Remember when school was all about reading, writing, and arithmetic? Not anymore.
Beginning in the 2017-2018 school year, Washington state will teach elementary school students about “gender identity” and “gender expression.”
In the “Sexual Health” portion of the “Washington State K-12 Learning Standards” packet, teachers are given guidelines for each grade.
Under a section labeled “Self-Identity,” each grade is to learn the following:
- “Understand there are many ways to express gender.”
- “Explain that there are many ways to express gender.”
- “Understand there is a range of gender roles and expression,” and “Understand importance of treating others with respect regarding gender expression.”
- “Explain that gender roles can vary considerably,” and “Understand importance of treating others with respect regarding gender identity.”
- “Identify how friends and family can influence ideas regarding gender roles, identity, and expression,” and “Define sexual orientation.”
- “Describe how media, society, and culture can influence ideas regarding gender roles, identity, and expression,” and “Identify trusted adults to ask questions about gender identity and sexual orientation.”
In the “Health Education Glossary,” “biological sex” is defined as:
“Based on chromosomes, hormones, and internal and external anatomy.”
While “gender” is defined as:
“A social construct based on emotional, behavioral, and cultural characteristics attached to a person's biological sex.”
Further, gender is broken down into three subcategories:
- Gender Expression: “The way someone outwardly expresses their gender.”
- Gender Identity: “Someone's inner sense of their gender.”
- Gender Roles: “Social expectations about how people should act, think, or feel based on their assigned biological sex.”
The Daily Caller spoke with Nathan Olson, a communications manager for the statewide Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). He claimed the standards weren't an imposition of belief systems:
“Standards help students become familiar with concepts that education experts feel are essential for all students to know. Standards are not used to impose belief systems.”
However, when DC asked Olson if students who “[reject] the idea that gender identity is distinct from biological sex” could suffer academically, Olson pivoted, saying such issues would be handled at a local level. He then added:
“We don’t exactly know what a school would do if a student failed to complete an assignment because he/she opposed the materials being taught.”
Washington state's decision has troubled many conservatives:
On the other side, some saw the outrage as overblown.
Raw Story's Bethania Palma Markus wrote a column mocking the Daily Caller piece, saying it was “fretting.”
What do you think?