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Radical Gender Lessons for Young Children
The Evanston–Skokie School District adopts a curriculum that teaches K-3 students to “break the binary” of gender.
The Evanston–Skokie School District has adopted a radical gender curriculum that teaches pre-kindergarten through third-grade students to celebrate the transgender flag, break the “gender binary” established by white “colonizers,” and experiment with neo-pronouns such as “ze,” “zir,” and “tree.”
I have obtained the full curriculum documents, which are part of the Chicago-area district’s “LGBTQ+ Equity Week,” which administrators adopted last year. The curriculum begins in pre-kindergarten, with a series of lessons on sexual orientation and gender identity. The lesson plan opens with an introduction to the rainbow flag and teaches students that “each color in the flag has a meaning.” The teacher also presents the transgender flag and the basic concepts of gender identity, explaining that “we call people with more than one gender or no gender, non-binary or queer.” Finally, the lesson plan has the teacher leading a class project to create a rainbow flag, with instructions to “gather students on the rug,” “ask them to show you their flags,” and “proudly hang the class flag where they can all see it.”
In kindergarten, the lessons on gender and trans identity go deeper. “When we show whether we feel like a boy or a girl or some of each, we are expressing our gender identity,” the lesson begins. “There are also children who feel like a girl and a boy; or like neither a boy or a girl. We can call these children transgender.” Students are expected to be able to “explain the importance of the rainbow flag and trans flag” and are asked to consider their own gender identity. The kindergartners read two books that affirm transgender conversions, study photographs of boys in dresses, learn details about the transgender flag, and perform a rainbow dance. At the end of the lesson, the students are encouraged to adopt and share their own gender identities with the class. “Now you have a chance to make a picture to show how you identify,” the lesson reads. “Maybe you want to have blue hair! Maybe you want to be wearing a necklace. Your identity is for you to decide!”
In first grade, students learn about gender pronouns. The teachers explain that “some pronouns are gender neutral” and students can adopt pronouns such as “she, tree, they, he, her, him, them, ze, zir, [and] hir.” The students practice reading a series of scripts in which they announce their gender pronouns and practice using alternate pronouns, including “they,” “tree,” “ze,” and “zir.” The teacher encourages students to experiment and reminds them: “Whatever pronouns you pick today, you can always change.” Students then sit down to complete a “pronouns workbook,” with more lessons on neo-pronouns and non-binary identities.
In third grade, Evanston–Skokie students are told that white European “colonizers” imposed their “Western and Christian ideological framework” on racial minorities and “forced two-spirit people to conform to the gender binary.” The teacher tells students that “many people feel like they aren’t really a boy or a girl” and that they should “call people by the gender they have in their heart.” Students are encouraged to “break the binary,” reject the system of “whiteness,” and study photographs of black men in dresses and a man wearing lipstick and long earrings. “It is a myth that gender is binary,” the lesson explains. “Even though we are all given a sex assigned at birth, you are not given your gender. Only you can know your gender and how you feel inside.” At the end of the lesson, students are instructed to write a letter to the future on how they can change society. “Society right now is very unfair,” reads a sample letter. “I see a lot of marches on the T.V. and I even went to a march last summer.”
The curriculum in the Evanston–Skokie School District is the perfect illustration of college-level Queer Theory translated into early-elementary pedagogy. For weeks, as the nation has debated Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Act, which prohibits public schools from teaching gender identity and sexual orientation in grades K–3, commentators on the political left have claimed that public schools do not teach this material and have accused conservatives of instigating a “moral panic.” This claim is demonstrably false, and the Evanston–Skokie lesson plans offer additional proof for parents and legislators concerned about gender ideology in American public schools. Queer Theory has made its way into public school curriculums for children as young as four. This development should be subject to robust political debate, not denial and dismissal from the political Left.
Original source documents
Originally published in City Journal.