The notion that there are only two genders is a “faulty concept,” according to the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
The department website’s “Creating Gender-Inclusive Schools and Classrooms” page starts with a list of “words you should know,” including “Binary Gender,” which, the department writes, is “the faulty concept that there are only two genders: male and female.”
The department’s list of definitions includes the usual gender ideology buzzwords such as “assigned gender,” “genderqueer” and “gender identity,” with the longest definition belonging to “preferred personal pronouns.”
The latter section suggests teachers should learn the preferred personal pronouns of each student, as “it’s always best to ask.” The definition states, “In addition to the traditional pronouns (he/him, she/her, they), some people prefer to use gender-neutral pronouns, such as ne, ve, ze/zie and xe.”
The list of definitions is pulled from a list included in a 2013 article by Carrie Kilman called “The Gender Spectrum.” That article links to an even longer list of definitions on the same site, learningforjustice.org.
Kilman’s gender spectrum article asks teachers to soul-search about whether they “communicate a nonbinary understanding of gender to my students through the visuals on my classroom walls, the books on the shelves and the language I use?”
While “The Gender Spectrum” has been a favorite tool of proponents of gender ideology, what concerns many about its inclusion as a resource for teachers is the author’s claim that “some kids know their gender identities and birth sexes don’t match almost as soon as they begin to talk,” and that 3-year-olds can identify as gender fluid.
“This is part of a national effort in schools to ‘break the binary’ by confusing young children about biological sex and indoctrinating them into believing that gender is a spectrum,” Erika Sanzi, director of outreach for Parents Defending Education, told Fox News Digital. “The [Pennsylvania] Department of Education should delete these ideology-based resources from [its] website, and anyone teaching gender fluidity to 3-year-olds does not belong in a classroom.”
The Pennsylvania Department of Education page also instructs teachers on how to host a “gender-neutral day” for grades 3-12. That toolkit opens by saying, “Gender-fluid young people navigate a variety of gender-specific spaces throughout their day at school. From seating charts based on gender to dress codes and roles in school activities, we ask students to put themselves into boxes labeled ‘girls’ and ‘boys’ all the time.”
The toolkit suggests the answer to this apparent issue is to host a gender-neutral day, in order “to break away from these boxes and labels.” The toolkit also suggests students should commit to rejecting gender stereotypes for the day, while teachers should commit to challenging gender norms.
The Pennsylvania Department of Education defended the inclusion of these resources in a statement to both Fox News Digital and The National Desk:
“It is incumbent upon us to support ALL learners, and make them ALL feel welcome in their schools and communities. This commonwealth was founded on the principles of inclusion and belonging, and we must ensure that we continue to make our neighbors feel safe. The equity, inclusion and belonging (EIB) resources we are providing to schools are optional supports that they can use to foster a sense of belonging in their school.”
“The [Gov. Tom] Wolf administration,” Communications Director Casey Smith added, “supports equity, inclusion, and belonging efforts in every school, and one way we can better serve our learners is by providing resources so that schools can support students who come from all walks of life.”