A fascinating element to the controversy over teaching sex topics to very young children in public schools is the knee-jerk reaction by leftists in the media, not to dispute that kids are being taught sex stuff, but to defend that they are!
In an “analysis” piece both hilarious and infuriating, the Washington Post’s Aaron Blake this week attempted to explain away official guidelines in New Jersey for the state’s school teachers in educating children on sexual and gender identity and expression.
“Conservative media oversell New Jersey’s guidelines for teaching gender,” read the headline.
True, in recent days Republicans and conservatives have drawn attention to New Jersey to back up the argument that new policies regulating how and when children are taught about sex are needed in more states and school districts. Florida is the most well-known example of a state crafting and passing legislation expressly for that purpose.
The reason for making an example out of New Jersey is because earlier this year, one school district promoted materials offering first-grade teachers lessons on “honest sexuality education” that would “Define gender, gender identity and gender role stereotypes.”
Included in that sweet-sounding literature was instruction for teachers in discussing the young students’ body parts. “You might feel like you are a boy, you might feel like you are a girl,” it says. “You might feel like you’re a boy even if you have body parts that some people might tell you are ‘girl’ parts. You might feel like you’re a girl even if you have body parts that some people might tell you are ‘boy’ parts. And you might not feel like you’re a boy or a girl, but you’re a little bit of both.”
This is, again, material made available by the school district to teachers of first-grade children.
But not so fast! Blake was ready to demonstrate why this is all nothing. “Repeatedly, Fox News and others have framed this as something amounting to actual school curriculum,” he wrote. “But the school district and the advocacy group both say that’s not the case — that these were sample materials that the district shared as it reviews the state guidelines.”
Don’t you see? This isn’t “actual school curriculum.” It’s only “sample materials” that were “shared”!
Blake helpfully included a quote from district Superintendent Raymond González, who offered this simple explanation: “The cited sample plans were part of a website that was included as a link to illustrate the type of possible resources for school districts shared by the N.J. Department of Education. We have said repeatedly that these are resources only and that they are not state-mandated.”
It makes all the difference, doesn’t it? The guidance on talking with first graders about how their “‘boy’ parts” and “‘girl’ parts” make them feel isn’t “state-mandated.” They’re just “possible resources for school districts”!
Furthemore, up until just days ago, New Jersey’s Department of Education had official guidelines on its website for how to talk with public-school children about gender identity and sexual orientation. Second-grade teachers are instructed to “discuss the range of ways people express their gender and how gender role stereotypes may limit behavior.” (The guidelines have since been taken down.)
Editor: Um, Aaron, it actually looks like this school district was instructing teachers to talk with young children about sex topics.
Blake: Yeah, but conservatives are overselling it. I asked, and it’s not the actual school curriculum. It’s not state-mandated. Hit publish.
This isn’t even hair splitting. It’s some kind of weird back-door admission. Yeah, some teachers might be talking with first graders about their privates, but this isn’t what it seems.
It’s exactly what it seems, and people like Blake are defending it.