A few weeks ago the Arlington Parent Coalition made available a School Employee Report Form, where employees in any school district may, with whatever level of anonymity that meets their comfort level, speak out about their experiences with sexuality and gender propaganda at school.
Below are a few of the responses we've received. Respondents were asked their position, the level of students with whom they work, and their school district; some respondents withheld permission to publish one or more of those identifiers for various reasons.
As [Arlington Parent Coalition] has done a good job of documenting, [LGB/TQ curricula is] permeated throughout the schools, and not just in times when it's officially taught, but in many classes and contexts. The LGBTQ/GSA agenda is creative and not shy about maximizing opportunities.
Mindfulness is also aggressively on the agenda. This is not just a matter of being calm, but it's a complete worldview and theology. It's not presented that way, but it's not held back from that either. EAP, in the name of a “wellness challenge” gets people involved. It specifically offers guided meditations and guided imagery from Belleruth Naparstek, Dr. Traci Stein, and Bodhipaksa. This is the new prayer in schools.
I've had a student reading Gracefully Grayson for his 7th grade English class. He didn't like it.
-Staff Member (Grades 1-12)
Arlington Public Schools (VA)
As APS staff, we have all participated in a number of trainings related to LGBT+ topics. The expectation is that we would accept the position that sexual orientation variations and gender questioning are both natural and part of human development.
I believe that the motivation of our leadership is well meaning. They want to ensure that each student feel safe and comfortable in their school environment and that they ultimately thrive over the life span. For that, our administration needs to be commended. They take this subject seriously and make great efforts to see that students feel accepted in school, that they are free from bullying, and that they have ample mental health support. There are other areas that our leadership has ignored though. APS has not addressed or honored the role of parents to teach values to their own children. It is with regard to this blind spot that I take issue.
I believe that the swift manner in which APS policies regarding gender identity and sexual orientation have been implemented has been driven by political pressure. There is currently a robust discussion going on in the larger scientific and religious communities around these subjects, while APS has narrowed its focus, in effect, ending any analysis of different viewpoints. There were no widespread, transparent discussions held with our school community (including parents and teachers) before forming and implementing policy. In a period of history when we are encouraged to embrace "cultural humility", we as a school system have ignored the plurality of Arlington.
Our county is a beautiful mosaic of cultural, religious, ethnic, and racial backgrounds. By implementing such sweeping policies (without extensive public discussion) on the important subjects of sexual orientation and gender identity, we are brazen.
APS is disregarding the plurality of values and beliefs held by Arlington families. Unintentionally, APS's approach has disqualified the variety of beliefs held by our parents. It has ignored the simple fact that a growing number of our families come from traditional cultures, bringing with them long held belief systems taught to them through their synagogues, temples, mosques, and churches.
My question is this. Why do we, APS, feel that we can appropriate the role of parents by teaching students our prescribed values in place of those taught in their homes? Do we unconsciously believe that we know better than Parents? It's an important question we have to ask ourselves.
Counselor, Arlington Public Schools (VA)
I’m submitting this survey because of the wrong direction that the schools have been going for the past decade regarding PIP policies such as transgender policies, not sending home students with head lice, vomiting, stealing, or fighting; the lack of quality leadership; the wrong people who have been selected into leadership positions; and the overall lack of support in the school where I teach. It’s so bad that the turnover the past several years is remarkable. People are fearful to speak out for fear of retribution. I’m very hopeful that Cintia Johnson will be selected as the permanent superintendent. I have worked with her in the past and have full confidence that she is the right person to turn things around to the glory days when Dr. Smith was superintendent and APS was a respected, first-rate institution.
-Teacher, Arlington Public Schools (VA)
Response to "Have you been asked or compelled to take training on transgender topics and/or school policies?" Yes, I was compelled to take training. The training was very condescending of conservative and Biblical values.
School Staff Member; position & location not released
for publishing because of fear of retribution
I am concerned about the appropriateness of subject matter presented to various developmental levels. As an example, I am aware of an assembly directed to 11 and 12 year olds that was offered by APS high school students speaking on the subject of their personal gender identity journeys. Their personal stories included being bullied by fellow students and significant levels of emotional distress. The developmental level of the hearers was too young to sort out the pathos of the stories from the subtext that gender is fluid and subject to change. De-facto, the assembly functioned as a type of indoctrination. I don't believe that indoctrination was the intention of the organizers of the event but the audience was not developmentally prepared to sort out what they were hearing.
Counselor, Arlington Public Schools (VA)
I am concerned that much of the transgender ideology is not necessarily research-based and not developmentally appropriate or good for children. I am committed first and foremost to serving the best interests of my students. This could potentially create a conflict for me if I am required to implement instruction that is based in transgender ideology.
The training was to be briefed on updated APS PIP policies. I felt uncomfortable because I disagree with them, I feel like they violate my conscience, and are unfair and a danger to young girls.
Teacher, Arlington Public Schools (VA)
If you have had experiences with sexuality and/or gender training at school, and would like to share those experiences with others, please make use of either our Parent Report Form or School Employee Report Form (Spanish).
It's time our schools remember that all parents' perspectives must be respected when it comes to their children's education, especially around controversial and sensitive subjects like sexuality and gender.
Thank you for all you're doing to protect parents' rights in education, and to safegaurd children's protections at school.