Public School Teachers Have Become Deceitful, Depraved Dogmatists
Public School Teachers Have Become Deceitful, Depraved Dogmatists
Written By Laurie Higgins   |   08.25.22
Reading Time: 7 minutes

Perhaps you missed the story about a Naperville, Illinois elementary school where third-grade teacher, Nicholas Cosme, a 25-year-old man who “paints his nails like a woman does—and is teaching eight-year-old boys” in his class at Elmwood Elementary School to do likewise. According to the DuPage Policy Journal, he has asked his students for their pronouns, “suggesting the boys … might ask him to refer to them as ‘she.’” To top off his lesson, he read to his young students the picture book My Shadow is Pink, in which “a young boy who likes to wear dresses inspires his father to also wear a dress.”

No ideological grooming going on here. Move along.

In response to a parent complaint, the school issued a statement to the DuPage Policy Journal defending Cosme’s actions because they “align to Naperville 203’s efforts to cultivate a culture of inclusion that values the dignity and uniqueness of each individual.”

So, in the service of “inclusion” will Elmwood Elementary School introduce young children to polyamory? Zoophilia? Genetic Sexual Attraction? Kink? If not, why not?

What about parents who believe cross-dressing undermines the dignity of boys and men? How does Elmwood Elementary include representations of those people?

Perhaps you missed the story from Paterson Elementary School in Fleming Island, Florida, where last January, parents Wendell and Maria Perez were called from their 12-year-old daughter’s school following her second suicide attempt in two days. The parents were told that she attempted to hang herself in a school bathroom over her “gender identity crisis,” and that they weren’t notified earlier because of their Catholic faith, which the school rightly surmised would have led them not to affirm her gender confusion. The parents also learned that school counselor Destiney Washington had been secretly meeting with their daughter for months and facilitating her social transition at school.

Subsequently, the Perez’s found proper counseling for their daughter. Her sexual confusion resolved, she accepts her sex, and she no longer experiences suicidal ideation. The parents are now suing the district.

Perhaps you also missed the news story from Richard J Kinsella Magnet School in Hartford, Connecticut about 77-year-old school nurse Kathleen Cataford who was suspended for a personal Facebook post that Superintendent Leslie Torres-Rodriguez described in a letter to the entire school community as “inappropriate,” “harmful,” “hateful,” and “inconsistent with what we stand for.” Here’s the allegedly hateful post:

Buyer beware. Investigate the school system curriculum … CT is a very socially liberal, gender confused state … As a public school nurse, I have an 11 yo female student on puberty blockers and a dozen students identifying as non-binary, all but two keeping this a secret from their parents with the help of teachers, SSW [social service worker] and administration.

Teachers and SSW are spending 37.5 hours a week influencing your children, not necessarily teaching [your] children what YOU think is being taught. Children are introduced to this confusion in kindergarten by the school SW [social worker] who ‘teaches’ social and emotional regulation and school expectations.

Science tells us that a child’s brain continues development into the early 20’s, hence laws prohibiting alcohol, tobacco, vaping and cannibis. But it’s ok to inject hormones into confused prepubescent children and perform genital mutilating surgery on adolescents! How incongruent is that thinking!

Which part of this is inappropriate? Is it inappropriate to expose publicly that teachers, social service workers, and administrators are conspiring to keep secrets from parents?

Which part is harmful? Is it harmful to warn parents that teachers are doing far more than teach the subject for which they were hired to teach? Is it harmful to point out the inconsistency in allowing prepubescent children and teens to make irreversible, life-altering decisions before the decision-making parts of their brains are fully developed?

Which part is hateful? Is calling the mutilation of children’s genitalia “genital mutilating surgery” hateful or true? If Torres-Rodriguez would spend some time reading the tragic accounts of detransitioners, she might find such a description true and accurate. If she has a tidbit of courage—which seems unlikely—she might even change her de facto policy of supporting social, chemical, and, presumably, surgical efforts to conceal children’s sex.

I will grant Torres-Rodriguez one point: the ideas expressed by Kathleen Cataford are very likely inconsistent with what district leaders stand for. They stand for deceit, hubris, and ignorance.

Let’s try two brief thought experiments:

1.) Let’s imagine that one day a Jewish girl from an Orthodox family decides to identify as Muslim. She changes her name to Aayat, which means “verses in the Quran.” At school, she tells her counselor and teachers that she wants to be referred to by this name because it reflects her authentic identity. She also requests a place to pray Dhuhr at its specified time near noon and a place to change into her hijab where there will be no biological boys. Finally, she tells her counselor that her parents would strongly disapprove of her trans-religious identity. In other words, her parents are not “safe.” Therefore, she wants the school to keep her trans-religious identity secret from her parents.

2.) A high school girl from a strict Muslim home converts to America’s civil religion: atheism. A long-time fan of actress Ellen/Elliot Page, she changes her name to Elliot. She changes from her hijab at school into typical American clothes, including shorts, short skirts, and figure-hugging tank tops. She changes into gym clothes in the presence of boys who pretend to be girls and use the girls’ locker room—a practice to which Muslim parents would strenuously object. She shares restrooms with those same boys. She requests that all staff (and peers) refer to her as “Elliot” and conceal their duplicity from her parents who would be shocked and angry with their daughter’s choices.

Some questions:

Would schools honor the requests of these girls?

Would parents object to schools accommodating such requests?

Since some schools today provide “transition closets” outfitted with gender-specific clothing for “trans”-identifying students to change into while at school, would schools provide “transition closets” for trans-religionists, replete with attire to match their new religious identities while concealing them from their parents?

There was once a time in American public schools when teachers served in loco parentis—in place of the parents. That is, schools assumed some parental “rights, responsibilities, and liabilities” during the time minor children attended school. Those rights and responsibilities were assumed to be delegated by parents to schoolteachers and administrators to ensure “student safety and supervision” while at school.

The doctrine of in loco parentis has morphed as teachers have expanded the areas of children’s lives over which they assume dominion, as teachers have grown in social and political power, and as they have redefined “safety” in accordance with their dogmatic sex/gender ideology.

Now teachers believe they have a right to “educate” the “whole child” which means teachers believe that the minds, hearts, bodies, and wills of other people’s children belong to them—the social constructionist “educators.” These presumptuous dogmatists believe they have dominion over what material may, should, and must be presented to children, including material that espouses—not objective facts—but arguable assumptions.

Jeff Berger-White, an English teacher at Deerfield High School in Deerfield, Illinois, who fifteen years ago was teaching the obscene play Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes until the community found out and whose wife, Juliet Berger-White, is an activist for “trans”-cultism, offers a glimpse into the hubris of teachers today.

In addition to teaching an obscene pro-homosexual/pro-“trans” play, Berger-White once claimed in the local press that it is the job of English teachers to challenge the emotions and morals of students, a claim that likely would surprise many parents.

More recently, in a Character Strong podcast about testing metrics, Berger-White made some revelatory claims:

I think school boards, I think administrators want something easy and quantifiable. They want to be able to say to their constituents, “Look, their reading scores have gone up. Look, the math scores have gone up.” But, um, what about our humanity? What about teaching empathy? What about teaching in this moment … the anti-racism movements across the country. …? I think all those things are essential and vital.

Were English, math, science, social studies, world languages, and P.E. teachers hired to teach empathy and “anti-racism”? Is that what parents expect them to teach? Is empathy—that is, identifying with someone and feeling what he feels—always good? Should teachers be teaching other people’s children to put themselves in the minds and hearts of people who experience disordered desires?

It is unclear what Berger-White means by “humanity,” but for many, affirming false, destructive ideas, as Berger-White does, erodes rather than cultivates our humanity.

Perhaps Berger-White should limit the scope of his endeavors to teaching students to communicate civilly and leave their emotional and moral development to their parents and those who share their parents’ beliefs and values.

And that would include parental views on what Berger-White and other leftists refer to as “anti-racism.” Parents might like to know if Berger-White is referring to the arguable critical race theory-derived ideas that racists like Ibram X. Kendi, Robin DiAngelo, Kimberle Crenshaw, Nikole Hannah-Jones, and Glenn Singleton profit so handsomely from promoting? If so, many taxpayers would heartily disagree that public school teachers should be teaching “anti-racism.”

While many parents value expertise, knowledge, and wisdom in their children’s teachers, Berger-White values “authenticity”—whatever that is:

I think we as educators need to be authentic. We all have a kind of classroom persona, but the closer our personas can come to our authentic selves, the better. And if we can find opportunities to share what moves us, what delights us, what saddens us, all the better. Because we model that, our young people see the adults in front of them every day. … When students trust us to be good … shepherds … they’re more likely to buy in.

All that palaver sounds admirable, but here’s the rub. What moves, delights, and saddens Berger-White may be things that do not move, delight, and sadden many parents. And those parents likely don’t want Berger-White socially constructing his preferences in their children.  C.S. Lewis argues that children must be trained to love that which is worthy of love and hate that which is contemptible. I suspect that C.S. Lewis and Jeff Berger-White might be moved, delighted, and saddened by very different phenomena.

Further, many parents do not view as “good shepherds” adults who share obscene material with minors on the public dime, who teach minors to “empathize” with those who embrace homosexual and “trans” identities, and who teach Kendi’s racist ideas.

Dogmatists like those found in Hartford, Fleming Island, Naperville, and Deerfield schools base much of their social constructionist activities on appeals to “safety” as redefined by them. They believe that “safety” is shaped by their arguable sexual ideology. A person or idea is “safe” if and only if it aligns with the unproven assumptions of leftist sex/gender ideology.

If an idea is deemed unsafe according to the nebulous criteria schools use and never share, then propagandists feel justified in banning it from the classroom, the library, and locker room usage policy. If a person is deemed unsafe, leftist activists who identify as teachers feel self-righteously justified in either firing them, muzzling them, marginalizing them, or, in the case of parents, deceiving them.

Parents, get your kids out of public schools, pronto. And churches, help make that possible.

Laurie Higgins
Laurie Higgins was the Illinois Family Institute’s Cultural Affairs Writer in the fall of 2008 through early 2023. Prior to working for the IFI, Laurie worked full-time for eight years in Deerfield High School’s writing center in Deerfield, Illinois. Her cultural commentaries have been carried on a number of pro-family websites nationally and internationally, and Laurie has appeared on numerous radio programs across the country. In addition, Laurie has spoken at the Council for National Policy and educational conferences sponsored by the Constitutional Coalition. She has been married to her husband for forty-four years, and they have four grown children...
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