Scottsdale Unified School District promotes “Gender Unicorn” in effort to teach children that gender is on a spectrum; club questions the “heterosexuality” of students
- Sex and Gender
The Scottsdale Unified School District’s website has a document titled “Support Services February Newsletter” that is dated from February 2021. This document promotes the “Gender Unicorn” for students. The “Gender Unicorn” is an image that schools have used in an attempt to teach children that gender exists on a spectrum. The document also supports an organization called One-n-Ten. This organization specifically targets children and young adults with LGBTQ issues. One-n-Ten states: “Our mission is to serve LGBTQ youth and young adults ages 11-24. We enhance their lives by providing empowering social and service programs that promote self‐expression, self‐acceptance, leadership development, and healthy life choices.”
The school district’s document links to a calendar of events from One-n-Ten. The organization’s calendar page promotes a “Med Van” that will provide “free medical services” at a “youth center” every week. For June 2022, events include “Q*OC (Queer of Color) Group” meetings, “TGNC (Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming) Group” meetings, and “Big Brothers Big Sisters” meetings. The description for the “Big Brothers Big Sisters” meetings explains: “Big Brothers Big Sisters is a mentor program for LGBTQ+ youth and adults. Meet with your Big or Little every other Saturday at the Phoenix Youth Center.” A link is then provided to a website promoting “Big Brothers Big Sisters” with several LGBTQ and transgender resources for children and young adults.
One resource on this website is a document titled “Basic Facts About Being LGBTQ.” This document states: “Many young people report being aware of their orientation as very young children, well before their first sexual experience. Others may not be aware of their sexual orientation or gender identity until they are older adults. Never assume that a person is either ‘too young’ or ‘too old’ to come out as LGBTQ.” The document also states that “as an important factor in your youth’s life it is important to be sensitive and appreciative of the courage it takes to come out.”
Another resource is a document titled “Working with Transgender Youth.” This document states: “Respect a transgender young person’s choice of name and gendered pronouns that best reflects their sense of self as female or male. By doing so, you validate their identity and sense of self-worth.” The document also states that being transgender “is not a choice a person makes, but rather who he or she is.” The document also promotes giving children hormone replacement therapy: “Advocate for transgender youth to receive competent and affirming mental health and medical services, including access to monitored use of hormones if deemed medically appropriate.“
The school district’s document also promotes an organization called “Inclusive Therapists.” The district claims that this organization “is a mental health community that commits to and practices: advancing justice & equity for all intersectional identities; culturally affirming & responsive client care; centering the needs of marginalized, underserved populations; celebrating all identities and abilities in all bodies; decolonizing & destigmatizing mental healthcare; and dismantling systemic oppression & white supremacy in mental healthcare.”
The Inclusive Therapists website states that “we actively confront and dismantle systemic oppression, the white supremacy myth, ableism/stigma, and injustices rooted in coloniality.” The organization also promotes “Decolonizing Mental Health Care.” This includes “restoring land stewardship to Indigenous Peoples” and advocating for people to “pay voluntary land taxes” to Native Americans.
Parents Defending Education previously reported that Cocopah Middle School won an award in December 2021 from the Phoenix chapter of GLSEN for successfully pushing Scottsdale Unified School District to adopt a policy that allows students to change the name on their IDs without parental knowledge. The school’s GSA (Gender and Sexuality Alliances) club advocated for the change. GLSEN is the creator of GSA clubs and heavily promotes the introduction of them into schools throughout the country. At the awards, a student in the middle school’s GSA club spoke about the teacher supervisor who encouraged the students to speak out and convince the district to change the ID policy.
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.
On December 9, 2021, Superintendent Scott Menzel appeared to address the issue in a statement and explained that the school district “does not regulate the viewpoints of student-initiated clubs.” He then specifically defended GSA clubs and even mentioned “transgender identity”:
Recently, there have been targeted attacks on student-created school clubs related to gender and sexual identity, sometimes called GSA clubs. The students who choose to participate in them have a legal right not to be bullied, intimidated, or otherwise targeted by adult members of our community, as well as by any of their peers. Pursuant to Governing Board Policy AC, Scottsdale Unified School District does not and will not “discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including sexual orientation and transgender identity), disability, age, height, weight, marital or family status, religion, military status, ancestry, genetic information, or any other legally protected category (collectively, “Protected Classes”), in its programs and activities, including employment opportunities.”
The superintendent links to a school district policy titled “Nondiscrimination/Equal Opportunity.” On December 1, 2020, the school district appeared to update the policy to specifically include “transgender identity.” The policy states: “The District and Governing Board are committed to a policy of non-discrimination that does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including sexual orientation and transgender identity), disability, age, height, weight, marital or family status, religion, military status, ancestry, genetic information, or any other legally protected category (collectively, ‘Protected Classes’), in its programs and activities, including employment opportunities.”
On June 9, 2022, the Arizona Daily Independent reported that the “Unitown Club” in the school district hosted an event based on “gender identity and students’ sexuality.” The news outlet reportedly obtained emails from school district staff, including the teacher who sponsors the club, to “plan a ‘sexuality program’ that utilizes Anytown Leadership Camp’s Safe Zone and Sexuality Orientation curriculum.” The Anytown Leadership Camp openly targets teenagers for a “weeklong residential experience” where participants focus on issues such as “prejudice, discrimination, and bias.”
The Arizona Daily Independent reported on the material used in the club’s presentation to students. A “Herman’s Head” skit is mentioned in an email that the news outlet received. This skit reportedly touches on the issue of suicide with “gender-confused” children. The Arizona Daily Independent explains:
The Anytown Sexual Orientation “Herman’s Head” skit provides minor children a suggested dialog in which a gender-confused child’s parents, church, best friend, and current gender-opposite partner are all perplexed and hurt by the child’s gender revelations, and a new potential gender-aligned partner feels eager. The narrative instructs the characters to talk loudly at the gender-confused child until the child explodes with frustration. The skit then suggests that the gender-confused child take out a toy gun to suggest the idea of suicide. Anytown suggests that the skit conclude with a panel discussion in which they discuss “how the straight couple answered the concerns raised by the audience.”
The news outlet continues to explain more about the Anytown Leadership Camp’s “Sexual Orientation” and “Safe Zone” programs that the school district’s staff used at the Unitown Club event for students. One document from the Anytown leadership Camp is called the “Sexual Orientation Exercise.” The document states that a goal is “to reduce homophobia and discrimination based on sexual orientation and create straight allies for GLBT people.” The document then provides the following questions to ask children about their heterosexuality:
- What do you think caused your heterosexuality?
- When and how did you first decide that you were a heterosexual?
- Is it possible that your heterosexuality is just a phase that you may just grow out of?
- Is it possible that your heterosexuality stems from a neurotic fear of others of the same sex?
- If you’ve never slept with a person of the same sex, is it possible that all you need is a good gay/lesbian lover?
- Why do you heterosexuals feel compelled to seduce others into your lifestyle?
- Why do you insist on flaunting your heterosexuality? Can’t you just be who you are and keep quiet?
- Would you want your children to be heterosexual, knowing all the problems they’d face?
- A disproportionate majority (side note: the actual figure is 98%) of child molesters are heterosexuals. Do you consider it safe to expose your children to heterosexual teachers?
- Even with all the societal support marriage receives, the divorce rate is spiraling. Why are there so few stable relationships among heterosexuals?
- Why do heterosexuals place so much emphasis on sex?
- Considering the menace of overpopulation, how could the human race survive if everyone were heterosexual?
- How can you become a whole person if you limit yourself to compulsive exclusive heterosexuality and fail to develop your natural, healthy homosexual potential?
Another document from the Anytown Leadership Program that the Unitown Club used is called “Safe Zone Training” and focuses on “gender identity.” This document states that “gender is in fact a social construct” and further explains that this “means it is something that society made up.” The document also states that “what we are taught is there are only two genders” but “what we know to be the REALITY is there are more than two genders.”
The document then explains that “gender orientation” is “not a choice.” However, “gender identity” is considered a “choice.” Examples of gender identity listed in the document are “man,” “woman,” “transgender,” “genderflux,” “queer,” “genderqueer,” and “genderfluid.” The document also uses the “Gender Unicorn” image in an attempt to teach children in the program that gender is on a spectrum.
The document also has interactive assignments for children to participate in to learn that gender is on a spectrum. As part of an assignment, “participants will be instructed to place themselves along a spectrum related to gender identity” and “facilitators will need to designate the end of each spectrum in the room,” such as woman to man. Participants then line themselves up according to the gender identity they marked on the “Gender Unicorn.” Another part of this assignment is that facilitators will separate participants into groups based on their gender identity. These groups are “women,” “men,” and “gender expansive.”
On May 5, 2022, the Arizona Daily Independent reported that “parents in the Scottsdale Unified School District demanded an investigation into reports of a staff member discussing gender ideology with kindergarteners.” Parents were concerned after “multiple instances in which children expressed confusion and concern after encounters with the staff member, who claimed to be neither a male nor female.”
Children reportedly “began expressing concerns and asking unusual questions after encounters with a staff member identified as Mia.” Students said that Mia “was eager to discuss her gender ideology with them” and that Mia claimed to be “neither male nor female.” The news outlet reported that this staff member’s comments led to one boy asking his mother if he “would always be a boy.” The Arizona Daily Independent continued to report that “efforts to discuss the matter with SUSD Superintendent Scott Menzel were unsuccessful and Mia remained in contact with young children.”