A Maryland teacher said intentionally concealing students' gender changes, "especially from parents," was part of "explicit" district policy and provided "good laughs," Fox News Digital found.
Lane Cogdill works at Silver Spring International Middle School in the Montgomery County Public Schools District, according to its website. The teacher uses "ze/zir," "they/them" and "he/him" pronouns.
The teacher said that all their statements concerning a Fox News Digital article, in which Cogdill discussed sharing multiple nonbinary identities with students during their first encounters as well as concealing gender changes, were part of district policy.
Fox News Digital reached out to the district, inquiring whether the statements about teachers disclosing gender identity in first encounters with kids as well as hiding students' transitions were part of policy but did not immediately receive a response.
"Not a soul at my district or my school had brought it up because as it turns out… everything I said aligns exactly with explicit district policy," the teacher said. "It's almost like as a transgender person myself and an educator who is highly qualified in my field I know what I'm talking about. So I had some good laughs with friends and colleagues about it, and I carried on with my terrifying, clear agenda of teaching middle school every day."
Cogdill said that when students question their gender, the teacher will ask them for their name and pronouns and would help hide it from school administrators and parents upon request.
"I always ask a trans or questioning student as soon as I find out what is the name you prefer? What pronouns do you prefer? Who else knows? And how would you like me to refer to you when I speak to your family, to the administrators, to other teachers, in front of other students? Some students ask me not to disclose their identity, and that's a promise I always honor," Cogdill added.
The teacher added, "I can't imagine breaking a single trans or non-binary student's trust by sharing details about their gender identity with anyone… especially their parents, their counselors and their administrators."
As a first step, transgender children may adopt new names and pronouns that they feel matches their gender identity as part of a process called "social transition." Other aspects of the process may include changing their clothing and getting haircuts to match a preferred gender expression.
"I've seen a lot of trans and non-binary students gain confidence after confiding in me and after having a trusted adult affirm and support them," the teacher said.
Cogdill explained that for the past seven years when meeting new students during the beginning of the year "I introduce and explain my identity."
Cogdill's identity is complicated as it comprises multiple non-binary identities.
"I identify as non-binary, meaning I don't identify as a man or a woman. I identify with the terms genderfluid and genderqueer because I'm somewhat masculine and somewhat feminine," the teacher said.
"The pronouns they mostly affirm me are ze/zir or they/them or he/him. My title is Mx. Cogdill – Mx. – rather than Ms. or Mr. And I ask my students… to use Mx. instead of ma'am or sir. I changed my name to Lane because it's gender-neutral. I also go by Theo, which is affirming because my masculinity is not always recognized by other people."
Cogdill proceeded to explain additional information about a non-binary identity.
"I want to share a little more about some non-binary identities, including some of my own… [Non-binary] basically means someone who isn't a man and isn't a woman… Some people identify as genderfluid, meaning their gender… fluidly changes between masculine and feminine and agender or other identities. Agender means the person doesn't identify as or with gender at all, just like off the gender planet entirely," the teacher said. "There's also genderqueer, which is kind of the one that best fits me, which means I'm just not a man and just not a woman. But my gender is… definitely queer."
Teachers around the country have boasted including gender theory in their classroom libraries and curriculum.
Skye Tooley, a teacher at Saturn Street Elementary, located in the Los Angeles Unified School District, discussed on TikTok using a "gender-fluid" stuffed animal to teach children on pronouns and being non-binary. Gender fluidity refers to change over time in a person's gender expression or gender identity, or both.
"This is a llama unicorn... I thought it was so cute to let my kids name the llama unicorn. It was a mistake. So this little llama is gender-fluid; we will be practicing pronouns with this little llama," Tooley said.
"[Children] are very much ready for these topics, and are way more accepting than adults when it comes to... gender, gender assumptions, pronouns, all the things. And it is child-development appropriate and age appropriate," the teacher said.
Tooley provided another example of a stuffed animal that had they/them pronouns.
"I started talking [to students] about Norbert the Narwhal … who uses they/them pronouns, and we practice making mistakes with their pronouns as well as correcting them."
Another teacher in the Sacramento City Unified District, Danita McCray, recommended using a "gender unicorn" with toddlers to introduce gender theory.