Midwestern parents have reacted angrily to revelations about the region’s public school teachers meeting privately online and trading tips on helping kids transition while hiding it from their families.
Worried Midwesterners posted online that the educators should be investigated and disciplined for any wrongdoing, and the groups that hosted and funded the workshop should face scrutiny.
DailyMail.com last week attended a workshop for some 30 Midwest teachers. They spoke about being ‘subversive,’ how their personal ‘code of ethics’ trumped laws, and how to ‘hide’ a trans student’s new name and gender from their parents.
The organizers, the Midwest and Plains Equity Assistance Center (MAP), part of Indiana University’s Great Lakes Equity Center, has not answered our repeated requests for comment.
Neither has the federal Department of Education, which funds the center.
Parents and campaigners went online to complain about the educators. One suggested ‘homeschooling’ was the only option
Parents who were alarmed by the revelations are making their voices heard.
‘If we have activist teachers breaking the laws in their state, they need to be held accountable,’ Tiffany Justice, cofounder of the nationwide parents’ rights group Moms for Liberty told DailyMail.com.
Gays Against Groomers, which campaigns against radical gender ideology, also called for action against the educators.
‘These people believe they own your children,’ the group posted on social media.
‘They are coming for ALL of them, and it is up to us to stop them.’
Other people from the Midwest and beyond reacted angrily, with one social media user warning ‘this is what teachers are doing behind your backs’ and suggesting that parents should choose ‘homeschooling’ instead.
‘This is immoral. It should be illegal,’ posted another user.
‘You don’t have the right to make these decisions for any family.’
Another user railed against an apparent ‘obsession by public school teachers to subvert parental authority.’
Even if only a small fraction of American teachers were doing the same, a worrying number of children could be affected, they added.
‘They’re not fit to work with children,’ another wrote.
DailyMail.com last week gained access to the four-hour session in which teachers from Michigan, Iowa, Ohio, Illinois and beyond discussed helping trans students in the face of new laws in Republican-run states.
They include laws requiring teachers to tell parents about a student’s new name or pronoun, whether trans students can use bathrooms that don’t correspond with their birth sex, or ban trans girls from participating in girls’ sports.
In the discussion and role-play sessions that followed, the teachers, administrators, principals, and counselors spoke about trans students and their families in a way that alarmed many parents.
DailyMail.com gained access to a private workshop where Midwestern teachers shared tips on helping kids transition without telling their parents
Kimberly Martin (left), a Michigan educator, and Jennifer Haglund of Iowa, say they’ll go above and beyond to help trans students
Some teachers said they followed the rules, but others discussed being ‘subversive,’ how their personal ‘code of ethics’ trumped laws, and how to ‘hide’ a trans student’s new name and gender from their parents.
Kimberly Martin, the DEI coordinator for Royal Oak Schools, which serves 5,000 K-12 students in Michigan, spoke about helping trans students keep their gender change a secret.
‘We’re working with our record-keeping system so that certain screens can’t be seen by the parents … if there’s a nickname in there we’re trying to hide,’ Martin told the online gathering.
Jennifer Haglund, counselor for Ames Community Schools, which serves 5,000 K-12 Iowa students, complained about Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds in March signing a law that bars biological males from competing on female sports teams.
She bragged about her ‘own activism’ and of taking part in protest marches.
‘I know that I have my own right code of ethics, and that doesn’t always go along with the law,’ Haglund said.
Shea Martin, an Ohio-based trans educator, who writes a ‘socialist, feminist, and anti-racist’ blog called Radical Teacher, said she worked against ‘laws that prohibit or restrict trans advocacy.’
‘The stakes are very high for trans youth,’ Martin said.
‘I think that requires working subversively and quietly sometimes to make sure that trans kids have what they need.’
Martin did not describe any subversive acts, but, later spoke about teachers addressing ‘sexuality’ with elementary students, who are aged between five and 10.
When talking about men, women, playground crushes, love, and marriage with youngsters, teachers should be wary of treating ‘reinforced heterosexuality as the norm,’ Martin said.
The controversial workshop was hosted by Great Lakes Equity Center, at Indiana University
School board meetings across the Midwest, like this one in North Dakota, have seen tense exchanges over trans students and parents’ rights
The Midwest and Plains Equity Assistance Center (MAP) serves 11.2 million students in 7,025 school districts across 13 states
Parents are clashing with teachers across the US over whether transgender teenagers can transition in classrooms without their knowledge – and most cases are not always solved in the principals’ office, and often end up in court
At no point in the session did any teacher say parents might know what’s best for their own kids, nor question whether affirmation-on-demand was the only way to help a trans-identified student.
The exposé comes amid growing tensions between traditional parents, who worry about newfangled gender ideas in schools, and some progressive teachers, who say they need to protect trans students from their own families.
Teaching new wave gender ideology in schools and secretly affirming trans-identified students have become hot-button issues in America’s culture wars between liberals and conservatives.
Republican politicians in Red states have introduced more than 500 bills affecting LGBTQ people this year, with dozens already signed into law, says the Human Rights Campaign, an LGBTQ advocacy group.
MAP, which hosted the workshop, is part of the Great Lakes Equity Center. Funded by the federal government under Title IV of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, it serves 11.2 million students in 7,025 school districts across 13 states.
In November, MAP announced that it had secured an $8.5 million funding arrangement with the Department of Education, and millions of dollars more from other sources.
MAP operates across Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. It covers states with pro-trans laws and others with a more cautious approach.