By Brittney Burgoyne
The assignment seemed innocent enough. A certification to help teach kids technology safety was a no-brainer. How else would students learn to cautiously navigate the dangers of the internet? Jane, (name has been changed) a 6th grader in Utah, got the flu and had to stay home from school for a few days. To make up for missed schoolwork, her teachers sent home her assignments. One of the assignments, a technology certification exam, was normally completed in the classroom. The purpose of the certification was to train students regarding internet safety, and required a perfect exam score before the student was allowed to use the school’s internet.
The assessment contained one question that had nothing to do with safe technology use: “True or false: gender and biological sex are the same thing.” If the student answered true, he/she would be restricted from using the school’s computers. Jane felt conflicted. She initially answered true and failed the exam. She was told she needed to retake the exam to use the equipment vital for her other classwork. Fighting between standing up for what Jane knew she believed, and needing to complete other schoolwork, she chose to circle “false”. Jane’s father was furious and met with the principal to discuss the issue. The principal reassured the concerned parent the question would be removed. The following year when Jane’s younger sibling took the same exam the gender question was still there.
Taking advantage of positions of authority
Children often take at face value the things they are taught by adults in positions of authority. Through constant watching and observing, even children’s eating habits are shaped heavily by their caretakers. Children often spend more time with their teachers at school than they do in their homes with their families. There is no question of the impact educators have on children and youth. The curriculum and morals taught in schools help shape the rising generation and color their perceptions of the world around them.
Yet school teachers often have different political, religious, and moral beliefs than parents. Many school systems have agendas that conflict with values in the home. Parents have a right to expect that personal belief stays out of the classroom. When it doesn’t, teaching becomes indoctrination.
Jane and her classmates are fortunate only one question seeped into this particular class. Other children aren’t so lucky. Schools all over the world are implementing the curriculum of radical gender theory. These programs include lessons about gender fluidity – a child choosing his/her gender based on feelings, regardless of their biological sex. They are told that they can become whatever gender they feel that they are: boy, girl, non-binary, queer, or any of the 63 genders now recognized. Schools and districts are pushing agendas of radical gender theory, and transgenderism onto young children. These ideas are trickling into every aspect of children’s education, regardless of parent’s wishes. An elementary school in Colorado promoted this idea to all grades when it showed videos advocating the discovery of one’s true gender, and choosing one’s pronouns. Many parents protested and called and emailed school officials to opt-out their children only to discover the students were shown the videos anyway despite the parents’ requests.
Creating confusion in the classroom and lives
It’s a normal part of development for children to explore who they are. Yet lessons about gender identity lead children to doubt and question who they are at ages when they are not yet cognitively mature.
Diane Ehrensaft, a well-known gender therapist explains children’s inability to comprehend the impact of transitioning genders. “Tweens and young teens undergoing these treatments are not developmentally mature enough to comprehend the full magnitude of irreversible sterilization.” By teaching radical gender theory, kids are encouraged to explore social and medical gender transition. Socially transitioning includes wearing clothes associated with the opposite gender, changing names, and asking to be called particular pronouns. This transition can lead to administering puberty-blocking drugs as young as 9, cross-sex hormones as young as 14, and sex reassignment surgery as young as 18. Such surgeries include removing breasts and altering the genital region.
Sadly, many of today’s youth make these life alternating transitions, only to regret it at a later time. According to the American Psychiatric Association; “As many as 98% of gender confused boys and 88% of gender confused girls eventually accept their biological sex after naturally passing through puberty.”
Protecting our children from agendas
Children who struggle with gender dysphoria deserve to get the help and support they need through their parents and medical professionals. Without proper medical training, teachers are doing more harm than good by inserting their own opinions into curricula. Schools and districts have no place weaving agendas into children’s education. Parents have the right to know their children are being taught curriculums that will give them the knowledge to succeed, not opinions that could potentially harm them.
Children need parents who will protect them. No one can advocate for a child like a parent can. Parents, become aware of agendas or ideas taught at your children’s schools. Inform others about programs being taught. Help your child understand that while we love and respect our teachers, sometimes they will say things that are wrong. Give them the tools they need to stand up for principles taught in the home while still being kind and respectful to others. Build a strong relationship with your children, so they feel comfortable confiding in you and asking questions. Parents do, and always will have, the greatest influence over their children.
Brittney Burgoyne is an intern with United Families International and a student at Brigham Young University-Idaho.