Politics

This Portland curriculum for K-2nd graders shows why Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Law is popular – HotAir


Chris Rufo has a new story out today about a K-2nd grade curriculum in Portland designed to teach young kids that gender is like outer space, because “there are as many ways to be different genders as there are stars in the sky!”

The curriculum begins in kindergarten with an anatomy lesson featuring graphic drawings of children’s genitalia. The lesson avoids the terms “boy” and “girl” in favor of the gender-neutral variants “person with a penis” and “person with a vulva,” because, according to the curriculum, some girls can have penises and some boys can have vulvas. “Any gender and kid can have any type of body,” a related presentation reads.

In first and second grade, students are introduced to the key tenets of gender-identity theory. “Gender is something adults came up with to sort people into groups,” the curriculum states. “Many people think there are only two genders, girls and boys, but this is not true. There are many ways to be a boy, a girl, both or neither. Gender identity is about how you feel about yourself inside.” Next, students work through a lesson called “Our Names, Genders, and Pronouns.” The lesson tells them that “gender is like outer space because there are as many ways to be different genders as there are stars in the sky.” Students, the curriculum explains, can “change their name to match who they are, like their gender, culture, or just what they like better.”

My first thought is that I’m very glad my own kids are old enough to be well beyond this kind of indoctrination. My second thought is that, if this really is the curriculum being adopted in Portland, parents should say no or simply take their kids out.

I recognize there are a small number of people with gender dysphoria and I have no problem with them pursuing whatever changes to their lives and their bodies they want to make when they are older.  Certainly as adults that’s up to them. Some of those people may even have dysphoria at a very early age. But the vast majority of young children will not fall into that category and shouldn’t be taught that this is something they need to focus on at age six.

I also don’t think it’s acceptable to teach 1st graders that boys and girls aren’t firm categories connected to sex and to further claim the idea that there are such categories is part solely the result of evil colonizers.

There’s a line in one of these slides (all of which you can review here) which says Cisgender people are “People whose gender is the same as what doctors and adults said they were when they were born, based on body parts and shapes. Cis people can be girls or boys.” But the slide continues, “But sometimes that isn’t true! Because we can’t ask babies what their gender is since they can’t talk.” This is nothing short of irrational. Children without language obviously don’t have concepts for things like sex and gender so they can’t possibly have unexpressed opinions from birth. It’s a minor point I guess but it just sort of shows that this curriculum isn’t about giving kids facts so much as it is a kind of gender identity zealotry being pressed on a captive audience.

“Only you can know what your gender is,” another slide says. In other words, they are being taught their parents have no say in any of this. At five and six years old parents absolutely have a say in every facet of their child’s lives and messages suggesting otherwise are out of line in a public school. The curriculum goes on to suggest kids can change their name or make up their own pronouns. It’s all presented as fun but of course these kids have no idea what the outcomes of such decisions could be for their lives 10 or 20 years later. This curriculum is making no effort to tell them there could be costs associated with some of these decisions.

My guess is that most parents have similar reservations about this sort of curriculum. That seems to be the case in Florida where passage of the Parental Rights in Education Law was universally derided by the media (who called it the “Don’t Say Gay” law), but subsequent polling showed the law was actually fairly popular. [emphasis added]

According to a new Yahoo News/YouGov poll, more than three-quarters of Republicans (76%) support Florida’s controversial new “Don’t Say Gay” measure, which seeks to silence any discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in public elementary school classrooms by allowing parents to sue if they believe teachers have broached those subjects…

What may be more unexpected is that the new survey of 1,618 U.S. adults, which was conducted from March 31 to April 4, found that nearly a quarter of Democrats (24%) also think it should be “illegal” for “teachers or other school personnel to discuss sexual orientation or gender identity when teaching children in kindergarten through grade three,” despite weeks of objections and outrage from party leaders and activists.

At the same time, another 24% of Democrats say they’re “not sure” how they feel — leaving only about half (52%) in explicit opposition…

Overall, just 27% of Americans say discussions of sexual orientation or gender identity should be “legal” in K-3 classrooms — while nearly half (49% for sexual orientation, 48% for gender identity) say they should be “illegal.”

The bill would have polled better if not for a concerted effort by left-wing activists to demonize it in the media and to suggest it’s real purpose was to stigmatize gay elementary school teachers. If instead, the bill had been presented in the context of a curriculum like the one in Portland, I think the results of the polling would have been very lopsided in favor of the bill.

There’s more to the curriculum beyond 2nd grade.

In third through fifth grade, the district begins lessons on “LGBTQIA2S+” activism. The curriculum presents the categories of “man” and “woman” as manifestations of the “dominant culture” that has used sexual norms to oppress minorities. “The culture, systems, and assumptions that everyone is straight is called heteronormative. The culture, systems, and assumptions that everyone is cisgender is called cisnormative,” the curriculum claims. “Therefore, the culture, systems, and assumptions that everyone is straight and cis is called cisheteronormativity.” This system, according to the lesson plan, is a form of “oppression” designed to benefit “white straight cis boys” and to punish “LGBTQIA2S+” people.

The solution, according to Portland Public Schools, is to obliterate the “white colonizer” conception of sexuality, with its rigid male-female binary, and encourage students to inhabit “the infinite gender spectrum.” This means destroying the system of “cisheteronormativity” and promoting “queer” and “trans” identities. Teachers are told to eliminate the terms “girls and boys,” “ladies and gentlemen,” “mom and dad,” “Mrs. Mr., Miss,” and “boyfriend, girlfriend,” in favor of terms such as “people,” “folx,” “guardians,” “Mx.,” and “themfriend.”

This isn’t where most American are regarding gender identity and schools shouldn’t be used as a way to indoctrinate children in an ideology a majority of parents disagree with. Sorry but you can’t propose to eliminate “mom and dad” from the curriculum and not expect to have the actual mom and dad say something about it.

There may be an age-appropriate place for this material when children are older but I don’t think K-2nd grade is the place. Health classes including basic sex ed are usually taught in late junior high or early high school because that’s when the information becomes relevant.



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