Elementary school teachers hide 'Gender and Sexuality' clubs from parents
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Last month, while searching through various transgender-themed Facebook Groups, we came across an advertisement for a virtual panel titled “Creating and Sustaining GSAs in Elementary Schools,” taking place on April 26th. A “GSA” is an acronym that many understand to mean “Gay–Straight Alliance,” but in recent years it has changed to “Gender and Sexuality Alliance.”
The panel was hosted by Katy Butler, a second grade teacher who is a co-creator of Gender Inclusive Classrooms, a website “dedicated to equipping educators with the tools they need to foster safe, welcoming gender-inclusive classrooms.” The panelists include Kieran Slattery, a fifth grade teacher who is the other co-creator of Gender Inclusive Classrooms, Daniel Alonso, who is listed as a fifth grade bilingual teacher, and Heather Eig, a school counselor.
We registered for the virtual panel to see for ourselves what kind of topics are discussed in these meetings, and how they are discussed. This was the first webinar of its kind that we have ever attended, and we viewed it as an opportunity to bridge the gap between our potentially exaggerated perception of panels like these, and reality. But when the day arrived and we began listening, we quickly realized just how extreme the views being expressed were.
The first of many red flags arose during a discussion about building GSAs/Rainbow Clubs at elementary schools.
In this audio clip, Slattery explains how building a GSA starts before the club even exists by creating “gender inclusive curricula.” This is done by making sure the school has a “welcoming culture,” which is achieved by using “lots of vocabulary that has to do with gender and sexuality.” Slattery then explains that for many children this will be the first time they will have been “exposed to anything outside of the heteronormative dominant culture,” but for other children it will be the first time their gender identity, gender expression, or sexuality has been “validated” at school.
Slattery then discussed methods of recruiting children into GSAs and Rainbow Clubs. This starts with reading books “about all different genders, or watching little videos that represent people of all backgrounds.” By doing this, Slattery says questions will begin to “come up organically,” which can be used as a recruitment opportunity by responding with “I’d love to explore that more in our Rainbow Club.”
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Slattery then notes the “potential for pushback” from adults (i.e. parents) saying “that’s not an appropriate topic to talk about with young kids.” He says that these adults are confused and falsely “equating sexuality and gender.” When responding to concerned parents, Slattery intentionally avoids mention of sexuality and says they are “exploring a lot of gender, gender expression, and gender identity, and different ways that you can be a boy, or lots of different ways to be a girl, or lots of different ways to be both or neither” (my emphasis). But he then reveals to us (not the parents) that this is all in addition to “talking really explicitly and seriously about sexuality and gender.”
To summarize, Slattery is instructing teachers on how to recruit elementary school children into clubs that talk “really explicitly and seriously about sexuality and gender” by adopting curricula so saturated with “vocabulary that has to do with gender and sexuality” that it will spur children to “organically” ask questions about it. These clubs then introduce radical gender ideology, which teaches children that being a boy or a girl is rooted in one’s gender identity instead of their biology, and that a child can be a boy, girl, both, or neither.
During another segment, the panel discusses whether permission slips are necessary for children attending GSAs and Rainbow Clubs.
The discussion starts off with panelist Heather Eig saying that her school does not require permission slips because the club meets during school hours. Daniel Alonso then explains that his school district in San Francisco, CA, also does not require permission slips, but that families must be “alerted” about their children participating in clubs that discuss “gender, families, and diversity.” He apparently achieved this by sending students home with a flyer vaguely stating that “kids were being invited to a club about inclusivity.” There is no guarantee that these flyers ever made it out of the children’s backpacks.
At 4:07 in the above video, Alonso says that the only formal communication sent home regarding GSA/Rainbow Club was with 4th and 5th grade students, but it was not a permission slip and so children were not required to show their parents. But he then reveals that they “intentionally left it broad in that it was a club about acceptance, tolerance, diversity, and identity,” instead of honestly and accurately describing it as a club about gender and sexuality.
There is a very clear sense that these teachers view parents as obstacles to students attending GSA/Rainbow Club. Clubs are held during school hours so they don’t require permission slips. And when any sort of permission or notification is required of parents, the language is left intentionally broad in order to hide or obscure the true nature of the topics being explored and trick parents into giving consent. This would be like Christian teachers notifying parents that students were going to receive lessons about “love and forgiveness” when in reality they were attending Bible class.
At the end of the virtual event, the panelists invited questions from the audience. Though we had originally intended to only observe, we decided this was a good opportunity to ask a very clear question about how they would respond to a parent explicitly requesting they use their child’s legal name and sex-based pronouns instead of their child’s chosen name and preferred pronouns.
Slattery was the first to respond, and described an instance of a parent personally confronting him saying, “I noticed that you were using a different name than my child’s given name at birth and the pronouns that we gave them, and I am respectfully asking that you use the name and the pronouns that we gave them.”
Slattery claimed he “chose his words carefully” and said “I hear you, I hear what you’re saying,” adding that he “tried to really affirm what the caregiver was asking me, like in terms of, ‘I hear you saying that you’re feeling uncomfortable with me using the child’s preferred name and pronouns; I hear that you’re using different ones at home,’” but said that “here at school, the expectation is that all of my students feel comfortable and welcome in my classroom. So in my classroom, I will refer to your child by whatever name and pronouns that they’ve told me they feel most comfortable with.” “I just told them no,” Slattery said, and because he had the support of his principal and superintendent, he added that “there wasn’t much they could do, and they eventually found another topic to squawk about.”
Alonso then chimed in, saying that his school district has a Bill of Rights for “LGBTQ+” students that includes “the right to be referred to by their gender pronouns and name that fits their gender identity.” He then told a similar story to Slattery’s of a parent confronting his school with the same issue, and Alonso said, “I don’t even know if we were respectful about it, we were just like no, sorry, our district-wide rule is that the student determines that, not you, even though you are the parent.”
So not only will teachers indoctrinate your children into gender ideology at school, they will also participate in your child’s social transition without your knowledge and even against your wishes, regardless of whether your child has actually been diagnosed with gender dysphoria. This is far from innocuous, as social transition is a form of psychosocial treatment, and there are reasons to believe that such interventions will “increase dramatically the rate of gender dysphoria persistence.”
Our investigation revealed that some teachers really are keeping secrets from parents. Clubs that are “talking really explicitly and seriously about sexuality and gender” are being held during school hours in order to not require permission slips. And, when they are required to alert parents, it is in the form of intentionally broad and vague flyers that have no guarantee of ever making it out of a child’s backpack. When parents voice concerns they are gaslit or lied to about the explicit nature of the discussion topics. And, most of all, school staff will ignore and even flagrantly mock a parent’s request to not perform psychosocial interventions on their children and to refer to their child by their legal name and sex-based pronouns.
We did not expect to have all of our preconceptions regarding activist teachers confirmed, but confirmed they were.
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