According to TheWashingtonPost:
Some lessons are direct: “Who can describe what transgender means?” In other classes, the discussion is more subtle: “Remember, families can come in all shapes and sizes!”
Sometimes teachers simply shift their language to reflect gender diversity that may be in the room. Instead of “Good morning, boys and girls!” the teacher might say, “Good morning, scholars!”
In Florida and several others states, educators are restricted in teaching about gender identity, but elsewhere, teachers are embracing the topic as the number of transgender and gender nonbinary children rises.
Resources and lesson plans for those who want to teach about gender identity are becoming much more common. Seven states now require that curriculums include LGBTQ topics. The National Sex Education Standards, developed by experts and advocacy groups, name gender identity as one of seven essential topics, alongside puberty, consent, sexual orientation and other subjects.And the federal government recommends that schools include gender identity in their sex education programs.
“There’s years of research that demonstrate that curriculums that include respect for others regarding their sexual orientation and gender identity are more effective,” said Kathleen Ethier, director of the division of adolescent and school health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s true not just for LGBTQ students, she said. “When you make a school environment safe and supportive for the most vulnerable youth, you improve the school environment for everyone.”
Opponents argue that teaching about gender identity is driven by liberal ideology and is inappropriate for children, especially young children. Five states, including Florida, ban or limit how teachers can talk about gender identity and sexual orientation, with at least 10 states considering such measures, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Books that feature transgender or nonbinary characters have been subject to numerous ban attempts.
The restrictions often go beyond the classroom.Many districts have resisted efforts to allow transgender students to use the bathroom corresponding to their gender identity, and 18 states limit transgender women from competing in women’s and girls’ sports, though some measures are on hold pending a court challenge. Philadelphia’s school district even came under fire for informing teachers about an independent Trans Wellness Conference where some attendees discussed how to support youth who are transitioning genders.