“The assumption that sex equals gender is millenia (sic) old but if you look at the history of the trans community, as well as the existence of intersex people throughout history this myth starts to shed its authority,” one of the slides for the presentation reads.
The program defines gender identity as “one’s own understanding of their gender or lack thereof.”
Examples included “genderqueer, intergender, female, demigirl, male, agender, transmasculine” and more.
The Parents Defending Education group, which opposes “indoctrination in the classroom,” reported that parents in attendance were told “gender is malleable” and that “sex is assigned but ultimately is determined by the individual.”
Critics are concerned that elementary school students are too young for such topics. And although parental rights advocates around the country have said discussions about gender and sexuality should be had in the home, between parents and their children and not in public schools, some were concerned about a program designed to encourage them to do so with a one-sided presentation.
“For many people, this is a religious issue; for other people, it is a social issue,” said Brenda Tillett, president of Standup Virginia, a nonprofit that fights for parental rights and other conservative social issues. “But in either regard, it is not an educational issue.”
“For the school to even prompt the discussion is completely outside the realm of what their role is in our child’s life,” she added. “If parents actually buy into this conversation that a doctor assigns you a sex or gender that may not actually be your gender, then you’re trying to initiate that conversation between parents and young elementary-aged students.”
She also took issue with the animated imagery and soft approach of the slides being presented without any counter arguments.
“Where is the other side of the conversation?” she said. “Why are we even having this conversation?”
The school’s principal, Kelly Brouse, said in an email that the presentation was promoted by a parent-run organization and delivered only to parents.
“This was not for students or children, nor were they present,” she said.
Administrators did not respond to questions about whether conservative parent groups were or would be given the opportunity to host an opposing seminar.
The New Haven Pride Center, which delivered the presentation, did not immediately respond to a Fox News request for comment.