Teacher Uses 'Gender Unicorn' Worksheet While Asking Kids Not to Use Mr. or Mrs. & Parents Aren't Pleased

Gender Unicorn worksheet
TSER

The topic of gender identity and self-expression is relatively new to mainstream conversation. But for members of the LGBTQ+ community, it's long overdue. Not everyone is up for having the discussion, though. In fact, a middle school teacher from California has sparked some heated debate about when and how we should be bringing the topic up with children, after handing out a worksheet on gender identity that left many parents up in arms.

  • Luis Davila Alvarado handed the worksheet out in a science class last week, on the first day of school for students at Denair Middle School.

    According to The Modesto Bee, it was all part of a "getting to know you"-type exercise. According to Denair Unified School District Superintendent Terry Metzger, Alvarado uses the title “Mx.” instead of “Mr.,” and wanted his students to understand why. Perhaps he hoped it would help them get their questions out of the way early; or, at the very least, give students a broader understanding of the issue. For others who might be silently struggling with gender identity issues of their own, it might've even made them feel less alone.

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  • The worksheet came from Trans Student Educational Resources, and lists the various forms of gender identity and expression.

    It also aims to break down the differences between what gender people might have been assigned at birth, versus what they feel inside. (If you're interested, you can download one yourself right here.)

    In truth, it's a relatively benign worksheet, topped off by an adorable graphic of a friendly unicorn. But not everyone was a fan.

  • The backlash wasn't from angry parents or even upset students. According to The Modesto Bee, Principal Amanda Silva put a stop to it.

    Silva happened to be in the room at the time when she saw the handout making its way around the room. 

    "When she saw the content of the handout, she spoke with the teacher and directed him to stop distributing it,” Metzger shared.

    The reason, according to the superintendent, isn't because it violates school policy or that the school doesn't believe gender identity should be taught in schools. Instead, Metzger says it's approved to be taught in health classes -- but not in science class.

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

  • As news of the worksheet has been making the rounds on social media, plenty of others have been weighing in, too.

    Needless to say, the opinions vary widely. But it's hard to scroll through Facebook and not catch a lot of comments that come with ... how shall I put this ... a twinge of homophobia.

    "God help our nation, when this is what's going on at the schools!" one woman wrote. "Heartbreaking!!! God must be so brokenhearted when this is happening to the children!"

    "What in the hell is going on with people these days," wrote one person. "Mx should be fired."

    "This guy is a predator," wrote another.

    "No wonder kids have no life skills anymore," wrote one woman. "Teachers are not teaching anymore."

    And at least one irate and misinformed person had this to say: "He should be fired and classified as a pedophile he has no right telling our children about sex In any way shape or form end of story."

    Sigh.

    The bottom line? Mx. Alvarado probably should probably have cleared that worksheet with administrators before bringing it into the classroom. But as Metzger notes, it wasn't a mandatory class assignment. It was merely a way for Mx. Alvarado to explain why he goes by Mx. -- which, by extension, might help some kids in seventh  and eighth grade understand him (and themselves) a bit better. So maybe the internet could stand to CTFD.

    Just a thought.