The Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) in Wisconsin has informed parents that elementary students will be taught about “gender identity” and “sexual orientation” as part of the Welcoming Schools program. The program aims to “uplift school communities with critical tools to embrace family diversity, create LGBTQ+ and gender-inclusive schools, prevent bias-based bullying, and support transgender and non-binary students.” The lessons will be taught as part of the Health and Social Emotional Learning curriculum and will cover various identities including “gender identity, sex assigned at birth, and sexual orientation.” A video explaining the program features a “gender snowperson” graphic and provides an overview of how the district will be teaching gender and related topics to the children. The instructor explains that discussions surrounding gender identity will be presented in “developmentally appropriate ways” and will vary depending on the grade level of the students.
The school district had also previously published a video celebrating National Coming Out Day, which showcased LGBTQ staff members throughout the district. The issue of incorporating gender ideology and queer theory into the educational system, including teaching sexually explicit and pro-LGBTQ/transgender propaganda in elementary and kindergarten classrooms, has been a controversial topic in recent times. However, the program has also received support from some who believe that students need to be taught about inclusivity and diversity from a young age.