Kindergarteners and other elementary-aged students in California’s public schools will be taught to reject “gender stereotypes” – such as about clothing, colors and toys – and to accept transgenderism as normative if proposed health guidelines are approved.
There would be no opt-out option for parents.
One recommended book in the guidelines tells the story of a boy who wants to be a princess. Another recommended book teaches students there are at least 15 genders. That same book also tells children it’s impossible to know if a baby is a boy or a girl.
The guidelines are part of the California Department of Education’s proposed Health Education Framework.
“Discuss gender with kindergarteners by exploring gender stereotypes and asking open-ended questions, such as what are preferred colors, toys, and activities for boys/girls, and then challenging stereotypes if presented,” chapter three of the proposed guidelines reads. “Throughout this discussion, show images of children around the same age who do not conform to typical gender stereotypes. Examples do not have to be exaggerated or overt. Simple differences, such as colors or toy preferences, can demonstrate acceptance of gender non-conformity.”
Details about the guidelines were first reported by Brenda Lebsack at EdSource.org. She is a member of the Orange Unified School District board of education in Orange County.
“While students may not fully understand the concepts of gender expression and identity,” the guidelines state, “some children in kindergarten and even younger have identified as transgender or understand they have a gender identity that is different from their sex assigned at birth. This may present itself in different ways including dress, activity preferences, experimenting with dramatic play, and feeling uncomfortable self-identifying with their sex assigned at birth.”
One recommended children’s book in the guidelines is My Princess Boy by author Cheryl Kilodavis. The guidelines call it an “an age-appropriate book that can be used to demonstrate gender differences and inclusion.”
Another recommended children’s book is Who Are You?: The Kids Guide to Gender Identity by author Brook Pessin‐Whedbee. The colorful book defines gender as “boy, girl, both, neither, trans, genderqueer, non-binary, gender fluid, transgender, gender neutral, agender, neutrois, bigender, third gender, two spirit….” All total, 15 possible genders are listed. The book says parents don’t know if a baby is a boy or a girl at birth. “Babies can’t talk, so grown-ups make a guess by looking at their bodies,” it reads.
California last revamped its health education framework was 2002. The State Board of Education will consider adopting the new framework in May, Lebsack said.
“This framework will potentially have more impact on parents, schools and our culture in general than any other adopted in the past,” she wrote.
Parents will not have the opportunity to opt their children out of the classes, Lebsack added. That’s because unlike sexual health education – which has an opt-out – materials that discuss gender, sexual orientation or family life are considered normative education.
R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., said parents likely will be considered more the “problem” than “the solution” in debate over the proposal.
“There are many who argue that the role of the public schools is to correct the religious prejudices that children are likely to encounter in their homes,” Mohler said during the Jan. 15 edition of The Briefing. “… Parents in California and elsewhere cannot say you were not warned.”
Michael Foust is a freelance writer. Visit his blog, MichaelFoust.com.
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