Minnesota Schools to Let Kindergarteners Choose Pronouns

Most Kindergarteners are brushing up on their ABCs, learning to share with others and getting into the routine of heading off to school each day — but the state of Minnesota has recently created some additional guidelines for these young tots.

A new “Toolkit” released by the Minnesota department of education focuses on LGBT issues, and advises teachers and schools on how to implement gender identity instruction into the classroom.

Teachers are advised to stop using “boys and girls” and instead implement speech that encourages “transgender and gender nonconforming students” in the classroom. After lengthy debates and over objections by both the public and elected officials, the Minnesota Department of Education voted to implement a new toolkit for LGBT awareness in both public and charter schools in the state.

The toolkit is designed to be used in all classrooms, including Kindergarten. According to the report, “Gender identity does not correlate with sexual orientation,” and includes many ways that teachers should address and incorporate LGBT issues and language into the classroom.

Kindergarteners in the state will soon learn that “any student, including transgender and gender nonconforming students, may be heterosexual, gay, lesbian or bisexual.”

In addition to the need to stop referring to students as “boys” or “girls”, the toolkit recommends teachers allow students to use their preferred gender identity bathroom and that “teachers must call students by whatever name they choose to ensure that bullying does not occur.” 

Instead of “boys and girls” teachers are now instructed to refer to all students as “scholars”; students do not need to legally change their names or complete any paperwork or verification, just notify the teacher what they wish to be called.

Teachers that fail to follow the guidelines, that don’t use the correct name or pronoun when identifying the student could be in violation of the state’s Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and face a variety of sanctions.

If you live in Minnesota, your child could, under this rule, decide his or her name is now “Tinkerbell”, “Lightning McQueen” or “Hulk” — and the teacher should comply. In addition to complying with the rules themselves, teachers are advised to correct students who refer to others using gender specific pronouns in the classroom.

While introducing topics that focus on gender and sexual preference in Kindergarten is one of the more controversial aspects of Minnesota’s freshly minted toolkit, older students are impacted as well. Titles like “Prom King” or “Homecoming Queen” are no longer acceptable; toolkit guidelines suggest terms like “prom ambassador” are more appropriate.

According to the Free Beacon, many LGBT groups helped influence the toolkit and pushed for its implementation. Other contributing groups included the ACLU, the Human Rights Campaign, the National Education Association and the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

The toolkit has been met with vocal dissent from a variety of groups. According to the Star Tribune, Minnesota State Rep. Tim Miller, R-Prinsburg feels that no one from his district supports this new addition to the public schools.

Parents and other local groups have objected as well, citing the age of the children involved and the need to focus on actual education.

“Concerns of gender-conforming students and parents are ignored and dismissed” by the toolkit, said John Helmberger, CEO of the Minnesota Family Council. The CEO also indicated that legal challenges could be coming to individual schools and districts.

In addition to the pronoun requirements, the new gender toolkit has rules for locker rooms, bathrooms and even hotel room use. Students are allowed to choose which facility suits them best, while students who feel uncomfortable can use a single use restroom instead. In this scenario, a 16-year-old boy could access the girl’s locker room – and girls who feel uncomfortable disrobing could line up to use a single use restroom instead.

These absurd rules are being implemented in all public and charter Minnesota schools for the new school year, despite vocal objections. Transgender individuals currently make up just .6 percent of the United States population, but are having an increasing impact on our nation’s schools and the way our children are taught.

~ Conservative Zone


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