- - Monday, June 27, 2022

K-12 public schools are no longer a place children go to receive solid academic instruction. Instead, they have become indoctrination centers for progressive ideology. The aggressive promotion of radical ideas about human sexuality is not only infused into all academic subjects but is also infecting school practices and policies.

Step on the campus of a public school today, even an elementary school, and you will instantly be confronted with the gay pride flag, transgender flag or a combination of the two called the “Progress Pride” flag. These sexual identity flags are increasingly becoming the center of attention in place of the American flag on school campus flag poles and at the front of classrooms, seemingly encouraging school children to give their allegiance to these concepts instead of the ideals represented by their country’s flag.

District leaders, school staff and teachers have pledged their allegiance to a radical gender identity agenda and are working vigorously to instill their beliefs into your children and teens. Deeming themselves, rather than the children’s parents, as the true experts in such matters, they secretly counsel children in gender transitioning.

The damaging process starts with kindergarten or first-grade classroom activities and reading books that expose these 5, 6, and 7-year-old children to queer and transgender content. An example is the Gender Unicorn, which asks children to select their gender identity (“female/woman/girl, male/man/boy or other gender(s)”), gender expression (“feminine, masculine or other”), and which gender they are attracted to physically and emotionally (“women, men or “other gender(s)”). The Gender Unicorn also asks children to select their “sex assigned at birth,” with options including “female, male and “other/intersex.” Think this isn’t happening at your local public school? Think again.

Once the soil has been tilled by trusted adults placing radical ideas in children’s minds, school personnel are ready to prompt students to express confusion regarding their basic identity. It only takes a student slightly questioning their gender for the celebratory gender-affirming bandwagon to take over with full speed and enthusiasm. Gender affirming support plans are implemented, including new names, new pronouns and the use of the opposite sex’s bathroom. Other students are required to use the new names and pronouns for those students.

Not only is the swift transition intentionally hidden from parents, but school personnel also employ rhetoric to convince children or teens that their parents are unloving, or even the enemy, if they don’t fully affirm the newly claimed identity. 

In this brave new world, parents can lose custody if they fail to affirm the child’s desire to transition and try to prevent puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones and surgeries aimed at making the child appear as the opposite sex (which can result in sterilization and other lasting damage).

Virginia Gentles, director of the Education Freedom Center of the Independent Women’s Forum, asks a critical question: Where are these “caring and supportive” school personnel down the road in the child’s life?

Will any of the staff who have huddled with students — often with middle school girls, which means they are 11, 12 and 13 — to craft gender support plans be involved in that child’s life beyond that particular semester or school year? Will they remember the child’s name in the future — either the name her parents lovingly and carefully chose, or the new name picked by the child when she got caught up in this social contagion? Do the school staff members know the child’s (likely complex) emotional, behavioral and developmental history? Will they be a loving, consistent and active presence in her life forever? The answers to those questions are, of course, no.

All this flies in the face of what should be obvious — parents know their children best and are responsible for their care, protection and upbringing. Telling parents their child will commit suicide if they don’t let them transition socially and medically is not only malevolent and manipulative, it does not align with the latest research. Virginia Gentiles again makes powerful observations:

These vulnerable children, often girls, deserve their parents’ involvement as they struggle through puberty, and they need their parents’ emotional and financial support until they make it safely to adulthood. At its horribly rotten core, the culture created by the question “do you want a dead daughter or a live son?” intentionally drives a painful wedge between parents and children unless parents consent without question to immediate social and medical transition. Parents, who love their children with every fiber of their being … parents who have walked with their precious children through every step of their often challenging lives … parents who would do anything to keep their children safe are shoved aside by arrogant and callous school staff. School staff with “I’m your mom now” posters hanging on their classroom doors and the full power of the education bureaucracy behind them.

We must speak out and stand up to stop schools from stealing parental rights, which is causing irreversible harm to children. President Biden is wrong. Children do not belong to the teachers. It’s essential to strike down that lie with statutes that protect parents’ authority over their minor children’s education and health.

• Keri D. Ingraham, Ph.D., is a fellow at Discovery Institute and director of the Institute’s American Center for Transforming Education.

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