Christian groups are urging parents to remove their children from a group of private schools after video footage revealed an effort to teach pre-k students about LGBT ideology.
Breitbart News obtained video footage from a National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) workshop in 2020. NAIS describes itself as a “nonprofit membership association that provides services to more than 1,900 schools and associations of schools in the United States and abroad, including more than 1,600 independent private K-12 schools in the U.S.”
At the training session, which took place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, speakers addressed how to “prepare your PK-8 Students for Their World” through “the lens of gender, identity, and sexuality education.”
NAIS lauded the workshop for enabling Belmont Day School, a private school in Belmont, Massachusetts, to share its “comprehensive, dynamic, responsive Health and Wellness curriculum with a developmentally appropriate PK-8 Gender, Identity, and Sexuality strand.”
One speaker who presented at the workshop discussed how “with the younger children starting in pre-k, we talk about their bodies, about the parts that they were born with, about penises and vaginas and whether that makes somebody a boy or a girl.” The speaker explained that students as young as pre-k are asked, “What do they feel like inside? Do they feel like a boy or a girl? What does their head say? Does (sic) their head and their heart and their body match up?”
As the woman spoke, a picture of the “Every” Body Tool appeared on the screen. The image on the left side of the screen featured a human body with icons representing the brain, heart and DNA. A key on the side of the screen had the phrase “gender identity” next to the brain icon, the phrase “sexual orientation” beside the heart icon and the word “sex” alongside the DNA icon. A star appears in the middle of the diagram to represent “gender expression,” which is implied to be a sum of an individual’s gender identity, sexual orientation and sex.
In a statement to The Christian Post, Meg Kilgannon, senior fellow for education studies at the Family Research Council, explained that because “parents with children in private schools do not enjoy basic civil rights protections that are afforded in public institutions,” “their recourse is to remove their child from the school since groups like NAIS are training private school teachers and administration to promote LGBT materials even to very young students.”
“Parents of children in private schools often have a false sense of security about the intellectual safety of their children from sexualized materials we see promoted in public schools,” she added. “Whether they are teaching in public or private schools, teachers and administrators are produced by the same university system that’s obsessed with queer theory and critical race theory. The post-Obergefell world is fraught for parents seeking to protect children from sexualized content or instill a worldview based on traditional sexual ethics.”
The 2015 Supreme Court decision Obergefell v. Hodges legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. Critics of the decision expressed concern that it would have negative implications for religious liberty and lead to schools promoting same-sex relationships as equally beneficial to children as the nuclear family.
“LGBT interest groups and advocates have significant influence in public education settings, Kilgannon told CP. “Private institutions are the next step, to the degree some were not early adopters of sexualized identity trends in education. The HRC rating and scores for businesses can easily be applied to private schools.”
Kilgannon warned that “LGBT activists and advocates are ready to name and shame any organization that doesn’t go along with their demands for affirmation and applause, including private schools and the organizations that are part of the private educational infrastructure, like NAIS.”
In a statement to The Christian Post, Jeff Johnston, culture and policy analyst for the Christian conservative advocacy group Focus on the Family, proclaimed that it's "important for parents to be aware that this false ‘gender ideology’ is being promoted in public and private schools across the country – for children from pre-kindergarten to twelfth grade.”
“‘Queer inclusive curriculum’ sexualizes and confuses children, from an early age, and it’s completely inappropriate for the classroom. This ideology teaches that gender is fluid, people can change from one sex to the other, and that your bodily sex can somehow be different from your so-called ‘gender.’ We encourage parents to lay a strong foundation, even with very young children, about how God designed individuals to be male or female, in His image. Both are good, both are valuable, but they are different from each other.”
Johnston also urged parents to “help kids embrace their bodily reality and support their daughters as they grow into a healthy sense of their femininity and their sons as they grow into a healthy sense of masculinity.” He cited “helpful, free resources” compiled by Focus on the Family for parents with children who encounter "queer ideology" in schools. They include webpages titled “Back To School – For Parents” and “Resources When Your Child Encounters LGBT Ideology at School.”
The video footage of the NAIS conference reveals that the effort to expose young children to LGBT ideology continues throughout the elementary school years. Suggested reading material for first-grade students includes the book, What Makes a Baby,characterized by Amazon as a “twenty-first century children’s picture book about conception, gestation, and birth.”
Amazon's summary of the book notes that the work “reflects the reality of our modern time by being inclusive of all kinds of kids, adults, and families, regardless of how many people were involved, their orientation, gender and other identity, or family composition.”
The summary also states that “the story doesn’t gender people or body parts, so most parents and families will find that it leaves room for them to educate their child without having to erase their own experience.”
Who Are You? The Kid’s Guide to Gender Identity is listed as recommended reading for second-graders. Second-grade students are taught about gender identity “in terms of your head and your heart and your body parts matching up” and asked, “Does that work for you?” and “What happens if it doesn’t?”
“The kids draw wonderful self-portraits … dealing with all aspects of their identity, including specifically, their gender identity,” the speaker explained. Under this curriculum, fifth-grade students are reintroduced to the “Every” Body tool and told that “hormones and chromosomes” are “something that you can only change with a whole lot of effort.”
The speaker suggested that fifth graders are told that “gender expression” is “something that you can change from day to day.”
Describing fifth grade as “our big year,” the speaker discussed the “Gender Unicorn,” where students are asked to check off their “gender identity” as either “female/woman/girl,” “male/man/boy” or “other genders.” Additionally, students have the option to check off their gender expression as “female,” “masculine” or “other,” their sex assigned at birth as “female,” “male” or “other/intersex” and indicate whether they were physically or emotionally attracted to “women,” “men” or “other gender(s).”
A Google drive account featuring “Workshop Resources” lists “Anything by Planned Parenthood, but especially their Sexuality Education Conference Series” as one of several “recommended resources” for NAIS schools looking to implement similar curriculum. Other recommended resources included the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Educators Network, an LGBT advocacy group.
Five pages of recommended reading for students and parents included books promoting transgenderism, such as Jacob’s New Dress and My Princess Boy, and books that promote same-sex relationships with titles like A Tale of Two Daddies and A Tale of Two Mommies. The list also featured a book titled Who Are You?: The Kid’s Guide to Gender Identity.
Another document outlines scenarios for teachers to respond to, including one where “a male kindergarten student wants to wear a princess costume in the Halloween parade” but “his parents have communicated with the homeroom teachers that they do not under any circumstances want their son wearing a princess costume.”
In another scenario, a student comes to the teacher saying that his parents refuse to let him participate in a gay pride parade the school is spearheading and uses “homophobic and transphobic language as well as perpetuating LGBTQ+ stereotypes.”
In each scenario, teachers are encouraged to consider guiding questions asking, “Who does this impact?” “Who do we need to respond to?” “How does the approach change for different constituents?” “What would I like to do vs. what would I probably do?” “Can you use this framework with other scenarios in your school” and “How do you move or encourage others to move from an accomplice to ally?”
Breitbart’s reporting about the NAIS workshop comes as many American families increasingly turn to private schools and other alternative methods of education due to dissatisfaction with the sexually charged curriculum their children are exposed to in public schools. The inclusion of the books Gender Queer and Lawn Boy, which critics liken to child pornography and a promotion of pedophilia, in school libraries has caused particular concern.
Illinois’ recently enacted sex education guidelines teaching children in grades as low as kindergarten about gender identity have also resulted in parental protest. Outrage over public schools’ embrace of critical race theory, “woke” ideology and sexually explicit curriculum has led to the rise of advocacy organizations such as Parents Defending Education and the 1776 Project PAC, which is working to elect school board candidates opposed to such ideology.
Breitbart credited the video footage and screenshots included in its reporting to tips from “Undercover Mother,” a group that describes itself as a “Mom Collective with children in independent schools” seeking to protect their children from “the abuse being inflicted by the schools and the cartels of the regional and National Association of Independent Schools.”
Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at: email@example.com