Wednesday, May 22, 2024

CO: GOP Says Pull All Kids Out Of School

Colorado's Democrat-led legislature passed HB 24-1039, a bill that requires school employes and contractors to address a student using that student's chosen name, and deems a refusal to do so discrimination (and it applies to charters, too). 

Colorado's GOP is not taking it well.

In a "call to action" email blast to Republican party members, Darcy Schoening, Director of Special Initiatives, had plenty of choice words.
Colorado Kids should be able to attend public schools, receive a quality education, and be free from indoctrination, but that is far from reality. In reality, all Colorado parents should be aiming to remove their kids from public education.

Emphasis hers. The e-mail also announces that the GOP's next policy 

aims to save Colorado children from progressive Democrats who want to turn more kids trans by requiring teachers to use "pronouns" that do not make any sense and cause gender confusion.

Because pronouns are how you turn kids trans. Schoening called the bill's sponsors far left progressives, "two of whom do not know their own genders and do not have children." And the GOP envisions how this will all go down

If your child decides he identifies as a girl because he is angry with you, or all of his friends are doing it, the Colorado government will actively encourage his new fetish by allowing him to identify as "she," "they," or whatever nonsensical terms your son's teachers and peers may dream up...all without notifying you of your child's disturbing behavior, which should be treated rather then encouraged.

Because that's why kids turn trans. Pronouns, peer pressure, and anger at parents. 

The goal here is clear; the Colorado legislature seeks to break down the family unit while convincing kids that government knows best.

Emphasis hers. 

The Colorado government is preying on our children and forcing their safety and educational growth to play second fiddle to the feelings of trans males who are pushing the indoctrination of our children into harmful sexual situations...this must stop.

There's more in this vein, plus a ready-made resolution opposing the new law for your local board to sign, a "sample religious exemption resolution."

This is all old hat for Schoening, who was up until last fall the chapter chair up until last fall the chapter chair of the El Paso County Moms for Liberty chapter. As chair, she offered some thoughts about gender issues: when CNN attended a chapter meeting, they heard this nugget:

For example, Schoening raised the idea that a tomboy – a girl who wore flannel and sneakers – would be told by a teacher, “You know, it might be time to gender transition. Let’s go talk to the school therapist. Let’s go talk to a physician. Let’s do this.” Schoening said she did not know any tomboys who’d actually transitioned after social pressure. But, she said, “Imagine the kids that aren’t strong enough to go talk to their parents and say, ‘My teacher is trying to gender transition me.’ We’re speaking for those kids. And those parents who aren’t made aware.”
Further, Schoening claimed 8-year-old boys could get surgery to remove their penises, and that she feared her state would pass a law saying if parents refused to have their boys’ penises surgically removed, the state would take them away. She thought this issue would eventually go to the US Supreme Court.
CNN asked Schoening if she was saying she believed there was some kind of high-level coordinated effort to make more children trans and gay. “There is,” she said. Who would be directing it? “Teachers’ unions, and our president, and a lot of funding sources,” she said. Why would they do that? “Because it breaks down the family unit,” she said. And why would they want that? “So that conservative values are broken down, and that we can slowly erode away at constitutional rights,” she said.

None of this is related to reality, but it's the kind of thinking apparently now animating the state's Republican Party. 

Schoening stepped down from her M4L post in September saying "I will no longer be operating under a brand." She took personal credit for much of the chapters action, saying of two policy achievements and M4L, "In fact, they really don’t have much policy support or guidance at all. So that was me, and I feel like it would just be more effective for me to be able to reach these school districts as myself rather than as a convoluted group." As for the M4L stance on LGBTQ--

Some of the people that I care about most in the world identify as LGBTQ. I think until a couple of years ago, we were all under this understanding that people we all have the same rights. I, myself, as a restaurant owner three years ago, was very, very adamant of baking cakes and making sure that everybody felt welcome all of the time. When things started to change, and it wasn’t to an anti-LGBTQ stance, it was to my feelings, which I believe a lot of people feel the same way with, ‘Hey guys, you know, you already have rights.’ And so the pushing of this into the schools —
I feel like the left is using a historically disenfranchised population and they’re using them in a way that is not beneficial to them.

All of this is where you end up if you believe that LGBTQ persons are not an ordinary human thing, but must all be recruited and coerced and tricked and seduced into being LGBTQ because otherwise no such people would exist. Even though all of human history tells us that LGBTQ persona are, in fact, an ordinary part of the broad spectrum of humanity. This is also where you end up if you imagine that coming out as LGBTQ gets you all sorts of cool benefits and treats and not pressure, abuse, broken family relationships, and just generally increases the risk for young people of suicide and/or homelessness. 

I feel sad for folks who feel this level of LGBTQ panic, sad for how fragile and threatening the world they imagine must feel. I would feel way more sad for them if their behavior and rhetoric were not such a threat to the health and safety of young LGBTQ persons. I would feel more sad for them if their panic did not lead to calls to blow up the public education system entirely, just because they're afraid that some students will get the LGBTQ cooties on them in school.

On the splintered GOP of Colorado, Schoening says that they're not "going to repair this" or woo independents, but instead need to focus on getting and keeping control of school boards, city councils, other local government positions. And she certainly doesn't seem to be trying to appeal to folks outside the base with this email. But then, when she left M4L, she did make a prediction:

In the coming months, you’ll see an announcement from me that will forever change the Colorado education landscape, and I can barely keep that to myself. In the meantime, I’ll be carrying out the important work of raising funds for the State GOP and continuing the work of saving our kids from the left.

I don't know that the Schoening's GOP is changing the education landscape, but we'll see if this kind of LFBTQ panic helps them raise money or get all the children out of schools.


  1. The number of teenagers who are suddenly ID'ing as a different gender -- especially girls -- is a stunning social phenomenon that really isn't explored well, that I've seen, for all the noise it draws from right-wing idiots and "progressives" who declare that anything a child believes in a given week must be affirmed and supported, including to the exclusion of their parents' right to know what's going on.

    Normal people actually think this is all weird and would like to understand.

    1. Hard to say if the number is stunning or not, as I've seen nothing to indicate what the number actually is. I would guess that the general increase in the number compared to a few decades ago would be much like the number of left-handed people who suddenly appeared after left-handedness was no longer punished as an aberrant behavior.

      I don't know of anyone who advocates keeping parents in the dark no matter what; however, since LGBTQ children are disproportionately homeless and otherwise abused, I know plenty of people who are cautious about informing parents. Of course, nobody can really keep children from telling their parents, so in families where the lines of communication are open, informing parents is not really an issue. Normie parents who seek to understand would do best by talking to their children.

    2. The acceptance theory loses steam when you see that there isn't nearly the same amount of adults identifying as trans as there are kids. The Williams Institute's data from 2022 showed that the percentage of kids who identified as trans was almost three times higher than adults (although the rates overall are small for both groups). There are good reasons that progressive Nordic countries are reversing their stances on gender affirming care.

      There has to be some common sense middle ground between asking teachers to immediately out LGTBQ+ students and asking teachers to lie to parents. I think a lot of schools found this middle ground before it became politicized on both sides.

    3. I just hope that this never comes through your front door because it is a hellscape to deal with as a parent. Just out of the blue and with no childhood traumas, oddnessor any indications . Trans has absolutely NOTHING to do with LBG! In fact, it's anti LGB! I'm 4-5 yrs in (2 estranged!) and it still hasn't abated.

    4. I've got to agree with Anonymous above. There certainly does seem to be an increase in identifying as a different gender than determined at birth. Greene suggests that such identification was always valid but was repressed (like left handedness). Maybe. But I think we need to remember that we're talking about young kids who are just trying to figure out sexuality and personality. Schools need to be circumspect in pushing kids one way or the other. And yes, peer pressure is a real thing. While Greene and the left may not like it, parents also have a significant role here. Our society has long accepted that the freedoms of minors should be constrained to protect them (e.g. minimum drinking age). If a parent is abusing a kid, schools have an obligation to intercede. But short of this, we need to recognize that parents have the right to teach their kids their views of moral living.

    5. "Certainly does seem to be an increase" according to whom, based on what? My own experience at the high school is that the numbers have stayed pretty steady even back to the seventies when I was a student.
      "Schools need to be circumspect about pushing" The notion that schools are out there pushing students one way or another is a popular culture panic fantasy.
      "Peer pressure is real" Yes it is, and it is exerted almost entirely in the direction of being straight and cis.
      "While Greene and the left may not like it..." I don't know of anyone who doesn't think that parents have a significant role. Again, an allusion to the culture panic fantasy that schools are dominated by scary leftists who, for some reason, want to destroy the nuclear family by tricking children into breaking from their parents by becoming LGBTQ.
      "Parents have the right to teach their kids their views of moral living." Actually, I'd say they have a responsibility to do that. What the children choose to accept or reject is, of course, another thing entirely, at which point parents can either try to assert their imaginary rights to force their child to think and believe a particular way, or they can engage with their children as if those children were thinking, feeling, independently functioning human beings. Ironically, choosing the second course is far more likely to get the desired results than pursuing the first.