(4-22-22) The following story by Christopher F. Rufo, Radical Gender Lessons for Young Children, exposes Pre K- Grade curriculum being used by the Evanston-Skokie District 65 (a public school district) during the LGBTQ+ Equity Week.

In the posting Rufo says –

The curriculum in the Evanston–Skokie School District is the perfect illustration of college-level Queer Theory translated into early-elementary pedagogy. For weeks, as the nation has debated Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Act, which prohibits public schools from teaching gender identity and sexual orientation in grades K–3, commentators on the political left have claimed that public schools do not teach this material and have accused conservatives of instigating a “moral panic.”

Slides used below in District 65 to teach PreK-3rd grade students-

Below was posted on District 65’s web site

Dear District 65 Families,

Hope you had a great spring break and feel ready for this last stretch of the school year!

During the month of April, students and staff will engage in our annual LGBTQ+ unit of study. In District 65, we believe strongly in creating inclusive, welcoming environments where every child can feel safe, valued, and has the support and encouragement to reach their full potential. Along with Black Lives Matter at School and Latinx Heritage units of study, this is a concrete way of turning our equity commitments into action and is the third year for LGBTQ+ learning.

Throughout the month, educators and prek-8th grade students will broaden their understanding of identity of self and others, allyship, family structures, vocabulary, gender expression, stereotypes, colors on the intersectional pride flag, and the historical contributions of LGBTQ+ people. Each grade level engages in a selection of these topics. All content has been developed by a team of educators and reviewed to ensure that it is developmentally and age appropriate for all students.Each unit of study consists of 5 to 7 lessons.  In order to provide flexibility across classrooms, the timing of lessons may vary slightly yet all students will engage in the learning by the end of April.

Special thanks to the team of educators who continue to devote their time and expertise into refining these relevant and important learning experiences for all students. We believe these lessons center both the academic and social-emotional needs of children, help build community, and are vital to supporting our district mission of preparing students to contribute positively to a global and diverse society. The website with lessons and activities are publicly available online.

As a reminder, public schools across the State are required to include LGBTQ+ history in its curriculum. Beginning next school year, the learning associated with the LGBTQ+ unit of study will be interwoven into our curriculum and will no longer be taught as a dedicated equity unit. As we work through the integration of this learning across content areas, we look to expose all students to more accurate and affirming historical content that elevates marginalized people and includes the interrogation of events from multiple perspectives. 

If you have questions, please speak with your principal. Thank you for your support and engagement.

Sincerely,

Dr. Devon Horton
Superintendent

District 65’s statement –

Commitment to Equity

District 65 is committed to improving educational outcomes for all children by eliminating racial predictability and inequalities in achievement. On August 29, 2016, the School Board approved the District 65 Racial and Educational Equity Statement. This statement will serve as a guidepost for our equity work district-wide and parallels the commitment and focus on racial and educational equity at Evanston Township High School and of school districts nationwide. This statement is meant to guide our work and is not an actual policy.

To learn more about our equity work, please click on any of the links on the left-hand side of this page. 

District 65 Racial and Educational Equity Statement

District 65 recognizes that excellence requires a commitment to equity and to identifying and addressing practices, policies, and institutional barriers, including institutional racism, that perpetuate opportunity and achievement gaps. The district must work proactively to acknowledge racial and cultural biases, and eliminate institutional structures and practices that affect student learning and achievement. District 65 commits to:

  • Raising the achievement of all students while eliminating the racial predictability of achievement.
  • Raising the achievement of all students while eliminating the predictability of academic achievement based upon family income, disabilities, gender identity, and status as an English Language Learner.
  • Ensuring that all board members and staff examine and change educational practices, policies, and processes that contribute to and perpetuate racial disparities, and the disparities of those who have been marginalized in society by their identity, cultural, or economic status.
  • Honoring and building upon the strengths and assets of every student.
  • Providing all students with resources, opportunities and supports needed to ensure preparation for success in high school and beyond.
  • Attracting and retaining a workforce that is diverse in skills and experience and reflects the demographic diversity of our students.
  • Implementing culturally relevant teaching practices that reflect the contributions and perspectives of all people.
  • Ensuring that all board members and staff receive training that promotes an understanding of racial identity and cultural competencies, and identifies and addresses implicit and explicit biases.
  • Welcoming and engaging families as essential partners in their students’ education, school planning, and district decision making.
  • Involving community members including parents and families, civic and faith-based leadership, and the community at large, as active collaborators and problem-solvers on acknowledging and addressing racial and educational equity.

How many school districts teach the same curriculum in their classrooms? Has your school district accepted the same plans to teach PreK-3rd grade students this form of gender equity.