A reader writes to say, “Here we go. This is state indoctrination in transgender ideology.” He’s right:
Kindergarten used to be a place for children to learn how to add, subtract, and read. Next year, Washington school children as young as five years old will instead be learning about gender fluidity and the differences between gender and sexual identity.
The newly-minted health and physical education standards, released by the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), will be implemented in schools across the state for the 2017-2018 school year.
As reported by The Daily Caller, the new standards require students to learn about gender identity and expression beginning in kindergarten.
Beginning in Kindergarten, students will be taught about the many ways to express gender. Gender expression education will include information about the manifestations of traits that are typically associated with one gender. Crossdressing is one form of gender expression.
Third graders will be introduced to the concept of gender identity. These children will be taught that they can choose their own gender.
Fourth graders will be expected to “define sexual orientation,” which refers to whether a person identifies as heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual; they’ll also be taught about HIV prevention. Children in fourth grade will be told that they can choose their sexual orientation.
Fourth and fifth graders will learn about the relativity of gender roles and why such roles are social constructs that are not inherent to who we are as male or female human beings.
Seventh graders will be expected to “distinguish between biological sex, gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation.”
High school students will critically “evaluate how culture, media, society, and other people influence our perceptions of gender roles, sexuality, relationships, and sexual orientation.”
You can read the complete list of details on the sex and sexuality education starting on page 28 of the PDF version of the guidelines.
This is incredible. The public schools in the state of Washington will deliberately demolish family, sex, and gender norms, starting in kindergarten. And notice that they’re smuggling in a radical moral agenda under the neutral language of health and wellness.
I don’t see how orthodox Christians, Muslims, and Orthodox Jews who have the means to leave the public schools in states like Washington can justify remaining. How are Christian (et al.) teachers supposed to teach this stuff in good conscience? The state is directly attacking not only the fundamental teachings of faith, but also the fundaments of anthropology — that is, what it is to be a person.
This is radical stuff!
UPDATE: Prompted by commenters, I reviewed the state document closely in light of criticism that the Daily Caller exaggerated what the document says. The critics are right. The DC writes that third graders “will be taught that they can choose their own gender.” This is what the directive says:
Explain that gender roles can vary considerably.
Understand importance of treating others with respect regarding gender identity.
I suppose it is possible that by talking about the variation in gender roles, third graders might be taught that they can choose their own gender, but to claim that the curriculum mandates that is misleading.
The DC wrote that fourth graders “will be told that they can choose their sexual orientation.” This is what the curriculum actually says about what fourth graders will learn:
Identify how friends and family can influence ideas regarding gender roles, identity, and expression.
Demonstrate ways to show respect for all people.
Define sexual orientation.
Even if I squint, I can’t see how the DC gets the idea that kids will be taught that they can choose their sexual orientation.
I apologize for being too quick to post the DC’s claims without checking more thoroughly. The actual, verifiable aims of the curriculum are bad enough without exaggerating them.
But don’t make the mistake of assuming that because the DC exaggerated or lied in two instances, the curriculum is okay. It very much is not. From kindergarten, Washington state schoolchildren will be taught that there is no such reality as male and female, that biology has nothing to do with gender. Here, from the document, are the definitions used by the state in preparing this guidance:
Gender: A social construct based on emotional, behavioral, and cultural characteristics attached to a person’s assigned biological sex. A person’s social and/or legal status as male or female.
• Gender expression. The way someone outwardly expresses their gender, whether consciously or unconsciously.
• Gender identity. Someone’s inner sense of their gender (see Transgender).
• Gender roles. Social expectations about how people should act, think, or feel based on their assigned biological sex.
The state document suggests for further reading on the topic:
A Gender Spectrum Glossary. Montgomery, AL: Teaching Tolerance, A Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, 2016. www.tolerance.org/LGBT-best-practices-terms
The Southern Poverty Law Center is a far-left advocacy group. If you follow that link, it presents the activist left’s vision on sex and sexuality as if it were normative. This highly contestable document from the SPLC is apparently the source of the State of Washington’s curriculum mandates for its students. Look at the “Classroom Activities” the Teaching Tolerance project suggests. It’s leftist agitprop, as is the “central texts” list the SPLC suggests for its “anti-bias” curriculum. Mind you, the Washington health guidelines don’t mandate using those specific materials, but the fact that the people who created the health teaching guidelines took SPLC’s vision of sex and sexuality as a source is important.
Here are some of the definitions that Teaching Tolerance page the State of Washington recommends to teachers trying to figure out how to implement its new guidelines:
The sex/gender one is considered to be at birth based on a cursory examination of external genitalia.
According to gender theory, your genitals are irrelevant to your sex/gender. Your gender identity was imposed upon you as a baby.
The societal/cultural, institutional and individual beliefs and practices that privilege heterosexuals and subordinate and denigrate lesbians, gay men and bisexual/pansexual people. The critical element that differentiates heterosexism (or any other “ism”) from prejudice and discrimination is the use of institutional power and authority to support prejudices and enforce discriminatory behaviors in systematic ways with far-reaching outcomes and effects.
Presumably the kids in Washington state will be taught that dissenting from gender theory is a sign of bias, or
Literally, the fear of homosexuals and homosexuality; however, this term is generally applied to anyone who dislikes LGBTIQ people, who uses derogatory sexuality- or gender-based terms, or who feels that LGBTIQ people want “special rights” and not “equal rights.” Homophobic behavior can range from telling jokes about lesbians and gay men to verbal abuse and even acts of physical violence.
So, from kindergarten, this highly politicized vision of sex and gender will be mainlined into the minds of the state’s public schoolchildren. The Daily Caller‘s piece was misleading, and again, I apologize for not checking it more closely, and thank the readers who followed the link I provided to the state document, and corrected me.
But this is still a radical project of social engineering. They’re capturing the minds of the very young. If you are a traditionalist Christian, you may teach your children that what their school teaches them about sex and gender is false, but do you really think that’s going to be enough to protect them from what their peer group says?