At the end of the school year in Rocklin, California, a very smart kindergarten teacher (Kaelin Swaney) at a highly regarded charter school did a very smart thing. One of her students was transitioning from male to female. The teacher explained, in age appropriate terms, what gender identity means. The child changed to female clothing in a restroom. The teacher explained that this is what their classmate would look like when they returned to school in the fall. The children participated in a healthy Q & A.

A couple of parents were upset that they weren’t given advance notice or an opportunity to opt out. These are the same ignoramuses who pretend that gender dysphoria doesn’t exist and who equate an explanation of gender transition to child molestation. They are determined to make their kids as ignorant as they are.

Then the usual hate groups got in the act. Capitol Resource Institute, California Family Council,
Pacific Justice Institute and Alliance Defending Freedom all ginned up unwarranted fear. Abracadabra, we had a manufactured controversy. Brad Dacus (PJI), Karen England (CRI), Greg Burt (CFC) and folks at ADF did what they do: Advancing ignorance to promote Christian supremacy and Christian privilege. This spiraled into a national controversy. The school was inundated with hate email from across the country.

Last night there was a  five hour meeting of the Rocklin Academy school board packed with 500 people. The hate groups tried to advance a “model parental rights” policy, probably crafted by Alliance Defending Freedom. What they attempted to do was to incorporate into what would be considered sex education things that they do not approve of because California law requires parental notice and an opportunity to opt out of sex education.

The school board unanimously rejected the proposal and for good cause. Aside from the obvious anti-LGBT nature it would have created an administrative headache because parents would be give a look at classroom materials in advance. Taking steps not to marginalize a transgender kid is not sex education. The fact is that the parents who might not want their kids to know about pediatric gender dysphoria have the children who are most in need of a lesson that conforms to science lest the ignorance be passed on.

Furthermore, I know a thing or two about gender. Yet I would be extremely grateful for a teacher who could properly convey information about gender to children which is something that I could never do — not if my life depended on it. Teachers have the training and experience that I do not possess. Nor do those parents have the same skills. One can only wonder how any of these parents would explain the presence of a transitioning child. About a trans girl they would be apt to say “he is confused.” Clearly it is that parent who is confused.

A parent by the name of Chelsea McQuistan said “To teach my kid that biologically this boy was born a boy and to teach him that now he’s a girl is very confusing and I feel that it’s a lie.” As I said, it is the parent who is confused. What they all need is to be put in a classroom with Kaelin Swaney. Perhaps — just maybe — Ms. Swaney could successfully do some deprogramming.

We know from experience that these hate groups are far from done. Right now they are conspiring on how to get the state to take action. I am informed that this high performing school has a considerable waiting list. Yet it would be a shame to withdraw kids from a school because its lessons do not conform to scripture. It would be a shame and it would also be idiotic.

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By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.