Parental rights are under fire once again, this time at a Sacramento-area charter school. A kindergarten teacher at Rocklin Academy Gateway recently staged a “transition ceremony” for a gender-dysphoric student in her class, introducing him to other students as a boy before he changed into a dress and announced his new, female name.
Students were instructed to use that new name going forward. The teacher also gave a lesson about transgenderism to the entire class, using two books not included in the school’s curriculum — I Am Jazz and Red: A Crayon’s Story, both children’s books meant to affirm the idea that transgender identities should be accepted as reality.
And it didn’t stop there — Fox News reports that a first-grader at Rocklin Academy was subsequently sent to the principal’s office for “misgendering” a different classmate, calling him by his given name because she didn’t know that he now identifies as a girl. According to Karen England of Capitol Resource Institute, the school investigated to determine whether the student had bullied her classmate.
The kindergarten teacher did not notify parents of the lesson and ceremony in advance; they found out only after their children came home and told them. Many of the students reported being “deeply emotionally bothered and traumatized,” according to Jonathan Keller of California Family Council, a group that has been counseling the families about their rights.
In response to backlash from parents, the school principal sent a letter calling the books “age appropriate” and arguing that the school’s non-discrimination policy “protects all students, including on the basis of gender, gender identity, and gender expression.”
But this isn’t a question of whether the books were “age appropriate” or whether the school should “protect” its students. The question is whether parents have the right to reserve discussion of sensitive topics about sexuality with their own children to the time and the manner they believe is best for their children and their family.
This Rocklin Academy teacher blatantly ignored those parental rights, effectively proclaiming that she knows better and that her own judgment takes precedence over that of parents. Even aside from the substance of this issue, schools should never assert their judgment over that of parents or keep parents in the dark about what their children are being taught.
Especially with regard to a topic as complicated as gender dysphoria, schools must remember that parents are the primary educators of their children and, at the very least, have the right to know about class discussions in advance so they can decide to keep their children home if they believe that’s best.
This unfortunate occurrence at Rocklin Academy is just one more symptom of the ongoing culture war over sexuality, and the newest battlefield is unfolding in the realm of transgenderism. And it’s unfolding outside of schools, too. The California state senate recently passed a bill that would put nursing-home caretakers in prison for up to a year if they “misgender” a transgender resident — in other words, for not referring to someone by his or her preferred pronouns.
The Rocklin Academy teacher blatantly ignored parental rights.
Last fall in Massachusetts, a state committee announced its intention to enforce a non-discrimination law to punish pastors who “misgendered” individuals at any church event open to the public — which, for most churches, is nearly every event they host. Fortunately, an Alliance Defending Freedom lawsuit resulted in the law’s being clarified to apply to religious organizations only if their facilities are used for a public and secular function.
Incidents such as these are bound to multiply as the Left becomes bolder, insisting not only on “proper” pronoun usage in every public forum, but also, increasingly, on indoctrinating young people into a left-wing view of gender and sexuality. Students and parents at Rocklin Academy learned the hard way. Parents everywhere else should beware.