California Elementary School Teachers May Be Directed To Teach Transgender Lessons

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By Parent and Former Congressional Staffer Amy Haywood,

Did you know that the California Department of Education wants every public school child as young as five to be taught that sex is assigned at birth and that gender is on a spectrum?

The CA State Board of Education is revamping its Health Education Framework  to align with the California Healthy Youth Act, a law that requires sex education that includes lessons on gender identity.  This Framework, scheduled to be adopted by the Board in 2019, is used to guide school districts on how this new law is to change school curriculum. Here is an example. 

The Framework tells teachers to talk about gender identity with kindergarteners and notes that some kindergarteners may be transgender. Here is an excerpt from the framework:

While students may not fully understand the concepts of gender expression and identity, some children in kindergarten and even younger have identified as transgender or understand they have a gender identity that is different from their sex assigned at birth. This may present itself in different ways including dress, activity preferences, experimenting with dramatic play, and feeling uncomfortable self-identifying with their sex assigned at birth. However, gender non-conformity does not necessarily indicate that an individual is transgender, and all forms of gender expression should be respected. …

Discuss gender with kindergarteners by exploring gender stereotypes and asking open-ended questions, such as what are preferred colors, toys, and activities for boys/girls, and then challenging stereotypes if presented. Throughout this discussion, show images of children around the same age who do not conform to typical gender stereotypes. Examples do not have to be exaggerated or overt. Simple differences, such as colors or toy preferences, can demonstrate acceptance of gender non-conformity.

It additionally recommends teachers read a book called My Princess Boy by Cheryl Kilodavis and invite people from the community to be guest speakers…including those who identity as transgender.

Some teachers in elementary schools around California have started using this type of material, but to others this is quite a shock, as most believe such material is not age appropriate. Children who are just beginning to read don’t understand gender dysphoria; nor do they understand the concept of being trapped in the wrong body, sex-change operations that are risky and require a lifetime of medical intervention, or the unproven notion of a gender spectrum.

Yes, you say, but “my district is ‘conservative’ so we don’t have this issue.” Unfortunately, that’s what many think, but even conservative-leaning districts like Poway Unified School District (just north of San Diego) are implementing new gender policies. In May of 2018 the PUSD School Board quietly adopted a gender identity administrative regulation to allow students to come out as transgender at school without parental knowledge, and staff will be directed to call transgender students by their preferred pronouns.

Many teachers falsely believe that their union will protect them from having to abandon their religious beliefs by forcing them to refer to students with incorrect pronouns. Actually, many teacher unions are in full support of these changes and have likely advocated for them.

Schools in Transition: A Guide for Supporting Transgender Students in K-12 Schools is sponsored by the National Education Association (NEA), the nation’s largest teacher’s union. This document warns that parents should not always be notified about a student’s decision to transition because the home environment might not be supportive, (page 14, 15) and these transitions can and should take place at any grade level because younger children are more flexible in their thinking (page 15). Staff is also directed to call students by their preferred pronouns—to NOT do so will make students feel “unsafe and unwelcome” (page 22). One way schools can protect transgender students’ privacy is by keeping separate records, and here is one of the suggestions:

Use the student’s chosen name and gender in the student information system, but switch it to the student’s legal name and gender just before uploading the information to the state department of education’s database. Schools that choose this approach pull that student’s testing booklet before it is distributed and correct the name and gender marker on the label to ensure that the student’s privacy and identity are respected. (page 21)

In addition to the NEA, the California Teachers Association (CTA), California’s largest teachers’ union, also wholly supports this line of thinking. The CTA is on the steering committee of the California Safe Schools Coalition, an organization that heavily promotes sexual orientation and gender identity ideology in public schools. 


Teachers and parents need to fight back against teaching this gender identity ideology. It’s not age appropriate; it’s unhealthy; it’s abusive; and it’s immoral. Here are some options for fighting back:

  1. Thanks to the Janus vs. AFSCME ruling at the U.S. Supreme Court last June, teachers can now drop their union membership with NEA and CTA, and take their dues to an alternative teachers’ association, such as the Association of American Educators, Christian Educators Association International, or National Public Employee Alliance.
  2. Parents and teachers should let the California State Board of Education know what they think about the proposed Health Education Framework. Please mail or email your comments during the 60-day public review from November 2018 to January 2019 to:
    Instructional Quality Commission

    1430 N Street, Room 3207

    Sacramento, CA 95814
 Fax: 916-319-0172

  3. If teachers are feeling threatened (i.e., with job loss) or bullied to teach this ideology, or if teachers feel like they are being coerced into using pronouns and thereby affirming this ideology, please contact a constitutional attorney who can counsel you on your legal options. Many constitutional attorneys (Alliance Defending Freedom, Pacific Justice Institute and National Center for Law and Policy) offer their services free of charge. According to Alliance Defending Freedom:

School officials cannot “prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein.” W. Virginia State Bd. of Educ. v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624, 642 (1943). Indeed, just a few months ago, the U.S. Supreme Court reiterated that the Constitution forbids the government from compelling individuals “to mouth support for views they find objectionable.” Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31, 138 S. Ct. 2448, 2463 (2018). When the government “prevents individuals from saying what they think on important matters or compels them to voice ideas with which they disagree, it undermines” the right to free speech.  


Activists are counting on parental and teacher silence and inaction. This ideology has entered many of our schools without the knowledge of parents, so teachers with a front row seat to these changes need to stand up to this injustice and let their communities know what is happening. For the sake of our children, please resist this harmful ideology.

(11) Comments

  1. As a Christian parent and grandparent I find it appalling that the people educating our children find it appropriate to tell our children what is right or wrong, sidestepping the family values that the child is brought up in without permission from that family. It used to be that this kind of education was presented to the parents for their input and/or permission to allow the information to be presented. While some may be able to have said child in a private school most will not have the funds to do so and it appears that they may not even know that their beliefs are being subverted.

  2. As a Christian conservative and a Mother MANY of us are uniting in praye on a daily basis AND TAKING ACTION with our local officials to adamantly voice our disapproval of these abusive and audacious actions against our children. We have the spirit and wherewithal to fight this battle all the way to the Supreme Court where necessary. Those of you who are like us and feed up with a system that takes liberties that don’t belong to them- join us! Reply to this comment.

    • From what I read, it seems this is a step of teaching children to be accepting and respectful of each other, by educating them on the differences in each other. Knowledge is how we grow and evolve and fear and hate stems from ignorance.

      • If the lessons were about teaching students to respect and treat kindly those who are different or believe differently, I would totally agree. But that isn’t what is being taught. These lessons are meant to teach kids to change their views about how they understand their own sex. Children are going to be taught to doubt what sex they are if they find themselves liking or preferring toys, activities or colors that are typical of the other sex. Sex is no longer something you accept and celebrate as a reality determined by biology, but a choice you make based on your subjective feelings. This will cause great harm, confusion, and feelings of insecurity for many children.

    • That is not correct. All show you. Education officials believe they need to change the way children think about gender starting in kindergarten to prevent attitudes that they think lead to bullying. Here is a quote from the framework: “Dispelling myths about gender expectations in kindergarten can lay the groundwork for acceptance, inclusiveness, and an anti-bullying environment in schools.” And what are these myths about gender that need to be corrected. They explain later when talking about teaching kids about the body. “When providing instruction on sexual and reproductive organs, teachers can introduce the concept that gender does not always match the sexual and reproductive organs described. For example, teachers may share, “In the classroom, we may use the term ‘female reproductive organs’ but some people who identify as male have these organs. The actual
      anatomical name for organs is utilized.
      I got these quotes from the framework you can read here. Once you pull up the document just do a search for the word “gender.” You will see they are not just teaching about the existence of kids who struggle with their gender identity. They seek to transform the way every kid thinks about gender. Don’t trust me. Read it for yourself.

    • I agree. It acknowledges that people like this exist and deserve the same respect as everyone else. Quite a stretch to equate teaching respect of people with some attack on another’s personal values.


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