Fernbank Elementary School training teachers to “support gender identity issues with students”


On May 10, 2022, Fernbank Elementary School’s Principal Advisory Council (PAC) held a meeting and discussed training for teachers on gender ideology. A concerned community member reached out to Parents Defending Education regarding the meeting and how the elementary school is now changing the focus of the “Continuous School Improvement Plan” (CSIP). The school posted a document of the May 10 meeting notes online. The document explains that the three areas of focus for the 2021-2022 school year were “Social Emotional Learning, Literacy, and Numeracy.” However, that is changing for the next school year.

The document further explains that the CSIP focus will shift to “School Climate and Culture” in the 2022-2023 school year. This focus will include “Restorative Justice and DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion).” The elementary school has a “plan for nonbiased training with a summer book study and research to support gender identity issues with students next year.”

Fernbank Elementary School explains online that the Principal Advisory Council “includes seven parent representatives and three teacher representatives who are elected to two-year terms in September.” The school’s “Principal and the PTA Co-Chairs are ex-officio members of the PAC.” The school also explains that the “members of the Principal Advisory Council are accountable to the constituents they serve.” The following are guidelines for the members:

  • Maintain a school-wide perspective on issues.
  • Act as a link between the school and the community.
  • Encourage the engagement of parents and other stakeholders within the school community.
  • Work to increase student achievement and performance through transparent operations and shared best practices.

The school then provides the following explanation of the Principle Advisory Council’s purpose:

The Principal Advisory Council operates under the control and management of the DeKalb County School District and will follow Board of Education policies and procedures. The Principal Advisory Council provides advice and recommendations to the school principal, the local board of education and local school superintendent on matters related to school climate/culture, student achievement, and community partnerships.

The school explains how Principal Advisory Council members are chosen.
The school explains the purpose of the Principal Advisory Council.

Parents Defending Education previously reported that a teacher from Fernbank Elementary School had third grade students line up in groups of “girls,” “boys,” and “non-binaries.” The DeKalb County School District also promoted a Black Lives Matter curriculum for schools in early 2022. The district promoted lesson plans for teachers titled “Looking at Race and Racial Identity in Children’s Books,” “Examining Identity and Assimilation,” Visualizing School Equity,” “What Is Environmental Justice,” and “Discovering My Identity.”