In September 2023, Project Veritas released several videos exposing the partnership between New Jersey based nonprofit HiTOPS and Princeton Public Schools (PPS); in the wake of their reporting, PPS stated that they would reconsider their relationship with the organization.
On its site, HiTOPS offers programming targeted at students as young as 11, including a Trans Youth Advisory Board composed of students aged 11-24 and a Closet that “provides access to identity-affirming clothing, toiletries, and self-care items” for youth between 11-24. HiTOPS also recommends several Planned Parenthood clinics that can provide clinical services if needed.
PDE filed public records requests with PPS for documents related to HiTOPS’ work in the district. Materials provided include teacher manuals for “Intro to Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Gender Expression” and “SOGIE Reflections: Taking a Deeper Dive (SOGIE II)” for grades 6-8.
Follow-up emails were sent to participants following both SOGIE workshops from HiTOPS’ director of education and senior education manager reiterating information from the sessions and providing links to additional resources from activist organizations including Planned Parenthood and GLSEN. Recommendations include “normalize sharing pronouns,” “if you are not sure of someone’s pronouns, it is best to use ‘they’ until the person indicates otherwise,” and “It is not recommended to use or inquire about a transgender person’s previous name, often called a ‘dead’ name, even when you’ve known them an extended time and/or they are telling a story about their pre-transition.” Suggested resources include the Gender Unicorn and the Gender Galaxy.
HiTOPS promotional flyers include:
- “Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, & Expression (SOGIE) Onboarding Training Video,” a one hour pre-recorded training video designed for staff and new employees to watch during their onboarding process, at a cost of $1000 for unlimited use for one year (link here);
- “Affirming Educators Training,” which is “a consulting series in which we provide training for 15-20 select staff within a school district with the goal of establishing an ambassador group to serve as in-house experts in maintaining an affirming and inclusive school community for all youth” (link here); and
- “Gender Affirming Kit,” described as “[a] carefully selected collection of gender affirming items tailored to help students express their authentic selves.” Materials provided include binders (short and long), packing tape, tucking underwear, packers, chest forms, and stand to pee devices, plus “educational pamphlet[s] containing instructions for healthy wear and practice.” (link here)
- Other flyers are for to HiTOPS’ Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Professional Development Series and their signature sexual health education program “ABCs: Affirming Our Youth, Building a Foundation, Communities Working Together.”
Included in the public records request from PPS was a 90-minute Zoom call with HiTOPS. Below are clips from the call:
The Director of Education at HiTOPS explains to PPS parents of elementary school students that HiTOPS often tells educators to ask students which pronouns they would like to use in the classroom and which pronouns the teacher should use when speaking with parents.
The Director of HiTOPS reads a from a book intended for 3rd and 4th grade students which introduces concepts such as “sex assigned at birth” and “gender expression.” The book also states that “Some people say there are only two genders, But there are really many genders.”