EDMONTON, Alberta — The Alberta Teachers’ Association recently released a guide for teachers to instruct students about “sexual and gender minorities,” including suggestions that children try out drag for a day to “explore perceptions of gender” and be taught “why homophobia leads us to sin.”
The manual, created with partial funding from the government of Alberta, is meant to arm teachers with resources to “destigmatize sensitive aspects related to sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression” in schools.
Among the guidance included within, the manual instructs teachers to use the pronouns that correspond with one’s gender identity, and to refrain from using language that separates male and female.
“Quite often we, as teachers, refer to students using restrictive binary language, such as ‘boys and girls’ or ‘ladies and gentlemen,'” it reads in part. “In fact, quite often we skip the binary itself and simply refer to groups of people as ‘guys’ giving primacy to the male identity. When we do this to students, we exclude any of those who do not identify as either category.”
The Association rather recommends that instead of addressing students as “boys and girls,” “ladies and gentlemen” or “guys,” they should be referred to as the more generic “folks,” “people” or “class.”
Teachers are also schooled on gender neutral pronouns such as ze/zir, and they/them.
A number of suggested activities are likewise included in the manual, including having children dress in drag and to even put on a drag show for the school.
“In this activity, students put their hair and makeup skills to the test while learning about the art form of drag culture. Students are encouraged to examine the performance of gender, specifically the exaggerated feminine aspects of dressing and acting in drag,” the manual reads. “Students will gain a deeper understanding of sexual and gender diversity while exploring perceptions of gender, masculinity, and femininity.”
Teachers are also presented with the idea to hold a gender-bender day where students blend both male and female, and appear more unisex in their apparel.
“Gender-bending fashion students are challenged to create fashion that transcends gender and fully incorporates the masculine and feminine in all their pieces,” the Association writes. “Students are encouraged to question the typical markers of masculine or feminine fashion and design pieces that are unisex while still being fashion forward.”
Additionally, the manual presents a lesson plan for teachers on “Why Homophobia Leads Us to Sin.” (See page 89 here).
“During this lesson, students will explore how homophobia affects community and is in opposition to the community of the kingdom that Jesus calls us to create,” it reads in part.
Teachers are encouraged to show students a video of the biblical account of the woman caught in adultery and note that Jesus said that those without sin were to cast the first stone—that is, to begin the woman’s execution as required under the law.
“With the story of Jesus’ response to sin in mind, brainstorm on the board the sins that people and Christians are eager to condemn others for. Examples might include murder, theft, unbelieving, etc. When a list has been created, add homophobia to the list,” the manual instructs. “Ask students if homophobia then deserves to be on the list.”
It does not note that after granting mercy from punishment, Christ commanded to the woman caught in adultery, “Go and sin no more.” (John 8:11)
Some have expressed concern about the teachers guide, including parent Theresa Ng, who runs the site Informed Albertans.
“The content and concerns of this PRISM resource require Albertans to answer a critical question: Who should be entrusted with authority over our next generation of youth?” she wrote on Sunday. “Vladmir Lenin understood the power of that choice as he said, ‘Give me just one generation of youth, and I’ll transform the whole world.'”
“The goal here is not ‘tolerance’ or ‘inclusiveness,’ but rather forced acceptance,” also wrote Rick Moran of American Thinker. “It’s taking valuable class time to propagandize and brainwash children—to alter their values, especially if they conflict with the values being shoved down their throats by administrators.”