How To Screw With A Kid’s Head
A reader in Washington DC passes along some information about a super-woke public charter school in the city. Lee Montessori is a Washington DC public charter school with two campuses. It combines Montessori pedagogy with progressive values, offering “ABAR” (Anti-Bias, Anti-Racist) education. It’s worth dwelling on this material to understand just how profoundly schools like this are scrambling the minds of little children. My source said that earlier this year, Lee sent out a description of curriculum goals for kids studying there that included making the kids “queer-affirming” — that is, building a world in which “heteronormative” thinking doesn’t exist; and “disrupting the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure.”
This school serves children aged three to 10. One of the two campuses is in Anacostia, a part of the city that is traditionally poor and black.
Here’s something the school’s Director of Equity sent out to parents more recently:
Gender Identity = Anti-Bias Practices
Good Afternoon Lee Families,
I hope you all had a restful weekend and that you got to enjoy the beautiful weather we were gifted by mother earth. Many families have been asking several questions, in regards to gender identity as a whole; specifically when it was reflected and amplified in our Black History Month curriculum. Our commitment and stance around gender identity development about being that safe space where all of our students can show up as their authentic selves. Reminder: “We exist to create a more just and liberated world.”
As a school that embeds ABAR practices, Equity, and SEL into our Montessori education, we are committed to embracing each and every one of our students (honoring the whole child). Lee Montessori is an identity-affirming school that believes that building gender-diverse and inclusive school environments enhance socio-emotional relationships among children, families, and our staff. Families have been asking, how did we decide to focus on identity development? We decided to focus on positive identity development, as it is the first goal of abar education (see the graphic below for all abar goals). A positive sense of identity is crucial to the development of self-esteem and confidence. Children who feel worthy and capable are more likely to be optimistic and to do well in school. A healthy sense of identity also helps children to be more open to people from other backgrounds and identities because they are less likely to fear differences or put other children down to feel better about themselves.
Overall, inclusive environments support wellness, academic achievement, growth, and development for all the children we currently serve and will serve in the future. One of our top priorities at Lee is that every child feels safe (mentally, physically, and psychologically) and that they belong no matter their intersecting identities. ABAR education aims to be a proactive approach that is capable of giving our students the tools they need to be advocates for themselves and others while having accurate language as part of their learning. Gender identity development is for everyone; it’s about empathy and respect for one another.
We often hear, “stop indoctrinating our child!” or “are you trying to make my child confused?” or “why are you trying to make my child gay?”. Our response, none of the above. What we are trying to do is provide students with windows and mirrors, teach them that diversity in our community shows up in many forms not just racially, and overall becoming listening leaders and models for our students. We will not tell students who they are, we will listen and honor who they tell us they are; we will let them decide for themselves. Gender identity is not about “ex. sex education for primary students”, it’s about learning about concepts and really breaking away from societal norms around gender roles (of course at the age-appropriate level). One example I always share is the one where my son had long hair until he was age 6 and was constantly called a girl for having long hair. It made me uncomfortable because as a parent we want our children to feel affirmed and understood. My son and his dad both had very long hair at the time because they would donate their hair to children with cancer. But the miseducation, ignorance, and social norms/roles just saw them as trying to be “feminine” and not just a boy and his dad with long hair (that at times is cultural). We often make erroneous assumptions and misconceptions of people’s identities, instead of just respecting who they are and how they show up. Our words and actions can be hurtful to people, we are no longer focused on intentions but the impact our actions have on others.
At Lee, we honor, respect, and understand that many families may not agree with our approach, but we will not oppress anyone to make others feel comfortable. Our commitment is to ensure that each family is welcomed and has a sense of belonging; our differences make us the amazing community that we are. We of course will always welcome feedback to find common ground, best practices, and resources that will help us move this work together. We value each and every family in our school community. In order to help you and your family have conversations at home, I am sharing some helpful resources. If you have others that should be included, please add them to the comment section. See the graphics below to help you better understand what topics fall under anti-bias education; as well as shared language around diversity, equity, and inclusion. We are planning to provide family education sessions as part of Lee Family University, more details to come.
“Range of gender identities” by Amaze.org (video)
“Help kids learn about gender [with Scoops & Friends]” by https://amaze.org/jr/ (video)
“Gender Diversity and LGBTQ Inclusion in K-12 Schools by Sharon Verner Chappell, Karyl E. Ketchum, Lisa Richardson (Book)’
“Lee Montessori ABAR primary curriculum booklet” shared with the school community in Dec. 2020 newsletter
In service and truth,
Director of Equity & Engagement
The letter features these explanatory images beneath Romero’s sign-off:
Let’s have a look at the “Range Of Gender Identities” video that Lee Montessori wants families to use. It’s only three minutes — take a look:
It features an older black uncle who doesn’t understand that there are more than two genders, and who is educated out of his ignorance by his young family members. I wonder what the parents of kids studying at Lee’s campus in Anacostia think of this.
Here is a link to Lee Montessori’s family guide to explain ABAR (Anti-Bias, Anti-Racist) education. This is the kind of thing with which they are filling the heads of children ages three to 10. Below, a glimpse.
Why would you do this to children? Why would you want your child to go through this kind of bizarro brainwashing? What kind of pseudo-religion is this?