This Washington High School Is Instructing Teachers To Avoid Saying 'Biologically Male'

'"Biological boy" is a term anti-trans activists often use to disregard and discredit transgender girls,' says Seattle-area Lynnwood High School

A dean shows off a transgender bathroom in his high school (Mark Ralston/AFP via Getty Images)
September 20, 2022

A public high school in Washington State is instructing teachers to avoid the terms "biologically male" and "biologically female" in the classroom, according to internal documents obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

Ari Dodge Sheehan, the counseling secretary for the Seattle-area Lynnwood High School, in March sent an employee-wide email to promote "Transgender Visibility Day" and provide guidelines on how to work with transgender students. The message included a section on "terms to avoid" that listed "born a man," "born a woman," "biologically male," "biologically female," "biological boy," "biological girl," "genetically male," and "genetically female."

"Phrases like those above oversimplify a complex subject and are often used by anti-transgender activists to inaccurately imply that a trans person is not who they say they are," Sheehan wrote in the email, which was obtained through a public information request. "'Biological boy' is a term anti-trans activists often use to disregard and discredit transgender girls and deny them access to society as their authentic gender identity. … A person's biology does not determine a person's gender identity."

Facing parental backlash, public school districts around the country have privately pushed radical gender curricula and policies on students, according to a series of internal documents obtained by the Free Beacon. A Texas school district, for example, directed its teachers to take paid time off to take a course on "how to create supportive learning environments for LGBTQIA+" students as young as five years old. Nebraska secretly tapped a Planned Parenthood activist to help draft its sex education standards, which included lesson plans on transgender hormone therapy for children as young as 10 years old. The Maine Department of Education, meanwhile, cited George Floyd's death in internal communications to justify its Biden-funded sex education lesson that taught transgenderism to kindergartners.

Sheehan sent the email the same month the Biden administration declared that transgender hormone treatments are "lifesaving health care" for children and threatened to take legal action against states that ban access to these drugs for minors. A White House and Department of Health and Human Services statement in honor of "Transgender Day of Visibility" this year cited a study from the Trevor Project, which is funded by a hormone-drug manufacturer, the Free Beacon reported.

Harmony Weinberg, the communications manager for Lynnwood High School's Edmonds School District, said the school "prioritizes students by creating a sense of belonging."

"We want to stress that our students are the reason behind everything we do," Weinberg told the Free Beacon. She did not respond to a request for comment on whether the phrase ban is official district policy.

Sheehan's email also encouraged teachers to use students' preferred pronouns and names. To do otherwise, Sheehan claimed, would be a harmful tactic called "deadnaming." She claimed transgender students often feel safer in school than at home.

"Here in the Edmonds School District we support the students and allow them to change their name and pronouns to match their gender identity," Sheehan wrote. "Oftentimes school is the only place that trans students feel safe enough to be their authentic selves."

In other emails, the school district cited research from the Trevor Project, an organization that advocates for transgender hormone therapy for children.

This is not Edmonds School District's first controversy involving gender identity. First-graders in the district in March were allegedly given a worksheet that outlined how gender can be "girl," "boy," or "neither or both." The worksheet also included an activity for students to "create a snowperson that is an example of how you identify yourself."

Some Republican governors have pushed back against the White House's promotion of transgender identity among children. Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R., Va.) in September directed his state's schools to recognize transgender students only if their parents approve. Gov. Ron DeSantis's (R., Fla.) health department dismissed the White House's endorsement of hormone treatment for minors as "injecting political ideology into the health of our children." DeSantis also successfully pushed to ban lessons on gender identity in his state's public schools between kindergarten and third grade.