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Have a Voice

On December 11, 2023, the Benicia Unified School District sent this message to parents:

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Response to the BUSD "Supporting LGBTQ+ Youth" Presentation

Today BUSD sent an email saying “We are excited to provide a recording of the most recent Parent Ed Series: Supporting LGBTQ+ Youth and Their Families.”  I watched the recording and had some observations.

At the 3:38 mark, presenter Heather Walsh said, “We can’t necessarily tell someone’s gender by what they look like or how they dress.”

At the 19:02 mark she said, “It’s really important to know that there’s a larger percentage of LGBTQ experiencing mental health issues, and experiencing anxiety and depression, not because they identify as LGBTQ, but they’re experiencing it because of how they’re being treated by other people.”

At the 19:25 mark Walsh said, “It’s important that we talk about the history, because it’s not talked about. And by not talking about LGBTQ+ history it ends up kind of being erased, we just don’t discuss it.  We just don’t identify or even acknowledge what has happened in the past, and the impact on LGBTQ+ people not knowing their history, makes people feel as though they’re alone, there’s nobody else like them, there nobody else experiencing the same things that they’re experiencing.”

At the 24:04 mark, a film featured by the presenters said, “We’ve come so far! Can we just celebrate for a minute?  No time for that!  We still have a lot of laws to change.”  And at 24:47, it said, “The fight for equality is still going.  It takes a village, and we’re ‘gonna’ need your help.”

At the 25:45 mark, Dr. Wright mentioned that video taught him that “they traced it back to ancient Greece,” referring to LGBTQ+ matters.

Beginning at the 26:03 mark, Walsh introduces a graph showing the “History of Left-Handedness” to illustrate how people who identify as LGBT have increased now that society has allowed them to do so.

At the 33:13 mark, presenter Kristian Skillman mentions changing “systems,” and that it’s complicated to change systems, and that it takes time.

She discusses making sure the school knows your child’s chosen name, to include the substitute teachers, to make sure your child is not misgendered or called by the wrong name.  She says to make sure decals, stickers, and rainbow flags are displayed.  She said teachers should ask children their preferred pronouns and she discussed the importance of gender neutral bathrooms.

At the 36:25 mark, Skillman said, “…and sometimes, you know, a youth may identify as, you know, one sexual orientation, and then next week a different sexual orientation, and all that is okay.”

Some of my concerns include:

1. It’s true that “we can’t necessarily tell someone’s gender by what they look like or how they dress,” as stated by Heather Walsh.  If a 6-year-old boy is dressed as a girl, it may be hard to tell if he’s a boy or a girl.  But when he’s 18, we will be able to see that he’s a boy, unless his parents have medically altered his natural development.  There are biological differences between boys and girls, and to teach our children otherwise is lunacy.

2. The presenter says that LGBTQ+ children are experiencing anxiety and depression because of how they are treated by other people.  She presents no data backing up this claim.  Having read extensively on this subject, it is apparent that LGBTQ+ children are often dealing with other mental health issues and perhaps the best approach is to treat the core issues.  Regardless, the role of the public school is to teach academics and not treat mental health issues.

3. This continued idea that “by not talking about LBGTQ+ history it ends up kind of being erased” is baloney.  Stop pushing these social agendas and teach academic subjects.  I challenge you to ask any BUSD student about WWI and WWII history, and you’ll find they know less about these topics than LGBTQ+ information.  In the words of Edmund Burke, “Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.”  With our limited classroom time, shouldn’t we be focusing on the causes and effects of the World Wars and other important topics rather than asking our children to identify their gender and sexual preferences?

4. The presented film said, “We still have a lot of laws to change,” and “the fight for equality is still going…and we’re ‘gonna’ need your help.”  What laws need to change?  What fight for equality is still going?

5. I was surprised to learn the BUSD Superintendent was unaware of pederasty in ancient Greece.  To quote Wikipedia, “The most common form of same-sex relationships between elite males in Greece was paiderastia (pederasty).  It was a relationship between an older male and an adolescent youth.  Pederasty or paederasty is a sexual relationship between an adult man and a boy. It was a socially acknowledged practice in Ancient Greece and Rome.”

6. The “History of Left-Handedness” graph to normalize the explosion of the LGBTQ+ population is laughable.  Anyone who has studied statistics and social contagions knows this is baloney.

7. Presenter Kristian Skillman actually discussed “changing systems,” harkening to the Marxist origins of queer theory, which is to tear down the current system.  She went on to stress the importance of making sure parents police the school to make sure their child is not misgendered, mis-named, and has gender-neutral bathrooms available to them.  She said teachers should ask children their preferred pronouns and rainbow decals, stickers, and flags should be displayed.  What would BUSD’s response be if parents insisted American decals, stickers, and flags be displayed?  What about decals/stickers/flags with the traditional symbols for male and female?  What about Christian decals, stickers, and flags?  Or Muslim?  Or Jewish?

8. Skillman’s statement that “sometimes, you know, a youth may identify as you know, one sexual orientation, and then next week a different sexual orientation, and all that is okay” is absurd.  It’s not scientific.  It’s not medically accurate.  It has no place in our schools.  Stop this nonsense.

9. At the 39:25 mark, presenter Skillman discusses the importance of following the lead of the child.  Do children lead?  Or do adults lead?  Are parents in charge?  Children need guidance, and guard rails, and parameters, and direction regarding what is acceptable.  This video presented by BUSD shows that BUSD is not in charge, but expects the children to be in charge.  If you have abdicated your authority, we need new leadership and we should stop paying you immediately.

Did you know Benicia school policy now states that "attendance, conduct, and work habits SHALL NOT be factored into the academic grade for BUSD students"?  "All missed assignments (excused or unexcused) shall be available for make up with full credit.  This is part of the equity agenda."

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