Articles About 1619 Project, Critical Race Theory, Gender Re-Education of Children
May 26, 2022
Articles About 1619 Project, Critical Race Theory, Gender Re-Education of Children
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What is the 1619 Project and why is it so controversial?
The essay criticized the way American history is taught in schools by claiming that the country talked about liberty and equality at a time when hundreds of thousands of African slaves were not free or equal.
- In 2019, “The Idea of America,” an essay by Nikole Hannah-Jones, was published in The New York Times.
- The essay criticized the way American history is taught in schools by claiming that the country talked about liberty and equality at a time when hundreds of thousands of African slaves were not free or equal.
- The 1619 Project, which included the essay written by Hannah-Jones, is now being used by schools around the country as part of their curriculum.
- The project reexamines many respected American figures, including the founding fathers and Abraham Lincoln. It specifically criticizes their response to the slave trade and issues related to Black equality.
- Now, two years after the release of the project, Republican lawmakers want to ban the 1619 Project from schools.
What exactly is the 1619 Project?
- The project takes its name from the year that a ship to Virginia carrying African slaves supposedly arrived in the US, an event the project calls “the moment [America] began.”
- Jake Silverstein, the editor of the project, explained that the goal was “to reframe American history” and “place the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of the story we tell ourselves about who we are as a country.”
- The project has come under intense scrutiny, particularly from Republicans who argue that some of the claims made by the project aren’t correct.
- Though some of the criticism was political, many academic historians pointed out inaccuracies with the articles published in the project.
- One of the project’s central ideas is that the founding fathers wanted to be independent from Britain so that slavery could continue.
- “This is not true,” five historians stated in a letter to The New York Times. “If supportable, the allegation would be astounding—yet every statement offered by the project to validate it is false.”
- Even with this controversy, The Pulitzer Center, a nonprofit based in Washington, DC, created lesson plans and reading guides for classrooms based on the project.
- At the end of 2019, the Pulitzer Center announced that thousands of classrooms were using their materials to “frame discussion of The 1619 Project.”
What have Republicans said?
- On April 29, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and 38 other Republicans sent a letter to the Secretary of Education, Miguel Cardona, calling the project “propaganda.”
- Three bills were recently introduced by state legislators in Arkansas, Iowa and Mississippi. These legislators argue that the lessons and the project itself misrepresent America’s history.
- The Arkansas and Mississippi bills call the 1619 Project “a racially divisive and revisionist account” while the Iowa bill says that it “attempts to deny or obfuscate the fundamental principles upon which the United States was founded.”
- If passed, these bills would mean that school districts that use the curriculum within those states would lose part of their funding.
What was Hannah-Jones’ and the Pulitzer Center’s response?
- In an interview on MSNBC, Hannah-Jones responded by saying, “the truth is too difficult for apparently our nation to bear and that we’re far too fragile to be able to withstand the scrutiny of the truth.”
- Mark Schulte, the chief executive officer of the Pulitzer Center, believes that Republicans who want to ban the project from being used in schools don’t understand its purpose.
- “It’s deliberately provocative,” said Schulte. “It’s the kind of thing teachers love, because it gets students thinking, it gets them debating.”
The Real Goals of “The 1619 Project
From Frederick Douglass to Martin Luther King Jr., many Americans have tried to bridge America’s racial divide. America’s newspaper of record believes it has discovered a new way.
No longer preaching faith in the Constitution or civic brotherhood, the New York Times hopes that—by creating enough hatred for the nation’s founding, its ideals, and for America’s majority group—justice and harmony will somehow emerge. This, anyway, is the idea behind its “1619 Project.”
Its lead essay, written by activist Nicole Hannah-Jones, falsifies important parts of American history with a view to engineering this new approach. While it has been roundly debunked by a chorus of renowned academics for gross factual and thematic inaccuracies, its most outlandish claim is that the American Revolution was fought to protect slavery. The preeminent historian of the American Revolution, Gordon Wood, points out that he does not know “of any colonist who said that they wanted independence in order to preserve their slaves.” Nor does anyone else. There is no historical record.
After months of embarrassing criticism, the Times finally issued a non-apology apology, which it comically calls an “Update.” What looks like a redaction is really a hardening of their original position—for they “still stand behind the basic point.”
Had the Times simply admitted its many errors, it could have begun to claw back what remains of its reputation for honest journalism. But it will not retract or apologize.
No longer really a newspaper, the Times more and more represents the postmodern age of propaganda; its goals of moral and political transformation, distinct from honest reporting, are barely hidden. And the 1619 Project seems to have at least three such goals.
Get Them When They’re Young
For at least a generation, many colleges and universities have taught students that America fundamentally is a white supremacist regime in need of deconstruction. By offering an accompanying school curricula, the 1619 Project explicitly targets middle- and high-schoolers, so far largely untouched by this propaganda. But since the 1619 Project’s publication last August, tens of thousands of students in all 50 states have been taught parts of its curriculum.
Last month, the administrators of Buffalo Public Schools announced their district will “infuse 1619 Project resources into the mainstream English and Social Studies … at grades 7-12.” Montgomery County, Maryland, and Chicago Public Schools have followed. Others will join them soon.
The overriding lesson is clear: young people must learn to despise their nation—its Constitution, ideals, economic system, and its Founders. They must resent and reject their past; possess an aggressive, contemptuous, and disobedient attitude toward the present; and strive forcefully to create a triumphant future where the enemies of old are punished, and the innocent finally rule. Teaching young people that they have no country, that there is neither God nor justice, but only their own anger to right wrongs, leads not to civilized self-rule, but to fanaticism and self-destruction.
Hannah-Jones has spoken openly about the project’s second goal: “When my editor asks me, like, what’s your ultimate goal for the project, my ultimate goal is that there’ll be a reparations bill passed.”
In other words, as Americans learn to despise their country and their fellow citizens, they should demand a moral buyout, where moral debts are settled in cash. Of course, remaining unanswered is what will happen when neither equality nor moral wholeness emerges as a result of cash transfers?
Identity Politics Über Alles
But the real goal of the project, as Hannah-Jones explains, is to get “white people to give up whiteness.” This statement appears opaque at first, but follows the unmistakable logic of identity politics. Getting rid of “whiteness” means that whites must stop thinking of themselves as a group. To accomplish this, they must learn (or be compelled) to practice unreflective deference to the morally innocent—the marginalized. This means #believingher without facts, or taking the victim’s self-styled narrative (like the 1619 Project) as sacred and beyond rational scrutiny. As “whiteness” dissolves, however, all other marginalized groups must adhere even more strongly to their own group identities.
Since this final goal will surely require more than just propaganda, Hannah-Jones settles for reparations as a second-best arrangement. Obtaining reparations, after all, is “more realistic than, like, can we get white Americans to stop being white,” she notes. Nevertheless, Hannah-Jones seems to think that both reparations and the dissolution of whiteness should be attempted, even if neither is likely to occur.
America’s liberal elites, represented by and educated in the moral fashions of the Times, are remarkably short-sighted. It is not difficult to see that a new spirit of vengeance created by such “journalism” will lead neither to political stability nor to justice. Nor is it difficult to see why mainstream journalism has rightly fallen out of public favor.
This piece originally appeared in American Greatness.
WHAT IS CRITICAL RACE THEORY?
In order to understand the problem of Critical Race Training in Higher Education, parents and students need to understand what Critical Race Theory is and how it is implemented. As discussed below, Critical Race Theory is not the traditional civil rights movement, which sought to provide equal opportunity and dignity without regard to race. Rather, Critical Race Theory, and the training to implement it, is a radical ideology that focuses on race as the key to understanding society, and objectifies people based on race.
What is Critical Race Theory?
An outgrowth of the European Marxist school of critical theory, critical race theory is an academic movement which seeks to link racism, race, and power. Unlike the Civil Rights movement, which sought to work within the structures of American democracy, critical race theorists challenge the very foundations of the liberal order, such as rationalism, constitutional law, and legal reasoning. Critical race theorists argue that American social life, political structures, and economic systems are founded upon race, which (in their view) is a social construct.
Systemic racism, in the eyes of critical race theorists, stems from the dominance of race in American life. Critical race theorists and anti-racist advocates argue that, because race is a predominant part of American life, racism itself has become internalized into the American conscience. It is because of this, they argue, that there have been significantly different legal and economic outcomes between different racial groups.
What are the implications of Critical Race Theory?
Advocates of anti-racism and critical race theory use this focus on race to emphasize the importance of identity politics. Movements, such as the wave of “anti-racist” actions at universities and Black Lives Matter, are some ways in which identity politics and critical race theory have captured the nation’s attention. For the political identitarians, simply not being racist is not sufficient. As Boston University professor Ibram X. Kendi writes in his book How to Be an Antiracist, “[Racism] is descriptive, and the only way to undo racism is to consistently identify and describe it—and then dismantle it,” (p. 9).
Self-avowed anti-racists are not only expected to push for equity (i.e. the equality of outcome) in the broader society, but are also asked to find racism in daily life. Robin DiAngelo, author of White Fragility, writes, “The question is not ‘did racism take place?’ but rather, ‘how did racism manifest in this situation?”’ Anti-racists must find these “implicit biases” in all aspects of life, ranging from discussions in the classroom to interactions between colleagues. All of these are fair game.
How is Critical Race Theory Applied in the Classroom?
In the wake of the death of George Floyd and the subsequent Black Lives Matter protests, multiple universities have responded to campus activists and outside groups demanding anti-racist actions be taken. Colleges and universities have responded in nine different ways:
Changing Admissions Policies – In an effort to ensure greater equality of outcome, several universities have taken steps to make their admissions processes more “equitable”. These actions can range from scrapping standardized tests to adding a diversity/equity scorecard to applications.
Implementing Anti-Racism, Bias, and Diversity Training – To get students, faculty, and staff to understand their “implicit biases”, institutions have required them to undergo some form of training, ranging from small group orientations to full-blown classes.
Changing Curriculum Requirements – Critical race theorists need to expose the broader public to the supposed racial biases imbued in long-standing institutions. To do this at the collegiate level, advocates have been pushing for changes in the undergraduate curriculum, ranging from a mandatory class on anti-racism to forcing instructors to embed anti-racist ideology in their class material.
Instituting Disciplinary Measures – University administrators have taken steps to clamp down on academic freedom, revising their codes of conduct and commitments to academic freedom by inserting vague language on “hate speech” and “racist language”, among other measures.
Politically Supporting Anti-Racist Activism – Institutions have either donated money to political groups, like local Black Lives Matter chapters, or re-directed students to politically-biased organizations in an effort to placate campus activists.
Funding Critical Race Theory Programs and Research – Institutions have poured in thousands, if not millions, of dollars into research on critical race theory and racism, ranging from grants and fellowships to new “anti-racist” institutes.
“Re-imagining” Policing – In response to campus protests, university administrators have taken steps to either disarm or defund their police departments, often replacing them with unarmed officers or mental health workers.
Providing Anti-Racist Resources – Universities have compiled lists of resources, often making books like How to be an Antiracist and White Fragility free for students, as well as live programming for anti-racist initiatives.
Taking “Symbolic” Actions – Some institutions have not yet taken substantive action to mandate curricular changes or fund critical race theory research. However, they have started anti-racist “action committees” or renamed supposedly offensive buildings to placate the demands of students.
Critical Race Theory and Small-Town America
Pickens County, S.C., is home to the college football powerhouse Clemson University. Any headlines about this county, all 512-square miles of it, usually involve the Tigers. But like so many other small hamlets across the U.S., critical race theorists have dragged Pickens’ K-12 school system into the spotlight.
In April, Pickens Middle School officials sent a letter to school parents saying that children would be segregated by race for lunch on April 15th. The racial segregation would be part of a program to help students “cope with being a student in a predominantly white school,” according to the message school leaders sent to parents.
Critical race theorists are making their message that everything in public and private life represents a racial power struggle ubiquitous in K-12 institutions. As I explain in my book, Splintered: Critical Race Theory and the Progressive War on Truth, parents around the country are reporting similar racially-focused lessons and school programs in their schools.
For example, Scarlett Johnson describes her town in Wisconsin’s Mequon-Thiensville School District as “quiet, friendly, nice.” But then she began noticing lesson plans and other activities that did not focus on skills and facts but on personal “identity” and claims that America is systemically oppressive. Much of the material was “focused on making kids social justice warriors,” Scarlett says.
Scarlett launched a campaign to recall her district’s school board members. Shortly after the campaign launched, she found herself the object of a New York Times’ feature claiming “Republicans are using fears of critical race theory to drive school board recalls.”
>>> A Critical Look at Critical Race Theory in America’s Classrooms
Really? In a survey of the literature describing the ways in which critical race theory is used in K-12 schools, two University of Utah professors who promote the theory wrote in 2015:
Within the span of the last two decades, critical race theory (CRT) has become an increasingly permanent fixture in the toolkit of education researchers seeking to critically examine educational opportunities, school climate, representation, and pedagogy, to name a few.
The professors then added, “CRT has evolved into a type of revolutionary project…. [W]e owe it to ourselves, and others, to help safeguard CRT.”
By the theorists’ own admission, then, parents are not just imagining that critical race theory haunts school lessons. In response, parents such as Scarlett are leading school board recall efforts to protect children from discrimination. Advocacy groups such as Parents Defending Education are reporting activities such as those at Pickens Middle School to the Office of Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education and filing lawsuits arguing that districts such as Pickens are violating the Civil Rights Act.
Meanwhile, state lawmakers are introducing proposals that say no teacher or student should be compelled to affirm or believe any idea, but especially not ideas that violate federal or state civil rights laws.
Before dismissing such proposals as attempts to prevent white students from feeling “discomfort,” parents, taxpayers and members of the media should look closer at what critical race theorists are claiming—and what the theory inevitably causes: Discrimination. Those who claim parents are simply creating things to be afraid of should be ashamed that any child would face bias and prejudice, in school or out of school.
How public schools brainwash young kids with harmful transgender ideology
By Betsy McCaughey
December 22, 2021
Militant transgender advocates are imposing their agenda with uncompromising zeal on schoolchildren.
That’s fine with President Joe Biden. His administration announced this month that by April, it will enhance the legal entitlements of transgender public-school students, with new guarantees regarding access to bathrooms, locker rooms and sports competitions.
These issues grab the headlines, but they’re less harmful to most students than the damage being done by the distortion of the school curriculum. From the youngest age, students are being brainwashed with gender ideology.
Children — as young as 5 — are being encouraged to disregard their anatomy and choose their gender based on their feelings.
Last week, a California mother raged at the Spreckels Union School District board for allowing teachers to coach her 12-year-old daughter on becoming a boy, choosing a boy’s name and hiding the plan from the family.
A book school libraries offer for kids ages 4 to 8 reads, “This is Ruthie. She is a transgender girl. That means when she was born everyone thought she was a boy. Until she grew a little older — old enough to tell everyone that she’s actually a girl.”
Gender dysphoria — a rare medical condition that makes people feel mismatched with their sexual anatomy — occurs in about 0.6 percent of the adult population, according to the UCLA School of Law’s Williams Institute. Anyone afflicted should be treated with kindness and offered medical help.
It first appears in childhood, but with so few children affected, the curriculum should not be distorted for everyone. Elementary-school teachers are putting words on the blackboard like “nonbinary” and “transgender” even before kids have learned multiplication.
But Maine’s Department of Education reports that between 13 percent and 18 percent of public high-school students say they’re “lesbian, gay, bisexual or unsure” of their sexual identity. It’s no wonder when the curriculum programs them to doubt their identity. In school it’s cool to be anything but heterosexual.
Maine requires public-school teachers to explore the achievements of LGBTQ+ individuals, not just in health class but also in history and social studies. That’s indoctrination since teachers are not asked to do the same for the celibate, for example.
This indoctrination offends many Christian and Jewish parents. Most Christians say that whether someone is a man or woman is determined by their sex at birth, according to Pew Foundation research (which did not cover Muslims, who’d likely agree), while agnostics and atheists are more likely to go along with gender ideology. In the document “Male and Female He Created Them,” the Vatican rejects gender ideology.
Public schools shouldn’t be taking sides. But in Maine, and many other states, they are.
On Dec. 8, when the US Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case involving Maine’s public schools, the state’s attorney, Christopher Taub, insisted that they’re “religiously neutral.” That’s a laugh.
Justice Samuel Alito was skeptical, asking Taub if he’d say that about schools that teach critical race theory. Taub ducked the question. Alito would have been even more on the mark asking about Maine’s transgender curriculum. It’s the left’s new religion, and there’s nothing neutral about it.
Where do parents go for help stopping this propagandizing? Sorry, not to the American Civil Liberties Union, despite its century-long record protecting the free exercise of religion. Lately, the ACLU has demoted religious rights, putting them below transgender rights. The ACLU declares that “religion is being used as an excuse to discriminate against others.”
The International Olympic Committee is also kowtowing to transgender apostles. Last month, the IOC announced it’s recommending eliminating any tests whatsoever — including of testosterone levels — for transgender athletes to compete in women’s events. Fairness be damned.
Don’t count on Biden. He’s already told the transgender crowd that “your president has your back.” His administration is unlikely to strike a middle ground that respects the majority as well as the transgender minority.
Truth is, if students are to be educated, rather than indoctrinated, parents will have to stand up to the transgender militants. No one else has the nerve.
Betsy McCaughey is a former lieutenant governor of New York.
Teaching Transgender Doctrine In Schools – “A Bizarre Educational Experiment”
Teaching transgender doctrine in schools is set to reach new heights in the New Year with the publication of a guidebook which advises teachers not to call girls and boys “girls and boys.” Children are also to be indoctrinated into Gender Identity and Queer theory via a whole new lexicon of made-up words to stop them thinking in terms of two sexes, but coach them into the belief that nothing is real except personal “identity.”
The guidebook, distributed by a government-funded organisation called ‘Educate and Celebrate’ and endorsed by Ofsted, is entitled Can I Tell You About Gender Diversity? but of course it teaches the opposite of diversity. In the words of the publishers, this is the first book “to explain medical transitioning for children aged seven and above.” The story of a fictional 12 year-old girl ‘transitioning’ into a “boy” (although without the language of “girl” and “boy” we can’t really name this) suggests that diversity is not to be celebrated but medicalised by changing sex and thus replacing non-conformity to one stereotype with conformity to the opposite sex stereotype. The possibility of diversity without medication is not entertained. This is very subtle brainwashing of children that non-conformity to sex stereotypes is a problem which needs fixing, under the guise of accepting and celebrating difference.
And although biological sex is seemingly irrelevant to whether you are a girl or a boy, it is your biological sex characteristics which must be prevented from developing and then cosmetically changed into the opposite sex characteristics through synthetic cross-sex hormones for life and possible surgery (almost inevitable for girls), with infertility as collateral damage. Through its financial backing the government is helping to promote unnecessary, harmful, non-evidence-based medical intervention on the healthy bodies of children in service of an ideology which demands nothing less than we all believe that words no longer mean anything.
The obfuscating language used in the excerpt above is typical of every transgender activist organisation: first establish the term “gender” to obscure the reality that girls and boys are actually two sexes, female and male, not two genders. Next, use the ploy of meshing “trans” and “gender-variant” kids into one group as if it’s all the same thing. All trans activist organisations do this: asserting that it’s the “trans and gender-variant kids” or “trans and gender non-conforming kids” they seek to “protect.” Using the word “gender” hides the fact that you are promoting sex-change to kids and by conflating “gender” with “sex” you are calculatedly redefining the non-conforming kids as literally somewhere between biologically male and biologically female, or no sex at all. In one go, you wipe out biological sex as the reality at the same time as welding the concept of non-conformity to the sexed body in children’s minds.
Can there be any way of interpreting this other than as a cynical ploy to get the “gender-variant” kids to start wondering whether they are really transgender and in need of “gender reassignment”?
Children can have no idea that in using the newly-introduced words in the guidebook they are expressing allegiance to the new political ideology of identity, nor any knowledge that language-policing is a form of thought-control. No child realises that by accepting the term “cisgender” they are implicitly changing the fundamental meaning of the words “boy” and “girl” and girls in particular can have no idea they are being coerced into willingly identifying as the subjugated gender and losing the right to define themselves as the female sex. The new words represent beliefs which children should not be manipulated into subscribing to before they know what they are really saying.
The founder of the organisation Educate and Celebrate (which according to the Daily Mail goes into ‘hundreds of schools’) is Elly Barnes, who has been awarded an OBE for her contribution to ‘education, equality and diversity.’ She explains: ‘Not everyone identifies as male or female – that is fact.’ In the booklet a “transman” is described as someone who was born female but “identifies” as male. What is ‘fact’ is that ‘male’ and ‘female’ are not ‘identities’ but biological realities and it is impossible to change from one to the other; sex is impervious to the efforts of ‘identity.’
In the same week, we hear that the number of children and adolescents contacting Childline with “gender identity” confusion has more than doubled this year, from 1,299 in 2014 -15 to 2,796 during 2015-16, mostly from children aged 12 – 15. And once again, the experts have no idea why this might be. Emily Cherry, head of children and young people participation at the NSPCC says:
“I don’t think we can be clear in why there is a big increase in the number of calls. I think we’re slowly trying to talk more openly about trans issues.”
Children are being taught in schools that it’s their “gender identity” and not their biology which makes them male or female. By teaching them that this “gender identity” is their “authentic self,” disassociated from the body, we are actively training children into a state of “gender dysphoria” as the normal. What do we really expect to happen? If a girl has interests that society is already telling her are “for boys” and she learns that how she feels is the critera by which she should judge whether she’s a boy or a girl, what conclusion is she supposed to reach, other than “maybe I’m really a boy”?
No generation of children before this one has been taught an ideology in place of facts in an area so fundamental to how they understand themselves. We can expect to see the number of frightened and confused children who contact Childline continuing to increase; we are creating them. And once they do seek help, Childline will just give them more of the same ideology.
If you doubt how much the transgender doctrine has infiltrated the UK education system already, the following account makes it abundantly clear. This guest post was written by a supply teacher who contacted us recently and has asked to remain anonymous for fear of losing her job. We are very grateful to her for recording her experience and allowing us to publish it here:
All in a day’s teaching
As a supply teacher, I get to teach in many different secondary schools when a teacher is off sick or on maternity leave. The main subjects I teach are Religious Education, now often called PHSE, Citizenship or ethics. As a qualified RE teacher I am usually left to prepare my own lessons for students.
This year I taught in several schools that asked me to include lessons on Transgender as part of the syllabus. I am used to schools asking me to include special lessons on, for example, smoking, drugs, financial management, career options etc. Sometimes material is provided but usually I am asked to make my own lesson resources. The last school I taught in I was given 3 lessons on Transgender issues to include as part of the syllabus. The content of these lessons made me feel very uneasy.
The three lessons I was asked to deliver were like something from the 50’s in terms of gender stereotypes. Slick animations showed diagrams of boys with mainly blue brains and girls with mainly pink brains. Amongst these pink and blue-brained figures were a minority of boys with pink brains and girls with blue brains. A video interview with a doctor explained that sometimes biology gets it wrong and a boy or a girl will be born with the “wrong” brain in the “wrong” body. But, now it is all ok because medical science can “fix” this and put the right brain in the right body. Interviews with happy trans kids who had taken drugs to stop puberty and were awaiting “gender reassignment” surgery made the whole thing look perfectly ordinary.
The lesson continued with explanatory diagrams and explanations about how easy it is to change sex now. Any child who thinks their problems are a result of their being in the “wrong” body is encouraged to explore gender reassignment as a possible solution. There was no mention of any side effects or of the long-term consequences of taking such an important step.
Normally at the end of a controversial lesson, students are keen to debate the issues. RE lessons are often lively as the syllabus includes lessons on capital punishment, alcohol, war, abortion, drugs, racism etc. Both sides are always presented. What was different about this lesson was that no opposing views were included in the material provided. There was no chance to debate the issues in any meaningful way. Unproven theories such as males having blue brains and females having pink brains were presented as scientific fact. Consequently, there were no questions at the end of the lesson, just a stunned silence. I wanted to encourage the students to think critically about the issues but the time and material given made no allowance for that. I was also very aware that any attempt to challenge the carefully prepared message could lead to my dismissal.
I spoke to several other teachers who explained that they had had a training day earlier in the year when a transgender person had come into the school and told them how they should behave with young people questioning their gender and what the main issues were. There was no debate about whether this should or should not be included in the syllabus, it was simply “this is what will be taught from now on”. Several teachers told me they did not feel comfortable about teaching these lessons to year 7 pupils (aged about 11) but they did not feel they could speak out for fear of being labeled transphobic or worse, losing their jobs.
These lessons are now part of the syllabus in most secondary schools I have taught in. I wonder if parents are aware of this. I wonder if this is perhaps the reason there are now so many more young people presenting for gender reassignment. The year 7 pupils I taught these lessons to had probably never thought of it before, but they certainly will now. I wonder how many young people going through the normal angst and worry of adolescence have been encouraged by well meaning adults into believing the root of perfectly ordinary problems lie in their being born into the “wrong” body.
The whole thing felt like a well-funded dangerous social and medical experiment. We do not know the long-term consequences of such medical treatments yet young people are being encouraged to see it as perfectly normal to change sex. I wonder if this will be the next child abuse scandal in 20 years time as these children realise they are unable to reverse an ill-informed decision made before puberty. As a teacher of 10 years I know how squeezed in-school teacher CPD training is. The one or two days teachers get a year are usually about curriculum changes or important whole school initiatives. Yet schools are giving precious days of training to this bizarre educational experiment.
The Radical Reshaping of K-12 Public Education: Gender Redefinition and Self-Selection
By Dr. Keri D. Ingraham
Dr. Keri D. Ingraham is a Fellow at Discovery Institute and Director of the Institute’s American Center for Transforming Education.
Extreme ideologies are quickly taking root in U.S. K-12 public schools through new school policies, practices, and curriculums — with devastating effects on students. Unfortunately, Americans are mainly turning a blind eye instead of speaking up against political and social indoctrination that threatens our children’s education and the very fabric of our nation.
One radical development is in the area of sex/gender. Although the terms historically have been used interchangeably, a shift has occurred in recent decades, with sex primarily referring to a biological category or anatomy and gender referring to people’s thoughts or feelings about who they are. Over the past several years, schools have increasingly embraced the cultural redefinition of gender — from male and female to a host of created alternatives. Despite the biological reality of only two distinct sexes, schools embrace, and in some cases actively promote, students questioning and then self-selecting their gender based upon how they feel.
The Gender Unicorn
Starting as early as preschool and kindergarten, taxpayer money is funding radical sex education content. Just one example is the Gender Unicorn (an iteration of the Genderbread Person), a purple cartoon image featuring hearts and rainbows. Adopted in 2016 by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school district in Charlotte, North Carolina, Gender Unicorn use has spread nationwide and into Canada. The Washington State ASCD Curriculum in Context Spring/Summer 2020 lists the Gender Unicorn as one of several “educational materials” for teachers. The Alberta Teacher’s Association includes the Gender Unicorn in their 152-page teacher toolkit aimed at cultivating LBGTQ-inclusive classrooms.
The character is designed to look endearing to young children, similar to the popular Barney or Boz. But this unicorn walks students through self-selecting their gender identity, their gender expression, the gender they’re physically attracted to, and the gender they’re emotionally attracted to. Each option includes not only categories such as women/men and feminine/masculine but also “other.” Even their “sex assigned at birth” is open to interpretation — it includes female and male but also “other/intersex.”
According to Ely Sanders, the Sexual Health and School Health Specialist for the Oregon Department of Education, “We have more and more kindergartners coming out and identifying.” Show young students the purple unicorn and ask them to choose from various options, and you’ll undoubtedly receive all sorts of interesting answers. Talk to any five-year-old for 10 minutes, and you will be entertained and likely given misinformation on any number of topics. But without prompting or exposure to these concepts from adults, young students would surely not form the suggested conclusions.
Most kindergarteners don’t know how to read, tie their shoes, or recite their home address. But instead of teaching the academic basics, schools are now actively promoting identity confusion, emotional harm, and insecurity — negative impacts that last a lifetime. It’s no wonder that child and adolescent mental health issues are on a steep rise when students are taught to question their own identity and select from an ever-growing list of confusing options.
Meanwhile, parents are widely uninformed about what’s occurring in classrooms related to this material. For example, a concerned parent of a second-grade student in Oregon reached out to the teacher after her child was exposed to the Genderbread Person without any prior communication. (Tragically, the teaching of gender identity and fluidity and other LGBTQ concepts in social studies and science often comes with no warning or option for parents to opt out their students). Her concerns were dismissed, and the request for a meeting with the teacher to discuss the issue was denied. Instead, the teacher directed the parent to the principal, who responded that gender identity is something our society historically has failed to address and claimed that it is a positive development that students are being taught about this topic now.
Furthermore, the principal said gender identity teaching could occur throughout the school year in all subject areas. While Oregon allows opting out in health classes, that option does not apply to non-health classes. This deceptive strategy by the school evidently meets the letter of the law by providing parent communication and opt-out privileges regarding “sensitive health content.” But it clearly violates the spirit of the law and circumvents parental control over preventing the indoctrination of their children.
Another example of this type of indoctrination occurred in Bethel School District in Washington State. Recently students were assigned to complete a survey related to COVID-19, in which students in grades six to 12 (i.e., as young as 10 years old) were asked to select their gender. Options included “male, female, transgender, questioning/not sure of my gender identity, or something else that fits better.” Next, the survey asked students to indicate their sexual orientation from the provided options: heterosexual, gay, lesbian, or “something else that fits better.” Parents were not informed of the survey content, which plants seeds of sexual orientation gender identity confusion. When questioned, the district spokesperson refused to respond other than to pass the buck, saying people could talk to the survey creators. One Washington parent fittingly asked, “Is the state’s intent to inject transgender and hyper-sexuality into everything they do?”
The indoctrination of the young doesn’t end in elementary classrooms. Students of all ages are not only allowed but encouraged to use the school bathroom of their choosing: boys or girls, men or women, male or female. And in the name of “safety,” an increasing number of districts restrict faculty and staff from entering these student bathrooms to ensure nothing inappropriate or unsafe occurs.
This policy defies common sense. Anyone who has gone to school knows that bathrooms have always been a prime place for student misbehavior — cheating, bullying, drinking, doing and selling drugs, and more. Obviously, those making mischief fervently hoped that teachers and administrators wouldn’t barge in and put a stop to their activities. Imagine how bad things could get now that students know adults cannot enter the bathrooms. With zero supervision, a boy can walk into a girls’ bathroom at any time, stay as long as he wants, do what he wants — all without fear of an adult stopping him. One would think that the legal liability schools would be subject to from this kind of policy would give them pause. But clearly, in today’s schools, political correctness and ideology supersede protecting students and following common sense.
The same logic that gives ideology supremacy over all else also applies to locker rooms. Even changing clothes for P.E. class in the presence of same-sex peers can challenge the modesty and comfort level of many preteens and teenagers. Now imagine a locker room that allows students of the opposite sex to enter at will.
To understand how this would feel, imagine trying on a new outfit at the mall in a dressing room void of private stalls and shared with those of the opposite sex. To avoid embarrassment, most of us would risk buying the clothing without trying it on and endure the hassle of returning it if it didn’t fit once we tried it on at home. It’s baffling that many parents are putting up with their children being subjected to such conditions.
Athletic Fields and Arenas
But the madness doesn’t stop there. The new wave of self-selection of one’s gender identity has extended beyond bathrooms and locker rooms to athletic fields and arenas. Boys who describe themselves as transgender are given the opportunity to compete on girls’ athletic teams, which denies opportunities to girls who would otherwise have received positions on teams, playing time, victories, and school records.
Until recently, there has been a nearly universal acknowledgment that the biological differences between male and female bodies make it inappropriate for boys to compete against girls, or men against women, in most sports (there are a few exceptions, such as archery, sailing, and equestrian events, in which the size and strength of men are not necessarily advantageous). But now girls have to prove not only that they are the fastest, strongest, or most skilled female athletes but also that they can beat biological males who choose to identify as female.
Some may think it unlikely that biological boys will choose to compete as girls in high school sports. But the facts prove otherwise. Only 12 states prohibit the practice, while nine have no policy, and 10 states allow it after the transgender athlete has undergone a form of treatment. Nineteen states, plus Washington, D.C., allow it without any restriction related to the athlete’s testosterone level.
Some have gone so far in their advocation for transgender sports that they have lost sight of biological reality. CNN breaking news reporter Devan Cole falls into this category. Cole writes in an article entitled “South Dakota’s governor issues executive order banning transgender athletes from women’s sports” that “It’s not possible to know a person’s gender identity at birth, and there is no consensus criteria for assigning sex at birth.” No consensus criteria for assigning sex at birth? Every baby comes out of the womb with either XY or XX chromosomes and, in all but the rarest of conditions, unequivocally male or female specific body parts. These are plainly observable scientific facts. Cole’s absurd claim went viral, and CNN had no choice but to walk it back.
The Equality Act
The battle is not only being fought at the state level but also the federal one. Should the Equality Act, recently passed by the U.S. House, make it through the Senate, schools that aren’t currently allowing transgender access to bathrooms, locker rooms, and sports teams will likely be forced to implement such measures by federal law. Consequently, students who claim transgender status will be granted almost unrestricted privileges, while the vast majority of students who acknowledge their birth gender will have their rights slashed. As usual, parental consent is nowhere considered in all these fiats. As Douglas Laycock, a law professor at the University of Virginia, aptly warns, the bill goes too far: “It protects the rights of one side, but attempts to destroy the rights of the other side.”
Parental Consent and School Deceit
Parental consent was once a basic requirement for educators — parents were deemed to have the final say regarding what was taught to their elementary, middle, and high school students. No more. Consent is not sought or granted. Instead, school personnel are instructed to deceive parents about what occurs during their student’s school day. Appallingly, these are not one-off situations but united, intentional efforts orchestrated by powerful organizations.
For example, consider Schools in Transition: A Guide for Supporting Transgender Students in K-12 Schools, a jointly produced document of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Human Rights Campaign, Gender Spectrum, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and the National Education Association (NEA). In short, the guide demands that school personnel treat as a boy any girl who identifies as a boy, and as a girl any boy who identifies as a girl. Age, immaturity, and impact on peers are not worth consideration. Instead, the document reads, “A student’s age and maturity — or that of their peers — should never be a basis for denying a transgender student an opportunity to transition.”
It should give the public, especially parents of public school students, great concern when the ACLU gets involved. As attorney Alan Dershowitz observes, the organization “is no longer a neutral defender of everyone’s civil liberties,” but “has morphed into a hyper-partisan, hard-left political advocacy group.” The four activist groups are working in partnership with the largest U.S. teachers union, the NEA (which maintains a tight grip on the reins of teachers’ purse strings) to advance an activist agenda with members who, in turn, incorporate the material into their classrooms.
School administrators label as unsupportive and potentially dangerous parents who do not go along with their child or teen affirming transgender feelings or condoning transgender behavioral choices. The guide says, “Privacy and confidentiality are critically important for transgender students who do not have supportive families. In those situations, even inadvertent disclosures could put the student in a potentially dangerous situation at home, so it is important to have a plan in place to help avoid any mistakes or slip-ups.” In other words, school personnel are instructed to create plans to intentionally withhold information from parents and legal guardians. According to research by Ryan T. Anderson, “They want to set up a school environment so your child or grandchild can transition at school without you knowing about it … to avoid any ‘inadvertent disclosures.’ ”
More specifically, Anderson explains,
You could drop your son off at school at 8:00 a.m., and he would go to the principal’s office where a new wardrobe would be waiting for him. And he could change into a dress, put on nail polish, lipstick, makeup, and spend the day at school presenting as if a girl — be referred to by a new name and with a new pronoun throughout the school day. At the end of the day go back to the principal’s office, change back into his original clothes, take off the makeup, the lipstick, and the nail polish, and be picked up by you, without you ever knowing what is going on at school. They even have a way — and this is what they mean when they say they have a plan in place — to ensure that inside of school they’ll use the new name and the new pronoun but externally when communicating with you, the parents, they will go back to using the given name and the proper pronoun, entirely to undermine your role as parents.
In its subversion of parental rights to oversee the education and care of their children, the overreach and deceit by our public schools is a clear violation of the equal protection requirement of the 14th Amendment. Additionally, it is a violation of the 1974 Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, which grants parents the rights to their children’s school records.
The move to subvert parental rights is not an isolated phenomenon. It is taking place in Montgomery County, Maryland, a Chicago suburb, the Metropolitan School District in Madison, Wisconsin, the New Jersey Department of Education, and the Los Angeles Unified School District, to name a few — and even at a national level through the NEA. Resistance is beginning to form, as the failure of school staff to communicate forthrightly with parents about their children and the disregard for obtaining parental consent have resulted in a handful of sizable court cases with more likely in the future.
Addressing Gender Dysphoria
According to the Mayo Clinic, gender dysphoria is “the feeling of discomfort or distress that might occur in people whose gender identity differs from their sex assigned at birth or sex-related physical characteristics.” The American Psychiatric Association defines gender dysphoria as “clinically significant distress or impairment related to a strong desire to be of another gender, which may include desire to change primary and/or secondary sex characteristics.”
Rather than working secretively and at odds with parents, schools should offer support services similar to those provided to students experiencing other significant distress such as anxiety, depression, and self-harm. Professional services are necessary, and traditional schools cannot always accommodate these students’ needs, which warrant specialized, expert care.
Journalist Abigail Shrier poses an important question: Why is it that 2 percent of high school students (female girls by majority) now describe themselves as transgender when prior to 2012, according to The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, transgenderism was associated with 0.01 percent of the population? Of these cases, almost none were teenage girls. Before 2012, the majority of individuals expressing gender dysphoria were boys ages two to four. Lisa Littman, Public Health Researcher at Brown University, conducted in-depth research regarding the sudden and dramatic shift from gender dysphoria claims, from predominately males to females and preschoolers to teenagers. Littman found peer influence and social media were key contributors. For example, online “influencers” “insist that if you feel uncomfortable in your body you’re probably trans,” as Shrier puts it. But what teenage girl hasn’t felt uncomfortable or unhappy with her body at some point?
Tragically, in some states an adolescent minor can walk out of a gender clinic with a prescription for gender-altering hormones without parental permission. Even the most liberal medical experts argue that these puberty-blocking medications aren’t safe: they cause loss of body density; a high risk of infertility for girls; sexual dysfunction; and lifelong, irreversible physical damage. The emotional damage of these drugs is just as severe, including thoughts and behaviors of regret, anxiety, depression, self-harm, and suicide. A renowned hospital in politically and socially liberal Sweden took a courageous step by becoming the first country to oppose the World Professional Association for Transgender Health promotion of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones for children younger than age 16.
Student confusion is further fueled by the new norm of public school teachers and administrators listing their pronouns. According to the Trans Student Educational Resources (TSER) website, “There are no ‘male/female’ or ‘man/woman’ pronouns. All pronouns can be used for any gender and are gender neutral.” And pronouns should not even be referred to as “preferred,” as that “can accidentally insinuate that using the correct pronouns for someone is optional.”
Even correct grammar takes a backseat to the new gender ideology. Beyond she/her/hers and he/him/his, students are instructed to refer to individuals with the plural they/them/theirs. New pronoun options include ze/zir/zirs and beyond. The TSER gender pronoun chart includes a bold warning: “these are not the only pronouns. There is an infinite number of pronouns as new ones emerge in our language.” Infinite? Prepare for a complicated future.
Given that the vast majority of students accept their sex and gender from birth, finding creative solutions for those facing transgender thoughts and gender dysphoria that do not trample on the rights of others would be reasonable. This might include, for example, a separate private bathroom available to any student. Ultimately, the care and safety of all children must be of utmost importance. Hindering the rights and safety of most students in an attempt to promote and foster student gender confusion in others, in secret from parents, is not only unconstitutional but also mistreatment of all students.
The radical reshaping of K-12 public education includes not only school policies and practices. Extreme ideologies are quickly infiltrating academic content. Part two of this series will examine the failure to teach civics and the redefinition of U.S. history.
Editor’s Note: This is part one of a three-part series. Click here to read part two: “Civics and History Failures.” Click here to read part three: “Critical Race Theory and Woke Academics.”
God is Queer,’ Duke Divinity Students Proclaim
Hope Rawlson May 3, 2022
Praying to “the Great Queer One,” students at United Methodist-affiliated Duke Divinity School proclaimed God’s acceptance and support for LGBTQ relationships in a Pride worship service March 22.
Divinity Pride, a student group affirming the “dignity, faithfulness, and strength of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, and gender/sexuality non-conforming Christians,” sponsored the worship service.
“Strange one, fabulous one, fluid, and ever-becoming one,” prayed second-year Master of Divinity (M.Div) student Caroline Camp in opening the service. She stated that God is “mother, father, and parent” and “drag queen, and transman, and gender-fluid.”
Tirzah Villegas, an M.Div student, encouraged listeners to accept their sexuality because “You are never called to abandon yourself. Abandoning the self is negating the truth of who you are, and that is always a lie,” Villegas stated. God is a “queer God” who loves “every part of us,” according to Villegas.
A self-identified trans woman, C.J. Surbaugh, a first-year M.Div student, defended gender transition as biblical.
“I would like to suggest this as a trans text,” Surbaugh proposed about Genesis 32:22-31. The passage details Jacob wrestling with a stranger until daybreak. The man harms Jacob’s hip and commands Jacob to, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.” Jacob responds, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” As a result, God blesses Jacob and gives him the new name “Israel.”
In this passage, Surbaugh sees “an example of a negotiated body, a trans body, which has been both momentarily injured and fundamentally blessed.” Surbaugh compares Jacob’s struggle to the experience of taking testosterone to transition from a female to a male identity. Surbaugh wonders “how Jacob felt after the angel had gone” and if “he felt the same way I did on the clear October morning when I learned to give myself a hormone shot.”
Transition, according to Surbaugh, “can be framed as a choice,” but “transition is better framed as a calling. It is a calling to wrestle with God and not let go until we receive a blessing in our own bodies.”
Criticizing the church, Justis Mitchell, a first-year M.Div student, stated, “In the pews we listen to the pastor who preaches about commandments, condemning those who disobey, predicating a future of fire and turmoil.” However, Mitchell believes that “We can become holy, we can become worthy, we can become valued…even as we remain queer, even as we discover our own queer God whose presence is within these walls.”
Second-year M.Div student Caleb Wolf expressed pain that he felt when he was fourteen. “I was broken, I had been slayed by my family, people in school, and people in my church,” Wolf stated. “I loved God with all of my heart, yet they told me God didn’t love me.”
Wolf expressed that he “ran out the front door, barefoot with no jacket.” He recalled running behind a house and “banged my head against the brick.”
“I wanted to put an end to my suffering. I was tired of being disgusted with myself,” Wolf recounted. “I was tired of loving a God who did not love me back.”
While Wolf chose to live, many LGBTQ individuals do attempt suicide. Wolf states that he realized “it wasn’t God who didn’t love me, it was me who didn’t love me, because I listened to the hate that I had been marinating in all my life.”
Christian doctrine has historically defined the relationship between a man and a woman as the only biblical form of marriage. Yet, the Church is called to speak the truth and rescue the lost. Prominent Reformed theologian John Piper wrote, “No sin must keep a person out of heaven. None. What keeps a person out of heaven is the unrepentant pursuit of sin, and the rejection of God’s provision for its forgiveness in Jesus’s death and resurrection.”
According to Piper, Christians must count others as more significant than themselves, which “does not mean approving of what they feel or do. It means becoming a servant of their forgiveness, their rescue, their Christ-exalting hope. Christians should not bear ill will toward any. We live for the good of all.”
Note from the Editor: This article was originally published by Juicy Ecumenism, the blog of The Institute on Religion & Democracy.
The World Economic Forum is an organization with a goal to combine the nations of the world economically, politically, and religiously to create a utopia of peace and freedom. The following links are a few of the many you will see on their Strategic Intelligence website. These ideologies will be used to create the control that eventually will include the AntiChrist! It all sounds wonderful, but underneath the surface is absolute control of the world. It will migrate towards complete bondage to their goals and beliefs.