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Conservatives are outraged by this California school's LGBTQ+ policies

Hayward Unified School District School Photos Welcome Back Rainbow Love
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In expressing their disdain for policies pushing so-called "LGBT ideology," conservatives are actually taking a stance against anti-bullying rules.

Most people believe that children bullying each other is wrong and that schools should implement policies preventing such behavior. But if the child that's being bullied is LGBTQ+, conservatives suddenly seem to have a problem with rules that deter teasing.

That's what right-wing media outlets demonstrated after discovering the inclusive LGBTQ+ policies of the Hayward Unified School District in the Bay Area of California. The district's policies, outlined on their website, aim to prevent anti-LGBTQ+ bullying, while also remaining in compliance with state law.

One document, titled "LGBTQIA+ Inclusive Elementary Schools," provides resources for school staff about LGBTQ+ identities. It includes age-appropriate lessons on gender, sexuality, and history, as well as encourages faculty to display preapproved, welcoming signs in their rooms.

It also features extensive resources on preventing bullying based in anti-LGBTQ+ biases, and how to address such biases. For example, one bullet point provides a link to a guide on how to respond when a student uses "that's so gay" as an insult.

Another document details how the district marks LGBTQ+ Pride month in June, which includes flying the progress flag in all schools. It also outlines LGBTQ+ resources for all ages in the district, providing approved books and movies for different grades to help educate about LGBTQ+ issues.

Materials for younger grades include picture books such as Pink Is For Boys, a story encouraging children to enjoy their interests and hobbies, regardless of gender. Materials for older grades include readings on Stonewall and other historical events, as well as documentaries about transgender youth, including I’m Just Anneke and a video from Jazz Jennings.

Gender-affirming care is not mentioned until Grade 5. The American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry all agreeing that gender-affirming care is evidence-based and medically necessary not just for adults, but children as well.

Outlets like The Daily Wire and Christian Post have still pounced on the district, accusing its schools of "indoctrination" and promoting so-called LGBTQ+ "ideology" to children. They were also upset over a policy that allows students to change their name and pronouns without altering their parents.

In their outrage, the publications seemingly glossed over a section of the first document that outlines the legal rights of LGBTQ+ students in California, including their right to privately alter their identity. They also missed the section that directly explains "WHY we are intentionally cultivating LGBTQIA+ inclusive schools."

"We include these activities and lessons in our classrooms not just to protect a youth who for example, is gay, but also a youth who is not gay and might be perceived as gay, or for the youth whose friend or parent or teacher is gay or perceived as gay," the district writes. "When we stand up to homophobia, transphobia, sexism, racism and all forms of bullying, harassment and discrimination, we create schools that are safer for all of us to be who we are and express ourselves in the most authentic ways aligned with our identities."

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Ryan Adamczeski

Ryan is a staff writer at the Advocate, and a graduate of New York University Tisch's Department of Dramatic Writing, with a focus in television writing and comedy. She first became a published author at the age of 15 with her YA novel 'Someone Else's Stars', and is now a member of GALECA, the LGBTQ+ society of entertainment critics. In her free time, Ryan likes watching New York Rangers hockey, listening to the Beach Boys, and practicing witchcraft.
Ryan is a staff writer at the Advocate, and a graduate of New York University Tisch's Department of Dramatic Writing, with a focus in television writing and comedy. She first became a published author at the age of 15 with her YA novel 'Someone Else's Stars', and is now a member of GALECA, the LGBTQ+ society of entertainment critics. In her free time, Ryan likes watching New York Rangers hockey, listening to the Beach Boys, and practicing witchcraft.