Wauwatosa School District teacher brags about teaching first grade students about “pronouns”; school district promotes transgender books to children in elementary school


The Libs of TikTok account on Twitter posted an image of a first grade teacher at Wauwatosa School District bragging on Instagram about showing students a mug that stated to “ask me about my pronouns.” The teacher explained that “we had a great pronoun discussion.” The teacher then explained:

Bottom line is: No human is too young to learn about other humans. We loved sharing about how mistakes can be made by assuming someone’s gender based on appearance. Happy Friday, folx!

The Libs of TikTok account on Twitter exposed a first grade teacher for talking to students about gender and pronouns.

On June 4, 2021, the school district published a weekly update online that celebrated “LGBTQ+ Pride Month.” The district explains: “Pride Month started as a tribute to those involved in the Stonewall Riots in New York in 1969 and today is celebrated globally.” The district then outright promotes books on “transgender” issues and “gender expression” to elementary students. The school district states: “We also encourage elementary students and their families to explore the following books, which are available at your elementary school library!” The district then provides the following list of categories and books:

  • Celebrating Transgender & Non Binary Identities
    • When Aidan Became a Big Brother by Kyle Lukoff
    • Jack (Not Jackie) by Erica Silverman
    • It Feels Good to Be Yourself: A Book About Gender Identity by Theresa Thorn
    • Call Me Tree: Llȧmame Ȧrbol by Maya Christina Gonzalez
  • Celebrating Gender Expression
    • Juliȧn is a Mermaid by Jessica Love
    • The Boy and the Bindi by Vivek Shraya
  • Celebrating All Families
    • One Family by George Shannon
    • And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson
    • My Footprints by Bao Phi
    • The Family Book by Todd Parr
  • Celebrating Pride Month: History & History Makers
    • Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag by Rob Sanders
    • Queer There and Everywhere: 23 People Who Changed the World by Sarah Prager [available at Wauwatosa High School libraries]

The school district’s website also has a document titled “Attitudes Toward Difference Survey.” The survey explains that it is “adopted from MTV’s True Life: I’m Coming Out Educator’s Guide.” The first part of the survey asks respondents to “put a check next to each statement with which you agree.” The following were some of the statements from the first part of the document:

  • Homosexuality is unnatural and immoral. LGBT people are emotionally or psychologically ill.
  • LGBT people should participate in reparative therapy or any other treatment available to help them change their sexual orientation.
  • We should have compassion for LGBT people. They can’t be blamed for how they were born.
  • LGBT people didn’t choose to be the way they are. If they could somehow become heterosexual, they would surely do so.
  • Homophobia is wrong. Society needs to take a stand against anti-LGBT bias.
  • It takes strength and courage for LGBT people to be themselves in today’s world.
  • It is important for me to examine my own attitudes so that I can actively support the struggle for equality that LGBT people have undertaken.
  • I would be proud to be part of an LGBT organization, and to openly advocate for the full and equal inclusion of LGBT people at all levels of our society.

There are 16 total questions for respondents to possibly mark. The survey then provides a “rating” for respondents determined by their responses. These ratings range from “your personal feelings may be preventing you from accepting and respecting LGBT people” to “you are able to fully embrace LGBT people as equal and valuable members of the community.”

The second part of the document is labeled “School Climate Survey.” The document explains that this “set of questions is about homophobic remarks you may have heard at school.” Each question in this part has five choices for respondents to pick from that include “frequently,” “often,” “sometimes,” “rarely,” and “never.” The questions in this part focus on language involving sexual orientation and often use the term “homophobic.” The following questions are asked in the survey:

  • How often do you hear the expression “That’s so gay,” or “You’re so gay” in school?
  • How often have you heard other homophobic remarks used in schools (such as “faggot,” “dyke,” “queer,” etc.)?
  • How often do you hear these homophobic remarks from teachers or school staff?
  • How often do you hear homophobic remarks in:
    • Classes
    • Hallways
    • Bathrooms
    • Locker Rooms
    • Buses
    • Athletic Field/Gym
    • Schoolyard or School Grounds
    • Cafeteria

The next section of the survey asks respondents “about harassment or fights that you may have encountered at school.” The survey asks the following questions to respondents:

  • Do you feel unsafe at school because of… (check all that apply)
    • your sexual orientation
    • your gender
    • how you express your gender (how traditionally “masculine” or “feminine” you are in your appearance or in how you act)
    • Other
  • In the past year, how often have you been verbally harassed (name calling, threats, etc.) at our school because of…
    • your sexual orientation?
    • your gender?
    • how you express your gender?
  • In the past year, how often have you been physically harassed (shoved, pushed, etc.) at our school because of…
    • your sexual orientation?
    • your gender?
    • how you express your gender?
  • In the past year, how often have you been physically assaulted (punched, kicked, injured with a weapon) at our school because of…
    • your sexual orientation?
    • your gender?
    • how you express your gender?
  • How often have you been sexually harassed at school, such as sexual remarks made toward you or someone touching your body inappropriately?

The last section of the survey then asks respondents about their “personal characteristics.” These questions include topics regarding sexual orientation, gender, and race. The following questions were asked to respondents:

  • Below is a list of terms that people often use to describe their sexuality or sexual orientation. Please check all those terms that apply to you.
    • Gay
    • Lesbian
    • Bisexual
    • Straight/Heterosexual
    • Questioning
  • Below is a list of terms that people often use to describe their gender. Please check all those terms that apply to you.
    • Male
    • Female
    • Transgender
    • Transgender Female-to-Male
    • Transgender Male-to-Female
  • What is your race or ethnicity? Please check all those terms that apply to you.
    • White or European-American
    • African American or Black
    • Hispanic or Latina/o
    • Asian or Pacific Islander
    • Native American
  • How old are you?
  • What grade are you in?

The school district has another document online titled “Coming Out.” The document appears to be a guide for students on how to come out as LGBTQ. The document explains:

Coming Out is now more than ever a youth issue. Studies indicate that many lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) young people are aware of their sexual orientation/gender identity by the time they are 13. Chances are that more than a few students at your middle or high school are wrestling right now with how and when to tell their friends and families they are LGB or T. Whether you are LGBT yourself or wondering how to react to a friend who has just come out to you, the following information can help you to manage your coming out experience openly and with sensitivity.

The document advises students to not come out if they are under 18 years old and parents may disagree. The document states: “If you are under 18 and/or financially dependent on others, you may not want to come out if there is a chance you will be kicked out of your home or left to fend for yourself.” The document then explains that “your decision about which family member to come out to when is a very personal decision that you should consider thoughtfully.”

The document explains that most people who disagree “will grow to be accepting over time and that it is not your responsibility to change the few who will never open their minds.” The document then tells people who are coming out to help others educate themselves on the issue by suggesting “books, websites, or local groups (such as PFLAG).” The document additionally provides 10 tips to people on the receiving end of someone coming out. These tips include it being “your problem” to deal with and not the person coming out and being an “advocate.” The following are provided as tips:

  • It takes a lot of courage for someone to come out to you-listen to all they have to say without interrupting, judging, tuning out or buying into stereotypes about LGBT people.
  • Tell them how pleased you are that they trusted you enough to share something so personal and congratulate them on the bravery it took to be so honest.
  • Let them know that you feel the same way about them as you always have and that nothing has changed (except that you can be even closer than before).
  • Ask questions and show that you are interested in learning about their feelings and experiences. Be respectful and stay away from personal issues (sex, HIV, etc.) unless they let you know it’s okay.
  • If you are feeling uncomfortable or upset, be honest. Let them know you may need some time to process everything, but acknowledge that it is your problem to work out and not their responsibility.
  • Remember that you cannot and should not try to change them-you have an opportunity here to support, not to reform them.
  • Ask what you can do to support them or what they need from you right now.
  • Follow up. The coming out conversation should be the first of many. Continue to check in and ask questions over time.
  • Be open to socializing with their new friends and in a variety of settings, both LGBT and straight. Let them know that they don’t have to compartmentalize their lives.
  • Be an advocate. Read up on LGBT issues, wear an LGBT-friendly button or sticker, join a Gay/Straight Alliance (GSA) or other LGBT group, and confront homophobia in as many ways as you can.

On October 10, 2019, the school district adopted a new policy titled “Students Who Are Transgender and Students Nonconforming to Gender Role Stereotypes.” The policy states that “the District prohibits all forms of discrimination, harassment or bullying against any student who is transgender or any student who does not conform to gender stereotypes including a student’s actual or perceived gender transgender status or gender nonconformity.” The policy also mandates that teachers use the preferred pronouns of students by stating: “Upon being informed that a student intends to regularly use a particular name and/or prefers to be addressed using particular pronouns that correspond to the student’s gender identity, school personnel are expected to respect that decision.”

The policy additionally explains that students are allowed to use their preferred restrooms at school. The policy states: “In most cases, a student who is transgender will be permitted to access the men’s/women’s segregated restrooms that correspond to the gender identity that the student consistently asserts at school and in other social environments.” When students want to use locker rooms that conflict with their biological sex, “the request shall be assessed on a case-by-case basis.” Students who identify as transgender will also “be permitted to participate in physical education classes and intramural sports in a manner consistent with the gender identity.”

The school district was involved in creating a report titled “Wauwatosa Youth Risk Behavior Survey 2019 Report” with the Wauwatosa Health Department and Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. The report is based on a survey given to students from the ninth grade to the twelfth grade in Wauwatosa. The survey reported that 18 percent of this age group in the city identify as a “sexual minority youth.” This means they “identify as LGBT, are not sure of their sexual identity, or have had sexual contact with persons of the same or both sexes.”