Ideology on 5-Year-Olds
Apart from the misleading information provided by both the media and Arlington County Public Schools, there are more essential problems with events for children that promote explicitly LGBTQ ideology. Children are incredibly impressionable. As a father of a 6-year-old, 3-year-old, and 2-year-old, I have consistently witnessed them believing just about anything other children or adults tell them. If an adult tells them they may not the biological sex they presumed themselves to be, they are liable to start questioning themselves, even if this wasn’t anywhere near their mental radar.
Children and parents are not being told the whole truth regarding transgenderism, either. Former transgender person Walt Heyer has noted: “Parents need to know that up to 94 percent of school-age kids who identify as transgender will grow out of their desire to change genders as adults.” Moreover, data show that kids’ lives are put at risk when schools encourage them to identify themselves as gay or transgender at an early age. Heyer observes: “For each year children delay labeling themselves as LGBT, their suicide risk is reduced by 20 percent.”
Moreover, as the noted Dr. Leonard Sax has discussed, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is officially recommending that the wishes of young children, including kindergarteners, be prioritized if they claim to reject their biological sex, including with “cross-sex hormones, castration, and infertility.” So public schools that teach transgender ideology to kindergarteners may be setting up their families for a medical hijacking if their confused child discusses the topic with the family pediatrician.
This prioritizes the whims of children over the wisdom and loving care of parents who disapprove of physical and hormonal castration for children, or simply prefer a “wait and see” approach. There is little evidence to substantiate the AAP’s recommendation, the implementation of which can and will cause irreparable damage to children.
Consider also the biased, preferential treatment of the HRC, NEA, and many public school districts. They promote those who pretend to be the opposite sex, and welcome their presence at public events meant to persuade those of all ages of the acceptableness of their decisions.
Assuming that any of this is age-appropriate for elementary schoolers, would any of these organizations or school districts welcome Walt Heyer, Jamie Shupe, or the many others who have similar stories of regret regarding their earlier gender transformation decisions? Would they be willing to accept an alternative testimony that speaks of the potential risks and dangers involved? Would they allow a perspective from prominent lesbian and feminist activists who have declared the obvious truth that men are not women? Of course not.
This Is Coming to a Community Like Yours
Trends suggest that no part of America will be left untouched by this ideological campaign. As sociologist Mark Regnerus recently noted, self-identified transgender Americans once comprised around 0.3 percent of the population as recently as 2011. That doubled by 2016. A new study, relying on a statewide survey in Minnesota, revealed that 3 percent of adolescents now identify as transgender.
“The rapid onset of gender dysphoria among adolescents is odd,” observes Regnerus (to say the least). Meanwhile sociologists like Regnerus who make note of these bizarre, rapid social transformations are persecuted by the academy for exposing the connection between aggressive LGBTQ propaganda and rising rates of adolescent transgenderism.
Parents and all those who care about the welfare of our nation’s children must raise their voices regarding this aggressive offensive, lest their own families suffer the consequences. As I’ve argued elsewhere, many of America’s public schools are no longer safe places for our children.
As a product of public education and a former public school teacher, I mourn this circumstance with a heavy heart. But I also know that even homeschooling my kids or sending them to a private school is not necessarily a sufficient shield from the zealotry of LGBTQ advocacy that will not rest until every American, and every American educator, conforms. So much for diversity and pluralism.