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Smackdown Saturday: School District Bans the Use of “Male” and “Female”
A smackdown on this week's news
In a move that has to have many parents scratching their heads and others outright outraged, Broward County, Florida — yes, the very same Broward we’ve discussed many times before — has once again made national headlines.
This time, it’s for their audacious attempt to redefine fundamental biological terms in their new sex education curriculum.
This wasn’t a mere, simple vote. The tensions were so high at this school board meeting that Debbie Espinoza, an actual member of a local advisory council, was arrested.
Imagine that: an education meeting turning into a crime scene.
Why? Because Espinoza pushed a police officer after a face-off with a conservative activist.
Given such intense reactions, one might think this curriculum was universally loved or hated. The truth, however, is far murkier.
To give you a taste of what’s now considered “inclusive,” one startling element of this new curriculum proclaims, “You might commonly hear people refer to just being ‘male’ or ‘female,’ but the correct term is ‘cisgender.’”
That’s right. A child looking in the mirror no longer sees a female or male but a “cisgender,” and most likely wondering what that even means.
I’m trying my best to wrap my head around how this new policy will work in this school district.
Will schools remove reading material from its libraries that mention “males” or “females” to eliminate a child’s tortured confusion? And don’t even get me started on the problems of teaching sex education when teachers have to use the term “cisgender” to refer to both sexes.
Wouldn’t you love to sit in on a biology class where a teacher tries to explain the difference between two “cisgender” bodies without ever using the words “male” or “female”?
Board Member Torey Alston made a poignant observation: “It’s unfortunate that five members of the board supported curriculum with inappropriate material that should be introduced at home between a child and their parents.”
And let’s not even begin to dive into the lesson plan for kindergarteners that tiptoes around the biological facts of male and female anatomy.
A recommended lesson outline for kindergarteners titled “Recognizing Our Bodies — The Fundamentals” notes that “certain body parts are more commonly found in girls, while others are more typical in boys.”
Wait! Didn’t they violate their own policy of using “boys” and “girls” instead of “cisgender?
Now, proponents argue that this approach provides a more comprehensive education on issues ranging from gender identity to sexually transmitted diseases.
Yet, there’s another layer to this. The school district dumped this mammoth 1,200-page document into the parents’ laps just three days before they were expected to debate and vote on it. Three days.
Was this a genuine effort at transparency or a sneaky move to rush something controversial under the radar?
Despite the controversy, some parents praised the curriculum, arguing its necessity in today’s world. They believe it would provide students with tools to navigate complex issues like consent, hygiene, gender, and even grooming.
Navigate complex issues? This ship is headed on a collision course where the captain will find himself loading lifeboats by shouting, “Cisgenders first!”
The fate of this curriculum now rests in the hands of the Florida Department of Education. One can only hope they understand the gravity of their decision and its lasting impact on the students of Broward County.
Martin Mawyer is president of the Christian Action Network, which he founded in 1990. Located in Lynchburg, VA, CAN was formed as a non-profit educational organization to protect America’s religious and moral heritage. He is the author of several books, including You Are Chosen: Prepare to Triumph in a Fallen World.