This month, a nationally ranked K-12 school in Minnesota, adopted a policy stating that not only will parents not be allowed to “opt out” of having their children taught transgender identity in kindergarten, but they will not even be notified about the teaching.
Nova Classical Academy “will not adopt any gender policy that allows parents to opt out of the requirements in the NP-601 Gender Inclusion Policy based on religious or conscience objections,” according to the summary of a legal settlement provided by the LGBT activist group Gender Justice. But it gets worse.
“Nova will not call parents’ or guardians’ attention to the policy or law allowing them to opt out of specific instruction regarding gender inclusion,” the summary added.
Nova parents got a taste of what this policy feels like last week when Rocklin Academy in Sacramento, Calif., hosted a kindergarten “gender reveal” party, traumatizing little boys and girls.
“These parents feel betrayed by the school district that they were not notified,” Karen England, executive director at the Capital Resource Institute, told CBS News.
Why did they feel betrayed? A boy in the kindergarten class came to school dressed as a boy, left the party for a few minutes, and then returned as a girl. Imagine how this affected the five-year-old children.
“My daughter came home crying and shaking, so afraid she could turn into a boy,” one parent said. Another parent insisted, “I want [my daughter] to hear from me as a parent what her gender identity means to her and our family, not from a book that may be controversial.”
Another girl at Rocklin Academy was sent to the principal’s office this month. Her crime? Referring to a biological boy who “transitioned” into a girl — by the name he had while he was in her class last year. She did not even know he had “transitioned,” and she was punished for it, anyway.
Such “betrayal” has become official policy at Nova Classical Academy, a public charter school that enrolls 920 students and which U.S. News and World Report ranked the number 1 high school in Minnesota and number 16 high school in the nation, based on the 2013-2014 school year.
Nova adopted the policy as part of a legal settlement. In March 2016, David and Hannah Edwards, parents of a child born male but identifying as a girl, filed a complaint against the school, claiming that it “failed to protect their child and other gender nonconforming and transgender students at Nova from persistent gender-based bullying and hostility.”
The Edwardses also claimed the school “denied their child the ability to undergo a gender transition at Nova in a safe and timely way.” The lawsuit, in which Gender Justice represented the Edwardes, alleged that Nova violated the Minnesota Human Rights Act and the St. Paul Human Rights Ordinance.
While the school initially denied the allegations, Gender Justice announced that both parties had reached a settlement “through a confidential mediation process.”
Along with the new policy, the school agreed to pay the Edwardses a cool $120,000. Nova also had to tweak its “gender inclusion” guidelines, open sex-segregated restrooms and changing rooms to transgender students, alter rules for sex-segregated activities, and make the school uniforms gender-neutral. It is hard to imagine a worse result for Nova, or a better one for Gender Justice.
“School administration and staff are committed to providing a safe, welcoming, and affirming environment for a student, and their family or guardians, as the transition process unfolds,” the new policy states. “School staff will support and adhere to the parent’s/student’s timeline for social transition.”
It gets richer: “Each student and family may want a very different transition experience and the school staff should be sensitive to student and family desires. School staff shall not invite families to opt out of any information or instruction necessary to create a safe and affirming school environment during the transition process.”
In other words, Nova will bend over backwards for children identifying as transgender and for their families, but it will relegate any children or parents who object to transgender identity and ideology to second-class status. Remember, this is the number 16 high school in the nation.
When the Edwardses first asked for the school to prepare for their child’s gender transition, the school principal sent an email to parents, telling them the school would be taking steps to “support a student who is gender nonconforming.” The email notified parents that their 5-year-old and 6-year-old children “will listen to various books that celebrate differences and will be teaching children about the beauty of being themselves.”
One of the books specifically mentioned was “My Princess Boy,” a story about a cross-dressing little boy. The principal encouraged parents to “have conversations at home about the appropriateness of comments or teasing related to all protected classes,” especially those who are gender nonconforming.
Some parents raised the concern that gender identity is too complex of a subject for kindergarteners to grasp. At least 10 students had transferred to another school as of February 2016, The Daily Signal reported.
One mother, who asked to remain anonymous, said she transferred her child because the transgender classmate was having a “traumatic” effect on her daughter.
“Our daughter—because she is a normal kindergartener who was raised in a family where se had some social norms regarding biological gender and sex—now she’s asking questions like, ‘How does a boy become a girl when they’re born with a penis?’ She has two brothers, so she’s wondering, how is this possible, as the boy is wearing a jumper and has ribbons and ponytails in his hair,” the mother said.
Another mother complained that her daughter had bought the transgender ideology. “She said, ‘Mom, I think you can choose if you want to be a boy or a girl,'” the second mother recalled of her daughter.
This is far from a local issue. Planned Parenthood’s preschool guidance includes transgender lessons. Elle magazine published a video about an 8-year-old boy dressing up like a drag queen. Last year, National Geographic put a 9-year-old transgender girl on the cover. LGBT activists are also raising money to mass produce a transgender Russian doll toy. This past March, a Christian preschool in Florida closed because it feared the state might force transgender guidelines on the school.
Last year, Christian author Eric Metaxas told PJ Media that government backing transgender ideology could qualify as establishing a religion. “You have [an] activist government effectively establishing a religion … by taking very strong positions on ultimate questions like the human person, on sexuality,” he said.
Some have objected to the use of the term “transgender ideology,” but the embrace of transgender identity in popular culture and government deserves to be questioned. This is not a mere matter of being “true to yourself.” Transgenderism involves a complex philosophical argument with which many people may disagree.
First, transgenderism requires accepting the — extremely tenuous — idea that gender is unrelated to biological sex. Gender identity is seen as being a state of mind or even a kind of gnostic spiritual identity unrelated to the physical world.
Second, that disembodied gender identity is to be encouraged above the physical, genetic, and undeniable fact of sexuality. The vast majority of human beings are born either male or female, with two X chromosomes or one X and one Y. Transgender acceptance requires rejecting this scientific truth for a tenuous disembodied identity.
Third, many encourage hormones and surgery to alter healthy physical bodies, refashioning them to fit this disembodied identity. As in the case of Bruce — “Call me Caitlyn” — Jenner, this is to be celebrated as healthy, when in fact it damages healthy sexual organs and forces an unnatural shape on male or female bodies.
Transgender acceptance is indeed a pseudo-religion, relying on gnostic ideas about spirit being more important than matter. By enforcing these ideas on parents, government effectively establishes a religion.
As in the case of Nova Classical Academy, the state elevates pro-transgender parents above any dissenters, in the name of creating a “positive, encouraging atmosphere.” The problem is, people disagree with the transgender pseudo-religion, and not just because they’re “bigots.”
Parents need to have the right to opt out of such indoctrination, and they need to be notified before their kindergarten children are told about transgender identity.
So what was the excuse when parents complained at Rocklin Academy? According to the school district’s superintendent, Robin Stout, “gender identity and expression lessons” do not count as “sex education.”
Fine. They’re not “sex education,” they’re religious education. If California and Minnesota insist that they’re not going to choose one religion over another, then they should start teaching the Bible, the Quran, and the theory of Intelligent Design.