School assignment on gender identity creates controversy | New
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OLATHE, KS (KCTV) – A class assignment at a school in Olathe on gender identity is raising concerns on both sides of the political spectrum.
Now, a local LGBTQ task force has called an emergency meeting on this and four other recent school-related incidents across the metro area.
The worksheet distributed to a high school class in Olathe is titled “The Unicorn of Gender”. A photo of the worksheet was sent to us by Kansas Rep Adam Thomas, who was upset when his child brought it home from a grade 10 class on Tuesday. The Republican lawmaker disputed the subject.
“Let children be children,” he wrote in a statement. “Whoever they decide to be is fine, but the classroom is not the place to impose that ideology on them. It’s at home with their family or with a school counselor. I applaud her. rapid response from the school district.
A district spokesperson sent a statement saying this was not part of the approved program and that they are working with staff to ensure it is not reassigned. However, the main reason the district deemed it inappropriate was the participation questions at the bottom of the worksheet.
“This worksheet was not appropriate for students and posed questions that could violate their privacy rights,” the district statement read in part.
For example, one of the questions asked: “Do you know your gender identity or are you still in identity confusion mode?”
The concern of LGBTQ activist Judge Horn was similar. The questions at the end, in his opinion, relate to what some students consider private. Horn is part of a 13-person LGBTQ commission established by the city of Kansas City.
“People are trying,” he said of some teachers and administrators. “They have good intentions. What we are here to do is educate more in order to achieve the goal on these issues.
What worries him the most is what KCTV5 reported about what happened Monday at Lincoln College Preparatory Academy High School, a KCPS school. A grade 10 teacher has been placed on administrative leave pending an internal investigation into allegations he disparaged LGBTQ and Muslim students in class.
A KCPS spokesperson said he was briefed during class by a student, sent an administrator into the classroom to observe, and then immediately removed him from the classroom.
Horn said the Kansas City LGBTQ Commission documented five cases of concern on the subway in recent months.
In addition to the class assignment at Olathe and the teacher’s remarks at Lincoln Prep, Horn described the following:
- A report the commission received from an LGBTQ student in Kansas City assaulted by another off-campus student.
- LGBTQ student harassed by classmates at Lee’s Summit, reported by the Kansas City Star in early October.
- A policy in Independence schools that could send students to their parents, detailed by the Kansas City Star editorial board in September.
“If a student wanted to have a specific name or pronoun, he would run it through his parents,” Horn summed up.
He will not go into the details of the alleged assault.
The Kansas City LGBTQ Commission meeting will be held Monday at 8 p.m. via Zoom. Public comments are welcome.
The full statement from the Olathe School District is below:
“Earlier this week, in a human development and human development class, a worksheet was handed out to students that Olathe public schools do not tolerate and are not part of the district curriculum. This worksheet was not appropriate for students and asked questions that might violate their privacy rights. Students who received the worksheet were asked not to complete it. The district is working with staff to ensure this worksheet is not distributed to other classes and is not used in any future instruction. While this worksheet is not appropriate in terms of the information requested, the district supports all students and strives to create inclusive environments where students can seek help from trusted adults.
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