Opposing Gender Ideology

Resolve to stand firm in the truth
Boy and Girl Cutout
Magda Ehlers, Pexels

Evidence abounds of woke gender ideology pervading every American social institution, and no institution seems more fixed in its crosshairs than the American public education system. School districts across our nation are pushing initiatives and enforcing policies that are directly downstream of this cultural current. Truth is abandoned, students are put at risk, parents are vilified, and teachers are told to quietly comply.

Teaching in a rather conservative county in an increasingly conservative state — Brevard County, Florida — I was appalled as I started to see harmful gender policies, established by our board, show up in my school and in schools across my district during the 2021-2022 school year. I was expected to allow these practices to continue, even assist in their implementation if necessary. Specifically, I witnessed students at my school enter restrooms of the opposite sex while other students were present inside. History serves those who need a helpful reminder as to how dangerous this is.

Along with restrooms, Brevard’s policies permit students to enter and change their clothes in the locker rooms of the opposite sex as well. A Brevard teacher told me the story of a middle school female in his school who, following policy, entered the male locker room and exposed her bare chest to a full class of boys and the male teacher on site. These policies are compelling teachers to be in the presence of nude minors of the opposite sex and expose our students to the same. 

I brought my concerns to my administration and told them I could not allow these practices at our school. I received an official notice on our district’s letterhead stating that if I prevented students from using the facilities of their choice, I could face discipline.

My response was and still is, so be it. If I get fired after 15 years of teaching for protecting students, we’ll cross that bridge when that time comes. Despite this possibility, it has since been my mission to raise as much awareness as possible until these practices are outlawed.

The situation in my district is just one example of what’s happening all across our nation. Today’s educators are increasingly faced with pressure to comply with policies and curriculum that endanger our students. But we must remain committed to faithfully serve and protect our students in this hostile climate. This will require a renewed sense of purpose, constant vigilance, and persistent courage.

Remember why we chose this profession to begin with. Surely it wasn’t for the exorbitant salary. Hopefully, it was largely a call to serve the next generation. And to remain faithful to that mission, it helps to be reminded of who our students truly are. 

Each of our students were created in the image of God on purpose, for a purpose, by a God who loves them so much He died for them. Therefore, preserving their dignity, safety, and well-being is essential as we humbly steward our role as their educators.

In today’s modern age, this means we must be more than just masters of curriculum and state standards. We must also be active defenders of truth, alert and willing to shield our students from the arrows of falsehood wherever they may arise. This involves alerting parents and those who can effect change of the dangers we are seeing behind our walls.

District and school officials will most likely come against us, but we must be willing to show our students what it looks like to stand for truth in the face of opposition. And when we do, others will be encouraged to stand alongside us.

In Florida, we are seeing this happen as more and more teachers, parents, and community members are joining the fight. Awareness and support have grown beyond Florida as national media has started to pay attention as well. The tide is turning, but we still have much work to do.

So, as we approach another school year, let us take a fresh and sober look at our high calling as educators. Let us cement our resolve to always seek the good of our students. And when faced with threats, let us decide each day that we would rather stand for truth at the risk of losing our jobs than bow to culture at the risk of losing our souls. 

The good of our students is at stake, so may we boldly press forward together. For we were called to teach in such a time as this. 

Matt Woodside
Matt Woodside is an educator, athletic director, and coach in Brevard County, Florida.

The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Chalkboard Review team.

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