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Gender-Bending Books at Waunakee School District’s Camp Kindergarten

Cover image: LGBTQ+ Books at Waunakee Community School District Camp Kindergarten, with images of district insignia and covers of the books They She He Easy as ABC and Julian at the Wedding

These days we often hear about overreactive parents who are making a big deal out of nothing when it comes to gender-bending books in schools. Some parents still believe it’s not happening, that their school is not reading these books to children at school. Many parents who are aware of what’s happening see it as unethical and harmful that teachers and administrators are introducing the ideas of gender fluidity and transition to young children.

At Heritage Elementary in Waunakee, WI, we definitely see some things happening around both LGBTQ+ and gender-bending books that administrators want to keep in the dark. But why? And how far will they go to be “inclusive,” no matter the cost to other students?

Through tips from parents, as well as open records requests, we have uncovered information that may be of interest to the public. This information was not easy to obtain. In a series of email exchanges, spanning over two months, Waunakee School District Superintendent Randy Guttenberg finally divulged the complete information sought in the initial request.

But let's start at the beginning...

Gender-Bending Books on Kindergarten Reading List

In the Summer of 2021, an unsuspecting parent received the book list for their child’s Camp Kindergarten summer class. A lot of parents might not look too closely at a book list. How could there possibly be anything objectionable for kindergarteners? But two books stood out to that parent. One was Julian at the Wedding, a story about a boy, Julian, who attends a lesbian wedding and likes to dress up as a girl.

The second book was They, She, He Easy as A, B, C, which has pictures of gender non-conforming children who wear clothes that don’t match their stated gender.

Superintendent Guttenberg's Final Reply

These books, correspondence with Superintendent Gutenberg revealed, were chosen in an attempt to accommodate one child in the class. The goal of this article is not to denigrate or give identifying information about that child. Rather, we need to raise important questions about how far the school will go to make one child “feel welcome” and how such measures may cause harm to other children in the school.

The following four screenshots contain Superintendent Guttenberg's final reply to the inquiring parent, as fulfillment of the submitted open records request:

Guttenberg correspondence section 1
Guttenberg correspondence, section 2
Guttenberg correspondence, section 3
Guttenberg correspondence, section 4

A State Statute to Empower Parents

Notably, Section 118.019(4) of the Wisconsin State Statutes protects a parent’s right to opt their child out of lessons on “Human Growth and Development,” also known as Sex Ed. The statute states:

4)  EXEMPTION FOR INDIVIDUAL PUPILS.  No pupil may be required to take instruction in human growth and development or in the specific subjects under subs. (2) and (2m) if the pupil's parent or guardian files with the teacher or school principal a written request that the pupil be exempted.

Parents should know they have this right to opt their child out. But what happens when they don’t know? And how much worse do the problems get when they also don’t realize that their child’s school or entire district is not transparent about what lessons are being taught?

Are Schools Fostering Gender Dysphoria?

Heritage Elementary personnel clearly feel the need to introduce the topic of gender dysphoria and/or gender non-conformity to kindergarteners. Yet, according to an October 2022 Reuters article, the number of children ages 6-17 who have been diagnosed with gender dysphoria nearly tripled in just four years, from 2017-2021. Medical interventions such as hormone blockers, cross sex hormones, and mastectomy surgeries for minors have also significantly increased. Could the lessons, books, and “inclusive” environment in our schools be part of the reason? We need to find out.

Imagine you’re a 5 year-old child settling in for story hour in Waunakee. The colorful book your teacher reads you sparks your imagination by telling you that you can change into the opposite gender by dressing differently and changing your hair. Children love to imagine they are different people and creatures. Everyone knows that. It’s part of what makes kids so amazing. But while children should be encouraged to use their imaginations, not every idea is good, healthy, or productive. Wise, trustworthy adults purposely don’t encourage children to imagine certain kinds of things, because it would make them vulnerable to various sorts of harmful suggestion and persuasion. When story time or play time is over, children need to be able to come back to parents or other trusted adults to find truth and security.

When Waunakee school personnel introduce small children to the concepts of gender fluidity and gender transition, are those personnel simply unaware of the seeds they’re planting and the damage that can result to our children? Or are they actually taking purposeful advantage of our children’s vulnerabilities? Again, these are questions that we all ought to be asking.

An article from National Public Radio (NPR) states that “a whopping 98% of people who had started gender-affirming medical treatment in adolescence continued to use gender-affirming hormones at follow-up.” So, if the “transition” process is started, it is not likely to be reversed. However, studies can also be found showing that up to 88% of people allowed to go through puberty without such intervention will “desist” or grow out of gender dysphoria.

It's not difficult to understand, then, why many parents would see harm in what Heritage Elementary is doing by introducing these topics to young vulnerable children. The bleak reality for a “transgender” child in Dane County Wisconsin is scary. What happens when the truth and security a parent is working to communicate to a child are being contradicted by the messages other trusted adults are sending, particularly when the child doesn’t yet have the ability to resolve those mixed messages? What happens to a child who is being wrongly affirmed in a form of temporary developmental confusion not only by the personnel at their elementary school but also by their parents?

Where Does Waunakee's Gender Policy Lead?

Confusion and delusion are entrenched and compounded in children when they’re allowed to dress up as the opposite gender, change their name and pronouns, and use the restroom that aligns with their “gender identity.” The Waunakee School District's Equal Educational Opportunities document demonstrates a clear embrace of "gender affirming" policy.

And where does such policy ultimately lead...?

The “gender care” business is now booming in hospitals across the country. Children as young as 10 are receiving puberty blockers, the first step on the way to taking cross-sex hormones and chemical castration or sterility. Even if surgical procedures are never pursued, all of these pharmaceutical interventions lead to a lifetime of physical, sexual, and likely psychological dysfunction. Genitalia mismatched to secondary sex characteristics, permanent castration/sterility, and a host of other problems result from such drugs. How can a child reasonably know that they would never want to have kids of their own someday? That’s a choice that takes maturity and life experience that children and adolescents don’t yet have.

And those that do opt to undergo gender-transition surgeries? They will be reliant on the medical and pharmaceutical industries for life, in an attempt either to keep up the charade of being something they are not or to stabilize the often horrific, permanent damage in which the surgeries result.

The purpose of any business—and gender care is now very big, very expensive, and very profitable business--is not only to sustain itself but to grow. UW’s shiny new gender clinic, now in our own backyard, is no different. Business has to create demand for its products and services. How might this new clinic be creating such demand in our local school districts?  How is it perhaps marketing to our children? To the teachers and administrators who can steer them toward this “helpful” facility? More questions worth investigating.

One thing is for sure. Children are being marketed to nationwide, however subtly, or the gender business would not be booming. So, isn’t it naïve to think it’s not happening here in Dane County, too?

The Need to Investigate and Engage

Most parents want their elementary aged children to be taught valuable academics  at school. We want the school to stay out of trying to influence our child about thier sexual identity. We see great harm being done even by reading books to our children about gender identity. But the bottom line is that our schools are not what we want them to be. They’re mostly not run by people we can trust. In truth, our schools have been captured, and many of the teachers and administrators who staff them think they’re actually doing our children a favor by teaching lessons on gender identity. Parents who sit back these days run the real risk of seeing their children isolated from them and permanently damaged. Is it a risk you’re willing to take?

If any of this information concerns you, then you should demand to be fully informed on every single book, lesson, survey, and activity that your child is doing at school. It’s not just Waunakee that’s taking liberties. This is happening all over Dane County, all over Wisconsin, all over the county. If we all stay vigilant and voice our concerns, we protect our children from harm, and we keep the bad actors at bay. Isn’t that what we want?

Don’t wait. Find out what’s going on at your child’s school now, before it’s too late.

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