I have been saying for a long time that the coercive GLBTQR)(*& agenda reaches a new level in interactions with transsexuals. The whole idea, which I believe some Christians have cherished, of saying, "We don't discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation alone" and then being left to get on quietly with whatever worthwhile thing you want to be doing is brought smack up against the reality that the "T" in the alphabet soup concerns someone else's bizarre public behavior. You are required to play along with that behavior.
I have also brought up the issue of teachers at public schools in conversations with people who have an (utterly unrealistic) idea of repealing non-discrimination laws (which will never happen anyway) and then recognizing "same-sex marriage" in a more libertarian legal context. What about teachers at public schools? Would they, even in that unreal libertarian landscape, face coercion to go along with a homosexual agenda? I think the answer is pretty obvious.
In the recent purple penguins brouhaha in Lincoln, Nebraska (of all places), we see those two points coming together.
In case you missed it, here's a brief summary: A middle school in Nebraska was giving its teachers training in how to deal with "transgender" students. As part of the training it passed out a handout from a completely insane group stating that gender isn't binary and all the rest of it. You can see the handout here. The handout, using sentences in the imperative mood, tells teachers how they should go about rooting out their own and students' gendered thinking. I'll give some samples of that in a moment. One of the teachers, alarmed, leaked the handout to parents. Parents were understandably upset. Word of the training Lincoln teachers were receiving went out to conservative media, which publicized it. The school district, playing damage control, said that they don't have actual policies mandating the practices "suggested" (in the imperative mood) in the handout, so of course this is all a tempest a teacup. The superintendent, Steve Joel, defended the training program and attempted to quell alarm by making the baldfaced statement, "We don't get involved with politics." The liberal would-be-debunking site Snopes jumped into the act, making much of the fact that the school district doesn't officially require teachers to follow the mandates in the training handout and hence marking the claims in the conservative media as a "mixture" of truth and falsehood.
So where do the purple penguins come in? That was one "suggestion" made by the handout as a substitute for gendered expressions. The handout instructs teachers:
Don’t use phrases such as "boys and girls," "you guys," "ladies and gentlemen," and similarly gendered expressions to get kids’ attention. Instead say things like "calling all campers" or "hey campers" or "could all the athletes come here." Create classroom names and then ask all of the "purple penguins" to meet on the rug.
If you have any question as to whether debunking is in order, I suggest that you go and read the document for yourself. It assumes that teachers are (or will be) on board with the complete elimination of gender binaries and then tells them what they ought to do to excise any traditional ideas of male and female from their own thinking and language, impose the new worldview on their students, and actively introduce and promote gender-bending ideas. It is utterly radical. For example:
Have visual images reinforcing gender inclusion: pictures of people who don't fit gender norms, signs that ”strike out" sayings like “All Boys...” or ”All Girls..." or "All Genders Welcome" door hangers.
When you find it necessary to reference gender, say ”Boy, girl, both or neither.”When asked why, use this as a teachable moment. Emphasize to students that your classroom recognizes and celebrates the gender diversity of all students.
Here is one of my favorites. Emphasis added:
Be intolerant of openly hostile attitudes or references towards others EVERY TIME you hear or observe them, but also use these as teachable moments. Take the opportunity to push the individual on their statements about gender. Being punitive may stop the behavior, at least in your presence. Being instructive may stop it entirely.
Isn't that reassuring? Teachers will punish your child for evincing "openly hostile attitudes" towards gender-bending, but only if they must. They would rather brainwash them into accepting gender-bending. Viz.,
Point out and inquire when you hear others referencing gender in a binary manner. Ask things like, ”Hmmm. That is interesting. Can you say more about that?” or "What makes you say that? I think of it a little differently.” Provide counter-narratives that challenge students to think more expansively about their notions of gender.
Avoid using "normal" to define any behaviors.
If you were a parent and if the school your child attended were training its teachers with this material, would you be reassured by being told that words like "boy" and "girl" are not officially banned and that this training material is not reinforced by explicit school policy? The question should answer itself. The material is absolutely coercive both of teachers and of students. The assumption of "gender binaries" is treated as a wicked form of bigotry to be punished when necessary and removed from all minds and from the whole running of the school by relentless propaganda whenever possible.
If you were a teacher who refuses actively to advance the gender-bending agenda, and if you had been given this handout in a training session, how reassured would you feel about your job security if the superintendent told the press that the imperatives in the handout are "suggestions" rather than official school policy? If you had any brains, not reassured.
As far as I am concerned, parents should have gotten their children out of the public school if at all possible years ago. To those who have no other options--they are poor, for example, and have to work just to keep food on the table, or one member of the couple is adamant about keeping children in the public school--my deepest sympathies go out. But for others, not so much. At this point we have gone far beyond parody, beyond satire. Here the war on reality is carried relentlessly into the minds of the youngest children.
This story exemplifies so many things: The utter craziness of the left and the bankruptcy of the public schools. It also exemplifies the fact that the left simply will not allow itself to be ridiculed in the public mind without pretending that someone, somewhere is lying or exaggerating. We saw this with the story about the wedding chapel in Coer D'Alene, but it is even more evident here. In this story a public school passes out an utterly radical gender-bender brainwashing plan as part of teacher training, and the left tells us to shoot the messenger. Ah, yes, that's it: The problem lies with the parents who are upset, the teacher who leaked the document, and National Review, which brought this to national attention. Not with what is being taught to the children.
There are a few Christians and conservatives out there who will dutifully play along, lecturing others about the need to be precise. Now, I myself do try hard to be precise, and when I report stories like this I do look into them and word what I say carefully. Well and good. But the temptation to miss the forest for the trees here is huge. Oh, horror, horror! Some news story (not from National Review) used a phrase such as "bans the terms 'boys' and 'girls'" when in actuality the school merely endorsed training materials in which teachers are told (in the imperative mood) not to use "boys and girls" as a general phrase. Presumably the teachers are allowed to use the term "boys" when referring to a group of students who have given "boy" as their "preferred gender"! Wow, I feel so much better. And maybe a teacher who says, "The heck with all of that. I'm going to go on saying, 'Boys and girls' to my class all the time, and I will never, ever, say, 'Boy, girl, both, or neither'" won't lose his job. Maybe. Because, you know, these training materials are "suggestions." Wow, I feel even more better. How irresponsible those conservative news outlets are!
Reasonable parents know that that is not the story. The story is the disgusting, anti-reality dreck that teachers are being told to promote in their classrooms.
So let's not be bullied into thinking that our own side is just irresponsible. Instead, let's draw the lessons and the conclusions needed for our own work in the world. And the first one should be--please, please try to get your kids out of public school if at all possible.