Kindergarten has changed a great deal, especially in Northwestern Oregon.
The City Journal's Christopher Rufo shared lesson plans from Portland Public Schools (PPS) on Wednesday. For children in kindergarten, the school district provides information about sex and the body.
“Welcome, scientists!” the slides announce. The penis and scrotum are presented on the first slide.
“A lot of times people with these parts are boys, but any gender and kid can have any type of body.”
According to PPS, the same is true for “people with” vaginas.
Then come naked cartoons with two kinds of humans:
- Person With a Penis (circumcised or non-)
- Person With a Vulva
Teachers also receive instruction:
Make sure to use the wording written on the slides, as it was very intentional and is gender inclusive for all identities. The slides are text-heavy to help teachers with language. This lesson was written by trans people. This lesson is designed for kindergarten through 3rd grade classes and is developmentally appropriate.
“Hello,” an illustrated name tag says. “My name is _____, and my pronouns are _____.”
Portland dispels the myth that “Names can never hurt me”:
“When someone tells us a name they want to be called, we should use that name for them! That helps them feel safe…”
The children are correct, while parents might be wrong.
“Only you can know what your gender is. Even if other people don’t understand, you are the only person who knows you the best. … Any gender can look or act any way they want.”
A book titled Jacob's New Dress is drawn.
“[S]ometimes [what doctors and adults say] isn’t true! Because we can’t ask babies what their gender is since they can’t talk. 😀”
The bottom line:
“Any gender can have any body.”
Children are taught to express themselves in the way they like using a “haircut, clothes, and makeup.”
In terms of pronouns “ze/zir” is offered in addition to “ones you make up.”
Making one's own pronouns can be crucial, as the binary system of sexuality was invented by Caucasians. Perhaps you thought that ancient non-white books (such as the Bible) established a gender-based rule for males and females.
When white European people colonized different places, they brought their own ideas about gender and sexuality. When the United States was colonized by white settlers, their views around gender were forced upon the people already living here. Hundreds of years later, how we think and talk about gender are still impacted by this shift.
To be precise:
Gender is Colonized. Gender and sexuality diversity have existed since people have been on Earth. The different words that people use to describe themselves have changed over time. White colonizers tried to erase many cultures, including what some might now call “queer” or “trans” people, but these cultures already had words for, cultures including, and ways of thinking about gender and sexuality. This lesson includes words that are products of colonization. Other cultures around the world, especially Black, Indigenous, and Brown cultures and people, view gender in different ways and use different words. This lesson centers on United States language of the past 20 years.
For students in the third grade, Portland covers pride flags, parades, and “LGBTQIA2S+.”
“Everything Is Socially Constructed and Related!”
- Assigned sex
- Gender identity
- Gender expression
“Straight,” “cisgender,” and “heteronomative” are listed under “Dominant Culture and Oppression.”
Power that is harmful is addressed:
Transphobia is the idea that cultures, systems, people, and beliefs that oppress anyone who isn’t cisgender. This means that transgender people have less privilege and that cisgender people have more power and visibility in all aspects of society. Transphobic acts and ideas can be intentional and cruel or unintentional and still harmful.
For kids who are socially conscious:
“[Queer culture] still has oppression for BIPOC, poor, disabled, and other folx who are LGBTQIA+ AND another nondominant identity. Queer culture has racism, sexism, classism, etc. and is still working to help liberate ALL people.”
It's a lot of information for young youngsters to digest and it's radically different from the way things have been done up to the present. In the past, toddlers were taught things like reading and counting and parents had to make the decisions regarding haircuts, makeup, and clothing were in question as well as looking at genitally correct cartoons wasn't something five-year-olds were known for.
Stereotypes are a myth highlighted by PPS even tykes are faced with challenges to work through:
“Your friend Dong wants to join ballet class, but he’s worried that other kids will tease him.”
“There are many ways to be a boy, a girl, both or neither,” the tutorial claims.
There are a few issues that could arise in the context of gender. If gender is a social construct, then what do we need PPS instructing about gender? Since “boy” and “girl” aren't meaningful, shouldn't it be meaningless to speak about girls and boys? If there are multiple options to identify as a girl or a boy and vice versa, how could there be something that can be described that is “neither” or “both”?
It's astonishingly sophisticated. Hopefully, those who are still of the young stage will be able to figure it out.
It's obvious that they'll need to:
You have LGBTQIA2S+ “Friends, classmates, family members, family’s of friends, teachers, teammates…”
“Every single person has queer or trans people in their life, whether or not they know it! Sometimes the people we know just aren’t out yet or sometimes you haven’t talked to them about their gender or sexuality.”
Things have drastically changed.