An elementary school in Charlottesville, Virginia, encouraged fourth graders to lead a pride month celebration of LGBTQ+ gender ideology during a schoolwide monthly meeting, video obtained by The Daily Signal shows.
Video exhibits a little girl at Johnson Elementary School speaking into a microphone and exclaiming to a crowd of gathered children, who are all sitting on the ground, that “LGBTQ+” stands for “lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer.” At one point, a man who seems to be Assistant Principal John Kronstain walks through the crowd of children and guides one away by the hand.
“Cool,” another girl says cheerfully. “Now, let’s have a book about pride month.”
Someone in the background of the video can be heard saying softly, “I’m shaking.”
“The Schilling Show,” a radio program hosted by Rob Schilling based in the Charlottesville area, also acquired a video of these events, which the National File first reported.
Beth Cheuk, supervisor of community relations at Charlottesville City Schools, told The Daily Signal that the children were reading a book about LGBTQ+ acceptance. She alleged the event was “student-led” and part of the school’s “monthly schoolwide morning meeting celebrating the end of the school year.”
“Each month,” she added, “grade-level teachers coordinate the morning program, sometimes working with their students. For the June meeting, fourth-grade students took the lead to coordinate the program.”
Children in fourth grade are generally 9 years old.
Charlottesville City Schools “fully supports the Johnson Elementary School leadership in providing time for these important experiences for students,” Cheuk said.
She also pointed out that parents had no clue this event would be happening: “We have not communicated with families every time we had a cultural observation as part of these morning meetings. However, we will do so moving forward.”
NEW: @DailySignal obtained a video from a Charlottesville elementary school’s "student led" celebration of Pride Month where fourth-graders tell the rest of the elementary school about LGBTQ acceptance. pic.twitter.com/hUQZfFfOal
— Mary Margaret Olohan (@MaryMargOlohan) June 13, 2023
Several little girls then begin to take turns reading the book “ABC Pride” that links each letter of the alphabet to gay pride issues as the elementary school children listen: “A is for acceptance, when you accept yourself and other people accept you for who you are.”
“B is for belonging, when you know you are in the right place, surrounded by things you love and people who make you feel good.”
The author of that book, Louie Stowell, has described herself as a “cis queer woman over 40” who is married to a woman and has asked on Twitter: “Even if kids’ books COULD make you gay, so what? That’s only a problem if you’re homophobic.”
As a cis queer woman over 40, the anti trans rhetoric is a rehash of that used against gay people in the past. Solidarity against dangerous BS. God, trans and NB friends, you must be so so tired. ❤❤ #CisWithTheT
— Louie Stowell (@Louiestowell) October 27, 2021
According to “The Schilling Show,” the book links the letter “T” to “trans,” saying, “Some people whose gender does not match what’s written on their birth certificate when they were born.” It also tells the children, “It’s okay not to know your gender and who you love or don’t love; your feelings might change, and that’s okay.”
The letter “O,” according to the book, is for “out,” which the children were told means “telling other people about your gender or who you love.” The letter “P” is for “pride,” meaning, “Being a confident LGBTQ+ person—happy with who you are.”
“‘L’ is for love,” the book tells the youngsters. “Love is a feeling you have for someone very special to you. You can love whoever you want, or no one, as not everyone falls in love.”
Multiple videos posted by Johnson Elementary School Principal Summerlyn Thompson show her introducing school children to “Pride Month hero of the day,” including Gilbert Baker, the maker of the gay pride flag; gay athlete Billie Jean King; and Harvey Milk, the first openly gay politician elected to office whose alleged relationship with a 16-year-old has prompted some to call him a pedophile (Milk was twice the boy’s age, according to the San Francisco Chronicle).
In October 2022, the school board issued a statement in support of transgender and nonbinary students following Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s efforts to maintain parental rights in schools, to keep parents in the loop about their children, specifically on transgender issues, and to protect girls’ spaces.
But Charlottesville City Schools slammed these efforts, suggesting they represented “fear, misunderstanding, and bullying.”
“One example of how the governor’s proposed new guidance fails to extend basic respect to transgender and nonbinary students is the simple courtesy of calling students by their chosen name,” the school board said. “Schools across the country already extend this practice to their students, whether the child uses a middle name, a variation of their first name, or a completely different name or nickname. Why, per this pending guidance, would we exempt our gender-expansive students from this basic decency?”
The board articulated that it always partners with families before stating: “One of the values that schools offer young people is another set of trusted adults.”
“Most of us can recall a time when we asked a caring teacher, clergy member, relative, or family friend for support, counsel, or a lifeline,” the board said. “Rejecting such connections for young people limits the very resources that have always been available to them. Mentoring relationships are at the heart of a successful school, and we want to nurture those relationships, not police them.”
“We are proud and privileged to stand alongside our transgender and nonbinary students. As in so many other situations, when we make changes that support one group of students, we make our schools better for all our students.”
Spokeswoman for Charlottesville City Schools tells me that they fully support Johnson Elementary School's "leadership in providing time for these important experiences for students."
— Mary Margaret Olohan (@MaryMargOlohan) June 13, 2023