When asked about the district’s Welcoming Schools endorsement and the curriculum’s promotion of gender fluidity, Superintendent Paul Cruz referred me to AISD Communications Specialist Tiffany Young, but she left unanswered questions about AISD’s alliance with an organization that promotes for gender dysphoric children medical suspension of puberty beginning as early as 11 or 12, lifelong cross-sex hormone therapy, and gender reassignment surgery. Young said the district does not have a policy regarding such therapy.
I contacted principals from 21 of the district’s 27 Welcoming Schools–trained campuses, asking about the program. Only three responded. Baranoff Elementary Principal Megan Counihan said she has not implemented Welcoming Schools despite receiving training: Her teachers had “a lot on their plates” last year with AISD’s implementation of five major initiatives. She said the school would eventually take up the program, “but last year wasn’t the time to begin another new initiative.” Sunset Valley Elementary Principal Emily Bush directed questions to AISD headquarters, which continued to be unresponsive.
Williams Elementary Principal Mary Cisneros asked Schmitz, her school’s counselor, to respond. Schmitz said Welcoming Schools material is not taught to the children but to the teachers with the goal of “challenging beliefs, finding common ground.” But critics contend that by adopting HRC’s human sexuality ideology, including its gender-obliterating vocabulary, teachers convey a worldview disconnected from reality and God’s created order. Simply defining “lesbian” or “gay” as two women or two men “who love each other” introduces young children to the idea that they, too, could be lesbian or gay because of their affection for friends of the same sex.
By pitching its lessons as an anti-bullying curriculum, HRCF takes advantage of a quirk in many state sex-ed laws. “Some states require guardian consent when school curricula address sexuality,” an HRCF resource page states. “However, when educators discuss family diversity, they are not talking about sexuality—they are talking about understanding the importance of family, love, and acceptance for everyone.”
Therefore parents can’t opt out, even though many who want to fight bullying don’t want to be bullied themselves.
Besides, HRCF designed Welcoming Schools to permeate classroom instruction with handouts, videos, and children’s books on homosexuality and gender fluidity. It’d be hard to pinpoint a specific time a student could leave the classroom to escape its influence.
Kiker Elementary Principal Schneider did not respond to repeated requests for information about her decision concerning Welcoming Schools on her campus.
Dr. Morgan says the idea that children can change their sex is the most troubling element of the Welcoming Schools dogma. She’s seen the effects of that thinking in her medical practice as parents in the past two years have begun asking about their children’s gender identity. Morgan insists gender nonconforming behavior is a typical part of childhood development and should not be “treated” as an expression of transgenderism.
Morgan believes HRCF’s blatant transgender advocacy will convince otherwise normal children to make decisions that might eventually lead to irreversible medical intervention: “There are a whole group of children who may have gone on to a well-adjusted adulthood in their same-sex body who might now, because of social pressures that are subtle, all around them, end up in a body that is transgender and have no way back.”