Frenier: Is teaching gender a matter of tolerance or indoctrination?

By Carol Frenier

The Time Argus published this news story on August 29, 2019: “Parents of students at Twinfield Union School say they’re unhappy teachers had students declaring how the teens identify their gender pronouns. Meanwhile, the superintendent believes parents are making the situation a bigger deal than it is.”

There, in a nutshell, you have the public schools’ transgender controversy. Educators, either because of their own liberal political views or because of pressure from the educational establishment, say it is no big deal — just one more element of teaching diversity and tolerance. But for parents, such transgender content has the potential of suggesting to impressionable children that they might not be the sex that their bodies tell them they are — the psychological consequences of which are quite unknown.

Wikimedia Commons/sarahmirk

Frenier: “Normalizing gender dysphoria is what a discussion about students’ preferred pronouns actually does, however innocuous educators may consider this exercise to be.”

To many parents, gender identity is a private matter, like religion, more appropriately and effectively dealt with at home rather than in a public place like a classroom. It also raises in parents the justifiable fear that their children are being indoctrinated by politically correct educators, while their rights as parents to teach their own children about important non-academic matters is being stripped away.

Tolerance involves the willingness to respect opinions and behavior that you don’t necessarily agree with, so it makes sense that teaching it shouldn’t require agreement about what is normal or true. For example, a teacher can make it clear that mocking or bullying an anorexic classmate is wrong. No one believes that anorexia is actually normal, and you won’t be called a bigot for having that thought. The same kind of tolerance could apply to transgender students: tolerance could be taught without requiring other students to believe that transitioning from one gender to another is normal.

But that kind of neutrality is not what we are seeing in the transgender content that is being integrated into public school curricula across the nation. The stated goal of the content is to promote behavior that is “gender affirming,” which is the same thing as asserting that gender dysphoria is normal, rather than a psychological disorder such as anorexia.

Normalizing gender dysphoria is what a discussion about students’ preferred pronouns actually does, however innocuous educators may consider this exercise to be. If students believe that sex is binary, they can speak out only if they are willing to risk being labeled transphobic. That fear of social disgrace for thinking a different thought is a defining quality of indoctrination. Same for parents, who get dismissed as transphobic, when their real concern is about what impact this curriculum content could have on their kids at an age when peer pressure is so hard to resist.

Underlining this controversy is the fact that there is no credible scientific evidence that “gender identity” is an independent, normal entity that trumps biological sex. Dr. Paul McHugh of Johns Hopkins University, probably the best informed physician in the field, stopped doing gender reassignment surgery when he saw that his own data over decades showed far worse results for people who had the surgery than for those who didn’t. Data from a variety of sources show that children — in the range of 80-95% — outgrow gender dysphoria when they go through puberty. The powerful drugs given to children who think they are trans actually prevent this from taking place.

Why, then, are we allowing, even mandating, our educators to teach that gender dysphoria is normal? Why are we encouraging our children to be “gender questioning”? What makes educators at all qualified to teach this subject matter to our children as if it were established fact? And what qualifies them to counsel students to transition their gender without informing the students’ parents, as many states are now mandating?

Caledonia Central Supervisory Union Superintendent Mark Tucker told the Times Argus that the pronoun exercise at Twinfield Union “came from training programs teachers have been doing for the past few years to educate kids on issues faced by transgender youth” in response to the state’s nondiscrimination law. Sounds innocuous enough, but now may be a critical time for parents across the state to ask their schools/supervisory unions how and what, specifically, they are teaching about this issue and at what grade levels.

If parents don’t deal with their own discomfort about confronting this issue in their children’s schools, if they fear too much being labeled transphobic, transgender indoctrination is going to become more ubiquitous and parents will have less and less to say about it. The new sex education curriculum in California is where we are headed. Their teachers are trained how to keep parents out of the process, not only of curriculum decision-making, but also of referring students to gender identity and abortion advocacy clinics. It is time for Vermonters, parents and non-parents alike, to examine and express our opinions about what is being taught to our children in the name of tolerance by people who may be well-meaning but are confusing indoctrination with education.

Carol Frenier is a business owner living in Chelsea, Vermont. She is the chair of the Orange County Republican Committee.

Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Michael F. Mehnert (cropped) and Wikimedia Commons/sarahmirk
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22 thoughts on “Frenier: Is teaching gender a matter of tolerance or indoctrination?

  1. Maybe it is time to get our lawmakers to create a law prohibiting Planned Parenthood from entry into
    our schools.
    Common Core indoctrination curriculum was created by billionaire Bill Gates and others. Bill Gates paid millions of dollars to states to get them to agree to incorporate the Common Core curriculum.

    It is time for parents and taxpayers to demand changes in our “education” system. One way to destroy a nation is to “dumb it down”. Our children are the future of our country. We owe them and the property tax payers much better. Perhaps thousands of Vermonters should descend on the State Board of Education with demands for change in the education system. Let’s do it !

  2. Look no further than the Vermont legislature’s action in 2007 for the source of this confusion. We elected these folks.

    1 V.S.A. § 144. Gender identity
    The term “gender identity” means an individual’s actual or perceived gender identity, or gender-related characteristics intrinsically related to an individual’s gender or gender-identity, regardless of the individual’s assigned sex at birth. (Added 2007, No. 41, § 1.)

    And keep in mind that it all starts in the public education monopoly. “.. teachers are trained how to keep parents out of the process,…”. Break the monopoly, save Vermont.

  3. Thanks Carol. You are providing a voice to many who are afraid to speak out or don’t know how to counter this terrible thing that is happening to our children. Who of us who grew up in a saner time would even have imagined that this could be something we would have to deal with? The things being done by people are being directed straight from the pits of hell and have become a part of too many lives. People have to expel the evil, receive the good that God wants for all of His creation and live the life he teaches in the Scriptures. If that is done, this evil can be defeated. It is the only way out!

  4. Confusing the general public about their sexuality is written out in plan for subverting America. When I first heard this declared in a video, I thought how strange? How could somebody be confused or not understand sexuality and it proper role?

    Now, it’s clearly a very strong weapon. Yuri Bezmanov outlined it in the 80’s.

    In reading the bible they say, don’t sleep with your mother, don’t sleep with your father. I was reading this thinking, why would anybody say this isn’t it obvious? Well, they probably had to say it because it was wide spread. Now we have pedo island, sex trafficking, and porn videos galore spreading all sorts of bad ideas to our youth, one very wide spread one is parents sleeping with their children, brothers and sisters sleeping with each other.

    I’d say their plans are working perfectly, delivered to all the kids via smart phone, the perfect propaganda tool EVER invented. Lord help us.

  5. Sex identification should not be taught in any form. Please, just let kids be kids and they will figure it out on their own as they grow and if they have questions, then the parents should be the ones that provide the answers. The education system should stay the hell out of it. Period…..

  6. I heard a nationally recognized physicist recently say all of this gender teaching is child abuse at it’s worst. This is more sick socialism that is and has become a blight on our society and foremost on our youngest children.

    Can you only imagine if Bernie, Liz, Biden, Harris, et al ever became president…. The end of the U.S. without question.

    • Yes, and now the children have grown up and teaching their kids, if I remember correctly Nikita
      Khrushchev said ” we will win and not fire a shot”

  7. Separation of state and education is very important, every bit as important is keeping the state from running religion … and for the very same reasons. Every education option is promoting a particular worldview. There is a reason over 50% of American young people are open to socialism – they were taught to think that way. We are what we learn. What do you want your children and grandchildren to be? Put some energy behind your feelings and focus on getting these children an education that will make them leaders for liberty. That is why we paid for our children to go to Christian schools. We wanted them to learn real things about the real world. Not the stupid and now, with the help of real science basically defunct, Darwinian Evolution worldview/religion, which can give no basis to the individual person above the collective or animals or nature, etc.

    It would be wise to dig in and learn why America came out of a largely Christian worldview. It was no accident and America’s survival is wholly dependent on a general return to embracing a Christian worldview. It is hope vs. despair. Hope needs a reason, not just a phrase. And just to be clear, Christianity is not something that can be forced. It has to be embraced. The freedom of religion is a Christian point of view, because Christianity works from the heart outward. And that is 180 degrees opposite from socialism, which works by the force of government. Liberty vs. tyranny. Liberty will not just come. It must be understood and its foundations must be understood. It is up to those who understand to help those in their sphere to understand. And the starting place should be to ensure children are educated under a set of ideas that alignes with the realities the real world. Do not look for any government solution, except to force government out of the way.

  8. Great article Carol! It appears that you hit a nerve! Will it be enough for the too busy parents to demand action?

    • Demanding action is useless. Who would you be demanding it from? The same people who keep making things worse, year after year? Taking action is the only real solution. That is the place the signers of the Declaration of Independence finally came to. It was a waist of time to demand of or even ask the king. We have everything we need. We just need to come to an understanding that education does not need the state anymore than America needed the king of England in 1776. Just peacefully educate your own children. Let the second job go and network with other families and give your children an education based on reality. There are many options for curriculum and lots of people engaged in this effort that can help. Here is a great organization that intentionally built a curriculum and teaching methodology that is based upon the foundation our nation was built upon: https://face.net/why-the-principle-approach/. Click down the items on the right to get a full idea of the FACE Principled Approach to education. They serve the classroom school model, homeschooling model and coop-schooling models. There is so much available. We just need to take action and take advantage of all that is available. Stop fighting the state-controlled system, just outrun it! And sadly outrunning the public schools really does not require a lot. We can and should go far beyond simply outrunning the state system. As students shift and enrollment drops make sure that there is an appropriate push for lower taxes for the lower need. That will put more money in the hands of parents to educate their children as they deem best. Make this a movement about children, not an issue about the state-schools.

  9. What in heaven’s name is going on??? This whole issue of sex identity is absolutely bogus. When I was growing up a boy was a boy and a girl was a girl and never the twain should meet. No fuss no bather. Now we’re putting all kinds of weird ideas in kids heads and look at the mess it’s created.

    • Obama and The Clinton Klan have put planned parenthood in our GRADE SCHOOLS TO TEACH THEM ON A DAILY BASIS AND BOUT HOW TO CHANGE FROM A BOY TO A GIRL AND A GIRL TO A BOY!! As if in Kindergarten they even know what that means but by 3rd grade the children are just experiencing what their bodies are about. I had my grand daughter in the small age of 10 yrs old come home from school and ask her mom about SAME SEX RELATIONSHIPS! These scumbags even taught her about vaginas and penis’s. This should be a subject for high school or 9th grade, NOT 3RD GRADE!! Obama signed the bill for this organization to be in every school in the UNITED STATES starting in KINDERGARTEN!

  10. Part of the road to tyranny is creating chaos. Changing the meaning of words so that it becomes near impossible to engage in rational conversation creates chaos.

  11. Vermont students barely achieve 40% proficiency in language arts and mathematics and even worse in science.
    Must be time to raise the BLM flags again and Princess Greta sailed to the states so the kids can start skipping school again to protest they know not what.
    Where are the parents?

  12. Great article.
    There are outstanding private schools
    In town – I hope more parents chose to change over. The $ is worth it; not only do you get far better academics , your kids won’t grow up to be social justice warriors.

  13. Frenier: Is teaching gender a matter of tolerance or indoctrination?

    My wife & daughter are both in the teaching profession, just let me say they both tell me the
    same thing It’s ” Indoctrination ” and they are not having any of it. My Wife is retiring this year
    and my daughter quit her job as she has a first grader she’ll be keeping an eye on him, there’s
    going to be hell to raise at school.

    The Liberal Left has a plan, its to twist these young precious minds to there agenda, I see it as
    child abuse and any professional promoting ” Gender ” topics to anyone under eighteen years
    of age should be held accountable.

    At eighteen you can make up your own mind, be what you want, do what you want !!!

    Parents need to understand it not like school when they were there, it’s all about an agenda and
    they don’t care who gets hurt mentally or physically…….. Shameful.

    Just remember when your six or ten year old comes home and states, they think they are gay or
    think they are the opposite sex, confuse a young fragile mind and you wonder why suicide rates
    are skyrocketing !!

    Just thank your Liberal Teacher !!

  14. it’s not only indoctrination it’s flat earth anti Science. There’s no in between genders only MALE
    FEMALE. Anything else is a lie against humanity and as Dano said teaching it is Child Abuse.

  15. All I can say is that I am really glad my children are grown and out of the public schools. What’s presented here is scary stuff and is indoctrination from the liberal left. The plan is to keep the parents working (both parents) and busy with life so these unethical educators can mold these young children into the new world of everything liberal. I work with some younger people and see a big difference in the way they think or don’t think. To the new generations almost everything is normal. It’s sad that they don’t realize that America was founded for the individual to have power over the group. As Americans we were taught that we were free to be whatever we wanted to be as long as it didn’t harm or interfere with other people. We should not be shaming children and their adult parents into a forced believer of something you know in your heart is not normal or possible. If my children were still in school and I learned about this manipulation, I would raise hell, but that is my generation. It is a much higher power that chooses what biological gender a person will be. Children confused about how they feel should not be psychologically pushed in any direction by an untrained, ideological left educated teacher, period. And we wonder why children act out! I say leave them alone but give them guidance to make their own decision when their mind has matured. What is described here is child abuse and social engineering. It should not be allowed in American schools!

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