“They no longer teach about the birds and the bees but about the birds and the birds and the bees and the bees and the bees that used to be birds and the birds that used to be bees.”
Those were the spontaneous comments of our 16-year-old granddaughter as she explained to my wife and I what was being taught in her high school.
We were all together near Lynchburg, Virginia celebrating the college graduation of our oldest grandchild, Ellie, from Liberty University when our youngest grandchild, Riley, learned that she had been penalized for failing to complete a class assignment.
Until then, her grade had been an A, but it now dropped down to a C. What happened?
It was a gender and sexual orientation assignment in a health class where Riley had to supply definitions for the standard LGBTQ+ terms, including words like genderqueer. But of course! I can actually point you to books for toddlers with similar vocabulary lessons. Certainly, all teens must be able to tell the difference between a cisgender person and a self-identified genderqueer individual, right?
In the past, with her parents’ full approval and encouragement, she had opted out of other assignments, some of them with sexually explicit material. And her teacher had always accommodated these requests. But this time, while away with family and doing the assignment remotely, she simply failed to turn it in, hence the penalty in her grade.
We encouraged her to write to her teacher, explaining that the class violated her personal religious and moral beliefs, which she did immediately.
Thankfully, the teacher responded quickly, saying that she would never ask a student to complete an assignment that made them uneasy. Wonderful!
But this is hardly the norm in many of our school systems today, from children’s schools through our universities. There is often a high price to pay for failing to conform. This has been the norm for well over a decade, as I documented at length in A Queer Thing Happened to America, which was published in 2011. In fact, some instances date back to almost 20 years ago.
The only difference today is that: 1) many parents for the first time realize what their kids are being taught, due to online classes at home during COVID; 2) more parents are pushing back, outraged over the blatant indoctrination of their kids; 3) plenty of young people are not buying into the indoctrination.
I asked Riley how the other kids in her high school felt about these kinds of issues, including the use of preferred gender pronouns.
In her opinion, the school was pretty much divided, with some kids realizing that you could not be “he” one day and “she” the next, while others took these things very seriously. And there were, of course, the openly gay teachers, like one lesbian teacher with a Pride flag in her room. You dare not make her feel “unsafe” with any non-affirming attitudes, comments, or attire.
When I asked Riley if there were any boys who used the girls’ restroom, she told me there was one kid who sometimes came into the girls’ room. But she struggled to describe this individual.
She said, “The person comes into our bathroom wearing short shorts, with hairy legs and hairy armpits.” (If I recall, she also mentioned the student wearing a dog collar with spikes, but perhaps I’m conflating that description with her description of another student in the school!)
The other girls think it’s a boy, but they’re not allowed to ask. What kind of madness is this?
The good news in all this is that, again, there is a pushback against this cultural madness, our granddaughter’s own thinking is clear and correct, she has a fully supportive family, and her school system, by and large, has been accommodating.
The bad news is that a whole generation of young people has been heavily indoctrinated, from the schools to social media, and from many authority figures to movies and TV, resulting in deep confusion and uncertainty. (I’ll write more about this shortly; for the moment, see this recent report documenting how the number of high school students identifying as somewhere on the LGBTQ+ spectrum has doubled since 2015, now at 25 percent.)
We had better pay careful attention to what our children are taking in, doing our best to provide positive, clear, and compassionate environments for their own growth and development. And by all means, let us keep pushing back in the schools. Young lives are at stake.
As for the child identified as “it,” may that young person find wholeness from the inside out, living a blessed and productive life.