This column by ACRU Policy Board member J. Christian Adams was published September 20, 2016 by PJ Media.
A Christian school in Virginia is providing materials to students that gender is a state of mind and that “genderqueer” is a natural self-identity. St. Stephens and St. Agnes in Alexandria, Virginia, is associated with the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia and teaches pre-K through 12th grade.
The Episcopal school features artwork displayed in the hallways pertaining to “The Genderbread Person.”
The St. Stephens and St. Agnes “Genderbread Person” has a gingerbread man shaped cookie with a rainbow colored brain. It contains a heart labeled orientation, and a symbol in the genital regions labeled sex which identifies as male, female, and both. This poster is hanging in the halls of the school. The poster also provides St. Stephens and St. Agnes students the URL www.itspronouncedmetrosexual.com where they can peruse articles like “30 Examples of Heterosexual Privilege” or a “Comprehensive List of LGBTQ+ Vocabulary Definitions.”
The poster hanging in St. Stephens and St. Agnes also contains four continuum topics: Gender Identity, Gender Expression, Biological Sex, and Sexual Orientation.
Under “Gender Identity,” the poster says “Gender Identity is what you, in your head, think about yourself.” Under Gender Expression the poster says “Gender expression is how you demonstrate your gender (based on traditional gender rolls) through the ways you act, dress, behave and interact.”
Complaints to school administrators about the poster and teachings by parents were rebuffed.
St. Stephens and St. Agnes employs two “Health and Sexuality Educators,” including Laura Ambrose, a former Yoga instructor and Peace Corp fellow. The high-school curriculum taught by Ambrose includes “Feminism and Gender inequality,” “Health disparities at home and abroad,” “Eastern and alternative medicine,” and “Yoga and stress relief.” The school also pushes “safe spaces” and appoints “safe space ambassadors.”
St. Stephens and St. Agnes also has materials displayed in the halls from a student organization called the Gender, Sexuality and Romantic Minorities Alliance, or GSRMA. Complaints by parents about this poster being displayed in a Christian school were also rebuffed:
These sorts of teachings have lately become trendy among some government schools, but did not seem to have a foothold in schools purportedly grounded in Christian theology.
The St. Stephens and St. Agnes website says:
As an Episcopal Church School in the Diocese of Virginia, St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes creates a Christian environment that welcomes all faiths, in which each student can grow in mind, body, and spirit.
The “spiritual program” for students includes:
[T]raditional bible teachings, Middle School students benefit from a variety of speakers including faculty, who share personal experiences. Students may participate by leading the psalm, reading a lesson, or carrying the cross. On occasion, the students will give a dramatic reading, perform a play, or offer an anthem.
Pope Francis, the head of the Catholic Church, has strongly condemned the “gender identity” movement as a “profound falsehood” and a “negative trend for humankind.” Francis has called the gender identity movement “demonic” and compared the theories to “the educational policies of Hitler.”