Ohio Middle School Scrubs Fifth Grade Gender Identity Lesson After Exposé

A middle school in Copley, Ohio, has eliminated a fifth-grade gender identity lesson from its health curriculum following exposure of the lesson at Libs of TikTok, a report Tuesday revealed.

At the outset of a letter sent to parents that were printed on the letterhead of Akron Children’s Hospital, Rachel O’Donnell, a fifth-grade health teacher at Copley-Fairlawn Middle School, wrote the program would “cover the physical and emotional changes that can be expected during puberty” and would be taught in a way that was “age-appropriate, scientifically accurate, and non-judgmental.”

Nevertheless, as the letter unfolded, O’Donnell also wrote the lesson would involve meeting the “Health Education Standards” that require describing “internal and external reproductive body parts using medically accurate terms in a gender-neutral way (e.g., some people have a penis and some people have a vagina).”

Additionally, students would be expected to learn “the difference between sex assigned at birth and gender identity and expression.”

Libs of TikTok noted as well:

The Copley-Fairlawn City Schools contracts with Akron Children’s School Hospital. Akron Children’s School Health Services provides school nurses and medical assistants to all schools in the district. This is the same hospital system that Libs of TikTok previously exposed for having a ‘Gender Affirming Center’ which offers puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones to kids as young as seven years old. Now this hospital is working with schools to inject gender ideology into the curriculum.

A concerned parent reported the letter about the puberty program to Libs of TikTok, who explained she subsequently contacted the school for comment and received a response from Superintendent Brian Poe, who indicated he had a meeting with O’Donnell and Aaron Walker, the school principal, and had sent out an updated letter to parents.

Walker then sent an email to parents stating the original letter sent by O’Donnell “did not meet Ohio’s standards and confirmed that the school would not be teaching about gender identity,” the report noted.

“Earlier this week, a letter went home that contained health curriculum standards that are not part of Ohio standards,” Walker wrote. “Specifically, a reference to ‘gender identity and expression’ caused confusion. To be clear, we do not teach about gender identity and expression. However, we are here to support all our students. If any of our students have questions about gender identity and expression we have a team of school counselors who are always available to meet with our students and parents.”

“Superintendent Poe reassured us that the school will not teach fifth graders about gender identity, gender expression, or that sex is ‘assigned’ at birth,” Libs of TikTok reported.

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Susan Berry, PhD, is national education editor at The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]




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