Gender identity and sexual orientation instruction as early as kindergarten being considered in Wisconsin schools

Gender lessons for kindergarteners and gender identity, sexual orientation and pronouns for third graders are all part of a new curriculum being considered in one Wisconsin school district. 

The proposed “Human Growth and Development” curriculum was presented to the Wauwatosa School Board on Aug. 8 for an initial overview, and the vote for final approval is scheduled for Aug. 22, according to a notification on the district’s website. 

“[The curriculum] starts as young as kindergarten with gender identity stuff,” Alexandra Schweitzer, president of the Wisconsin chapter of No Left Turn in Education, told the Lion.  

Schweitzer has spoken to dozens of parents in the district who are concerned about the proposed curriculum, which they feel is really just radical sex education disguised as “human growth and development.” 

Third-graders, for example, will learn about gender pronouns and be taught that sexual orientation and gender identity are different – and differences exist between sex assigned at birth and one’s gender. They also will learn that girls are “students who do or will menstruate.” 

One of the more radical lesson plans uses the book “It Feels Good to Be Yourself: A Book About Gender Identity.” The book is about a girl named Alex, who is “both a boy and a girl.” 

“This is available for fourth-graders,” Schweitzer said. “And in this book, it explains to you that the people that are in the room when you are born, they mislabel you. Because only you can assign your gender.”   

The book contains such lines as, “Your gender identity might match what people thought you were when you were born, or it might not,” and “when Alex was born, everyone thought Alex was a girl, but Alex is both boy and girl. This is Alex’s gender identity.” 

“Fourth-graders are 8- and 9-years-old,” Schweitzer continued. “They should be worried about who stole my Barbie on the playground, or why didn’t I get a chance at kickball? Not, am I allowed to call Angela ‘her’ or can I call John ‘him’?” 

While the notification on the district’s website states parents have the option to opt their student out of the lesson plans, Schweitzer and the parents she spoke with don’t think it’s enough. 

“This shouldn’t be an opt-out, this should be an opt-in,” Schweitzer said. “Bureaucrats shouldn’t be telling us when it’s time to sexually educate our children. Bureaucrats need to stay out of it.”  

According to the notification, the learning goals for each grade level are “grounded in the National Sex Education Standards.”   

The National Sex Education Standards linked to in the notification were created by the Future of Sex Education Initiative, which is a partnership between Advocates for Youth, Answer and SIECUS: Sex Ed for Social Change.  

The Future of Sex Education Initiative “seeks to create a national dialogue about the future of sex education and to promote the institutionalization of quality sex education in public schools,” according to the standards document.  

Advocates for Youth claims “young people understand that reproductive and sexual health and rights are inextricably tied to social justice and the fight for liberation,” according to its website.  

What can concerned parents do? Don’t stay silent, and rally together, says Schweitzer.  

“I think parents need to know that they’re not alone,” she said. “Parents are terrified that their kids are going to get canceled, and they don’t want to speak up. 

“Somewhere along the line, we lost our way, and our kids just don’t need this.” 

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