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Gender identity video linked to North Carolina daycares sparks criticism

(The Center Square) – A viral video clip from a documentary shown to North Carolina daycare owners to teach gender identity to young students is generating harsh criticism online.

Washington Free Beacon social media director Jordan Chamberlain on Tuesday posted a clip from the documentary “Reflecting on Anti-bias Education in Action: The Early Years” that’s promoted by the North Carolina Association for the Education of Young Children.

“This was shown to daycare owners in NC. A teacher used a doll to teach gender identity to 4-5 year olds,” Chamberlain tweeted. “When a child brings up ‘non-binary,’ the teachers say it’s ‘a huge testament to how much we’ve been talking about it in the classroom’ & ‘it’s constantly in conversation.’”

Chamberlain says the video “was shown at a training given by NC Association for the Education of Young Children.”

The clip shows teacher Maddie Piper speaking with several young children while using a doll to steer the conversation to gender identity, as well as Piper’s views on how the conversation went in a discussion with colleagues.

“And the friend likes to ask the question, Are you a boy or are you a girl?” Piper told the students. “And Nash answers, I’m just a kid.”

“But kids can be boys or girls,” one child responded.

“Or maybe non-binary,” another said.

Reflecting later, one of Piper’s colleagues observed, “I think it was a huge testament to how much we’ve been talking about it in the classroom that you never mention the term non-binary, it was a child that brought that up because it’s constantly in conversation.”

The NCAEYC did not respond to a message from The Center Square.

A link to the full 48-minute film is posted to the NCAEYC website under its “Equity” tab as a resource for educators. The NCAEYC page links to an Anti-Bias Leaders ECE webpage with a description of the documentary, a guidebook in English and Spanish, and other materials.

“The film, Reflecting on Anti-bias Education in Action: The Early Years, produced by Debbie LeeKeenan and John Nimmo, features vignettes of anti-bias strategies in early childhood classrooms interspersed with teachers reflecting on their practice,” the description reads. “Debbie and John partnered with filmmaker Filiz Efe McKinney of Brave Sprout Productions to create a film that shifts the focus away from the talking heads of experts and on to the voices of teachers committed to equity on a daily basis.”

It goes on, “By taking viewers into diverse early childhood classrooms, the film seeks to demonstrate the importance of teacher reflection on identity, context, and practice in anti-bias education and provides a much-needed resource for teacher education and professional development.”

The film, which has won several awards, was produced with a grant from the Tyler Rigg Foundation and support from Portland State University. A 24-page guidebook for educators suggests “using the specific vignettes in the film as tools for in-service and pre-service professional development” and offers recommended ways to do that.

The reaction to Chamberlain’s Twitter post has been significant, with more than 4.3 million views and 3,500 comments in less than a day, virtually all of which have been critical.

“How about all the teachers that want to teach this start their own schools and all the parents that want to buy into it can send their kids there,” Ginger Ninja wrote.

“Everyone needs to see this strong argument for home schooling,” Jacques Alejandro wrote. “’I can’t afford it’ is not an acceptable response. Your kid is slowly going to morph into someone you don’t recognize. There are other families you can work with, resources available. Don’t abandon your kids to this.”

“And they wonder why parents are clamoring for vouchers so they can send their kids to schools with a sane curriculum,” Cognitive Dissident added.

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