Exclusive — Ian Prior: Inside a Wisconsin School District's Gender Ideology Training

Wisconsin’s Eau Claire Area School District (ECASD) has implemented radical gender ideology training and policy that puts the onus on students to find alternatives if they are uncomfortable with students of the opposite sex using their restrooms.

After explaining that students are allowed to choose whichever restroom and locker room they wish, “based on the gender identity expressed by the student,” the ECASD Administrative Guidance for Gender Identity Support says that if a student is uncomfortable sharing these facilities with students of the opposite sex, it is their responsibility to seek an alternative.

“Any student who is uncomfortable using a shared restroom or locker room regardless of the reason, shall upon request, be provided with an alternative,” it says. “However, staff should not require a transgender or gender nonconforming student /employee to use a separate, nonintegrated space unless requested by the individual student.”

Like many school districts across the country with policy oriented toward gender ideology, ECASD actively hides critical mental health information from a student’s parents, requiring consent from the student to inform the parents about health developments.

“Some transgender, non-binary, and/or gender-nonconforming students are not ‘open’ at home for reasons that may include safety concerns or lack of acceptance,” the guidance says. “School personnel should speak with the student first before discussing a student’s gender nonconformity or transgender status with the student’s parent/guardian.”

To Ian Prior, America First Legal (AFL) senior adviser, policies like this pose a significant threat to parental rights as they relate to being able to raise and care for their own children, outside the purview of government schools.

“I think what we have here is a school that is on intent on pushing gender theory and gender ideology on its students, and then, once it’s done that, preventing parents from being part of discussion as it relates to those which, quite frankly, the law is very clear that parents have a liberty interest, pursuant to the First and Fourteenth Amendments, to be the primary caregivers,” Prior told Breitbart News. “But there really is exemplified here in Eau Claire is a school district that is trampling over those rights, which could result in some very damaging consequences, not just for the family, but especially for the child whose parents aren’t allowed to be part of those discussions.”

ECASD has paid for staff training on gender ideology as well, some of which is aimed at creating an activist class on behalf of the ideology.

“Genderbread Person” chart provided to ECASD staff. (ECASD / Obtained by America First Legal).

In one training session provided to Breitbart News called “Safe Space,” the lesson condemns “performative allyship” — like posting to Twitter or going to a gay pride parade — arguing rather that “when the serious stuff happens, we need people out there like in the streets protesting or writing to senators. If you’re not there then you’re not really an ally to us.”

Going further along these lines, being an “ally” is also not enough to be considered in the good graces of the movement. A portion of the training says:

Black women are starting to use the phrase accomplice. You could call yourself an ally and pat yourself on the back and probably feel really good about yourself. Or you could hop in the car next to me and decide to break some rules; decide to go around go in and say you know what? You go to jail. I’m going to jail. That is what it means to be an accomplice.

Some staff are appalled by what they have been subjected to in their training sessions.

In an email provided to Breitbart News, a teacher expressed concerns regarding the equity trainings, telling Eau Claire, “I have been sharing a lot of these things with parents and they are beyond shocked.”

“When one person yesterday slightly spoke about the fact that this isn’t ‘their truth,’ more than one person had an extremely condescending response to it,” the letter stated. “How are we supposed to provide a “safe space” for our students, when the adults in the building can’t even be open to the fact that other people don’t feel the exact same way they do? What about diversity of opinion?”

“The only truth that people want to hear at these trainings is anything that goes along with what is being shared,” it continued.

In addition, one of the materials provided in Eau Claire is a “Heterosexual Privilege Checklist,” that lists out scenarios to prove that heterosexual people have privilege in American society.

Some examples include the following:

  • “I can be pretty sure that my roommates, classmates, and colleagues will be comfortable with my sexual orientation.”
  • “I did not grow up with games that attack my sexual orientation (i.e., fag tag or smear the queer).”
  • “I can go home from most meetings, classes, and conversations without feeling excluded, fearful, attacked, isolated, outnumbered, unheard, held at a distance, stereotyped or feared because of my sexual orientation.”
  • “My sexual orientation was never associated with a closet.”
  • “I can choose to not think politically about my sexual orientation.”

“Privilege” slide from “Identity, Privilege, and Systems of Oppression” training. (ECASD / Obtained by America First Legal).

The ideology does not just affect teachers, Prior explained, but can do irreversible damage to children as well.

“When you look at the whole course of conduct from the school districts really bringing these issues of gender theory and gender ideology to young children’s attention, it essentially is indoctrinating them in this idea that biological sex is somehow fluid, and they can make determinations on gender themselves,” he said. “For young children, five years old, six years old, even up to, you know, their young teenage years, this is not something that they’re necessarily equipped to be hearing about in these vulnerable and growing years.”

“It creates the real risk that they are going to buy into this and start questioning their own biology,” he continued, saying that the questioning can lead to more radical medical decisions. “Once you get to the point where they questioned it, and they’re going to teachers, instead of parents, and those teachers are hiding it from parents, you create a very real possibility that they’re going to go down a dangerous path of puberty blockers, testosterone, other physical changes that result in mental changes as well, that can quite frankly, be either irreversible, or not reversible without, you know, significant therapy and surgery.”

“If those those issues are not handled, they could have long term mental and physical health problems for the rest of their lives, including … mental health issues that lead to potential suicide attempts or suicide, all of which is going on under the parents very noses, without them being able to step in and exercise their role as the primary caregiver of a child and the individuals most responsible for the mental, emotional and physical well being of their child,” Prior said.

Much of the push to inject gender ideology into classrooms comes from a Marxist conception of children in society, one that places the state above the parent, which is taught to many education administrators in college — part of something Prior calls the “education industrial complex.”

“Intersectionality Definition” slide from “Identity, Privilege, and Systems of Oppression” training. (ECASD / Obtained by America First Legal).

“This is something that has really been put into the ether through higher ed[ucation], and it’s actually laid out quite clearly by [Karl] Marx where he talks about that a child is able to be free from their mother’s care … that child belongs with the state,” Prior told Breitbart News. “So these are concepts that have been in existence for well over 100 years and work their way into higher education, where you have your school administrators and your teachers going to get their certificates, their degrees, and their certifications to come in and teach our children.”

“Not every teacher is on board with this,” he continued. “There are many teachers that they’re extremely uncomfortable with this, that view this as almost a hostile work environment, to be adapted through these teacher trainings, that quite frankly, conflict with either their religious, ethical, or common sense belief of what science and biology is.”

“What is Oppression?” slide from “Identity, Privilege, and Systems of Oppression” training. (ECASD / Obtained by America First Legal).

In order to combat this from seeping further into schools, and reverse the current trend, Prior says it will take both a strong grassroots effort among parents, students, school staff, and others coupled with an effective litigation strategy.

“It’s going to take a major effort from people across the country, whether it’s parents, students, teachers, administrators, school board members that want to be on the right side of this issue to step forward and stand up to this very dangerous ideology that threatens the future of our children, but also threatens to interfere with the very family relationships that are necessary for the success of both the child and the family going forward,” he said.

“You’re not going to be able to rely on the federal government under this administration to enforce the constitutional rights of parents,” Prior explained. “So it’s important that parents be able to do it themselves.”

AFL provides a “toolkit for parents” on how to navigate the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA) — a 1974 law that allows parents access to curriculums and opt out of activities that receive federal funding. ”

“We would encourage parents to take advantage of the PPRA as well as FOIA to really expose what is going on in in these schools so that parents everywhere can, one, understand what’s happening, but to also have a roadmap to find out what’s what’s going on in their very own school districts,” Prior said.

After gathering information, one of the only ways to force real change in a school district, Prior contends, is through litigation.

“Privileged/Oppressed Identities” slide from “Identity, Privilege, and Systems of Oppression” training. (ECASD / Obtained by America First Legal).

One of AFL’s missions is to “enforc[e] parents’ constitutional rights, children’s constitutional rights, through the courts,” he explained, calling that a “founding principle.”

“Ultimately, if you want to make change, that change is going to have to come through the court system by enforcing the constitutional rights that have allowed parents to be that primary caregiver to their children for well over 200 years,” he said.

To Prior, those constitutional rights are directly threatened by the push for gender ideology, especially starting at such a young, impressionable age.

“What you see with this gender ideology is really an erasure of classical liberal ideals of objectivism throughout our society and the very foundations of the Enlightenment, which is giving rise to the American system,” he said. “The more you are able to blur the lines and create a situation where people are operating based on quote, ‘lived experiences’ as opposed to objective reality, you are, in fact, breaking down the foundations of liberalism, the American experiment, and you’re seeing it, not just in schools, you’re seeing it, obviously, in athletics.”

“For years, people have been trying to grow women’s sports, at the high school level, at the college level, even at the professional level, and now all of a sudden, that’s no longer a goal of the left,” he continued, referencing the women’s NCAA swimming national championships wherein Lia Thomas, a biological male who identifies as a woman, was allowed to compete against women to eventually come in first place in an event. “They’re now erasing the very ability of women and girls to compete on an objective and fair playing field, as we saw with the swimming national championships.”

“We are going up against the educational industrial complex, so you have administrators, teachers, unions, school board members that are all committed to this ideology with, you know, at the high end, over $2 billion budget, and the ability to keep things from parents,” Prior told Breitbart News. “What has to happen is that parents need to mobilize, they need to get the word out, they need to find the evidence to pay for, as I said, FOIA, the PPRA to share that with each other, they need to protest what is going on at their schools, and they need to really raise awareness through through the media and non-traditional media, traditional media, whichever way possible.”

Breccan F. Thies is a reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @BreccanFThies.

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