A school district in Minnesota held a “Gender Resource Fair” for elementary-school-aged children knowing that it would face intense backlash, documents obtained by parental rights organization Parents Defending Education and reviewed by Townhall reveal.
In March, Minneapolis Public Schools announced that it would host the fair at Loring Elementary School on April 13, which included a Drag Story Hour for kids, PDE reported. The Minneapolis Federation of Teachers 59 promoted the event on Twitter, calling it a “very cool event” for “families and their gender-creative kids[.]”
A flier promoting the event said that the speaker was Dr. Angela Kade Goepferd, a medical director of the Children’s Minnesota Gender Health Program. According to Children’s Minnesota’s website, Goepferd “is seen as a leader in the LGBT community,” especially for children who believe they are transgender.
Minneapolis Public Schools (@MPS_News) is holding a “gender resource fair” for students.— Libs of TikTok (@libsoftiktok) March 27, 2023
Activities include a speech from the director of the gender program at Children’s Minnesota Hospital and a drag story hour for kids. pic.twitter.com/XOUr6OP5MM
LATEST FROM MINNESOTA: Minneapolis Public Schools will hold a “Gender Resource Fair” that will include a “Drag Story Hour” at a local elementary school next month. A pediatrician from Children’s Minnesota will be speaking at the event in support of https://t.co/xOwb7oY1pO…— Parents Defending Education (@DefendingEd) March 27, 2023
PDE submitted a public records request to the school district seeking emails and documents from the event's planning process. The organization received over 300 pages of emails. An organization of the event from the district’s Office of Equity and School Climate explained that the event was for “elementary kids/families.”
“So the resource fair will be things that we have to offer in mpls [sic] and what option they have as far as “timelines’ for their [transgender/gender non-conforming/non-binary] kiddo. I’m hoping to get an individual to guess [sic] speak who is doing this work on the medical level and what they can give some insight into that,” the organizer wrote in the email obtained by PDE. ”The main reason for the event is to get information to families who are navigating our schools with information about what that school will look like for they [sic] child, what schools have all-gender bathrooms (and able to use)[.]”
According to PDE, this organizer emailed several LGBTQ+ organizations to invite them to the event. And, in an email dated March 16, an “equity program specialist” for the district who uses “they/them” pronouns said that drag queen story readings were not publicly announced over the negative attention it would garner.
“I didn’t list ‘drag readings’ because I’m sensitive to that becoming a distraction, and it’s not really the main point of the event. What do you think?” the specialist wrote in an email.
In an email on March 20, the school’s “Equity and School Climate Coordinator” said that “I wanted to just fill you in that a posting about the Gender Resource Fair in April has gone out in the Teacher’s bulletin (per the communication plan), and the email address that we listed — mostly so we don’t put a particular name in front of the potential backlash we’ve seen around gender and young people — is email@example.com.”
On March 27, Goepferd, the speaker, brought up the “Libs of TikTok” Twitter account, known for exposing schools, companies, etc., that are pushing woke gender ideology onto children.
“I am sure you are both aware of the Libs of Tik Tok post as I know that MPS schools has been blowing up on social media and likely getting calls about it. Let me know what you are thinking with the event. I am less concerned for my personal safety and more concerned about large groups of protestors showing up and traumatizing kids. The folks who showed up at the Capitol last week for the Trans Refuge bill were atrocious,” Goepferd wrote.
The event was initially planned at Loring Elementary School but was later moved to the Davis Education Center. A “Gender Resource Fair Communications Plan” obtained by PDE pointed out that the school district does not “have strong/unified response yet regarding potential backlash” and that it does not know if it should post on social media because it “opens a forum up for everyone.”
“A school district has no business hosting a gender resource fair targeted at elementary-aged students,” Erika Sanzi, PDE’s director of outreach, told Townhall.
“School officials in Minneapolis actively sought out a guest speaker with a specialty in the medicalization of children and deliberately downplayed the drag readings to avoid public backlash. It's harrowing that they expressed worry about children being traumatized by potential protestors while ignoring the trauma that comes when children are led down a gender path of drugs and surgery. This event should have not taken place,” she added.