A questionnaire asking 10th-grade students about their sexual identity, preference, and more has sparked outrage among an Olathe Public Schools community in Kansas, according to a report from the Kansas City Star.
What are the details?
The questionnaire, featuring the "Gender Unicorn" — a teaching tool from the Trans Student Education Resources website — asked students in a 10th-grade class at Olathe East High School to declare their gender identity, expression, assigned sex, and sexual and emotional preference.
According to the outlet, the district said the unapproved worksheet was shared with only one Human Growth and Development class and that the school's principal immediately asked students not to fill it out.
In a letter to parents, principal Kerry Lane acknowledged that the assignment was "not appropriate for students and asked questions that could violate their personal privacy rights."
"We are working with staff to make sure this worksheet is not distributed to any other classrooms and is not used in any instruction moving forward," Lane wrote.
A district-wide statement added that it "supports all students and strives to create inclusive environments where students can reach out to trusted adults for support."
According to TSER's website, the mission of the youth-led organization is "dedicated to transforming the educational environment for trans and gender nonconforming students through advocacy and empowerment."
"In addition to our focus on creating a more trans-friendly education system, our mission is to educate the public and teach trans activists how to be effective organizers," its website adds. "We believe that justice for trans and gender nonconforming youth is contingent on an intersectional framework of activism. Ending oppression is a long-term process that can only be achieved through collaborative action."
Second time around
However, the outlet added that the very same thing happened in a February class, and a similar warning was sent.
Board of Education candidate Brian Connell told the paper that he believes this is only the beginning for such instances to occur.
“And that's just because teachers have an awful lot of leeway in what they can do and what they can bring into the classrooms," he said, and insisted that the district needs to provide clear parameters for what teachers can and cannot teach in the classroom.
"Being reactive is not leadership," Connell added, and said that parents also need to be more involved in what happens in the classroom.
“It should be seen as a partnership," he insisted. "What I'm finding most parents are aggravated about is feeling excluded from the educational process."
Candidate Robert Kuhn added, "There needs to be some kind of restructuring done on complaints and discipline for something like this."
Olathe Public Schools responds to "gender unicorn" worksheet passed out in class www.youtube.com