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Queer Middle School Teacher Rebuked for 'Gender Unicorn' Explainer

Gender Unicorn

The teacher handed out the simple gender and sexual identity explainer "The Gender Unicorn," which upset some parents. 

A science teacher at a middle school in Denair, Calif., was halted from distributing "The Gender Unicorn" (a pamphlet that explains gender and sexual identity) in order to help the seventh- and eighth-graders to understand how the teacher identified because it violated school rules, The Modesto Bee reports.

The teacher, Luis Davila Alvarado, distributed the graphic, available at Trans Student Educational Resources, to approximately 50 students on the first day of school. Alvarado did not ask permission to hand out the pamphlet, which violated school rules that require such subjects to be taught only in health class, Denair Unified School District Superintendent Terry Metzger told the Bee.

"The Gender Unicorn" is a simple explainer that points out differences in gender identity, gender expression, physical attraction, and emotional attraction.

"It was not an assignment. Kids were not asked to fill it out. He really was using it as a reference point," Metzger said. "[It] probably was not appropriate just in the way that the handout looked and it looked like it needed to be filled out and so it was just probably the wrong tool," Metzger said, according to TV station KTXL.

The school's principal, Amanda Silva, was in Alvarado's second period class when she saw that they were handing out the pamphlet and asked them to stop, Metzger said.

Still, some parents were up in arms over Alvarado trying to educate students about gender identity.

"I don't care what you identify as, that's your decision. But no one has the right to ask my child these questions that have absolutely nothing to do with what you are teaching in a classroom," one parent, Sonia Rush, told the Bee.

"The principal and I have spoken with the teacher about why we believe this was a poor decision," Metzger added. "Any discipline is a private matter between the district and employee."

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Tracy E. Gilchrist