Parents Defending Education submitted a public records request to the Eau Claire Area School District seeking emails and materials within the district that mention or discuss LGBTQ and gender ideology issues. PDE received thousands of pages of documents back. PDE received emails of communications involving gender support plans, professional development in favor of transgender issues, and using “inclusive language.” PDE has reported on similar incidents in the district on numerous occasions.
PDE received an email from the district dated February 24, 2022. The email was discussing professional development training that appeared to be about transgender issues. The email states: “If you are looking for some real and current issues related to tomorrow’s PD, here are a few worth at least sharing on the big screen tomorrow.” Two articles were shared titled “Florida wants to erase me from my children’s lives at school” and “Greg Abbott is the one abusing trans teens, not their parents.” The principal of Manz Elementary School responded: “I was going to bring up the Texas one – reportable as child abuse if you support your kid or student.”
PDE also received a document named “Transgender Assignment” that is dated June 6, 2021. This document appeared to be created by a staff member of the school district currently listed as the “Director of Student Services.” The document is a letter that appears to be directed at teachers within the district. The letter states: “Make a list of five things you can do to make your school/classroom supportive of a student who identifies as transgender.” She then listed:
- Share accurate information.
- Support Trans-affirming policies.
- Model Gender-affirming behavior.
- Continue learning (PD) and by working/supporting students and families.
- Be open, caring, present emotionally and non-judgmental.
Some school districts throughout the country have closets available for students who identify as transgender to change clothes while at school without parents knowing. The school district sent PDE a document promoting a “closet” that is a “a resource for all students in need.” The document adds that “the closet has gently used and new items in every size for both genders.” The document does not mention LGBTQ or transgender students. However, PDE did not ask for any material regarding a “closet” in the public records request. The district appeared to provide the document to PDE as part of LGBTQ materials in the district’s possession.
Another document appeared to be a presentation provided to staff for professional development from the Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault. The presentation has a chart called “Racial and Sexual Violence Pyramid.” The phrases “All Lives Matter” and “I don’t see color” are described as attitudes that can lead to violence such as police brutality and genocide, according to the pyramid.
The presentation states that “our dominant culture is steeped in dangerous ideologies, especially racism, misogyny, homophobia and transphobia.” The presentation then adds that “sexual violence is a tool of oppression and is both rooted and reinforced in these harmful social ills.” The answer to this “problem” is “creating social change.”
The presentation also describes “primary prevention” as “classroom education that incorporates anti-racist literature and lessons” and “comprehensive sexual and reproductive health education that is sex positive and LGBTQ+ inclusive.” The presentation further encourages school districts to adopt “prevention policies.” An example is “a school-district policy that ensures trans and non-binary students and staff have equitable access to gender affirming bathrooms.”