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Gender Identity Lesson Sparks Controversy at Marin Country Day School

A Marin County family said their kids were kicked out of their private school when they objected to the school’s lesson on gender identity and the gender spectrum.

Marin Country Day School’s website describes their lesson plan as a blend of the best of traditional curriculum with progressive education.

But Beka Sinclair says she wasn’t informed that the curriculum would include lessons about topics like the gender spectrum — which doesn’t limit identity to just boy or girl. 

“Our second grade daughter, there was nothing we could do, she was getting messages that her gender was a choice, no parental transparency,” said Sinclair. “That led my husband to forward those emails.”

Sinclair said he sent the school emails to an outside group who then wrote what she describes as “inflammatory” responses to school members. 

That’s when she said the private school informed them their children were no longer welcome to attend.

Sinclair said the school essentially pulled a bait and switch by not being clearer with parents about its gender identity curriculum. 

“We had to sign an expensive binding contract before second grade year and the curriculum changed without transparency to the paying customer,” said Sincalir.

Sinclair said she believes there is a time for children to learn about gender, and gender fluidity, but she believes schools should include parents and pediatricians in that decision. 

The school is closed now for summer. The Sinclairs say they are moving to Orange county where their children will attend a school this fall – where more parents see the issue the way they do.

The school sent out the following statement to families on Monday:

Dear MCDS Community,   

I know many of you have seen a media story that is circulating through the community concerning an MCDS family who have admitted involvement in the disturbing unsolicited emails distributed to our community in recent months. This family elected to leave the school over their concerns about the school and its curriculum.   We respect the privacy of our families past and present, and although many of the family’s allegations in the article are untrue, responding would require us to disclose private information of families. I can, however, assure you that we have not, and would not, retaliate against a family for a difference of opinion. The family at the center of this media story notified us of their decision to leave the school well before the unsolicited emails started in recent months. I can also assure you that we value our collaboration with parents.  We do not educate in a vacuum; rather, we are partners in your children’s educational development. We welcome dialogue. We learn. And we adapt to the needs of our families and the changing times, always in alignment with our mission. To that end, this article also calls into question the merits of our health and social curricula, particularly as it pertains to gender identity. We strive to provide a classroom experience that explores — in an age-appropriate way — complex and difficult topics such as race and ethnicity, gender identity, skin color, family culture, and other topics that build in students’ essential cultural competencies.   As it pertains to gender identity, it is both essential and mission-aligned that we create classroom spaces that feel safe for everyone through gender-inclusive teaching. These lessons are designed to be affirming, positive, and, perhaps most of all, to promote a safe learning environment. If you or your child have questions about this important aspect of our curriculum, we would welcome any feedback. We’re grateful to families who have already met with me or other members of the administration. We will be working this summer on evolving our gender-identity curriculum and sharing about our work this fall. We are proud of the special experience we cultivate here at MCDS, and we are deeply grateful for the partnership of our families at every step of the way. If I can answer any questions about how we work to uplift your children, I am more than happy to talk with you.

Katherine Dinh
Marin County Day School Head of School

Source: NBC Bay Area

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