Teachers in a Lincoln, Nebraska middle school were given a training on “gender inclusiveness”. The purpose of the training was to be “inclusive and educate and understand all children and address bullying,” according to Lincoln Superintendent Steve Joel.
The training included a handout by Gender Spectrum, an organization that provides training and educational materials to understand “gender identity” and “gender sensitivity” to promote inclusive schools.
The handout outlines 12 easy steps to promote gender inclusiveness. Here’s a brief synopsis of how they train teachers to tackle “gender identity” in the classroom:
• “Avoid asking kids to line up as boys or girls or separating them by gender. Always ask yourself, ‘Will this configuration create a gendered space?’”
• “Create classroom names and then ask all of the ‘purple penguins’ to meet at the rug.”
• “Invite students and parents to let you know if they have a preferred name and/or pronoun by which they wish to be referred.”
• “Have visual images reinforcing gender inclusion: ‘All Genders Welcome’ door hangers.”
• When you find it necessary to reference gender, say ‘Boy, girl, both or neither.’ Emphasize to students that your classroom recognizes and celebrates the gender diversity of all students.”
• “Look for examples in the media that reinforce gender stereotypes or binary models of gender (it won’t be hard; they’re everywhere). When with others, call it out and interrogate it.”
• “Be intolerant of openly hostile attitudes or references towards others EVERY TIME you hear or observe them, but also use these as teachable moments. Take the opportunity to push the individual on their statements about gender.”
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Another handout given to the teachers is called “The Genderbread Person” written by self-professed “social justice comedian” Sam Killermann. It is from an online resource called “It’s Pronounced MetroSexual” which advocates for the LQBTQ movement and advances “social equity”.
This handout says gender isn’t binary and it encourages students to define their gender based on expression. It emphasizes “that there are many facets to consider (regarding gender) and many pressures at play, and we have all been conditioned in such a way that our first instinct is almost unanimously wrong.”
Superintendent Joel said this type of training was only done at this particular school and would be decided by each school to determine if this type of training was needed.
As for teachers or parents who might be offended by this type of “gender inclusive” training, Joel responded that the district needs to address their widely diverse school district. “There is no one size fits all approach to this,” he remarked. “We can’t turn a deaf ear to that (gender identity). We have to understand it…we can’t be judgmental inside our schools.”
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