Via Katherine Timpf of NRO, I’m 90 percent sure this is a hoax. No, wait, let me rephrase: I would be 90 percent sure this is a hoax, if not for the fact that the school superintendent confirmed on a local radio show that these materials were handed out to teachers at one Lincoln-area middle school. Repeat: Middle school.
Oh well. High time America’s 10-year-olds started considering whether they’re cis or trans.
The recommendations about intervening when an androgynous child is being bullied are fine, but c’mon. This isn’t real, is it?
A handout called “12 easy steps on the way to gender inclusiveness” advised teachers to avoid separating students by gender, but instead by birth dates or preferences. For example, they could ask students whether they prefer skateboards or bikes, milk or juice, dogs or cats, summer or winter.
“Always ask yourself, ‘Will this configuration create a gendered space?’” said Step 1 of the handout.
Or they could “Create classroom names and then ask all of the ‘purple Penguins’ to meet at the rug,” the handout said…
Kids who are “living an alternative lifestyle” or have a “gender difference” are going through an “emotionally traumatic time,” Joel said, and other students “don’t understand what that child represents” so the school needs to help students understand “differences are OK” and “we’re all there to learn.”
How many transgendered middle-schoolers does Lincoln have that a solution this comprehensive is needed? If you want to teach sensitivity to “gender difference,” just devote a class hour to it. The sort of sustained Orwellian campaign they’re describing to treat kids’ use of binary gender terms as a thoughtcrime in need of constant correction is odd. Frankly, if I were the parent of a kid who’s androgynous and worried about him being bullied, I think I’d prefer less attention to this issue in class than more attention. Younger children might not perceive an androgynous classmate as different to the same degree that pubescent kids would; spending too much time emphasizing that some people aren’t really girls or boys might give the bullies more reason to see a girlish-looking boy as something strange.
Oh well. The school board is meeting to discuss it on October 14th. Can’t wait.