A California middle school teacher is under fire for giving students a handout about gender identity and sexual attraction.
Second-year instructor Luis Davila Alvarado, who teaches science at Denair Middle School near Modesto, says he gave students the “getting to know each other” exercise so they “could understand why he uses [the title] ‘Mx.’ rather than ‘Mr.'”
According to The Modesto Bee, Denair Unified School District Superintendent Terry Metzger said the sheet was not an assignment, and students were not required to complete it.
Denair school stops science teacher who was handing out ‘Gender Unicorn’ graphichttps://t.co/6F2gNpyQ0E
— Deke Farrow (@DekeFarrow) August 8, 2019
“The Gender Unicorn” graphic comes from Trans Student Educational Resources.
Alvarado allegedly did not have permission to distribute the handout, Metzger said. Denair Principal Amanda Silva “happened to be” in Alvarado’s class at the time, saw the handout, and subsequently ordered Alvarado to cease distribution.
Asked if what the teacher did violated district policy, the superintendent said that as required by law, gender identity is among the topics discussed in the seventh- through 12th-grade sexual health and HIV/AIDS prevention instruction curriculum. But such instruction occurs during health classes, not science classes, Metzger said.
“The principal and I have spoken with the teacher about why we believe this was a poor decision,” she said. “Any discipline is a private matter between the district and employee.”
The Bee sent an email to Alvarado’s school account seeking comment, but got no response.
Parents were not notified by the district about the handout, and “only a handful of parents have called to express their concern,” Metzger said Thursday afternoon.
On Facebook, the stepson of one of Alvarado’s students posted Wednesday night, “The teacher said that because he was transgender and the kids had lots of questions, he thought this would be beneficial to them. Which is the most bulls— excuse I’ve ever heard.”
Another parent complained that Alvarado “has no business” teaching or discussing sexual attraction with middle schoolers.