By Jonathon Van Maren
If you read only the big broadsheets of the mainstream media—the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe—you could be forgiven for thinking that the current backlash from parents against LGBT indoctrination in school is simply a moral panic whipped up by GOP politicians riling up their base ahead of the 2022 midterms. If you read local newspapers, however, a different picture emerges: Politicians like Ron DeSantis are not stoking rage—they are channelling it. The most recent example—of scores of such stories—comes from the Will County Gazette in Illinois:
A Bolingbrook Middle School is instructing its teachers in how to be more “pro LGBT,” demanding they stop using terms like “boys” and “girls,” use “LGBT adult role models” in their lessons and put “gay pride” rainbow flags on their desks. That’s according to emails and a 25-page powerpoint presented Wednesday to Brooks Middle School Teachers as part of paid “in service training,” obtained by the Will County Gazette.
The PowerPoint in question was “produced and presented by Kristin and Peter Shulman of Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG)” which seeks to bring “queer ideology” into schools in order to provide “education to enlighten the public.” They believe, among other things, “that biological sex doesn’t actually exist.” The Shulmans told middle school staff that they must “include LGBT adult role models in curriculum and discussions” whenever possible and told the teachers that not to do so was illegal, citing a 2019 law which directs public schools to teach kids about LGBT accomplishments.
In order for teachers to “identify your classroom as a safe space,” the Shulmans directed, educators should “put a small rainbow flag on [your] desk or in [your] pencil holder” as well as “wear an Ally button.” Not to do so, it is implied, would be to project homophobia. The Will County Gazette took pains to point out that queer theory is not quite what the students need: “According to the Illinois State Board of Elections, 59.7 percent of Brooks students failed the Illinois Assessment of Readiness test in 2021, performing below grade level on the test.”
As I’ve noted ad nauseum in this space, these stories are not anomalies. A Pennsylvania middle school has reportedly installed urinals in the girls’ bathroom. There are photos of wall décor at a middle school in North Carolina, replete with helpful definitions for terms like “non-binary” so that students will be able to figure out if they fall into that category (or…non-category?). Here’s a video of a middle school teacher from Texas explaining how she incorporates conversations about transgenderism and “queerness” in the classroom.
In Maine, the Department of Education has resources for teachers on their website to explain LGBT issues … to kindergarteners. Not that activist kindergarten teachers need it—they’re making their own explainers on TikTok—such as this teacher laying out why you should introduce pronouns to five-year-olds. By the way, there’s no such thing as “too young” for these people.