The Colorado Parent Advocacy Network provided Parents Defending Education with a newsletter called “Creek Cares” that was given to teachers at Cherry Creek High School on January 9, 2024. The newsletter provides teachers with the definition of “ally/allies,” which is described as “someone who has privilege but chooses to stand for and with marginalized communities by taking tangible, ongoing actions to dismantle systems of oppression.” The newsletter also promotes a Netflix series called “Heartstopper” which “celebrates many LGBTQIA+ coming-of-age stories in a safe, relatable, and educational environment.”
The newsletter additionally tells teachers to ask for the preferred pronouns of students in a section titled “How to Ask and Incorporate Pronouns in Class Introductions.” The newsletter mentions “dead naming” and using different pronouns when speaking with parents to keep the gender identity of students hidden. These instructions include:
- Leave pronoun/name notes for subs on your seating charts.
- Ask for pronouns desired in class and pronouns for communication at home–they can be different!
- Ask multiple times a year (maybe in the form of a survey) to account for changing identities.
- If change occurs, ask if a student wants to be reintroduced or wants to correct as they do.
- Using the wrong name is called “dead naming” and can be very painful.
- Apologize and correct yourself if you make a mistake–it is okay.
- Celebrate and preserve students’ autonomy for how they want the world to know them.
The newsletter includes a link to “LGBTQ+ Resources” from the National Education Association (NEA). Teachers can also “sign up for a FREE PRONOUN PIN.”