Most parents are guilty of it. We all participate in “little white lies” that we tell children to preserve their youth and innocents. Parents go to great lengths to concoct stories of Santa Clause, or tooth fairies to explain things to young minds in a kid-friendly manner. We even make up fairy-tale references to storks and birds and bee’s when children ask more adult-related questions that they aren’t quite ready to grasp. But what about when it’s a teacher dishing out such fabricated thoughts? Well, that is exactly what happened when an elementary teacher, who is openly transgender, told children that doctors sometimes mistake babies and guess about gender at birth, and some are furious about it.
Ray Skyer is a transgender man that teaches first grade at Brooke Roslindale charter school in Boston, Massachusetts. A highly rated school in proficiency, the demographic make-up of the school is largely that of wealthier families, with a highly diverse roster of student enrollment. But despite having good stats, the school has come under fire in the last few days thanks to a viral video shared of Skyer speaking to 1st, 2nd, and Kindergarten graded students about doctors who guess about gender at birth.
The transgender teacher’s video was originally shared on his Facebook page, which has since been made private. But before this happened, the popular right-wing account that exposes what they call “left-wing lunacy” nabbed the video and shared the clip on all of its platforms. In the video, Skyer tells the young students that doctors sometimes guess about gender. He also tells them that sometimes that guess is incorrect. According to reports made by The Daily Wire, the teacher’s comments were made during a zoom call. Skyer was allegedly prompted by his assistant principal to share something he most like about himself using an “I am” statement. But instead of using something more practical like “I am happy,” or even “I am confident,” the teacher chose “I am transgender.”
While there is subjectively nothing wrong with Ray Skyer being transgender, his choice to not only use that as a talking point to kindergarteners but also to lead into a conversation about a doctor’s guess about gender has infuriated people. The video only stokes the flames of the culture war that has erupted. The left claims that transgender and LGBTQ students and teachers are being targeted, and the right claims that schools and teachers are indoctrinating gender identity and sexual preferences in young children.
As for the transgender teachers’ claims regarding the guess about gender, it’s hard to dissect what happened. In all honesty, it could have been a ploy to confuse young children about their own gender, but it also could have been a teacher caught up in something he needed to fast-track away from. While it is completely normal for doctors and OBGYNs to mistake gender during pregnancy, it’s unheard of for a doctor to misidentify the gender of a newborn baby.
The exposed video of Ray Skyer attempting to tell students about the guess about gender is just one of many similar clips exposing controversial discussions in elementary classrooms. It’s also the reason many legislators have pushed bill proposals further barring gender and sex discussion in classrooms. Florida may have been the catalyst for the initiative, but more and more states are now looking to pass similar legislation.