Last week I wrote about a suburban Chicago school district’s Oct. 7-11 week of LGBT curriculum as an example of what the state legislature has required all Illinois public schools to teach starting next July. Although the Evanston/Skokie school district is in a very liberal area, not all parents were comfortable with their preschoolers being taught, among other things, that polyamorous families are equivalent to families of sexually faithful married biological parents, and that being gay simply means “loving” someone of your own sex.
According to a local newspaper called the Evanston RoundTable, the district’s administrators and school board heard from several dozen upset parents after their children started coming home and talking about what they were learning about sex in school. These officials responded with a condescending, inaccurate, and embarrassing defense of themselves.
Here are some highlights from the Evanston RoundTable report.
1. Teaching Transgenderism to Preschoolers Is ‘Age-Appropriate’
A Sept. 24 letter from District 65’s two interim superintendents and the head of the local teachers union twice said the district’s LGBT curriculum was “age appropriate.” Emphasis added in the below quotes from the letter:
We are deeply appreciative of District 65 educators and members of the district’s Gender and Sexuality Educators Alliance (GSEA) for the many hours they spent this summer developing robust, thoughtful, and age-appropriate curriculum for use in D65.
…All content has been developed to ensure that it is both developmentally and age-appropriate for all students.
At an Oct. 7 board committee meeting, school board President Suni Kartha reiterated: “This really is a wonderful, thoughtful, age-appropriate curriculum.”
In my article last week, I sampled the district’s “age-appropriate curriculum” for children ages 3 to 5. It included numerous LGBT picture books such as the well-known “Heather Has Two Mommies” and “They He She, Easy as ABC” about using trans pronouns.
These preschoolers were told they can be “just like” a transgender teen celebrity named Jazz Jennings, and that transgender means having one sex’s body but a different sex’s brain (which is not backed by one iota of medical science). They were taught “We are all allowed to choose what gender we are.” They were shown this video:
These preschoolers and kindergarteners were taught “Sometimes people use their bodies to help them know their gender, and some people know their gender in their heart.” Also: “If you have two mommies, they can be called LESBIANS. That means that they are two women who love each other.”
This is a common way of explaining LGBT sexuality to young children in the curricula I have reviewed, such as the Queer Kids Stuff channel on YouTube (which District 65’s curriculum also linked to). Yet it’s neither age-appropriate nor accurate. Since preschoolers don’t know what intercourse is (and mostly shouldn’t), they are likely to understand that “loving” means feeling affection, which every normal preschooler does with people of both sexes, and that doesn’t affect their sexuality one bit.
To state what should be obvious, sexual attraction is not the same as love. I don’t know about all of you readers, but I love lots of people whose genitals I never want to touch. Deliberately obscuring crucial realities like this, and by trusted adults to children who have no knowledge of the world to help them know this is a lie, is one reason to call what the district did propaganda.
And the fact that these people think this is “age-appropriate” for preschoolers or, frankly, children of any other age, completely discredits their expertise and authority. They should all resign for egregiously abusing their power. But of course they won’t.
2. Sex Education Isn’t Sex Education
During the school board’s meeting, the district’s assistant superintendent for curriculum, Stacy Beardsley, stated, “There’s nothing in [the district’s LGBT curriculum] that overlaps with sexual education that would require any form of opt out that State law requires.” As I noted in my earlier article, far-left activists have deliberately detached the gender ideology being taught in public schools from sex ed because many states provide extra legal rights to parents for sex ed, such as informed consent and opt-out.
It’s no matter to them that the only difference between a gay person and a straight person is the kind of sex each engages in, and thus any LGBT instruction obviously falls into sex ed. The defining element of being LGBT is one’s preferred sexual behavior, and absolutely nothing else. Thus any LGBT instruction is necessarily sex ed.
This is just a patent attempt to bypass state laws that obviously apply. When Christians do this, with much more legitimacy, by things like trying to have the Bible taught in world religions or world history, the left loses its everloving mind. That’s because their rule is “You follow the laws we make whether you like it or not, and we do whatever we want regardless of what the laws say.”
3. Religion Has Nothing to Say about Sex
“[W]hen people were talking about religious objections, it does become challenging, so we’ve been trying to help people understand that this is not a religious curriculum, this is not a curriculum that is advocating any form of sexuality,” Beardsley said, according to the RoundTable.
Where can people have ever gotten the ridiculous idea that any religions have anything at all to say about sexuality? In the event that Beardsley has only ever heard from culturally assimilated Christians on this, maybe she should make time to talk to, say, a practicing Muslim about whether sexual behaviors have any religious component.
4. Let’s Deliberately Keep Parents in the Dark
The school board also discussed what to do about the fact that parents were keeping their kids home from school during the LGBT week to protect their kids. The Evanston/Skokie school board’s vice president, Anya Tanyavutti, suggested in response, “Not telling people the time of the curriculum is an option.”
Previously the school district’s LGBT curriculum was fully available online, but it has now been made available only to people the district has approved for access.
In the several other states that are passing laws to require all public schools to teach curriculum like this, including California and New Jersey, U.S. Attorney General William Barr noted, this practice of forbidding opt-outs is common.
5. Differences of Opinion Make People ‘Fearful,’ ‘Unsafe’
An unnamed teacher told the school board that she and LGBT people whose emails had been given out to answer public questions had received “horrifying” emails. The RoundTable reported no details from this teacher about what “horrifying” meant, whether there were legitimate threats to these persons’ safety, or whether these emails expressed simply diverse viewpoints.
“Our names are linked to this curriculum, and there is real fear. … We didn’t want to be out this weekend in Evanston because we are truly fearful. I need that to sit with all of you. We are now truly unsafe in this community in which some of us live and all of us teach in,” the teacher claimed.
6. No Opt-Outs Allowed
Upon hearing reports that one school principal had — horrors! — informed parents of when the sexual indoctrination lessons would take place each day so they could take their kids home, school administrators discussed cracking down on this limited exercise of parent choice.
At an Oct. 7 school board meeting, Beardsley “said she had just spent 30 minutes on the phone explaining to a parent why there was no opt out,” the RoundTable reported.
As I reported earlier, the next day school board president “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.’”
The unnamed teacher complained about parents pulling their kids and two school principals allowing children to work puzzles or get picked up by parents during the instruction time. The board and other officials discussed ensuring this could not happen in the future.
“If the family says that they are refusing to have their child be part of the learning, we are not providing that safe space in the building and providing any form of alternate education,” Beardsley said. “…I stand by the fact that all kids should be part of the learning.”
The unnamed teacher asked, according to the RoundTable, “Can people opt-out of Black Lives Matter or the science curriculum that doesn’t meet the religious belief of a family?” Note that the teacher equated political propaganda with actual science instruction. Are the two comparable in this school district? Affirming anti-science positions like the gender unicorn certainly ought to make parents and taxpayers wonder about a school’s science and humanities instruction.
These district employees do, however, have an underlying point. If parents can opt out of one thing, why not another? How far does that extend, and why? What amount of harmful instruction will and should parents put up with before moving their kids to better schools? Do parents really think the kids who skip one week of school aren’t hearing about it from their peers once they go back? In fact, the district’s curriculum explicitly instructed teachers to include LGBT materials in other classes throughout the year, such as reading. The state has mandated that all schools start teaching it in history in 2020.
How can parents trust anything from any school that fails so horrifically on something so basic? Should taxpayers have to fund leftist propaganda that harms children? When are we going to get our kids and money back? By then will it be too late?