Springfield Public Schools, the largest public school district in Missouri, has adopted a radical gender-theory training program that encourages teachers to believe that “gender is a universe” and to affirm sexual identities such as “non-binary,” “pansexual,” and “polyamorous.”
Last year, I reported on Springfield Public Schools’ critical race theory training program, which required teachers to locate themselves on an “oppression matrix” and watch a video of “George Floyd’s last words.” But according to new documents obtained by the Southeastern Legal Foundation as part of a civil rights lawsuit, the district’s left-wing training program was not limited to racial ideology: administrators were simultaneously promoting the principles of radical gender theory to school employees.
The training program followed the basic narrative of academic-style gender theory: Western societies have created a “heteronormative” system that marginalizes racial and sexual minorities. At the beginning of the presentation, the District’s “chief equity and diversity officer,” Yvania Garcia-Pusateri, led district employees in a “land acknowledgement” censuring white settlers for conquering North America. “As we begin our training, we want to acknowledge and honor the Native and Indigenous Peoples whose land we currently gather on. Springfield Public Schools is built on ancestral territory of the Osage, Delaware and Kickapoo Nations and Peoples,” the statement read. “In doing social justice work, it is important we acknowledge the dark history and violence against Native and Indigenous People across the world. In this work, we are committed to promoting, supporting and affirming all communities, especially those that are marginalized.”
Next, Springfield Public Schools told administrators and teachers that they must understand their “privileges” and identify their position within the “cycles of oppression.” In a “matching game,” the district provides a basic glossary for critical theory, explaining that some groups—i.e., straight, white, cisgender men—have “power” and “privilege” over others based on the categories of “race,” “gender,” “identity,” and “sexual orientation.” Teachers are then asked to classify themselves on a “social identities” wheel and account for their race, sex, gender, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status. All of these social hierarchies contribute to the “cycles of oppression,” which are reinforced by institutions and result in “anger, dehumanization, guilt, collusion, ignorance, self-hatred, stress, lack of reality, [and] internalization of patterns of power.” Read more…