Teachers’ Union’s ‘Schools in Transition’ Guide Instructs How to Bolster Gender Ideology in Classrooms

A lesser known document created in 2015 by the National Education Association (NEA), a group of LGBTQ activists, and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) laid the “groundwork” for the gender ideology movement in schools years before the recent increase in the numbers of transgender young people, reports the Freedom Foundation.

NEA, the nation’s largest teachers’ union, provides a “toolkit” website page that features “NEA LGBTQ+ Resources,” the purpose of which appears to be to offer “support to transgender and non-binary students,” to indoctrinate all students with “LGBTQ+ history in their classrooms,” and to engage students in a political agenda that includes stopping “LGBTQ+ bias and intolerance in our public schools.”

NEA’s “LGBTQ+ Resources” includes “model school board resolutions,” “legal guidance on transgender students’ rights”, and a “pronoun guide,” the Freedom Foundation observed.

“The most alarming resource provided to teachers, however, is ‘Schools in Transition: A Guide for Supporting Transgender Students in K-12 Schools,’ co-produced by the NEA in collaboration with the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Gender Spectrum, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, and the American Civil Liberties Union,” the foundation noted.

In 2015, NEA wrote that its “guide” is “a roadmap for educators and parents to provide safe and supportive environments for all transgender students, offering practical advice, field-tested tips, and narratives of real experiences from students and educators.”

Then-NEA President Lily Eskelsen García called its resource a “lifesaver, for the increasing number of transgender students who are living as their authentic selves.”

“Only when every school provides an inclusive, respectful environment can every student achieve their full potential,” García added.

“[T]he guidebook reveals the stunning groundwork laid by the NEA in the gender ideology movement long before the recent push for transgender youth gained widespread attention,” the Freedom Foundation explained.

Some key points made in the “guide” include:

Binary, or male-female, gender does not exist.

“One of the most prevalent misconceptions about gender is that it is based solely on a physical understanding of sex, and that everyone fits into one of two opposite categories, male or female,” the NEA guide claims. “This misconception in turn, leads many to incorrectly assume that the body one is born with determines an individual’s gender.”

“Given the numerous combinations that these factors can create, gender is better understood as a spectrum,” the document adds.

Transgenderism is “healthy” for young children.

“The expression of transgender identity, or any other form of gender-expansive behavior, is a healthy, appropriate and typical aspect of human development,” the guide instructs. “A gender-expansive student should never be asked, encouraged or required to affirm a gender identity or to express their gender in a manner that is not consistent with their self-identification or expression.”

“Children typically begin expressing their gender identity between the ages of two and four years old,” the guide continues.

Parents and teachers who do not immediately affirm a child’s claim of a gender identity inconsistent with biological sex are causing harm to that child.

“[S]ome transgender children receive the message from their families, caregivers and society that there is something wrong with who they are, and begin to repress their cross-gender identification out of fear and shame,” the guide warns. “Not having their gender identity respected and affirmed in their daily lives will likely cause them significant psychological distress. That distress is often exacerbated when a transgender student’s gender identity is not affirmed at school, which can be a very gendered space (e.g., girls’ and boys’ toys/games, girls’ and boys’ lines).”

As is the case with most fear-inducing propaganda from LGBTQ activists, the “guide” states failure to affirm a child’s chosen gender identity may ultimately lead to suicide:

The consequences of not affirming a child’s gender identity can be severe, and it can interfere with their ability to develop and maintain healthy interpersonal relationships. In the school context, that distress will also hinder a transgender student’s focus in class and ability to learn. The longer a transgender youth is not affirmed, the more significant and long-lasting the negative consequences can become, including loss of interest in school, heightened risk for alcohol and drug use, poor mental health and suicide.

A child’s age is irrelevant to the decision of when to begin gender transition.

“While it is important to include a student’s age and grade level as factors to consider in the planning process, it should never be used to justify delaying or denying a student’s gender transition,” the guide asserts.

Parents should not automatically be included in their children’s desire for gender transition.

“Any decision to raise the topic with parents must be made very carefully and in consultation with the student,” the document states. “In some instances, a school may choose not to bring the subject up if there is a concern that parents or caregivers may react negatively.”

On overnight school trips, students must be permitted to share rooms based on their gender identity at the moment, not their biological sex.

“If students are to be separated based on gender, then the transgender student should be allowed to room with peers that match their gender identity,” the guide instructs. “The school should honor these requests whenever possible and make adjustments to prevent the student from being marginalized because of those alternative arrangements.”

Concerns about the competitive advantage of biological males participating in girls’ sports are “unfounded.”

“[S]chools often erroneously believe that a transgender student, particularly a transgender girl [biological boy], will have a competitive advantage over the other players and therefore should not be allowed to compete on the team that matches their gender identity,” the guide claims. “Concerns regarding competitive advantage are unfounded and often grounded in sex stereotypes about the differences and abilities of males versus females.”

The Freedom Foundation observed that, in April, NEA urged members of Congress to vote against HR 734, the Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act, calling the measure “an attempt to erase transgender students from schools and deny them full participation in school activities.”

“The same groups that are intent upon banning books from school libraries and censoring history lessons are now consumed with which bathrooms students use and their choice of personal pronouns—and these groups have found common cause with some members of Congress,” NEA warned its union members and allies.

The Freedom Foundation’s Maddie Dermon summarized what has occurred since 2015 when the NEA and its allies in the radical LGBTQ movement created the “guide”:

Since the publication of “Students in Transition,” the union has become increasingly militant in its support of gender ideology. It is no coincidence that the number of young people who identify as transgender has nearly doubled in recent years. Ignoring decades of studies showing that the majority of transgender children eventually cease to identify as transgender by adulthood, the NEA has proven its commitment to using students as pawns in a society driven by identity politics and political correctness.

“[I]t has become clear that teachers’ unions are more interested in indoctrinating young generations with progressive politics rather than protecting the workplace rights of teachers,” Dermon wrote.

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Susan Berry, PhD is national education editor at The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Teacher and Students” by Katerina Holmes.


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