America First Legal has filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, demanding records related to the CDC’s “self-assessment tool” urging teachers, administrators, school health staff, and others to advocate LGBT causes in school.
“It’s abhorrent that federal tax dollars are going to pay for a dangerous ideology that experiments on children and undermines the rights of parents, the vast majority of whom do not support this agenda,” Ian Prior, senior adviser at America First Legal, told The Daily Signal in a statement Friday.
America First Legal, a nonprofit founded by Stephen Miller, former senior adviser to President Donald Trump, filed the request for information under the Freedom of Information Act on Thursday. The CDC’s “self-assessment tool,” originally published in October 2020, gained new attention after the agency’s Division of Adolescent and School Health shared it on Twitter days after Christmas.
“School administrators: Our LGBTQ inclusivity self-assessment tool can help you quickly gauge inclusivity at your school,” the CDC’s Division of Adolescent and School Health posted on Twitter on Tuesday. “See your score today and learn ways to increase inclusivity.”
The document, called “LGBTQ Inclusivity in Schools: A Self-Assessment Tool,” appears on the CDC’s youth website in a section labeled “For Schools” and under the drop-down label “Tools for Supporting LGBTQ Youth.”
“Schools play a critical role in supporting the health and academic development of all youth, including the success of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) youth,” the CDC document states. “Creating and sustaining inclusive school environments, policies, programs, and practices that include LGBTQ youth is one strategy for improving the health and academic success of all youth.”
The document notes that it includes resources from nongovernmental organizations “focused on improving school inclusivity” and that the resources do not represent the CDC’s official opinion. The document further notes that the self-assessment tool is optional, not required, but touts it as “a focused, reasonable, and user-friendly approach to identify strategies to increase LGBTQ inclusivity in schools.”
The tool includes four assessments, one each for all users, administrators, educators, and school health services staff. The tool includes three scores: “Commit to Change,” “Beginning to Break Through,” and “Awesome Ally.”
The self-assessments encourage education leaders to adopt certain perspectives, such as “I cannot assume a student’s gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation,” and urge these educators to adopt “inclusive” terminology, such as “using individuals’ chosen names/pronouns” and rejecting terms like “boyfriend” and “girlfriend” for “neutral terms” such as “partner.”
The CDC document urges administrators to alter their school health policies and to open restrooms and changing rooms to members of the opposite sex who claim to identify as boys or girls. It also encourages administrators to let teachers “develop LGBTQ inclusive curricula” and to support teachers attending LGBTQ training.
The document encourages educators and school health staff to put up “visual labels” to demonstrate support for LGBT causes, and to “describe anatomy and physiology separate from gender (e.g., ‘a body with a penis’ and ‘a body with a vagina’).”
Although the CDC document insists the “self-assessment” is voluntary and doesn’t represent an endorsement of LGBT activist groups, it encourages teachers, administrators, and health staff to endorse LGBT activist symbols, consult with LGBT activist organizations, and change school policies as LGBT activists advocate.
The document lists resources from LGBT activist groups such as GLAAD, the Human Rights Campaign, and PFLAG, along with the controversial “Gender Unicorn” graphic presenting biological sex as inherently different from gender identity.
The CDC “self-assessment tool” also cites Teaching Tolerance, a project of the left-leaning Southern Poverty Law Center that since has rebranded itself as Learning for Justice.
According to critics, the SPLC brands mainstream conservative and Christian organizations “hate groups,” putting them on a map with chapters of the Ku Klux Klan. In 2012, a man used the SPLC “hate map” to target the Family Research Council in a terrorist attack. He pleaded guilty to and was convicted of terrorism.
As I note in my book “Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center,” the SPLC fired its co-founder and saw its president resign amid a racial discrimination and sexual harassment scandal in 2019. During that scandal, a former SPLC staffer admitted that the organization’s accusations of “hate” are a “cynical fundraising scam” aimed at “bilking Northern liberals.”
The SPLC long has championed LGBT causes, even for young children.
America First Legal claims in a press release that the CDC document shows “the CDC has strayed far from its stated mission of protecting Americans from ‘health, safety, and security threats,’ and is instead focused on indoctrinating children and educators.”
“America First Legal is determined to uncover whether the CDC consulted with any of the outside groups that it referenced in the document so the American people can know exactly who is pulling the strings behind closed doors,” the organization states.
America First Legal’s Freedom of Information Act request seeks all records or communications between CDC employees and employees of the leftist groups in question, including the SPLC, the Human Rights Campaign, GLAAD, PFLAG, and Trans Student Educational Resources.
“America’s public schools have been captured by special interests that are turning them away from their core mission of teaching academics, and towards a new mission of social indoctrination that interferes with parents’ fundamental constitutional right to direct the upbringing of their children,” Prior, America First’s senior adviser, said. “The federal government is only further encouraging and incentivizing this unconstitutional abrogation of rights and America First Legal will not stop until these bad actors are held accountable, from the Biden administration down to local school boards and administrations.”
The CDC did not respond to The Daily Signal’s repeated requests for comment on its document.
Reporting from The Daily Signal.