Teachers at a school district in Wisconsin have been instructed to withhold information about their students’ changing gender identities from their parents, according to newly leaked training documents.
The documents come from “recent staff development sessions for teachers in the Eau Claire Area School District” in Wisconsin that focused on “safe spaces, gender identity, microaggression, and oppression.”
The “Safe Space” panel was led by three “experts,” including Dr. Christopher Jorgenson, the director of the Gender & Sexuality Resource Center at University of Wisconsin Eau Claire (UWEC), Jodi Marie Thesing-Ritter, the Executive Director for Diversity and Inclusion at UWEC, and Dang Yang, the Director for the Office of Multicultural Affairs at UWEC.
All three “experts” began the panel by introducing themselves and informing the teachers of their “preferred pronouns.”
During the presentation, one slide that was utilized reminded teachers that “parents are not entitled to know their kids’ identities. That knowledge must be earned.”
Another slide asserted that “teachers often find themselves in positions of trust with LGBTQ+ youth, because they cannot seek solace and support from their parents … How might you strategize the support of your LGBTQ+ students, without the support of their parents?”
The panel also taught the participants that they may feel discomfort during the discussion and provided several reasons for that.
One of the reasons included: “My religion has very specific feelings about LGBTQ+ people. Challenging my beliefs makes me anxious and uneasy.”
The slides used for the presentation also included the following “Land Acknowledgment Statement”: “We acknowledge that UW-Eau Claire occupies the sacred and ancestral lands of Indigenous Peoples. We honor the land of the Ojibwe and Dakota Nations.”
The panel exemplifies the current rot that pervades our universities and public schools.
It is the right of parents to educate their children. It isn’t up to teachers to pick and choose what information parents are entitled to learn about their children.
Focus on the Family has received emails from teachers who are wrestling with how to deal with gender identity issues in schools.
One teacher reached out, informing us that she has been asked to withhold information from the parents of a middle school student who wants to change their name and pronouns. The teacher has been told if she informs the student’s parents, she could cause the child harm and lose her teaching credential for doing so.
If you need legal advice pro bono, check out First Liberty, Liberty Counsel or Alliance Defending Freedom. They are Christian nonprofit organizations who represent their clients on a myriad of issues, including religious liberty violations and compelled-speech issues.
Additionally, if you are a parent and are worried about what your child may be learning in school, check out Focus on the Family’s free resource Back to School for Parents: A busy parent’s guide to what’s happening in your children’s classrooms and practical steps you can take to protect them.
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