Mothers and fathers “are not co-parenting with the government,” a frustrated Pennsylvania parent told her local school board after discovering her kids were being taught about “gender-affirming care” and other woke ideologies.
West Chester Area School District has come under recent scrutiny for teaching “a ‘woke’ curriculum complete with transgenderism, Critical Race Theory, and an emphasis on drag queen performances.”
Superintendent Bob Sokolowski admitted at an Oct. 25 school board meeting – after parents pressed him on the matter – that the district indeed teaches a gender-affirming curriculum.
Parent Connie Halloway spoke at the meeting about a district document she obtained through a “right-to-know” request. The document suggests the West Chester district tells only parents who are supportive of gender-affirming care if their child is identifying as another gender at school.
“You do not have the authority to determine what parents deserve to know about their child’s health,” she said.
Her public comment ended with a pointed question: “Does West Chester Area School District hide a student’s gender transition from parents?”
Superintendent Sokolowski confirmed her suspicions:
“One of the things I can share is those plans are very specific. They are very personalized. I can share with you that when I was the principal at Henderson High School, there was a student that was transitioning to a different gender, and that was something this particular student was very uncomfortable sharing with one of her parents.
“We exclude those plans in the fullest protection of the students.”
Resident Mike Winterode followed Halloway’s lead during his public comment, saying another “right-to-know” request also confirmed a “gender education” and “inclusivity” teacher training at Fern Hill Elementary School in August.
He said those teachers “didn’t really learn all about gender,” and that they needed to learn about what happens “beyond pronouns and name changes.”
“[As] kids grow older and they decide to continue down the road to gender transition, [there are] medical realities, such as puberty blockers, shrinking brain development, or freezing the growth of the pelvis in a prepubescent state,” Winterode said, noting that suicide rates increase by 20% after gender-affirming surgeries, too.
He even offered to bring two young women who regret their gender transition to speak directly at a school district assembly.
Sokolowski nonetheless affirmed the district’s gender education policies, claiming they create a “positive school environment” that promotes academic learning and “life-long success.”
“I understand that many of us did not experience school that way when we were growing up. But there is a need for this,” he added. “This is a reality. We do have transgender students in our schools and we are best preparing our students, our teachers, as well.”
But parents at the meeting weren’t convinced.
“There is a storm brewing,” Winterode said. “And that is the growing number of young men and women who realize they were manipulated; they were manipulated at a time in their lives when they needed the guiding hands of responsible adults.”