Viral video shows Maryland teacher giving lesson on how to ‘disrupt gender binaries and cis-normative thinking’

A video going viral on social media from a teacher in Maryland shows her instructing other teachers and staff about how to “disrupt gender binaries and cis-normative thinking” of…

A video going viral on social media from a teacher in Maryland shows her instructing other teachers and staff about how to “disrupt gender binaries and cis-normative thinking” of students.

“What we’re going to talk about next, which means that we can disrupt gender binaries, and binary thinking, as well as heteronormativity,” said Yael Astor, in the video released by Moms for Liberty, a conservative parental rights organization.

Astor is listed as an 8th grade World Studies teacher at Parkland Middle School in Montgomery County.

For those who are unfamiliar with the technical terms, “cis-gendered” refers to those people who continue to represent the sex they were born with.

“Gender binaries” refers to the belief that there are only two genders.

“Cis-normative thinking” refers to the belief that traditional male and female roles in the sex assigned at birth is normal.  It can also be called “heteronormativity,” which Astor also uses in her introduction.

“So, we’re going to talk about, like, the way this shows up in our school spaces,” Astor continues in the video. “The ‘what’ is disrupting binary and cis/heteronormative thinking, so, how we’re going to cultivate affirming spaces is through that disruption; and the ‘how,’ we’re going learn some strategies to specifically disrupt binary and this heteronormative [thinking by students].”

One way to disrupt that thinking is by teaching that men and women both menstruate, said Astor, which critics say is scientifically impossible.

“It’s not just women who menstruate,” claims Astor in another video, posted to X. 

The video is just part of the larger work of Astor in the school district, it appears, as Astor is a favorite of the Montgomery County LGBT community for her work inside Montgomery County Schools. 

As some parents and teachers in the district object to both critical race theory (CRT) and LGBT doctrines being taught in the schools, others have said that Astor can teach them how to circumvent such concerns from parents and teachers. 

“We received reports of both Parent & Staff pushback to @MCPS’s efforts to make their ES [elementary school] curriculum more LGBTQ-inclusive; if so, schools can bring-in @yaelastor to help navigate these challenges!” LGBTQ in MoCo posted to X earlier this year.   

An eight-page presentation given by Astor to the local Fox Chapel PTA, and referred to by the Montgomery County LGBT group, seems to have been permanently scrubbed from the Montgomery County Public School District (MCPS) site. 

The minutes from the Parent Teachers Association at the Tacoma Park Elementary School for the school year 2022-2023 calls Astor an “MCPS Instructional Specialist… from MCPS Office of School Support & Well-Being.” 

In that presentation, Astor also included anti-bias and anti-racist training, in addition to the LGBT instruction her critics call indoctrination. 

In another example of disrupting heteronormative thinking, some of the points included making children in elementary school rethink about what bathroom they should be using, whether a male or a female or a gender-neutral bathroom. 

It also pushed parents to join the “Rainbow Club,” which seeks to spread LGBT ideas inside the district.  

“Goal is to normalize representation and conversations featuring LGBTQ+ / nonbinary gender expression,” said the presentation.  

A CRT presentation by Astor at another MCPS school, Ashburton Elementary, featured this quote on a slide, according to the Daily Wire: “We can disagree and still love each other unless your disagreement is rooted in my oppression and denial of my humanity and right to exist.” 

Any questioning of CRT training automatically makes you a racist, the Wire article suggests. 

Astor was also one of over 200 MCPS teachers who signed a letter demanding that School Resource Officers (SROs) be removed from the district schools in 2021.   

Then when SROs were removed, the decision was rescinded less than a year into the experiment after crime grew out of control nationwide in schools that had no police presence.  

It’s unclear if Astor’s full-time work is with Parkland Middle School. MCPS, which covers part of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, is noted for its ultra-progressive stances.  

MCPS did not respond to The Lion for comment by the time of publication.