Website review

A pro-transgender video for preschoolers says a doctor can “mistake” a baby’s gender. The clip was just removed from the Maine Department of Education website.

A pro-transgender, pro-LGBTQ kindergarten video — which says a doctor can sometimes ‘mistake’ a baby’s gender — has been removed from the Maine Department of Education website for reasons age-matching questions.

What does the video say?

The “Freedom Holidays” video in question is one of approximately 400 optional instructional clips developed by teachers during the COVID-19 pandemic to help teachers engage learners remotely, the Portland Press-Herald reported.

The video, which is aimed directly at kindergartners, begins with a teacher discussing holidays such as the 4th of July that celebrate freedom. But soon, the clip’s teacher starts talking about “LGBT+” people and adds, “We’re not free.”

The teacher then defines the words ‘lesbian’, ‘gay’, ‘bisexual’ and ‘transgender’, noting that lesbians are ‘women who love other women’, homosexuals ‘love other men’ and that bisexual people are both men and women. who “love men and women”.

Then the teacher tells the kindergartens that a “transgender person is a person who doctors were wrong about when they were born.” Here is the breakdown:

“When a baby is born, doctors tell the parents what sex they think the baby is…but some people, when they get a little older, realize that what the doctors said wasn’t right. They might say ‘the doctors said I was a man, but I’m really a woman’, or they could say ‘the doctors told me I was a woman, but I’m really a man’. so when they grow up and… tell people the doctors got their sex wrong, then they can become the sex they really are.”

Here is the continued explanation for kindergarten audiences:

“So transgender men are people who doctors thought were female when they were born, but when they grew up they were able to tell people that they were actually a man, and so they became a man. And transgender women are people who, when they were born, doctors thought they were male, but when they grow up, they tell people, “No, I’m actually female,” and so they become women. are.”

The teacher then tells kindergartners that the “plus sign” at the end of LGBT means “many other people who love in ways that society hasn’t always allowed.” She says these restrictions were “unfair because there are a lot of men who love other men and a lot of women who love women, and there are a lot of transgender people”.

The clip ends with the teacher saying that kindergarteners would learn about three famous LGBTQ activists who “fought” for the right “to love whoever they wanted to love”.

Here is the video:

Freedom Vacation Video


What else happened?

The Press-Herald said the video was removed from the state Department of Education website after it was featured in a Republican TV commercial targeting Democratic Governor Janet Mills.

The department and Mills agreed that the lesson behind the clip was inappropriate for kindergartners, the newspaper said.

“The governor was unaware of the lesson, but she understands the concerns expressed about the appropriate age and agrees with the Department of Education’s decision to remove the lesson,” the door said Wednesday. -Mills spokesperson, Lindsay Crete, on the day the ad began airing, according to the Press-Herald.

Crete added that Mills believes parents, community members, teachers and local elected school boards should make decisions about what the classroom is about, noting Maine’s long tradition of local control, according to the newspaper.

“She will continue to empower parents and elected school boards to make decisions about their children’s education,” Crete said while adding that the governor “will continue to respect LGBTQ+ people as valued members of the community. Maine community,” the Press-Herald reported.

What did the state DOE have to say?

The newspaper said the Maine Department of Education wouldn’t say why it couldn’t recommend the “Freedom Holidays” lesson plan for kindergarten education, but spokesman Marcus Mrowka said the video “should have been reviewed further by a DOE specialist” before it went live.

Mrowka also wouldn’t say whether the department reviewed other online lesson plans included in the MOOSE — Maine Online Opportunities for Sustained Education — program before they were posted on the publicly available professional development platform, said added the Press-Herald.

More paper:

MOOSE is not a state-mandated program, Mrowka noted. No teacher or school district was required to use the Freedom Holidays lesson plan. MOOSE is made up of free project-based lesson plans created by Maine teachers for optional use by other Maine teachers in their classrooms, he said.

But the online hub is undergoing a previously scheduled review by department staff, he said. This is part of a plan to update lesson plans created in the first year of the pandemic and consider new materials created by teachers for the upcoming school year.

The kindergarten teacher who created the “Freedom Holidays” video has received a $1,000 stipend for her work, Mrowka told the Press-Herald.

What did Maine’s GOP chairman have to say?

Maine GOP Chair Demi Kouzounas told the newspaper that language in the video pointing to same-sex relationships could confuse children and make them more vulnerable to pedophiles.

“I am concerned about the mixed messages that are obvious to anyone who has had children: we teach them about ‘stranger danger’ and that their bodies belong to them,” Kouzounas told the Press-Herald. “But this video is about ‘people loving in ways that society hasn’t always allowed.'”

Nothing else?

The sentiments expressed in the video aren’t an educational outlier — even the part about doctors making mistakes about the sex of infants.

You may remember a recent story about a first-grade transgender teacher who told a group of kindergarten, first-grade, and second-grade students that when babies are born, doctors “guess ‘ whether they are boys or girls – but added that ‘sometimes the doctor is wrong’ and ‘makes an incorrect guess’.

In a related story, a transgender high school science teacher — in a videoconference that included a senior adviser from the U.S. Department of Education — said students should learn that “not all egg farmers are women” and other non-sexist principles.

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