Newbury Park father Jim Monroe (who asked not to use his real name) was surprised to hear from his third-grade daughter recently that a girl in her class at Maple Elementary had come to school claiming to be a boy and that the teacher had re-introduced the child to the class as a boy with a new name.
“I get home and hear about this. My wife is extremely upset. I’m upset,” Monroe told the Guardian.
The teacher also played a video related to a book entitled Call Me Max, which explicitly promotes “transgender” ideology to children — all without asking permission from parents or alerting them that it would happen.
The Monroes emailed the teacher asking for links to the material, and after reviewing it, “I disagreed with it completely,” Jim says.
Call Me Max, which has colorful illustrations like any children’s book, begins: “When I look in the mirror, I see a boy. I see a boy with spiky brown hair. … I also see a boy who is transgender.” The book follows “Max’s” journey to deciding which bathroom to use, which gender he feels like inside and telling his parents he is “transgender.”
Jim approached the principal, Patty Lewis, at drop-off soon afterward, asking how the school dared to teach such content to third graders.
“It was inappropriate for the school to show this video,” Jim says. “These are nine-year-olds and don’t understand. … I read her the riot act but didn’t yell. My adrenaline was going; I was so distraught about this. I said, ‘This is a very sick thing you showed to a child. This should almost be reported to the police.’”
According to Jim, Lewis said she was aware of the video but claimed not to have given permission to the teacher to show it to her class. The Conejo Guardian sought comment from Lewis and from the Parent Faculty Association but received no reply.
The number of incidents of teachers promoting radical sexual agendas and other leftist ideologies in elementary schools is becoming more common as State and County leaders seek to normalize gender dysphoria and other unorthodox views of human sexuality among the young. Worse, teachers and schools increasingly cut parents out of the picture through deliberate strategies.
An April 2022 article by podcast host Jeff Charles called “California Lawyers Train Teachers to Deceive Parents While Grooming Children” reports that public school teachers in Ventura County recently received guidance from a law firm on how to deceive parents of children who are experiencing symptoms of gender dysphoria or confusion about their sexuality.
According to the website Gender LCGB, the Ventura County webinar, hosted by the Ventura County Office of Education last November, was led by two attorneys from a law firm that advises public school districts in California. The seminar guided public school educators on “the legal and practical considerations for ‘affirming’ the identities of transgender and ‘gender diverse’ students” in school.
Attorneys gave Ventura County teachers three hours’ worth of suggestions on how to encourage young students to embrace new gender identities without the child’s parents finding out. Guidance included:
— Giving students “get to know you” forms at the start of the school year to ask students to declare their personal pronouns.
— Not using “gendered words” like “mom and dad,” but “parents” instead.
— Encouraging educators to integrate lessons on perverse or unorthodox sexuality in topics other than sex education because parents have the right to opt their children out of sex education but not other topics.
— Telling teachers that students have a right to privacy that trumps a parent’s right to know.
Attorneys urged educators to refrain from keeping written records of discussions between the school and students about gender and sexuality because parents have a right to view these documents. According to the article, the attorneys recommended ways to conceal documents, like the Gender Support Plan, which offer a roadmap for pushing students to embrace gender dysphoria. They advised teachers to keep these plans “in personal possession” — meaning teachers do not have to share them with parents.
Seminar leaders even suggested that schools issue two different ID cards, one with the student’s legal name and another with his or her chosen name, and to use the child’s given name when sending out mass emails to families. They emphasized that teachers may discuss sexual topics in the context of history, English or other subjects so that families would not legally have to be notified.
The advice was intended to empower educators to circumvent parental authority over children’s moral decisions, which goes directly against state law in California Education Code 51513, which states: “No test, questionnaire, survey, or examination containing any questions about the pupil’s personal beliefs or practices in sex, family life, morality, and religion, or any questions about the pupil’s parents’ or guardians’ beliefs and practices in sex, family life, morality, and religion, shall be administered to any pupil in kindergarten or grades 1 to 12, inclusive, unless the parent or guardian of the pupil is notified in writing that this test, questionnaire, survey, or examination is to be administered and the parent or guardian of the pupil gives written permission for the pupil to take this test, questionnaire, survey, or examination.”
Pushing sexual agendas in grade school classrooms may be one reason California public schools are experiencing an unexpected decline in enrollment — even as they have opened up again for in-person learning.
According to media source Cal Matters, “For the first time since the start of the century, California has fewer than 6 million students attending public schools.” California Department of Education data shows that enrollment is dropping “more quickly than it did before the pandemic, stirring fears of more budget cuts and long-term financial instability for schools,” the article said (see “California public school enrollment drops below 6 million mark” by Joe Hong, April 11, 2022).
Even charter school enrollment is down for the first time since at least 2014, “a major reversal of historical trends,” according to Cal Matters. Kindergarten has not rebounded to anywhere close to its pre-pandemic levels.
“Officials at the California Department of Education did not have a clear explanation for this sudden drop,” the article said. According to one expert, “We just aren’t sure where [the students] have gone.”
Back in Newbury Park, Maple Elementary’s website says the school’s most recent “theme” for the year is: “You have the POWER TO CHOOSE to be KIND and INCLUDE others! ALL ARE WELCOME HERE! EVERYONE DESERVES TO FEEL WELCOME, CONNECTED, ACCEPTED, AND INCLUDED!”
Jim says the third-grade teacher’s surprise introduction of the child experiencing gender dysphoria caused some of the children to “decide they could be boys” for a few days.
“My daughter was getting sick of it,” he says. “She just wanted to play games on her tablet. Now she was confronted with this conversation about being transgender. It was just ridiculous. … It confused all the children.”
The incident prompted him to attend — and speak at — his first Conejo Valley Unified School District board meeting. He urged board members to call him about the situation that happened at Maple Elementary. No school member has. Rather, Monroe received an icy reception, he says.
“[They] looked at me like they despised me or that this guy needs to shut up and move on,” he said.
Also in attendance was a child even younger than his who was experiencing gender dysphoria, and whose mother promoted the confusion.
“This is a parent stepping in and pushing their beliefs on children, more often than not,” Jim told the Guardian. “It scares me that the school board is taking this as normal: ‘Hey, boys are going to cut their penises off, and girls are going to act like boys.’ It’s evident that Ventura County has transitioned from an understanding community to a far-left community that outweighs the needs of the many with the needs of the few.”
The Monroes continue to await any invitation to discuss the way things were handled. Their interactions with the teacher and with Principal Lewis have been indeterminate.
“Parents need to be involved,” Jim urges. “If your kid is in public school, you need to be involved now. We can’t sit back and wait for someone to make decisions for us because they are making wrong decisions. We need to get up there, open our mouths, speak and be involved. There are people that are fighting to help our kids, and they are outnumbered, and it’s time we step up and help them. … When is it going to stop? This generation is being injured by this.”