A concerned community member reached out to Parents Defending Education regarding a high school teacher within Littleton Public Schools providing students with a survey that asked students their “preferred name” and “preferred pronouns.” The pronouns students could choose were “She/Her,” “He/Him,” “They/Them,” and “Other.” This community member explained to PDE that students in the class were forced to complete the survey.
PDE sent a public records request to the school district requesting the survey from this specific class and received the survey from the district. The survey’s instructions stated: “Help me get to know you by completing the following questions. There are no right or wrong answers and no judgment, so please answer honestly and completely. That said, your answers do not need to be more than a few words – and you don’t need to worry about grammar on this one.”
The school district also has a page online with LGBTQ and transgender resources for students and educators. One resource on the page is a document titled “Coming Out: A Handbook for LGBTQ Young People” from The Trevor Project that is for young students. The document appears to tell students that gender is on a spectrum. Another resource on the page for teachers is the “Safe Space Kit” from the organization GLSEN. The description of the resource states: “The guide provides concrete strategies that will help you support LGBTQ students, educate about anti-LGBTQ bias and advocate for changes in your school.”
The Trevor Project is an organization specifically known for providing children with resources such as the “Understanding Gender Identities” guide. This resource states that “gender is actually a social construct.” The organization’s resource also appears to encourage children to question their gender and mentions the possibility of having surgery to transition:
If you decide that your current gender or sex just isn’t right for you, you may want to make your gender identity fit with your ideal gender expression and presentation. This is called transitioning, and can include social (like telling other people about which pronouns you like), legal (like changing your name), or medical (like taking hormones or having surgery).
The organization GLSEN is 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.