Should we file this one under Don’t Say Evolution? The alarming trend of conservatives pretending that things that displease them don’t exist continues this week with a story out of Oakland, California.
Redwood Heights Elementary School’s biology lesson on gender diversity within the animal kingdom has become national news, with attorney Kevin Snider of the Pacific Justice Institute claiming, “This instruction does not represent the values of the majority of families in Oakland.”
Seriously? The majority of families in Oakland don’t believe in 4th grade biology?
Snider, and several parents at the school took umbrage with teachers bringing up single-sex Hawaiian geckos, male snakes that behave like female snakes do, and the ability of some fish to switch genders. (Shout out to all you seahorses reading Unicorn Booty under the sea!)
“That’s a lot of variation in nature,” Gender Spectrum trainer, Joel Baum, told the students. “Evolution comes up with some pretty funny ways for animals to reproduce.”
And that same kind of diversity applies to people too, said Baum, the education director for the San Leandro nonprofit. For example, some boys can act like girls; some girls can have boy body parts; and some biological boys feel like a girl inside their hearts, he said.
“It turns out that there are not just two options,” he said.
And that, said representatives from the conservative Pacific Justice Institute, was the problem.
These Oakland children will be told there are more than two genders, the organization advised the media in a press release last week.
Well, no…that’s not really at all what teachers were saying that day. Maybe it’s just the inner geek in me bubbling my coke bottle glasses and hair parted down the middle back up, but I remember science class as being the hands down best part of my day in school.
Learning about how platypuses were technically still mammals, how mollusks produced pearls, how amphibians straddled the line between fish and reptiles – these were the big ideas that inspired me as a child and excited me in school.
And students at Redwood Heights seem to agree with me.
“Earrings used to be something only girls and pirates wore,” Baum said to fourth-grade giggles. And what’s on the outside doesn’t necessarily reflect what’s on the inside, he said.
“People can feel like girls,” he said.”They can feel like boys. They can feel like both, and they can feel like neither.”
At the end of the lesson, fourth-grader Desmond Pare thought that was no big deal.
“I think it’s about how it doesn’t matter who you are,” he said. “If you’re a girl who likes girl stuff, or a boy who like boy stuff, it just matters if you’re human.”
Thank goodness these fourth-grade children are more sensible, compassionate, and interested in learning than the conservative overlords who are attempting to censor their education. This trend of pretending that different types of people, and now animals, don’t exist is getting out of control.
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