Starting July 1, 2020, all Illinois public schools are legally required to teach children LGBT history and only buy textbooks that include the topic. NPR affiliate Illinois Public Radio labeled Christian and conservative opposition to this law while it was being considered as stemming from “hate groups.”
The explicit goal of such laws, which are also in place in California, Colorado, New Jersey, and Oregon, is to make children agree with the left’s views of sexuality, which contradict the historic views of all major world religions. This is not only the open, stated goal of those pushing such laws but also explicit in the curriculum.
“Imagine a generation of Illinois students having learned the positive contributions of LGBTQ people to U.S., Illinois, world history,” Brian Johnson, CEO of the advocacy group Equality Illinois, told IPR. “I think it’s only going to have a positive effect on our society’s view of LGBTQ people.”
“This has the potential to change the way society views the LGBT community. Who we decide to talk about and who we include in history reflects the values we have in our society,” said Democrat state Rep. Anna Moeller, the new law’s lead sponsor, to the local newspaper Daily Herald.
“We have an incredibly diverse student body, which leads to more inclusiveness and tolerance,” Chicago-area public school teacher Leslie Schock told the Daily Herald in response to Illinois’s new LGBT curriculum requirements. “The kids don’t really question why it’s important to them. For the most part, throughout their entire childhood, gay marriage has been legalized.”
A Brown University study last year found indications that an identity politics-saturated environment can fuel a “social contagion” of children identifying as transgender. Scholar Mary Eberstadt has written in great detail about how upending boundaries around sex undermines children’s faith. Loss of faith, as well as sexual profligacy, is correlated with a host of social problems including mental illness, family chaos, government dependence, violence, and lawlessness.
AP and District 65 Offer a Preview of Coming Instruction
To get a sense of what all Illinois public schools must begin teaching children starting next year, one can look at curriculum developed this summer in Illinois’s Evanston/Skokie School District 65, as well as Advanced Placement history classes. Scholars noted AP products were given a decidedly leftist, identity politics slant in recent revisions. These classes educate the nation’s top third of students and for many are the last history classes they ever take. Especially well-educated and high-income parents trust them as a way to get their kids a leg up on college and thus life.
Yet they are rapidly being corrupted by leftist ideology. Schock noted that she was teaching LGBT-themed materials before the Illinois law passed because the College Board integrated it into AP history classes in recent revisions. “Schock teaches about the 1969 Stonewall riots for LGBTQ rights in New York City, feminism, and Latino and American Indian rights movements as part of the description of social movements of the 1960s and 1970s. She spends a class period on each topic,” reported the Daily Herald.
This means that even in states that have not mandated LGBT curriculum, bright students are likely to be exposed to it through AP classes, which also influence non-AP curriculum. The Stonewall Riots are also taught to elementary school students as part of LGBTQ+ Equity Week curriculum being taught this week in District 65, a north Chicago suburb.
The district’s Gender and Sexuality Educators’ Alliance (GSEA) noted in a Sept. 12 email sent to all staff that “This work [of the district’s Oct. 7-11 LGBTQ+ Equity Week] comes during an important time in Illinois history. A few weeks ago, Governor Pritzker signed House Bill 246 into law and as of July 1, 2020, all Illinois public schools will be required to include LGBTQ history in their curriculums [sic].” District 65 teachers earned $35 per hour to create this curriculum over the summer, according to documents The Federalist obtained from an open records request.
On Oct. 8, District 65 school board President Suni Kartha sent parents and staff a statement: “Our administration has heard from a number of parents who want the ability to opt their children out of this curriculum. The District 65 Board of Education does not support allowing students to opt out of this or any curriculum that seeks to include a more complete account of the role of historically marginalized people in our society, as such curriculum is vital to supporting our district mission of preparing students to contribute positively to a global and diverse society.”
Adhering to intersectionality requires saturating all classes with identity politics at all times. The district is also making sure children receive LGBT instruction all year long, not just in one week, as the teachers who wrote the LGBTQ+ Equity Week curriculum also developed “modular resources to support teachers who choose to include LGBTQ+ identities in their curriculum throughout the remainder of the year,” according to district documents. Of course, even children parents might keep home from school for this one week are otherwise in class every day with teachers and peers who attended, and children talk.
How Do Teachers Feel About This? District Won’t Say
The district’s parents are wealthier and hold a higher percentage of college degrees than the overall U.S. population, with a $101,047 median household income and 70 percent who have obtained at least a bachelor’s degree, according to federal data. District 65 manages 7,997 students, ages 3 to 14, and spends $18,649 per student per year, according to the most recent federal data.
Evanston/Skokie School District 65 only encompasses preK-8 students. For this group of largely prepubescent children, since spring the district has been planning an October 7-11 “week of curriculum [that] seeks to address and affirm intersectional identities that encompass a combination of race, gender, and/or sexuality,” according to a May 3 email from district official Sophie Leventhal.
In preparation for this week-long celebration of National Coming Out Day on October 11, Levanthal asked all district employees to fill out a survey. That survey asked staff to rate, on a scale of 1 to 5, “How comfortable are you teaching and discussing LGBTQ+ curriculum?” “Are you open to growing in comfort, knowledge, and preparedness in order to effectively teach & discuss LGBTQ+ curriculum?” and “How supported do you feel by district leaders specifically around LGBTQ+ equity?”
All of these were required questions in order to complete the survey, which is available in full here. The district refused to supply the answers teachers provided, claiming results obtained five months ago are “predecisional.”
What Evanston/Skokie Schools Are Teaching Preschoolers
District 65’s full LGBTQ+ week curriculum can be viewed online. To get a sense of of what this public school district is teaching the children in its care, and what the new LGBT curriculum in all Illinois public schools will look like starting next school year, let’s look at a few selections from their preschool and kindergarten curriculum for this week. This is for children ages 3 to 5.
Teachers were given a lesson plan on slides that include movies and a teaching script to show and say to the children each day of the week. The children are shown, among other things, a video of someone reading aloud the book “Heather Has Two Mommies,” famous transgender teen Jazz Jenning reading his picture book “I Am Jazz,” a book read aloud on video called “My Princess Boy,” and the apparently highly awarded video below. The script tells teachers to use materials like these throughout the year, not just during LGBTQ+ Equity Week.
The curriculum teaches preschoolers and kindergarteners to compare mixed-race and adoptive families with families headed by same-sex couples and even possibly a polyamorous family — in this part of the video captured below, the boy says “My two moms are Marilyn and Adrian and my two dads are Michael and Barry.” It’s not explained what his two moms and dads call their arrangement. Maybe that’s considered too risque for three-year-olds.
The children are also openly catechized in LGBT affirmations. For example, the script tells the teacher to say after one video: “OK. Let’s see what we learned. For each picture, you tell me if this is a family. Ready?” The children are clearly expected to say “Yes” to each.
The curriculum also introduces three-year-olds to the concepts of “lesbian,” “gay,” and “transgender.” In the slide below, the teacher script below the image directs teachers to tell the children, “If students say it is not a family, review definition – people who love you and care for you. When they say yes, agree! Yes some families have 2 moms.”
The script for the slide below directs teachers to tell preschoolers and kindergarteners, “Sometimes people use their bodies to help them know their gender, and some people know their gender in their heart.”
Other parts of the curriculum suggest to these small children that enjoying dress-up, playing with “boy toys” or “girl toys,” or loving people of either sex or both sexes might mean they are gay or transgender. It also tells children that clothes communicate nothing about one’s sex.
In the video of Jennings reading “I Am Jazz,” he tells the preschoolers that being transgender means “having a girl brain but a boy body.” After reading, he also looks into the camera and tells the children “you can be just like Jazz.”
Special Needs Children Not Left Out
The LGBT curriculum also contains lessons for children classified as special needs. It includes the following slides. The following slide’s teacher script says: “Everyone has a sexual orientation! This is not just something for someone in the LGBTQ+ community.”
The following slide’s teacher script says: “Everyone has a gender identity! This is not just something for someone in the LGBTQ+ community.”
It also introduces K-8 special-needs children to various forms of sex and plenty of people and organizations to Google.
Special-needs kids also see this video about a “gender-fluid” 11-year-old.
Putting the Squeeze on Parents, Teachers
District 65 provided teachers a document from LGBT activist group Welcoming Schools that explains why parents do not need to be informed of these curriculum materials ahead of time: “In many states there are specific regulations for parental notification when the school curriculum addresses sexuality. However, when educators discuss family diversity, it is family — children’s families — that are being discussed. ” It has become standard for school districts to teach LGBT material outside of sex ed, because sex ed typically operates under regulations such as parental notification and opt-out.
In a “Staff Guide,” the district tells teachers that students need to learn the right ideology to be financially successful.
Cultural competency is a 21st century skill that students will need to enter the workforce. We see daily examples of how intolerant thinking compromises the professional success of the people around us. Whether the conversation be about race, religion, language, gender, or sexuality, adults and students must be prepared to participate in conversations using facts and relevant vocabulary instead of myths, stereotypes, and slurs.
The district gave teachers more scripts to use in another document from Welcoming Schools about marriage. It says teachers should tell students about marriage that “People can fall in love and want to be in a relationship, no matter their gender.” And here’s a sample Q&A with a student: “‘Can Jorge’s dads get married? I thought two men couldn’t get married.’ ‘Yes, his dads can get married. The U.S. Supreme Court decided in a court case that all the states should allow people of the same gender to get married.’”
The Staff Guide also tells school administrators how to behave during LGBTQ+ Week: “Encourage people to be unafraid of backlash diving into this work and that you will answer any parental concerns; Be visible and supportive.”
Evanston/Skokie is the same school district where in 2017, The Wall Street Journal reported, administrators had staff divide themselves into separate “racial identification” groups of “white” and “individuals of color” for discussions of race and racism. The district also plans a Black Lives Matter week in February 2020 and refused to release the curriculum developed for it in response to an open records request.