One of the nation’s largest teachers unions in America has reportedly offered instruction to teachers on how to insert lessons on gender identity into classroom discussions, according to a right-leaning public policy institute.
The Defense of Freedom Institute, founded by two former Trump administration Department of Education officials, released a report earlier this month describing the topics promoted by the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association.
Before its Together Educating America’s Children (TEACH) conference in July, DFI noted that AFT released a resolution on LGBT issues that touted “age-appropriate and inclusive” bathroom and locker room policies.
In addition, the resolution reiterated AFT’s commitment to working with LGBT groups such as the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), which advises schools to use a student’s preferred pronouns without consent from their parents.
The American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association did not immediately respond to The Christian Post’s request for comment.
The DFI report states that sessions at AFT’s TEACH conference discussed how to insert lessons on gender identity into classroom instruction, alleging that the union “coached its members on how to inject gender identity politics into classroom teaching.”
Other sessions at the conference included “Affirming LGBTQIA+ Identities in and out of the Classroom” and “The TGNCNB [transgender, gender nonconforming, nonbinary] Inclusive School and Classroom.”
The latter session argued that “[c]isnormativity,” referring to arguments that biological sex remains the same regardless of gender identity, “can be limiting for TGNCNB … and cisgender folks alike.”
“The AFT seemingly believes that ‘cisnormativity’ is a societal ill and that its members are responsible for dismantling it in their classrooms,” the DFI’s report co-authored by former U.S. Department of Education Press Secretary Angela Morabito and DFI Policy Council Paul Zimmerman reads.
“Both session descriptions offered attendees ideas and action items to take back to their schools.”
According to DFI, the unions seek “to train teachers to affirm every gender identity that conflicts with a student’s sex, ignore basic biological facts, hide the training from parents, and shape school policies to force others to do the same.”
DFI believes that NEA conducted its annual conference outside the public eye due to its 2022 report titled “Summer of Woke.” The August 2022 DFI report criticized NEA and AFT for supporting what the conservative group argued are “radicalized” policies, including abortion laws and discussions about gender ideology in the classroom.
During a representative assembly in Orlando, Florida, NEA held a Freedom to Learn Rally in July to protest Gov. Ron DeSantis’ education policies. The union labeled the Republican governor’s policies “extremist,” including the Florida Parental Rights in Education Law, which DeSantis signed last year. The law prohibits educators from teaching lessons about gender identity and sexuality in kindergarten through third grade.
The union’s publication, NEA Today, referred to the Parental Rights in Education Law as the “Don’t Say Gay” law, a common term used by critics of the bill.
In a July 2022 report reflecting on student mental health concerns following the COVID-19 pandemic, the union suggested that laws like the one in Florida could negatively impact the mental health of trans-identitifed or gay students.
Disagreeing with the union’s approach to handling the issue, DFI cited a 2008 study titled “Gender Identity Disorders in Childhood and Adolescence,” which found that 80% of children who claim to be trans when they’re young grow out of it once they mature.
The conservative institute also defended legislation in Missouri that NEA characterized as “anti-LBGTQ+,” arguing that laws safeguarding parental rights are not “anti-anyone.” The legislation prohibits schools from adopting policies that prevent parents from receiving information about their child’s mental or physical health.
“Parents, not teachers, have the right to have these conversations with children and are best positioned to decide when and how it is appropriate to talk about these issues,” DFI’s report reads. “Hardly spontaneous expressions of malice, these laws are a response to public education bureaucrats exposing young children to books about sexual orientation and gender identity that parents find objectionable.”
A nationwide debate has stirred in recent years over what rights parents have to object to materials and ideologies being shared with their children in school.
These debates about educational transparency have resulted in some parents suing their school districts over policies that allow school officials to keep secrets from parents if their children identify as the opposite sex.
Other lawsuits have involved groups of interfaith parents arguing that they have a right to opt their children out of certain lessons and determine the religious upbringing of their children.