A Charlotte-Mecklenburg school counselor has confirmed to KeepNCSafe that the Charlotte school district had planned to roll out its “Gender Unicorn training” this month. All teachers were given the approval to start training March 2oth and required to complete it by April 28th as part of a directive from the Office of Civil Rights.
The training materials, which included a book, Jacob’s New Dress, for children in the first grade, was developed by the Human Rights Campaign with local input by Dr. Todd Rosendahl, Equality NC’s Director of Youth Policy, a position created in a partnership with Time Out Youth in Charlotte and partially funded by Bank of America. Rosendahl works with K-12 school districts across North Carolina providing professional development for school staff and policy/regulation guidance to support LGBTQ students.
Brian Schultz, Chief Academic Officer rolled out the new anti-bullying and transgender curriculum to school principals on March 8th which included mandatory teacher training module which was to be available on March 20th. The “age-appropriate” lessons for grades K-12 and corresponding facilitator guides was intended to promote child abuse awareness and support the US Department of Health and Human Services promotion of child and family well-being and sexual harassment training.
The school letter mandated that all teachers must take the instructional class and students MUST participate in the training no later then April 28th. It went as far as to require school administrators to develop a plan so lessons could be delivered to any absent students to assure 100% compliance. After the April 28th deadline principals will be asked to verify that instruction has been delivered to all students via a written attestation to be provided to OCR.
The Letter also referenced the Dept of Justice Office of Civil Rights (OCR) and Title IX although last month the Trump Administration had rescinded the May 13, 2016 ‘Dear Colleague Letter’ to school administrators mandating that all schools strive to create and sustain inclusive, supportive, safe, and nondiscriminatory communities for transgender students or risk loosing Title IX funding.
Tami Fitzgerald, Executive Director at NC Values Coalition released the following statement on Tuesday:
“As Charlotte’s City Council passed an outrageous ordinance last year that made it necessary for the State to correct the mistake with HB2, Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools was working on rolling out a new anti-bullying policy that seeks to indoctrinate students in the school district by normalizing transgender behavior. Both Charlotte’s ordinance and the CMS transgender indoctrination were advanced by the Human Rights Campaign, a national LGBT activist group, in conjunction with its NC affiliates, Equality NC and Time Out Youth. They provided the curriculum, the training, and the lesson plans for mandated transgender training for our children, complete with the Gender Unicorn, all while the Bank of America funded the program and the groups that support it.”
She continued, “The purpose of our elementary schools is to teach writing, reading and arithmetic not to encourage boys to wear dresses. CMS is failing our children; in the recent 2016 state academic ratings, 43 of 165 CMS schools achieved overall pass rates below 50% and a majority (59%) earned a grade of C or below when measuring student proficiency and growth. These lessons found in the book, Jacob’s New Dress and My Princess Boy and other transgender curriculum are not appropriate for any child whose parents support traditional family values. There is no question that this attempt by CMS staff to mandated training is nothing more than putting a dress on CMS’s Gender Unicorn. We encourage CMS to refocus on their mission of maximizing academic achievement instead of advancing this controversial curriculum.”
The Charlotte Observer and WBTV News reported late on Tuesday that according to Charles Jeter, the district’s government liaison, CMS reversed it’s plan to use the controversial curriculum after hearing from parents and North Carolina lawmakers who disapproved of the book. The action also drew criticism from CMS Board of Education which was not advised of the curriculum change. Jeter emailed about two dozen Republican legislators to say CMS had agreed to pull the book and substitute “Red: A Crayon’s Story,” about a crayon that looks red but sees himself as blue.
Union County Update – Wednesday, March 22nd
The use of gender identity books in the classroom is not confined to Mecklenburg County. Keep NC Safe has heard from parents across the state and nation including a parent in Union County, NC who unsuccessfully confronted school administrators about the use of, Is He a Girl?? children’s book. In the book the character Marvin kisses his elbow and then turns into a girl. By the end of the story the boy likes identifying as a girl. The book is currently in use in the 3rd grade classroom at this district just outside of Charlotte at Rea View Elementary. The parent raised issues with the teacher & principal Jennifer Hoover and then with Dr. John Jones of Union County Schools Curriculum but the school declined the request to pull the book from use.