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    Oak Park School Board Quietly Adopts Controversial K-5 Gender Identity Curriculum

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    By Pat Lynch 

    OAK PARK, CA – On April 23, 2019, the Oak Park Board of Education quietly approved its “Gender Identity Curriculum” for grades K-5 in the district. This was presented by an elementary school counselor and passed with a majority vote 5-0.  Very few Oak Park parents were even aware that this vote was occurring on this highly controversial curriculum change that is not mandated by state law for elementary school.

    While the board meeting minutes state that parents will receive a notice prior to implementation and that there is a “parent education component,” the families of Oak Park have yet to be notified. The school year completed at the end of May, leaving sufficient time to notify the parents of this new curriculum as it was presented to the board. It appears this announcement is being withheld until the new school year begins, making it more difficult for families to object and/or leave the district. The presentation is available to view through a link from the board meeting’s minutes.

    Sparkle Boy
    Sparkle Boy is included in 3rd grade curriculum with the stated goal of challenging gender stereotypes

    Under the banner of anti-bullying and equality, the school district is imposing the integration of gender fluidity and transgenderism within the existing curriculum. There is no option for parents to “Opt-out” of this material as it is being incorporated into the children’s existing education structures such as the Readers Workshop.  Traditional anti-bullying campaigns focus on teaching children to be kind to everyone regardless of their differences. This transgender-based curriculum could make bullying worse by arming the children with additional terminology that will cause further stereotyping. If a little girl is a “tomboy” or a boy wears pink, they will now be labeled by their peers as “gender fluid.. In the name of breaking stereotypes, this curriculum could therefore worsen them. Elementary school-aged children are not considered by experts to have the cognitive maturity and frontal lobe development to understand gender constructs, which is a highly complex concept, even for adults.

    This new gender identity curriculum asserts that “gender does not equal sexuality,” which is a strongly held belief by some – and beliefs should be respected – but is not scientific in any meaningful way.

    The curriculum begins in Kindergarten with seemingly benign material about exploring differences and self-expression, but by second grade the goals are to “explore the concept of gender identity” which includes “discussion into what exterior clues might point to gender (wearing certain clothes, haircuts, height, choice of play/games).” By fourth grade they are using the terms “binary and non-binary,” and watching a video by Willow Smith, a young celebrity who is very vocal about being bisexual as well as polyamorous. By the end of their elementary school years, children will be taught to define non-binary genders, explore different gender expressions, be introduced to transgenderism and the use of different pronouns. While this may seem comprehensive, it is, in fact, only the beginning.

    Among the stated goals of this curriculum are to “embed LGBTQ+ positive concepts and literature throughout the curriculum” and “Expand gender identity lessons.” Most parents will agree that children should be taught to be kind to everyone, regardless of appearances; however, this curriculum is teaching children material that many families may not agree with. Different religions and cultures may hold a different perspective on this highly controversial issue of “gender fluidity.” This program, in fact, violates Education Code 220 by discriminating against the faith and cultural values of these families. This curriculum, based on bitterly disputed science, is teaching the children that what they have learned at home with their parents, families, and places of worship is wrong. It is teaching children that values held at home are wrong, thereby disrupting the invaluable parent-child trust and relationship.

    Gender Unicorn slide from Oak Park gender identification curriculum presentation

    There is no current law in the state of California that mandates any gender identity concepts be taught in the elementary level. Assembly Bill 329 states that “A school district may [emphasis added] provide comprehensive sexual health education or HIV prevention education consisting of age-appropriate instruction earlier than grade 7…” [Section 8, 10b]. This bill only mandates that sexual education classes be taught “at least once in junior high or middle school and at least once in high school.” [Section 8, a]. These sexual education classes are mandated to “teach pupils about gender, gender expression, gender identity, and explore the harm of negative gender stereotypes.” [Section 6, 6]. However, for the classes in the junior high and high school level, parents do have the right to opt-out. When taught at the elementary level, parents do not have the right to opt-out.

    Future steps identified during the curriculum presentation included:

    • Continue training of staff
    • Clarify policy, handbooks, and inform stakeholders
    • Embed LGBTQ+ positive concepts and literature throughout curriculum
    • Expand gender identity lessons

    The Oak Park Board of Education quietly adopted an extremely controversial elementary school curriculum that could have long term developmental impacts on children. The big question is why weren’t Oak Park parents properly and clearly notified about what was happening?

    Link to Oak Park Gender Identity Curriculum Presentation
    https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1NijjSeRfvYE5rHYz1L9QBneYOl9B6NK4ZZ_MDhWiVtM/mobilepresent?slide=id.g4e3cb51a9f_0_26

    The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Citizens Journal.

    Pat Lynch is a resident of Ventura County


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    Frontierland
    Frontierland
    2 years ago

    25 years ago, gay rights advocates proclaimed, they only wanted to “teach tolerance” about consenting adults sexual proclivities.

    Today, we have adult gay males, dressed in demonic, clownish, whorish makeup and dress sexualizing young children by exposing them to adult sexual aberrations in public libraries around the nation. We have gay pride parades, where children are brought by social-status seeking parents, where men engage in lewd sexual displays, naked parading through the cities.

    We’re not only being forced to accept mentally ill people, who believe they can override biological nature, we’re told that allowing our children to be indoctrinated by these mentally ill people who’s life revolves around what kind of inorganic sex they have, is “progress”.

    Oppose this “progress” and the facade of tolerance and love falls away as you’re demonized as full of HATE, you’re a fascist. You’re called a nazi for not agreeing that your 10 year old son should take testosterone blockers and female hormones to turn him into a freak that thinks he’s a woman. The suicide rate for these mentally ill people is high, not because they’re not accepted, it’s high because the whole establishment is endorsing and celebrating, reinforcing their delusion and mental illness.

    What you are not told is that the LGTBQ+ sexual lifestyle is medically unhealthy, dangerous and destructive to most who choose it. It’s a genetic, civilizational dead end.

    LGBTQ+ are not seeking equality or tolerance.
    They’re sexually grooming children, period.

    LGTBQ+ are not marginalized. They’re funded and promoted by the ruling class, the donor class, the political class, the entire media, Fortune 500 supranational corporations, the Pope and by agenda driven activists who openly call for the destruction of normal society.

    “Teaching tolerance and Diversity” is an elite promotion.
    It’s social engineering a society, deconstructing it to destroy men and women, the family, the neighborhood, the city, the state and the nation. It’s a contagious system of destruction and control that must be resisted and destroyed.

    Those that promote it should be sharply, publicly denounced.

    By the way, I was one of the first few graduating classes after OPHS opened in the 80’s.
    If the LGBTQ+ promotion is not stomped out of Oak Park, the neighborhood cohesion, the high trust, safe place to raise well balanced children will be polluted and destroyed.
    The liberal push of social signaling acceptance of any absurd elite promotion, they inevitably destroy their own nest.

    trackback
    Parents Irate over Forced Elementary Gender Identity Curriculum | CauseACTION Clarion
    2 years ago

    […] July, an editorial by Pat Lynch at the Citizens Journal noted the Oak Park school board “quietly” adopted the K-5 gender identity curriculum with a […]

    Sophie
    Sophie
    2 years ago

    School can teach kids be kind and nice and respect the diversity why they are so specific to the genders topic. I just want to know how can oak park parents stop this!

    Vanessa
    Vanessa
    2 years ago

    The scientific fact is if you are born with female organs, you are female and vice versa. So what if a boy likes unicorns, glitter, pink, and other things society may consider “girly”? He should not be labeled as different, gender fluid, transgender, a girl, or anything else but the boy that he is. This curriculum is not only a huge overstep, it is destructive. It encourages confusion based upon preferences rather than fact and labels young children as something they are not.
    My male friend was a baton twirler and loved it. He was called gay by his high school peers. He was interested in girls but many were not interested because of the “gay” label that was falsely placed on him because of his prefrence for baton twirling. The gay community also labeled him as “gay” and worked to convince him that he was. Over the years, he said it was just easier for him to follow the gay lifestyle as this is how he was labeled.
    Being kind and respectful to all should be taught. However, this curriculum labels and confuses children based on their preferences. It does not teach kindness, love, and tolerance. It in fact divides and falsely labels children putting them at greater risk for ostracism and low self esteem. We should instead encourage children to accept and love the physical bodies they were born with. It is destructive to validate and embrace a child’s rejection of their bodies based on fantasy. I hope we can all come together as adults and do what is best for our children.
    I am a resident of the area with several school age children.

    Leslie
    Leslie
    2 years ago

    I came across this article through a Facebook link. I don’t live in Oak Park, and my children have all graduated from college. Therefore, some of you may think I have no “right” to comment. I however, think that I have seen the schools in action long enough to have some perspective.

    My son’s first grade teacher had a rule that parents and students were not allowed to use adjectives to identify people. I’m sure this was to prevent bullies from calling someone “stupid”, etc., but it also meant that if I was trying to point out “Mike” to another parent, I was not allowed to say, “the blond boy at that table”, as a quick way to identify the only child with blond hair sitting at that table. It was impractical.

    My son has a genius level IQ, and was identified by the school district as a “GATE” student in the second grade. Given a choice, he would have preferred to be identified as “funny”. His teacher did not appreciate his humor, so whenever he expressed himself according to his preferred identity, he got “points off”. Because of how the District identified him, the teacher was required to differentiate his curriculum. Her method was telling him to turn over his paper when he finished his work, draw a picture, and then write a story. He enjoyed this, and soon decided that he also liked to be “identified” as a cartoonist.

    In the 4th grade he started being bullied. This continued through middle school. He was enrolled in Honors classes, at a time that he thought it was uncool to be smart. Thus he was identified by the school contrary to his wishes. When he finished his work early, he’d doodle cartoons characters in the borders. A few teachers said he was “rude and disrespectful”, which he sometimes was. He was dropped from the Honors program, because “he didn’t seem to want to take advantage of the opportunity”. The “fact” is, however, that the school’s change in label didn’t change his IQ.

    In high school, when he again got in trouble for doodling (guitars) in the borders of his papers, I asked him about all of this. He said, “It’s so confusing! One teacher tells me to draw, and for years that was okay. Then, in middle school, I got in trouble for it. I was still finishing early, what did they want me to do? I was bored.” At this point, he would have preferred to be identified as a guitarist or musician, or an artist (he was enrolled in AP Art), but he was mostly known for his beard.

    My point is, this: schools change their rules, their “facts”, and correspondingly, their curriculum. With this new curriculum, the rules against adjectives have changed because adjectives and (countless) pronouns must be used to describe students. My mother was taught that “man would never walk on the moon”. Clearly that “fact” changed.

    We’re all complex, developing, learning and changing beings, and children change the way they see themselves as they grow and develop. But some labels can stick and stigmatize people. With so MANY gender “labels” available, how is a very young child supposed to navigate that? What parent wants a teacher or administrator to teach their child how they should see themself? I’ve seen teachers who bully, administrators who deceive, and school staff who give answers when they actually have no idea what the facts are. Allowing the schools to teach identity is a risk too great to take. Today’s “facts” may be disproved in the future.

    The teacher who had the rule that adjectives describing other people were hurtful, had a good idea: don’t label. Not about appearance, ability, or gender. Why tell children to choose, on the continuum between masculine and feminine, where they belong? They probably don’t care. When they do express interests in things that are down the continuum from their sex, why do we need to get all worried about labeling their gender for them. Can’t we just leave them alone, and instead put our effort to stopping the bullies, whether they are students, teachers, administrators, parents or anyone else?

    Today, my son is pursuing his PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience, and does not identify himself as a comedian or a cartoonist, although he does identify as a part-time bass guitarist. He is considered intelligent, hardworking, helpful and polite by those he mentors at the university, and is valued by his professors. I’m glad that some of his early teachers who chose their career so that they could “mold young lives” were less effective than they wanted to be, and that his family knew better than the “professionals” about how to nurture an “out of the box” kid.

    Paul D. White
    Paul D. White
    2 years ago

    Parents DO have a choice regarding what their children learn. They have the right to vote with their feet and remove their children from public schools until the entire leadership and philosophical direction has changed.

    Parents who don’t take advantage of the countless non-public school options available have only themselves to blame for letting their children be brainwashed and slimed by the academically failing, culturally corrupt, socially dysfunctional, and physically dangerous environment that is EVERY city’s public school system. Of COURSE the current trend of sex ed curriculum is sick, but not any sicker than the biased, inaccurate propaganda children are taught about national and world history, the environment, race, religion, science, and more.

    What do you expect from leadership and a majority of teachers who mock, ignore, or get intimidated into silence regarding standing up for moral/spiritual values? Public schools continue to worsen for one reason: because parents place a higher priority of “free”, 7 hours/day childcare, than they do on choosing options that ensure their children are educated to be independent, contributing, morally courageous members of society.
    The non-profit Stronghold Institute counsels and works with parents nation-wide: educating them about the real facts regarding our public schools, and the numerous education options available to them and their children.
    Paul D. White
    Strongholdinstitute.com
    (775) 685.8200

    Juwlz
    Juwlz
    2 years ago

    As a parent, I feel that school should stay academic. Parents need to step up and teach their beliefs and values in the home. And those are protected by law. So putting this agenda in schools will confuse and cause more contentions than anything else. We don’t all have to have the same beliefs but we do need to be able to treat people with mutual respect. Something this generation is sorely lacking.

    Janet
    Janet
    2 years ago

    This intrusive instruction teaches mature topics too soon, and unnecessarily. Some of the books proposed for children will add to confusion AND bullying. I’ve seen some books that illustrate how a little boy who likes pink, ballet, and shiny things is presenting as a girl. That seems to be a common theme in the children’s “new diversity” books. If the boy likes pink, likes to dance, likes shiny things, then he’s a “princess.” Being a boy or girl, is not about hobbies, preferences, or attractions. They are simply boys and girls, playing, learning, growing.

    Boys will play dress-up, girls will play with toy trains, and they shouldn’t have the added confusion of…does this mean I’m not really a boy or girl? And bullies shouldn’t be given the added fodder of new terms like “non-binary” or “gender fluid” to add to their repertoire. Kids shouldn’t have to struggle with the stereotypes that define these new gender classifications. When you define a boy as a girl based on his hobbies and color preferences, you are also stereotyping what is meant to be a girl. A girl that doesn’t conform to the sort that likes pink and ballet, wonders if she’s really “girl” enough, and the confusion grows. This whole thing is nefarious, especially in grade school.

    Let boys and girls be kids. Let them play and have fun, let them learn to read and do math, and teach them to be kind and fair to each other, no matter what their fellow classmate looks like or wears, no matter if they play with dolls or trains, no matter if their hair is short or long, just let them be.

    Additionally, there is a large community of people that have standards that are different when it comes to sexuality. Those with more liberal standards, who believe that minors should be taught diverse sexual practices, do not have the right to dictate principles in opposition to different cultures and faiths.

    Our children shouldn’t be told that their standards are bad, wrong, or irrelevant by instructors. In fact, California code protects people of different cultures and religions, and so, since much of this curriculum is diametrically opposed to what is taught in other cultures and faith communities which are protected by law, then teaching our children, in detail, sexual practices that go against our cultures and faiths is discriminatory and must be opposed.

    These courses are not about tolerance; they’re about teaching our children to accept and learn liberal sexual practices, in detail, in direct opposition to their beliefs. Basic sexual education is one thing, children should learn that having sex can result in pregnancy and lead to sexually transmitted diseases, but giving graphic details to children has no business in the classroom.

    If someone believes that children should be instructed in confusing, and debated, gender fluidity, as well as taught diverse sexual practices in graphic detail, then I question their focus on children’s well-being. That much confusion and detail is unhealthy for children, and some of the things that are proposed for teaching in later grades are practices that are offensive to many cultures and faiths.

    In fact, students of these cultures and faiths are placed in a hostile learning environment when forced to view, learn, accept, and be tested on sexual practices that are in opposition to their standards, which are informed by their culture or faith. It is an unnecessary humiliation to force these students to make the choice of walking out of classrooms due to the graphic nature of such lessons. It is unfair for children to have a loss in their grade point average because of their cultural or religious standards. It is poor academic instruction, to insist that students use poor grammar and vocabulary that is unrecognized in the dictionary. And the use of materials, such as Positive Prevention Plus, go too far, are too graphic, and establish cultural norms in direct opposition to many cultures and faiths.

    Within California Education Code 220 it states that no person shall be subjected to discrimination on the basis of their nationality, race or ethnicity, or religion, and within California Education Code Education Code 234.1 (a), it states that local education agencies must adopt a policy that prohibits discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying based on nationality, race or ethnicity, and religion.

    It IS discrimination and harassment to force a student, whose culture or religion informs their sexuality, to participate in, and be tested on, the learning of sexual practices that are in direct opposition to their cultural and religious teachings, and as to this law, if it must be enforced, it should not follow the recommendations (which are not law), but should stay within the minimal requisites within the law, which would mean that it stays out of the grade schools, and does not need to have the graphic nature of the recommendations for middle school and high schools.

    Robin Hvidston
    Robin Hvidston
    2 years ago

    This curriculum does not promote education – it promotes a social experiment to influence minor children. These issues should be the parent’s domain. Children should be receiving an education not be the target of social experimentation.

    Layla
    Layla
    2 years ago

    I live in Oak Park and my kids are in school here. Non-binary genders, I don’t care how it is presented, goes against the fundamentals and text of my religion. My faith believes in binary genders. My community strongly holds this value. My kids have seen a transgender individual before and I told them some people dress differently and that’s ok. We treat everyone with respect. It is really that simple.
    But how can my school go against my faith and family values? How can they teach my kids that gender is not binary when that is not how we have raised them? The school is teaching them that their parents are wrong. That our religion is wrong. It is discriminating against my religion. It breaks my heart that after years of living in America and escaping religious persecution, it is happening again.

    Amy
    Amy
    2 years ago

    Interesting article

    Citizen Reporter
    2 years ago

    Note to our readers: “Anonymous” commenter here is not us or any recognized fact checking authority. It is an out of the county unknown person who is also posting here under other names. These appear to be CTA views.

    Anonymous
    Anonymous
    2 years ago

    That’s a creative name “Citizen Reporter” — I would imagine a deceptive screen name like that should be against Citizen Reporter’s terms of service. I guess we’ll find out soon.

    As for me, I am a resident of Oak Park and have children that attend Oak Park schools. You are correct, I am not a recognized fact checking authority, nor do I claim to be. I am just a concerned parent and member of the community. I have no affiliation with the CTA, OPUSD, or the Board.

    I have only posted under a single handle using a single email address.

    Your attempt to undermine truth is deceptive.

    Citizen Reporter
    2 years ago
    Reply to  Anonymous

    “Anonymous”, you are incorrect, on your last comment and on most things you have written, which vary from distortions to outright lies, according to people who know far more about this subject than I do. We know for a fact that you, or someone from your location, has posted here under multiple names, as has your cohort, trying to gen up a phony consensus. If anyone is using deceptive names (plural), it’s you. If you claim to be a resident of Oak Park, why are you (apparently) posting from Irvine?

    You obviously don’t read much of Citizens Journal, or you would know that I am one of its most prolific authors- and its Publisher, too. This publication is not “Citizen Reporter,” it’s Citizens Journal.

    If you would like to post here further, please email me at [email protected], with your name, address, email and phone number, which is what newspapers often demand for verification before they will post letters to the editor. We are normally very lenient about this unless the privilege is abused- and you, Ma’am, have abused it.

    Anonymous
    Anonymous
    2 years ago

    “Gender Unicorn slide from Oak Park gender identification curriculum presentation”

    MISLEADING

    This slide is from the presentation made at the Board meeting. It is not part of the curriculum that will be presented to students.

    Pippa
    Pippa
    2 years ago
    Reply to  Anonymous

    Hi Anonymous, The Gender Unicorn is designed by Trans Student Educational Resources and was designed to teach gender fluidity and identity to children, not adults. It is recommended as a supplemental resource for K-6 in CDE recommended sex ed curriculum. If what you are saying is true and the Gender Unicorn will not be used in OPUSD K-5 classrooms, why would the counselor making the presentation use this resource to present her curriculum on gender fluidity and gender identity to adults? Wouldn’t the counselor use an adult resource to make her point? I think your fact check here is wrong.

    Anonymous
    Anonymous
    2 years ago
    Reply to  Pippa

    Hi Pippa, I can’t comment on the counselor’s choice of resources for the presentation. That being said, I can confirm that each lesson is comprised of reading a children’s book, a discussion about the contents of the book, and a shared activity. The book for each grade level is listed in the presentation, along with the topics that will be discussed afterwards. A quick trip to the local library and you can read each of the books and see that there is no Gender Unicorn or any mention of sexuality or attraction in any of them. I can confirm this information because I was at the Board meeting, listened to the presentation, previewed all the books/materials, and talked with the counselor. Were you there too? Please don’t let your thinking get in the way of objective truth.

    Anonymous
    Anonymous
    2 years ago

    “This program, in fact, violates Education Code 220 by discriminating against the faith and cultural values of these families.”

    FALSE

    Education Code 220 states: “No person shall be subjected to discrimination on the basis of disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, nationality, race or ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or any other characteristic that is contained in the definition of hate crimes set forth in Section 422.55 of the Penal Code, including immigration status, in any program or activity conducted by an educational institution that receives, or benefits from, state financial assistance, or enrolls pupils who receive state student financial aid.” The definition of discrimination is “the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex.”

    Pippa
    Pippa
    2 years ago
    Reply to  Anonymous

    Hi Anonymous, Are you saying that religion is not a protected class under Ed Code 220? Once again your fact check is incorrect. Religion is equally protected along with LGBTQ. When Oak Park proposes to teach the beliefs of one protected class (LGBTQ) and it directly contradicts the beliefs of another protected class (religion), the students being discriminated against are the religious students. Ed Code 220 directly prohibits this. Oak Park’s K-5 Gender Identity Curriculum is not mandatory nor required by law. To force it on all children will result in lawsuits. Oak Park cannot discriminate like this.

    Anonymous
    Anonymous
    2 years ago
    Reply to  Pippa

    Hi Pippa, no, quite the contrary. Religion is clearly listed as protected in Ed Code 220. The reason this claim is FALSE is because it doesn’t meet the definition of discrimination. Educating children on scientific facts in the classroom has a long history of legal precedent in this country (even when those scientific facts may be contrary to some religious beliefs). Are you suggesting that teaching evolution in biology is also a form of religious discrimination? I thought that one was settled long ago.

    Likewise, the school district can supplement the mandatory and legally required curriculum as it sees fit at its own discretion. Did you know that teaching cursive is no longer part of the mandatory curriculum? Thankfully, OPUSD continues to teach our children cursive despite it not being required. Are you suggesting it shouldn’t? Going above and beyond the requirements is what has driven Oak Park USD to become the model high-performing school district that it is today.

    Stats Guy
    2 years ago
    Reply to  Anonymous

    Non-binary gender is hardly a scientific fact. This is a brand new theory that has no established basis in science. However, it is a deeply held belief by some people, and therefore should be respected as such (per Ed Code 220). I have yet to see any legitimate double-blind peer-reviewed science behind it, though. Science says gender is binary. If you have a Y chromosome you are male, if you don’t you are female. Separating gender and sex is not science, it is a belief. This experiment is messing with the healthy development of millions of children. No one has any idea what the long-term effects of this experiment will be.

    Brian
    Brian
    2 years ago
    Reply to  Pippa

    Can you even imagine the outcry that would ensue if a public school adopted a curriculum that taught the children of leftist identitarians even one thing that didn’t match their point of view?

    Fairness aside, the fact that our public schools can’t even reliably teach kids to read, write, compute, and understand the most basic facts of history and science should be far more important concerns of the school boards than this political pandering and nonsense on stilts.

    Anonymous
    Anonymous
    2 years ago

    “This new gender identity curriculum … discusses physical and emotional attraction”

    FALSE

    The gender identity curriculum does not discuss physical and emotional attraction whatsoever. The presentation made at the Board meeting explained the difference between gender and sexuality. This information was targeted to the adults in the room at the public meeting and this information is not present in the curriculum itself and will not be taught to students. (Source: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1NijjSeRfvYE5rHYz1L9QBneYOl9B6NK4ZZ_MDhWiVtM/mobilepresent?slide=id.g4e97cc41f5_0_0)