One of the documents enclosed in the materials used by Madison Public Schools in the 2019-2020 school year is an Action Planner for Black Lives Matter at schools week. On Wednesday, the theme is “Queer Affirming, Transgender Affirming, and Collective Value.” 


This information was obtained through an open records request by my office which was prompted by a constituent inquiry. The materials have been produced by several organizations, and are distributed by the National Education Association (NEA).


Impossible to miss among the teaching materials is the provided artwork, which you can view below. Prominently featured in each of the posters is the raised fist. This symbol, which has been used for decades is often associated with worker solidarity or black power. The juxtaposition of this symbol with gender and sexuality is a blatant attempt to unite political factions.


This past summer, the raised fist was used in protests across America.  In one infamous scene, dozens of “peaceful protesters” surrounded a female restaurant patron and demanded she raise her fist in solidarity.[1]


The first poster features Malcolm Shanks, a self-described “Black, queer, anti-colonial gender-bender, socialist, etc.”  You can see a Twitter post of his below.  Among his works are “Decolonizing Gender: a curriculum,”[2] coauthored with Khari Jackson.  Shanks believes “gender binary” is just an “instrument of colonialism for 500” years, rather than a function of having XY or XX chromosomes as you may have been taught in your biology class.


The second poster features Ky Peterson.  Peterson, a young Black transgender man, was tragically knocked unconscious and sexually assaulted.  Waking up, Peterson shot and killed his attacker in self-defense. Believing he would be mistreated by the police, Peterson apparently moved his attacker’s body to prevent law enforcement from discovering his involvement.  He was later convicted of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to 20 years in prison.[3]


The final poster is a series of raised fists, and labeled “Collective Value.”


Discussions of this topic are very personal, and should most often be taking place with a parent, relative, trusted guardian or pediatrician, a therapist, or a religious counselor guiding the conversation. 


Parents, who should be teaching your child about gender and sexuality? Are your pupils going to get a scientific view, or a political viewpoint?  What does gender and sexuality have to do with racism? And will studying these things improve student educational outcomes in measured areas?


More importantly, parents are you aware of this curriculum being taught to your children?


To read previous discussions of this curriculum, please visit

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