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Boise School District pressures teachers to affirm new sexual identities of "gender queer," "pansexual," and "nonbinary" in students

Boise School District pressures teachers to affirm new sexual identities of "gender queer," "pansexual," and "nonbinary" in students

Anna Miller
August 24, 2023

The Boise School District (BSD) has been training teachers in radical gender ideology, including pressuring teachers to affirm students’ different sexual identities such as “pansexual,” “transgender,” “gender queer,” and “non-binary.” Teachers were told to use pronouns corresponding to a student’s gender identity, regardless of their deeply held personal or religious beliefs. They were given resources from radical groups advocating for genital mutilation surgery on children. The trainings were conducted by a Boise State University (BSU) professor and a representative of the “anti-racist” group Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID). 

The Idaho Freedom Foundation’s Center for American Education has obtained many public records from the BSD, which has given teachers training that translate the basic tenets of Queer Theory into K-12 pedagogy.

Between March 2022 and April 2023, gender ideology trainings were given to more than 70 teachers on at least two occasions in the BSD. The first training was given to teachers at Capital High School on March 9, 2022. The presentation titled "LGBTQ+ Identities and Resources" was presented to teachers by Micah Hetherington, Lucy Groves, and Boise State Professor Lisa McClain. The training included instruction on transgenderism, gender identity, and pronoun use, among other things. 

During the training, teachers were shown the "Gender Unicorn," a cartoon graphic geared toward confusing children about their gender and sexual attraction. The purple-looking unicorn, which resembles Barney the Dinosaur, has five different areas of its body that beg definition, including gender identity, sexual orientation, gender expression, sex assigned at birth, and emotional attraction.

The training immersed teachers in LGBT jargon such as non-binary, "an umbrella term that can refer to a lot of different gender identities." Trainers told teachers to have "one-on-one meetings with students" to establish the pronouns they want to use. When in doubt, trainers said to use "gender neutral" language. 

Trainers told educators to use as resources radical left-wing groups advocating for genital mutilation surgery on children, such as The Trevor Project, GLSEN, and Gender Spectrum.

BSU professor Lisa McClain gave teachers the handout "Resources to Support Students, Educators, and Families about Transgender and LGBTQ Issues," which encouraged educators to impose more transgender ideology in schools and the classroom. For example, the handout included the GLSEN resource "LGBTQ Students and School Sports Participation," which advocates for allowing biological men to compete against women in school sports and for students to be able to use the bathrooms, locker rooms, and other private facilities based on their gender identity, rather than their biological gender. These policies are against Idaho law. Why are public schools pressuring teachers to violate state law? 

BSD and BSU can’t seem to get their story straight. On March 15, 2022, BSU stated on its website that the training was for "approx. 70 educators at Capital High School in Boise on March 9, 2022." Another post from March 16, 2022, shows the same announcement but without the number of teachers who were given the training. The BSD later claimed that "the District hosted a voluntary, off contract hour, presentation that was reported to have been attended by approximately 10 staff members," rather than 70 educators. No documentation was provided to prove this claim.

The BSD appears to give teachers and staff training in gender ideology on a regular basis. According to public records, the group AVID has also been training BSD educators in diversity and sexual identities. AVID is an “antiracist” organization that has been impacting Idaho schools for 20 years and — by its own account — is present in at least 10 districts, 36 secondary schools, and 11 elementary schools and has trained thousands of educators, administrators, and counselors.

AVID held an "Induction Seminar" on March 9, 2023, from 4:15-6:30 at the DTEC Training Center on "diversity” and "supporting LGBTQIA+student [sic]." Teachers and staff were, according to public records, only permitted to leave after the LGBT portion of the training was finished. The training appears to have been part of a course for teachers, counselors, and nurses who were "New to the Profession."

BSD paid AVID at least $16,200 for their services, according to public records.

The first half of the training focused on diversity and included a "Disruptive Equity Framework." Next, the training focused on "gender sensitivity." Trainers stated that some people might have deeply held personal beliefs about the issue. Regardless of such personal or religious beliefs, trainers lectured teachers about the "Gender Unicorn" and the necessity of using pronouns corresponding to a student’s gender identity. Teachers were given a resource on LGBT terminology which claimed any "intolerance" of the LGBT community is "homophobia" and "transphobia." Christians and other teachers with sincere and deeply held religious beliefs about marriage, creation, or sex certainly would not have felt comfortable or included amid such anti-Judeo-Christian rhetoric.

The training also included the BSD's Gender Support Plan, which allows students to change their name and pronouns and use bathrooms and locker rooms based on their gender identity rather than their biological sex. Teachers are expected to affirm a student's chosen gender identity, pronouns, and name adopted in the gender support plan regardless of their personal beliefs.

The BSD’s gender support plans can be used for children as young as kindergarten. The policy is based on a model created by Gender Spectrum, a group that thinks four-year-olds know their gender identity. 

When asked if the sexual identities of “pansexual,” “transgender,” “gender queer,” and “non-binary" are valid identities that should be taught to children, and whether teachers should be pressured to affirm these identities in students regardless of their deeply held religious beliefs, BSD Superintendent, Coby Dennis, said "The information you’ve referenced is well within Boise School District’s civil rights policies and procedures, as well as our values of respect, dignity, honesty, responsibility and teamwork." 

This year, Idaho Legislators demonstrated that they are aware of the danger that radical gender ideology in the medical industry poses to children. Public officials must also be willing to fight against this ideology in the K-12 education system. Public schools have chosen to use state resources to push gender radicalism on children. Students will pay the price as public schools consume themselves with gender ideology, aided and abetted by universities and interest groups. Schools know that parents would object to pushing queer theory on kids, so they conceal their efforts from the public. Now, parents are beginning to see what is happening, and they need lawmakers to restore their fundamental right to direct the education and care of their children.

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