It has been almost 90 days since Gay Pride month. According to the Los Angeles Unified School District, that is too long a hiatus from the imperative of immersing young children in the arcana of gay and trans identity. So throughout the week of October 9, many elementary school classrooms in Los Angeles will celebrate “National Coming Out Day,” which falls on October 11.
October is itself LGBTQ+ History Month, the Los Angeles Unified School District bureaucracy has reminded what it calls the district’s “fabulous educators.” Other LGBTQ+ programming will take place throughout October, picking up where Gay Pride month left off. The goals for the so-called Week of Action are ambitious: to turn six-year-olds into budding gender and critical race theorists.
An LAUSD teacher forwarded me the district’s “toolkit” for teachers laying out that agenda. Use of the toolkit, decorated with a Black Power Fist superimposed on neon rainbow stripes, is nominally optional, but elementary school teachers who forego LGBTQ programming during the Week of Action will surely risk stigmatization. (The district did not respond to queries regarding expected classroom participation rates.)
At the Week of Action’s start, teachers should engage kindergarten and first-grade students in discussions about identity, aided by an activity called an “Identity Map.” Pupils chart their experiences of discrimination or privilege along 12 axes, including race, gender identity, sexuality, mental health, and body size. This mapping allows seven-year-olds to see themselves through the “lens of intersectionality.” Teachers then post the identity maps on the wall for a class discussion about students’ multiple “identities.”
Each elementary school day during the Week of Action can be devoted to a different LGBTQ+ celebrity, whose identity will be announced in morning assemblies, suggests the toolkit.
Monday is Jazz Jennings Day. Jennings’s fame rests on being one of the youngest children to date to claim a trans identity. “Assigned male at birth,” as Jazz’s publicity materials inevitably put it, Jazz allegedly asserted female identity at age two, and was diagnosed with gender dysphoria at age four. Subsequent surgery tried to cut Jazz’s body into a simulacrum of a female one and resulted in undisclosed “complications.” On Jazz Jennings day, the LAUSD recommends that kindergartners engage in the fabulous activities of “Which Outfit” and “Which Hairdo.” (One day is not enough to acknowledge the fabulousness that is Jazz. January in the LAUSD is devoted to holding Jazz and Friends Reading Events, supplemented by reading inclusive books in every grade.)
Friday is Carl Nassib Day, celebrating the “first openly gay active NFL player.” Kindergarteners on Carl Nassib Day should be encouraged to “Take a Pledge to Be An Ally!” Those who do so will get a diploma from the LAUSD that certifies that [insert pupil’s name] “hereby pledges” to “teach others to be allies” and to “Be an Upstander.”
Wednesday is Elliot Page Day, dedicated to a Canadian transgender actor, the “first openly trans man,” as the LAUSD puts it, to appear on the cover of Time magazine.
Third-graders will engage in an I Am Me activity, which includes guessing the gender identity of Willow Smith, a minor celebrity and daughter of Will Smith.
The National Coming Out Day toolkit links to additional materials from gay and trans advocacy groups.
The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is even more insensate to childhood than the LAUSD. It offers a glossary of “LGBTQ Words for Elementary School Students” such as “cisgender,” “gender binary,” “intersex,” “non-binary,” “sex assigned at birth,” “bisexual,” “gay,” “pansexual,” and “queer.” The definitions are virtually indistinguishable from what a college student might find in his gender studies class. “Transgender or Trans” is “when your gender identity (how you feel) is different than what doctors/midwives assigned to you when you were born (girl/boy or sex assigned at birth).”
In 2022, 61 percent of third-graders in the Los Angeles Unified School District did not meet California’s watered-down, equity-driven standard for English. Children not reading by third grade will fall further and further behind in school, since they will be ill-prepared to absorb ever more complex academic content across a range of fields.
In 2022, 59 percent of third-graders failed to meet the state’s already-low standard for math competency. Over 76 percent of LAUSD eighth-graders did not meet math standards. Eighth-grade math is a make-or-break point, after which poorly performing students become ever less likely to master the skills necessary for STEM careers or admission to selective schools.
Skill levels among LAUSD students were already catastrophically low pre-Covid, but the school shutdowns resulted in drops of between 6.4 percentage points, in the case of third-grade English, and 7.4 percentage points, in the case of eighth-grade math, between 2019 and 2022. Yet the LAUSD does not seem as exercised by the Covid learning loss as it is by the need to cultivate “critical thinking,” as the toolkit puts it, about identity and intersectionality. The district has not been sending out toolkits for improving third-grade students’ reading and math capacities. It merely added five minutes to the school day and offered two optional learning days (which very few students utilized) during vacations—hardly sufficient to turn matters around.
But even if fluency in LGBTQ-speak is a school’s primary concern, how will third-graders parse the words “gender expression” and “sex assigned at birth,” much less fathom their meanings, if they can’t do basic third-grade reading? How will third-graders perform the arithmetical calculations necessary to track the ever-increasing number of LGBTQ categories served up by the LAUSD, without third-grade math skills?
Remedying Los Angeles’s ongoing educational failure should be the district’s sole focus. There is barely enough time in the school year to make up for the home deficits that the majority of students bring to school. The district should excise from the curriculum everything not related to academic knowledge and core academic skills.
Elementary school students should immerse themselves in geography—learning the major rivers, lakes, and mountains of the United States—build models of missions and railroads, read about America’s great inventors, explorers, and statesmen, master fractions and syntax, identify the planets, view art from civilizations far from the Western hemisphere, reenact the first Thanksgiving. To waste one hour of the school day on such mediocrities as Jazz Jennings and Elliott Page is educational malpractice of almost inconceivable scope.
But the toolkit has even higher aspirations than turning second-graders into incipient trans theorists and activists. It aims to destroy childhood altogether.
Elementary school students live in a prelapsarian world, innocent of carnal knowledge and of the darkness, self-consciousness, and conflict that such knowledge carries with it. Their imaginations are boundless, capable of peopling nature with fantastical creatures and turning trees and flowers into friends and foes. Classic children’s literature provides a gateway into those magical worlds. In later years, memory of those great books, whether The Wind in the Willows or Winnie-the-Pooh, provides a refuge from the squalor of our hypersexualized culture and the disappointments of adult life. Children prematurely stripped of their innocence will have stunted souls and little reason as adults to resist further encroachments into childhood’s evanescent realm.
Elementary school pupils cannot possibly fathom the minute and artificial distinctions between “gender expansive,” “gender expression,” and “gender identity” that the Human Rights Campaign and other groups are serving up to them. All that this unwarranted exposure to adult sexual obsessions will do is to engrave in them the idea that adults expect them to select among the mysterious smorgasbord of sexual identities—and expect them to be anything other than “cisgender,” defined by the Human Rights Campaign as “when your gender identity (how you feel) is the same as what doctors/midwives assigned to you when you were born (girl/boy or sex assigned at birth).” You might as well assign second-graders the Lorentz transformations.
Kindergartners traditionally have not known about the anatomical differences that drive sex “assignments” at birth. But now, with intuitive understandings of mommies and daddies and boys and girls thrown out the window, replaced by unstable new configurations, the only safe harbor from this morass of confusion is to declare oneself nonbinary or trans. A child may not understand what he is signing up for, but he can intuit the gain in support and status.
On Tuesday, September 26, the LAUSD announced the formation of a virtual club for LGBTQ+ students from pre-kindergarten (i.e., three- to four-year-olds) up to the fifth grade to discuss their LGBTQ+ identities. The Rainbow Club will meet every Wednesday from 3:15 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. for ten weeks. This is time that could be spent learning about the Founders and about cotyledons and organelles. How many students, ignorant about what declaring themselves LGBTQ+ actually means, will nevertheless seek the camaraderie and affirmation of this club? Naturally, the LAUSD is not promoting math clubs, geography clubs, or star-gazing clubs.
Advocates justify premature gay and trans indoctrination on the ground that it is necessary to prevent harm to trans youth. Their ultimate blackmail is the threat that without such indoctrination (and without “gender affirming care”) trans adolescents will commit suicide. But if “trans” adolescents have higher rates of claimed mental illness and distress, that distress is more likely the cause of their trans and nonbinary identities than the result of the social rejection of those alleged identities.
The number of trans-identifying students is rising exponentially, leading to majorities in the student bodies of the most progressive schools. This rise is without any historical precedent. It is proof of social contagion, not of a preexisting biological reality.
While the LAUSD’s students fall behind, California’s politicians show the same indifference to learning gaps and failed instruction as the districts’ leaders. On Saturday, September 23, Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill requiring that all California teachers and staff receive cultural competency training regarding LGBTQ+ students.
The only competency training that teachers should be getting is on how to teach reading, math, history, and science, and the only message that elementary school students should be getting is that learning is joyful and that knowledge will unlock the mysteries of the world.
Los Angeles’s kindergartners know nothing about sex, much less about its recent artificial mutations, other than what the activists are cramming down their throats. If this is not grooming, it is hard to know what is.