Salem-Keizer We Stand Together (SKWST) founder and president and Marion County Republican Linda Farrington wrote a heartfelt but scathing letter to the school board recently, following up on testimony submitted at their "public" (virtual) meeting on 14 June. By permission it is largely reprinted below. It has been edited slightly. Links are provided to attachments she submitted with the letter; images included here were part of the letter or attachments, as well. Finally, unless otherwise noted, all emphasis (bold, italics, underline) was part of the original letter.
This is a follow up letter to my comments at the school board meeting.
There were big proclamations of "Success" this year that included many diverse populations — yet the school district isn't even measuring how much students learn in core subjects anymore. The District report card is simply a demographic report and reruns 2019 statistics.
In June, the school district celebrates the LGBTQ+ community: people who are two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, pansexual, asexual, gender-fluid, nonbinary, intersex, and many other identities... .
I am trying to figure out WHY we are celebrating sexual preferences at school? Why? This is school and you are failing at giving our children a quality education. There is a finite amount of time to teach and you are spending precious moments on the wrong agenda. I'm not "hating" on the LGBTQ community. I'm not transphobic. I just don't think it belongs at school! Rainbows are everywhere, yet I remember when my kids couldn't even wear their feeder school's tee shirt because of the understanding that schools are for school only — not a public-rights campaign for special interest groups.
You talk about respect [PDF] and authentic expression, yet you are introducing to five-year-olds the possibility that they are born in the wrong body. How disrespectful is that? Why, for the life of me, are you affirming a child's imagination? We have always known that childhood and adolescence are the most unstable times in a person's life. How could you buy the lie that ignoring biology, the scientific fact that each cell in our body tells us whether we are a boy or a girl? That never changes, no matter how much cosmetic surgery or hormones we take.
The Welcoming Schools page says
"When students feel safe to express their identities across the gender spectrum, they will be more prepared to learn and thrive in your school."
I would like to see the evidence on this because I strongly disagree! I think the outcomes seen at schools this year show that CSE and Transformative Justice policies — all under the Equity Lens — are creating more problems, more chaos, more unwelcome and unsafe classrooms; adding to the already normal confusion that fills a child's mind as one grows up. I think that if you had put all your efforts the last couple years into getting students up to speed, you could have solved most of the students' mental health needs, because we are born to contribute and be productive. That is the real cure for depression, not cry rooms.
All kids are looking to belong. And we want all kids to belong. But you don't get there by dividing them by race and then teaching them to have better sex! You are robbing children of their childhoods by pushing this ideology and destroying their innocence. And you are robbing them of their futures because you are attacking and messing with their core — their sense of identity — at the most vulnerable time in their lives.
Sex is for adults not children. Sex Ed is supposed to be age appropriate and medically necessary. yet, Comprehensive Sex Ed (CSE) and Social Emotional Learning (SEL) that you have implemented this year — without consulting parents — goes way beyond that. CSE and SEL remove all social standards for behavior and are grooming children. You are over-informing them and setting them up to be potential pornography addicts forever. Do you know how difficult it is for young adolescents to have real relationships when they are addicted to porn? Why is this information necessary? And why can't you be honest and transparent with parents and the community?
In 2012, the Future of Sex Education Initiative, of which Advocates for Youth is a founding member, along with Answer, and the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS), created the National Sexuality Education Standards: Core Content and Skills, K-12.
Our school district aligns closely with ODE, which, in turn, aligns closely with the National Sexuality Education Standards, i.e. Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE). CSE advocates are quite open about their goal: To change society by changing sexual and gender norms and teaching youth to advocate for their sexual rights [Bold added]. Most CSE programs promote acceptance of diverse sexual identities and orientations and enlist youth in combating "homophobia" and "heterosexism".
Dr. Miriam Grossman, one of the foremost experts in the United States on sexuality education, quoted the International Guidelines on Sexuality Education (UNESCO): "One of the learning objectives [of sexuality education] is to 'change social norms.' She says, "I've discovered that the vision of groups such as Planned Parenthood and SIECUS — the groups at the helm of sexuality education in the U.S. — is not sexual health. It is sexual freedom. They tacitly endorse early sexual activity and multiple partners as well as sexual experimentation, which are the very behaviors that fuel the epidemics of sexually transmitted diseases, HIV/AIDS, abortion, and emotional distress. The people who practice the lifestyles endorsed by these groups have more doctors' appointments, not less."
Recently, Social Emotional Learning (SEL) was introduced. Originally, the goal of SEL was to promote morally-neutral soft skills such as self-awareness, self-management, empathy, and goal setting. However, there has now been a shift to "Transformative SEL" [PDF], which places sexuality into CSE in an effort to create a rights-based, sex-positive approach. These concepts are being drilled into young minds with no way to shield or protect themselves. CSE and SEL remove all social standards for behavior and are grooming children.
This might explain the steep and sudden climb in children identifying as LGBTQ+ and transgender. A climb that matches the time when the schools decided to embrace the LGBTQ agenda. Healthy Teen Surveys indicated there were about 3-5% in 2019 who identified as LGBTQ and now you say 30% of students claim to be LGBTQ. Recent studies actually confirm evidence of a social contagion, not biology, that is more likely creating the transgender/LGBTQ craze. SEE: The Gender Agenda (https://vimeo.com/362859674/795b2832cf)
RECENT TESTIMONIALS AT SKPS Board meetings:
The recently revealed transgender policies that the Salem Keizer School District put into place behind parents backs [Bold added] show continued disrespect for parents and students. By favoring one small identity group you are again dividing students and overlooking the real civil rights violations to other students. You are supposed to be partnering with parents, Superintendent Perry. At the very least you should be working with the school board. Yet you didn't even have plans to inform them of these drastic and controversial changes. That is how little you respect them and the parents.
Studies show that most gender-confused kids are already troubled and most have a mental illness diagnosis already. And yet you trust them to be in charge of permanent health care decisions, when an adult in their situation wouldn't be permitted to sign a consent form? This blind allegiance to the "Trans" agenda is unbelievable! Schools still can't give out an aspirin without parental permission. Or go on a field trip. But gender affirming surgery? Genital tucking? Hormone therapy? Double mastectomy? All perfectly fine — without parental knowledge.
Why do you think children live at home? Are they able to hang up their towels and tie their own shoes yet? No! But you want to give them control over something they can't even understand! We know for sure that the neural pathways in their brains aren't equipped to make these decisions until they are at least 25 years old.
FAILURE OF CSE
The Institute for Research & Evaluation conducted a study that found 103 Comprehensive Sexuality Education programs — 60 of which are in the United States — have an 87% failure rate. The study found evidence of positive outcomes for only six (6) of the 103 programs and 16 with negative outcomes (sexual activity, number of partners, oral sex, forced sex, STDs, pregnancy).
Peer-reviewed studies that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) relied upon to label 18 school-based CSE programs as "evidence-based" for preventing pregnancy and STDs often didn't even measure outcomes like condom use, STDs, and number of pregnancies.
UNSUPPORTED DATA FOR TREATMENT of TRANSGENDER STUDENTS:
Gender ideologues are deluding young adults into believing that these treatments will take away the anxiety and confusion they feel. But no matter how many procedures one undergoes, no matter how many rounds of hormonal therapy are prescribed, the fact remains that a woman will always be a woman and a man will always be a man. No wonder, then, that gender-confused persons who undergo experimental interventions in the hopes that this reality will have changed are struck by despair and hopelessness when they realize it has not. The effort to deny biological reality is doing irreversible harm to people's bodies and minds. It is not compassionate — it's cruel.
"The transgender intervention literature is wholly observational and almost entirely without controls. It is a miasma of selection bias, unmeasured confounding, and missing data. Many transgender research studies in the past few decades have been conducted by activist researchers who seem deeply committed to "proving" the benefits of transgender interventions, no matter how speculative or tendentious the research question." — "Activist-driven Transgender Research Methods are Reckless and Will Lead to Harms", by Hacsi Horváth, MA, PgCert (Sheffield)
"Under the affirmative model of care, adolescents and adults are generally enabled to pursue medical interventions right away, seldom being told by their doctors 'No, you are making a mistake'." — Horváth, "The Theatre of the Body: A Detransitioned Epidemiologist Examines Suicidality, Affirmation, and Transgender Identity"
"1. U.S. policymakers are seeking to make it easier for minors to access puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones based on the claim that doing so reduces suicide risk. 2. Studies finding that "gender-affirming" interventions prevent suicide fail to show a causal relationship and have been poorly executed. 3. A superior research design shows that easing access to puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones by minors without parental consent increases suicide rates." (Takeaways) — "Puberty Blockers, Cross-Sex Hormones, and Youth Suicide", by Jay P. Greene, PhD
STUDENT SUCCESS due to PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT: It is parents who determine success more than any other factor in a student's life .
Everyone needs to feel validated! But validating a lie so they might feel better for a minute is not helpful. And we are ANGRY about that.
There is no such thing as a transgender child! Every child is perfect just the way they are! And we should be affirming that. And making sure that every child knows they are precious exactly the way the were born.
We want the sexualizing and labeling and dividing to stop. At a time when kids are already insecure and looking for the boundaries, you take away even the most obvious anchor they could hold on to — their biological anatomy — something they should be able to count on to affirm that they are a boy or a girl. Every single cell in their body tells them whether they are a boy or a girl, no matter what changes are done to the outside.
President and Founder
Salem Keizer We Stand Together
Salem Keizer We Stand Together is a grassroots organization striving to educate, equip, encourage, & empower our community to respectfully engage with one voice for parent’s rights, educational transparency, equal opportunity, academic excellence, and school choice for every student.
Standing for Academic Excellence