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The New American
The New American
25 Mar 2023
Steve Byas

NextImg:LGBTQ Activists Try to Circumvent State Law in Deep-red Oklahoma - The New American
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Article audio provided by the John Birch Society

Lyndon Johnson was the last Democrat to carry Oklahoma in a presidential election. For that matter, Democratic presidential candidates have had trouble carrying even so much as a county in the last quarter-century.

However, in spite of that — and even though Oklahoma’s State Superintendent of Public Instruction Ryan Walters is an ardent foe of the woke agenda, including such perversities as the LBGTQ agenda, and Oklahoma’s Legislature has taken strong stands against this movement, passing laws to prevent males from competing in girls’ sports by claiming to be transgender females and restricting access to school restrooms to a person’s actual sex — the state’s colleges of education (which prepare their students to be teachers) and the state’s largest teachers union are in the vanguard of promoting transgenderism to children, even in the lower grades.

I was given some materials, used in a school of education at one of Oklahoma’s public universities, intended to prepare Oklahoma’s future teachers to be advocates of the transgender agenda. It is almost certain that such materials, or those very similar, are being used throughout the state. Meanwhile, the Oklahoma Education Association (OEA), the state’s largest teachers union, provided a handbook on its website, entitled “LGBTQ+ Advocacy Toolkit.”

Under the guise of “Advocating for Young Children,” prospective teachers are directed to write letters to public officials urging them to take certain actions that advance an agenda contradicting state law. It is not clear whether these “letters” are just an assignment, or if they are actually sent to state officials. Suggested topics listed for these future teachers to write about include “Anti-Bias Activities,” which include celebrating diversity in the classroom; how to raise tolerant and inclusive kids; and how to have a multicultural, anti-bias approach in the preschool classroom.

“Family issues” include the assertion that there are “many kinds” of families, such as those with gay and lesbian parents. Also examined in the course is “gender identity development in children.” Teachers are directed to urge parents to provide a “wide range of toys” for children to choose from, including baby dolls, toy vehicles, and action figures.

It is asserted that “the internal sense of being a girl, boy, in between or something else (i.e., gender identity) cannot be changed.” Furthermore, the materials continue, “Over time, society has recognized that stereotypes of ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ activities and behaviors are inaccurate and limiting to a child’s development.”

The materials offer an example of a boy who wants to dress up as a princess or a mom during the school day, whose father is upset when he shows up at school and sees his son dressed up in a pink princess costume. In the theoretical example, the teacher believes that allowing the boy to dress up like a girl is good.

Another example is given of a four-year-old boy named Michael who comes to school in jeans and a T-shirt, but then goes to the “dress-up area” and puts on a dress or a skirt. (I don’t recall extra clothes of any sort being available at school when I was in grade school, but I guess times have changed). The boy prefers to be called “Michelle,” as he believes that he really is a girl. The material emphasizes that the teacher needs to “respect Michael’s preferences,” and adds that “We consider it an ethical responsibility to respect children’s gender self-determination,” whereupon they then begin to refer to the boy as Michelle for the rest of the discussion.

Finally, the prospective teachers are told, “You have the ability to make the world a better place for children who are gender nonconforming, are gender creative, or identify as trans.” And, of course, teachers are told to “make sure your restrooms are available to all genders.”

Included in the OEA “toolkit,” produced by the OEA’s parent organization, the National Education Association (NEA), is the assertion that expression of transgender identity, or any other form of gender-expansive behavior “is a healthy, appropriate and typical aspect of human development.”

A child is never considered too young to identify as trans, according to the OEA materials. “A student’s age and maturity — or that of their peers — should never be a basis for denying a transgender student an opportunity to transition in a safe and supportive environment.”

The toolkit also gives instructions on how to keep parents in the dark as school officials seek to transition the child. “Privacy and confidentiality are critically important for transgender students who do not have supportive families,” the NEA guide insists. In fact, the materials argue, it “is important to educate the student’s family members about the serious consequences of refusing to affirm their child’s gender identity.”

Oklahoma may have laws against such, but the NEA guide says that “transitioning students” should be given “access to sex-separated facilities, activities or programs based on the student’s gender identity,” which would include restrooms, locker rooms, health and physical education classes, competitive athletics, and overnight field trips. If a non-trans student feels “uncomfortable” sharing sleeping quarters or locker rooms and showers with a transgender student, the NEA advises, they could use a restroom in a nurse’s office, “but a transgender student should never be forced to use alternative facilities to make other students comfortable.”

While all of this seems incredible, it shows just how morally degenerate the progressive Left in this country has become — even in a state like Oklahoma that is believed to be socially conservative.