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Gender identity movement targets Middle America for indoctrination

Missouri's Springfield Public Schools, already being sued for allegedly unconstitutional antiracism training, tells employees it's "violence" to not use preferred pronouns.

Published: August 25, 2022 6:30pm

Updated: August 27, 2022 11:52pm

The tansgender movement is increasingly targeting Middle America with its highly contested and relatively recent ideas about gender identity, but it's not clear these states' residents will prove as acquiescent to the ideological push as their coastal counterparts.

A Missouri school district that's already battling a lawsuit for training teachers in antiracism, which Columbia linguist John McWhorter deems "neoracism" or "woke racism," is also training "all school personnel" on what they "need to know" about LGBTQ students and staff, including that "gender is a universe" and failing to use preferred pronouns is "violence."

Compelling such affirmations from teachers or sanctioning them for refusing could get Springfield Public Schools in legal trouble. 

Ohio's Shawnee State University paid a professor $400,000 to settle his First Amendment lawsuit after the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the school couldn't force him to use a student's preferred pronouns.

Meanwhile, following public backlash, Texas-based grocery chain H-E-B "appears to be trying to whitewash the evidence" of its sponsorship of Rainbow on the Creek, an Austin "family friendly" pride parade, reports a conservative website.

Texas Scorecard noticed H-E-B disappeared from the sponsor list for the event, which included some scantily clad and sexually suggestive dancing, between July 16, a few days after the investigative news site highlighted H-E-B's financial patronage, and Wednesday.

H-E-B didn't respond to requests from Just the News for an explanation.

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A Philadelphia-area school district faced smaller blowback after encouraging boys to wear dresses during Pride month in June, with at least two families removing their children from West Chester Area School District, the Delaware Valley Journal reported. 

School parent Jim Jacobs said Stetson Middle School removed his son from class for wearing Uggs boots — which were deemed slippers — but allowed a male teacher to repeatedly wear high heels in class. 

"So my son gets disciplined for wearing Uggs (which are said to not adhere to the dress code), but boys are encouraged to wear dresses and male teachers can teach in stilettoes! Really?" Jacobs said. "I called Assistant Principal (James) DeWitt to ask if that was true. He verified it and told me that 'boys dressing as girls and a male teacher wearing high heels is perfectly acceptable and not in violation of the dress code.'"

The school also required his son and other students to remove their American and Blue Lives Matter flag pins while encouraging students to wear Pride flag pins, Jacobs said.

The West Chester Area School District didn't answer Just the News requests for comment.

The Southeastern Legal Foundation posted the 77 pages of employee training material from the winter 2020 "Senior Leadership Series" on "Equity & Access" in Springfield Public Schools.

General Counsel Kimberly Hermann told Just the News it was among a series of tips the public interest law firm received from "concerned parents and educators" in the wake of its antiracism lawsuit, which uncovered the district's "oppression matrix" and training that claims that teaching English and saying "all lives matter" were white supremacist in nature. 

The equity and access training opens with a "land acknowledgment" to the indigenous Osage, Delaware and Kickapoo Nations peoples. The goals for the day are recognizing "how your identities show up in your position" and impact work and relationships, and increasing "awareness and understanding of LGBTQ+ terminology and the importance of inclusive practices and schools."

Employees are tasked with matching words such as "privilege," "race" and "gender" to their descriptions, and reviewing a "cycles of oppression" graphic. They then watch an MTV News video titled "Does Privilege Make You Angry?"

The vast majority of the training is devoted to LGBTQ issues, however, warning employees they can harm "sexual minority youth" if they aren't careful with their words.

It discourages them from using the long-neutral term "transsexual" because it is "overly clinical, misleading, [and] focuses on sex," and "hermaphrodite" without explanation. Employees can use "queer," however, because the once-derogatory term "is now being reclaimed as an affirming term."

The presentation distinguishes between lesbian, gay and bisexual students on one hand and trans youth on the other, rattling off statistics gathered by the 2015 National School Climate Survey by GLSEN (formerly known as the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network) about the unique risks each group faces.

The training explains "biological sex assigned at birth" and gender identity and expression, using the popular but controversial "Gender Unicorn" graphic that has appeared in curricula nationwide. This spring, a Pennsylvania lawmaker said he was investigating the state Education Department for including the graphic in a training for future K-12 teachers.

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The training features a Human Rights Campaign (HRC) video on student experiences and another with students explaining why "pronouns are important." 

While the videos can't be played from the non-interactive version of the presentation posted by the law firm, the Manhattan Institute's Christopher Rufo tracked them down for his review of the materials. 

They include the claims that "gender is a universe," some children "don't have a gender," and "misgendering a trans person is an act of violence," quoting the actor who first popularized transgender identity, Laverne Cox, who joined President Obama at the 2015 White House Correspondents Dinner.

The training encourages employees to post "symbols of support," including HRC and GLSEN symbols, and promote LGBTQ groups such as Gender Sexuality Alliance clubs, claiming "just one accepting adult can reduce the risk of a suicide attempt by 40 percent."

The source for the claim is a 2019 report by the Trevor Project. Studies finding high risk of suicide for trans youth whose identities are not affirmed are the subject of ongoing methodological challenges, as is a recent survey purporting to discredit the "social contagion" explanation for rapid-onset gender dysphoria.

Much of the Springfield schools training document is an "LGBTQ 101" presentation devised for a single school, Parkview High, and led by "equity champion" teacher Ashley Blankinship. 

She urges colleagues to use "they" as a singular pronoun by default, which is "PERFECTLY GRAMMATICALLY CORRECT," if they don't preemptively ask for pronouns, which is preferable because it "lets trans and non-binary folks know that you're a safe person." 

The presentation has a few typos and several pages from a generic template that Blankinship didn't remove.

The district didn't respond to Just the News queries.

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