On June 8, 2022, the Gender LCGB newsletter reported that Glendale Unified School District’s Director of Teaching and Learning, Christopher Coulter, sent an email to teachers to provide them with LGBTQ resources in celebration of “Pride Month.” The Gender LCGB newsletter received a video from concerned teachers in the school district exploring the material that Christopher Coulter provided to them in the email. Gender LCGB reported that parents “had no idea that these resources were sent out.”
The email teachers received promotes a “newsletter” link that leads them to a webpage that states “June is Pride Month” with an image labeled “Happy Pride Month.” In another link on this newsletter labeled “June Celebration Page,” teachers are directed to resources to use in their lesson plans in classrooms. Resources on this page include links to the Human Rights Campaign, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Learning for Justice, and GLSEN.
One lesson in the video discussed women during the Gold Rush. The lesson discussed how some women dressed as men so that they could perform jobs typically reserved for men. A lesson states: “Sometimes women wore men’s clothes to pretend they were men, but some women wore men’s clothes because pants were much easier to wear at work rather than the usual women’s dress.” The lesson then moves to a person called “Charley Parkhurst” who the lesson explains is “the most famous person to do this.” The lesson then explains: “Charley was labeled ‘female’ at birth in 1812 in Vermont, however he lived as a man most of his life. Today, we might consider Charley a transgender man.“
Additional resources are labeled “A Living History of the LGBT Movement Since the 1800s,” “The LGBT Revolution,” and “This Is What LGBT Life Is Like Around the World.” One resource is a list of books for middle schoolers. Books in this list include George and Beyond the Gender Binary. Amazon’s description of George states: “When people look at Melissa, they think they see a boy named George. But she knows she’s not a boy. She knows she’s a girl.” Amazon’s description of Beyond the Gender Primary states: “Alok Vaid-Menon challenges the world to see gender not in black and white, but in full color. Taking from their own experiences as a gender-nonconforming artist, they show us that gender is a malleable and creative form of expression. The only limit is your imagination.”
The resources provided to teachers from the school district target young children. Videos promoted as for young children include “Love is Love – LGBT+ Pride song for kids” and “Pride Explained for Kids.” The “Love Is Love” video promotes children marching in pride parades. The “Pride Explained for Kids” video teaches children about the perceived history of the “pride” movement.
The Human Rights Campaign is a political organization that advocates for corporations and schools to adopt LGBTQ issues in their businesses and curricula. The organization has a history of working with schools, teachers unions, and the federal government to push LGBTQ activism into the nation’s education system. The organization has a “Welcoming Schools” program with the purpose of providing “LGBTQ+ and gender inclusive professional development training, lesson plans, booklists and resources specifically designed for educators and youth-serving professionals.”
The ADL is a known political organization that supports and advocates for left-wing causes. The organization has pushed its “No Place for Hate” project in America’s schools. In a document for the “No Place for Hate” project, the ADL states that “although learning how to demonstrate kindness is an important part of a child’s psychological and social development, ADL highly encourages schools to move beyond kindness to social justice.” One section of the document is titled “Let’s Get It Right: Using Correct Pronouns and Names.” In this section, the document encourages teachers to use the preferred pronouns of students:
From an early age, many were taught that pronouns should follow specific rules along the gender binary: ‘she, her and hers’ for girls and women and ‘he, him and his’ for boys and men. However, as our society has progressed in understanding gender identity, our language must also be updated. It should be accurate and convey understanding and respect for all people, especially for those who are transgender, gender non-conforming and non-binary.
The ADL’s document then encourages teachers to implement “LGBTQ” topics into classroom discussions:
Using the lesson below, lead a discussion about the ways in which LGBTQ people, events and issues have been less visible or made invisible in mainstream accounts of history. Explore the impact of invisibility on people and how different groups have been historically marginalized in society. Then, engage students in a discussion about people who may feel invisible in their school. Be sure to focus on general identity characteristics (e.g., sexual orientation, immigration status, gender identity, etc.) rather than specific individuals. Based on this discussion, ask students to sign up to be interviewed if they feel like an aspect of their identity needs more visibility.
The “No Place for Hate” document also features a “Pyramid of Hate.” The ADL uses the document to explain that “while every biased attitude or act does not lead to genocide, each genocide has been built on the acceptance of attitudes and actions described at the lower levels of the Pyramid.” The pyramid intends to show that actions such as using “non-inclusive language” and committing “microaggressions” will possibly lead to “the act or intent to deliberately and systematically annihilate an entire people.”
Learning for Justice is an organization known for pushing its “Social Justice Standards” to be adopted in schools throughout the country. The document for these standards includes goals to achieve for students. One goal is that “students will develop language and historical and cultural knowledge that affirm and accurately describe their membership in multiple identity groups.” Another goal appears to outright state that the purpose of the “Social Justice Standards” is to turn students into political activists: “Students will make principled decisions about when and how to take a stand against bias and injustice in their everyday lives and will do so despite negative peer or group pressure.”
GLSEN is an organization known for promoting LGBTQ issues to young children. GLSEN states on its website that “while many LGBTQ+-inclusive school supports begin in middle or high school, it is critical for elementary schools to establish a foundation of respect and understanding for all people.” The organization has also appeared to show support for children taking “hormone replacement therapy” to transition to another gender:
Upon birth, we are typically categorized into one of two genders (boy or girl) depending on how our genitals are read. Throughout our lives, however, our many bodily characteristics work together to create a unique path of development, causing some of us to grow really tall, and others to remain short, or some of us to grow hair under our armpits and legs, while others remain bare. While this development often happens on its own during puberty, this change can also be administered through medicine, such as hormone replacement therapy. Since our society often conflates our bodies (or genitalia) with our gender identity, it is critical that we allow space for people to self-identify.