Ohio school district shelled out thousands on ‘queer and trans inclusion’ presentation

(Daily Caller News Foundation) – An Ohio school district spent more than $24,000 for a consultant company to give a two-day “queer and trans inclusion” presentation to staff, according to…

(Daily Caller News Foundation) – An Ohio school district spent more than $24,000 for a consultant company to give a two-day “queer and trans inclusion” presentation to staff, according to documents obtained through a public records request by Parents Defending Education (PDE), a parental rights group.

In 2022, Columbus City Schools paid “Q Inclusion LLC,” now known as Hey Wes,” an organization that gives workshops on “LGBTQ-affirming practices,” $24,200.83 for a professional development training session for school psychologists, school counselors, speech-language pathologists and occupational therapists to teach them how to “implement queer and trans inclusive practices” with students and their families, according to the documents obtained by PDE. The September 2022 presentation for Columbus City Schools psychologists and counselors taught about “cis privilege” and encouraged the attendees to know whether a student wants their transgender status shared with their parents. 

“When cis people share their pronouns… it signals to trans and nonbinary people that you know we exist, you value us, and it let’s us know that we are welcome in your space,” the presentation reads. “It informs trans and nonbinary people that it’s safe to share our pronouns with you, and that when we do, you’ll use them.”

The presentation provided a sample form that details what a student’s preferred name and pronouns are and whether that information can be shared or used with their parents, the documents show. If a student does not want their transgender name or pronouns shared with their parents, a form provided in the presentation asks the child what name and pronouns should be used instead when talking to their caregivers.

Gender is a “complex interrelationship” between “body, identity and social gender,” the presentation reads. Using the “gender unicorn,” the presentation notes that gender identity comes from the mind and may not match an individual’s biological sex.

The presentation also touches on the “wheel of power/privilege,” which states that the most “privileged” individual is someone who is a citizen, white, heterosexual, a cisgender man, has a post-secondary education and is neurotypical with a slim body type. Another slide in the presentation discussed “cis privilege,” which it defined as “the advantages enjoyed by cisgender people simply because they are cis (and not trans).”

One slide in the presentation notes that “children are not too young to talk about or know their gender.” Children can understand gender identity at around a year and a half years old, the presentation states.

The presentation also details how to respond “when caregivers pushback” and encourages the attendees to note that they are “not taking anyone’s gender or family values away from them” by “making room for people of all gender identities [and] gender expressions.”

“Encouraging school staff to hide personal information about a child from his or her parents is destructive to families, and ultimately, children,” Alex Nester, an investigative fellow at PDE, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “This is a prime example of a school taking direction not from the parents and families it serves, but rather, activists organizations pushing controversial narratives and policies on sex and gender—including parental exclusion.

Columbus City Schools and Hey Wes did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.