San Francisco teachers given free rein to instruct children on gender ideology without parental involvement

Schools in San Francisco are instructing elementary teachers to weave LGBT content into their lessons throughout the school year, adding that “parental involvement” isn’t necessary. 


Schools in San Francisco are instructing elementary teachers to weave LGBT content into their lessons throughout the school year, adding that “parental involvement” isn’t necessary. 

The lengthy guide even asks second-graders to consider how they can better support the LGBT community. 

The San Francisco Unified School District sent a “Teaching Guide for Elementary Grades” to its employees as a path for including gender ideology hot topics through every phase of the school year. The guide’s plainly stated intention is encouraging teachers to “explore integrating LGBTQ themes and weaving information about LGBTQ family and gender diversity into your teaching throughout the school year.” 

The beginning of the guide also stresses an educator’s “legal and moral imperative” to affirm gender diversity, calling on teachers to promote “allyship” at their schools. 

Allyship is described by one diversity and inclusion activist as “a lifelong process of building relationships based on trust, consistency, and accountability with marginalized individuals and/or groups of people.” 

“Some families and students may have strong opinions regarding schools teaching about queer and trans identities to elementary students,” the guide admits. “Families may express that this education conflicts with their personal beliefs.” It adds, though, that “other families may voice a desire for increased, deeper, year-round focus on these topics.” 

Yet, within the “Family Expectations and Concerns” section the guide says there is no need for parental involvement when “providing definitions to students, teaching about LGBTQ family and gender diversity, celebrating Pride Month, and reading books with LGBTQ characters/plots/subplots or speaking about LGBTQ persons outside the context of health education.” 

The document adds that teaching queer and trans identity lessons is mandated by the district and the California Department of Education, adding that doing so “does not require parental permission, nor does it require parental notification.” The district also clarifies that notification is not the same as permission. 

The result is an open-ended license to instruct children in these ideologies as frequently as teachers see fit, without parental permission or notification if the discussion does not involve “puberty, STI and HIV prevention, and sexual health” or “inviting outside speakers into the classroom.”  

However, the document takes care to explain that, “A discussion about gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning people does not constitute a discussion about human sexuality or family life education.” 

Examples of instances that don’t require any parental notification include: 

  • when intervening in name-calling incidents 
  • when providing definitions to students about LGBT people in the curriculum outside of sexual health education 
  • when teaching about LGBT family and gender diversity 
  • reading a book with LGBT characters/plots/subplots. 
  • when celebrating diversity or April’s LGBT Pride month 

The guide also includes a section on students’ rights, which notes teachers are mandated by California law to “refer to students by the gender pronoun and name that fits their gender identity, implement and provide access to gender-neutral restrooms, dress code policies, and classroom practices, and recognize students’ consent to sensitive LGBTQ or sexual health-related services without seeking permission from caregiver/parent, if they are age 12 or older.” 

Toward the middle of the document, sections such as “common terms” and “teacher background and knowledge” serve as resources for explaining concepts such as “gender spectrum” or “assigned sex at birth” along with extensive explanations about inclusive language and pronouns. 

The guide continues with a list of “essential questions,” including asking second-graders how they can better support the LGBTQ community. Fifth-graders are asked “What is gender self-determination? How is it different from the gender binary?” 

The document repeatedly suggests ditching “gender roles” altogether, and that gender was “controlled” in the formation of the United States. This sentiment is echoed in the “lessons and activities” section, which includes a video entitled, “No More Gender Roles!” from the QueerKidsStuff YouTube channel. 

The guide wraps up with more resources and a smattering of suggestions for how to create school-wide activities such as a “rainbow day,” pride celebrations and adding LGBT content into all existing school celebrations and events such as “Black History Month” or “Lunar New Year.” 

Schools are encouraged to create pride-themed bulletin boards that act as “stunning visual centerpieces” in areas that receive “a lot of foot traffic.” 

Not everyone is on board with promoting such an aggressive sexual agenda in the earliest of grades. 

“It is incoherent and kind of bonkers for the school district to claim that ‘teaching queer and trans identity affirming lessons’ to elementary schoolers does not qualify as teaching about human sexuality or human development, and therefore does not require parental notification or permission,” said Erika Sanzi, director of outreach for Parents Defending Education. “They are splitting hairs on this so they can promote their queer activist agenda to a captive audience free from parental interference. It’s wrong on so many levels.” 

The 18-page document was created in July 2018 by the Student and Family Services Division for the district and has been updated for 2022-23.