It’s a measure of the degree to which American society has been desensitized to the sexual propaganda being fed to our children that the following elicited little comment from parents. In one Oakland, California school, it’s apparently considered fine and dandy to teach kindergartners about the joys of crossdressing. According to the Oakland Tribune:
Some girls like the color blue. Some boys like to wear things that sparkle. Not all girls play with dolls, and not all boys like to play with trucks.
Kindergartners at Redwood Heights Elementary School reached those conclusions on Monday during a lesson about gender and acceptance. “Colors are colors,” “toys are toys,” and “activities are activities” were the mantras of a lesson designed for kindergartners and first-graders. Older children learned more about what gender means, how it’s been expressed in different cultures throughout human history, and that it’s possible to be both genders — or neither.
Redwood Heights is the first elementary school in Oakland to teach children about gender identity and expression with a curriculum developed by Gender Spectrum, a San Leandro-based organization. The school’s parent groups endorsed the lessons as part of an ongoing effort to make the school more welcoming, Principal Sara Stone said.
“Really, it’s about reducing and dispelling stereotypes and prejudices so kids can show up to school and feel like they can learn and thrive without being stigmatized or teased,” said Brett Bradshaw, a Redwood Heights parent who is also chairman of the school’s LGBTQ Affinity group.
Why an elementary school has an “LGBTQ Affinity group” is anybody’s guess. And why it is using a curriculum from an advocacy organization that is as confused–or politically manipulative–as Gender Spectrum (which claims in its FAQ both that gender is “hard-wired” in the brain and that children can “change their minds” about whether they are “cross-gendered”) is also anybody’s guess. But I can guess why they are starting out using this stuff on kindergartners: it’s the old Jesuit maxim, “give me your children until they are six, and they are mine forever.”
Stone said she was surprised that her school’s lessons about gender differences had elicited such outrage, especially since there had been so little controversy among the school’s families. The lessons do not include issues of sexual orientation, she said.
“What is wrong about teaching kids to be caring and kind?” she asked.
Flint said state law doesn’t permit children to “opt out” of lessons other than sex education while they are at school. At least one Redwood Heights student stayed home Monday, he said, and three other families inquired about it.
On Monday morning, children in Cynthia Bagby’s kindergarten class discussed whether there were, in fact, “girl colors” and “boy colors.” Some giggled when Joel Baum, the trainer from Gender Spectrum, read “My Princess Boy,” a nonfiction children’s book by Cheryl Kilodavis about her son who liked to wear dresses and a tiara.
“That’s a funny boy!” one boy said.
After the story was over, Baum and Stone asked the children how the boy must have felt when people in the book laughed at him for being different.
“It may be unusual, but we don’t want to laugh at people, and we don’t want to make them feel bad,” Baum said.
“Clothes are clothes,” he added.
“And people are people,” a girl chimed in.
Right. As Groucho Marx once said in Animal Crackers, ”Well, art is art, isn’t it? Still, on the other hand, water is water. And east is east and west is west, and if you take cranberries and stew them like applesauce, they taste much more like prunes than rhubarb does.” Which makes as much sense as the teaching the normalization of crossdressing to five-year-olds does.
The Pacific Justice Institute provides more information:
On May 23-24 Redwood Heights Elementary School will be teaching children in grades kindergarten through fifth that there are more than two genders. The two days calendared for this are entitled “Gender Spectrum Diversity Training.” In documents released by the school, students will be taught that “gender is not inherently nor solely connected to one’s physical anatomy.” Further, gender is a “complex interrelationship between (physical traits) and one’s internal sense of self as male, female, both or neither as well as one’s outward presentations and behaviors related to that perception.” Another document from the school advises parents: “When you discuss gender with your child, you may hear them (sic) exploring where they (sic) fit on the gender spectrum and why.”
The activities and reading list include: Grades K-1: “Boy, girl or both? Which Outfit, Which Hairdo? (Reading) My Princess Boy.” Grades 2-3 “What is gender? (Reading) 10,000 Dresses.” Grades 4-5: “Three dimensions of gender. (Reading/Song) All I Want to be is Me.”
“This instruction does not represent the values of the majority of families in Oakland,” said attorney Kevin Snider of the Pacific Justice Institute. PJI has been providing legal counsel to parents in the Oakland Unified School District on this matter. “Though to many this may seem extreme, based upon some of the bills now pending in the Capitol such as SB 48, this will be the new normal in California’s K-12 public schools,” Snider continued.
(Via Stand Firm.)
UPDATE: From Canada, we have this heart-warming story of parents who refuse to disclose the gender of their newborn, because they find parental decision-making on the part of the children “obnoxious”:
The neighbours know [Kathy] Witterick and her husband, David Stocker, are raising a genderless baby. But they don’t pretend to understand it.
While there’s nothing ambiguous about Storm’s genitalia, they aren’t telling anyone whether their third child is a boy or a girl.
The only people who know are Storm’s brothers, Jazz, 5, and Kio, 2, a close family friend and the two midwives who helped deliver the baby in a birthing pool at their Toronto home on New Year’s Day.
“When the baby comes out, even the people who love you the most and know you so intimately, the first question they ask is, ‘Is it a girl or a boy?’” says Witterick, bouncing Storm, dressed in a red-fleece jumper, on her lap at the kitchen table.
“If you really want to get to know someone, you don’t ask what’s between their legs,” says Stocker.
Most of the time, it isn’t necessary to ask, because there are clues. Gotta ask, though: how did Stocker know, the first time he met Witterick, that she was female? Did he have to guess? Was it a mystery? If not, why impose that on their children? (Of course, maybe it was impossible to tell–there are no pictures of the parents. But check out Storm and his brother Jazz.)
Witterick and Stocker believe they are giving their children the freedom to choose who they want to be, unconstrained by social norms about males and females. Some say their choice is alienating.
“What we noticed is that parents make so many choices for their children. It’s obnoxious,” says Stocker.
Jazz and Kio have picked out their own clothes in the boys and girls sections of stores since they were 18 months old. Just this week, Jazz unearthed a pink dress at Value Village, which he loves because it “really poofs out at the bottom. It feels so nice.” The boys decide whether to cut their hair or let it grow.
Like all mothers and fathers, Witterick and Stocker struggle with parenting decisions. The boys are encouraged to challenge how they’re expected to look and act based on their sex.
Read it all (including the five-year-old’s decision not to go to school, and to use the pseudonym “Gender Explorer” on stuff he’s written), and then ponder this question: is the parental ideology that Stocker and Witterick (a pair of unabashed lefties) are employing a form of child abuse, abdication of responsibility, or wave of the future (or all three)?
(Hat tip: Kate.)