Conservative activist takes aim at District 65’s LGBTQ+ curriculum

Christopher Rufo appeared on Fox News to discuss what he called District 65’s “radical lessons in gender.” Credit: Mediate

Christopher Rufo, a conservative activist and writer with a large online following who helped pioneer Republican attacks on critical race theory and gender identity, has a new target: Evanston/Skokie School District 65 LGBTQ+ Equity Week.

In April Rufo published an article “Radical Gender Lessons for Young Children” in the public policy magazine City Journal, where he is a senior contributing editor. In the piece, he highlighted some of the lesson plans District 65 teachers use during Equity Week to teach gender equity, gender expression, and accepting classmates for who they are.

In particular, Rufo focused on the kindergarten curriculum as proof that liberal cities and states are teaching “college-level queer theory” to younger students.

“It is unfortunate that people like Mr. Rufo feel what they feel about the way we educate children in our school district,” District 65 School Board President Sergio Hernandez told the Roundtable. “Our intention is to teach our children to be loving and accepting of all people, regardless of how they present themselves in this world. We are in no way trying to indoctrinate children into any kind of ideology, as Mr. Rufus and his followers erroneously claim.”

The curriculum District 65 uses for kindergarten classes covers topics such as breaking gender stereotypes, recognizing and respecting identity differences, and “aligning,” defined as “building relationships based on trust, consistency, and responsibility with marginalized individuals.” and/or groups of people.”

“Students will learn about their identities and the identities of others,” states the Kindergarten curriculum overview. “They will explore family concepts, gender stereotypes of toys and clothing, colors and meanings, flags, alliance and identity.”

Rufus’ focus on District 65 came on the heels of a national protest over the passage of Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Act, dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which bans the state’s public schools from discussing gender and sexuality with students from kindergarten to third grade.

In an April essay on Rufus in the nationCandace Bond-Theriault, Director of Racial Justice Policy and Strategy at Columbia Law School’s Center for Gender and Sexuality Law, wrote that elementary schools are not teaching complex queer theory to children and that Rufus is using his platform to incite a ” moral panic”. among conservatives about how schools discuss race and gender in the classroom.

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