Local ISD Drops Transgender Course for Music Teachers

Musical instruments: xylophone, violin, tambourine, flute, harmonica, piano keyboard. | Image by koi88/Shutterstock

Fort Worth ISD said it is no longer spending taxpayer dollars on providing training courses for music teachers on how to instruct transgender students.

Last year, the district offered a course titled “Blurring the Binary: Teaching Transgender Students in the Music Classroom,” which cost $500 per teacher. At least 20 music teachers in the district received the training. However, Cesar Padilla, a Fort Worth ISD communications coordinator, said the course has been discontinued.

“Fort Worth ISD offered an elective professional development course titled ‘Blurring the Binary’ for music teachers,” Padilla told the Texas Scorecard. “This course provided information on various music education topics, including vocal health, singing pedagogy, and considerations for transgender students in areas like uniforms.”

“The intention was to equip educators with the knowledge needed for an inclusive music classroom environment,” Padilla continued. “The course will not be offered during this 2023-24 school year.”

As previously reported by The Dallas Express, some parental rights activist organizations claim such classes and training amount to ideological programming. Dallas ISD’s LGBTQ Youth department and its various services, for instance, recently drew scrutiny from such a group.

“It is clear that the leadership of DISD is not concerned with the enrichment of the students with whom they are entrusted. We are constantly learning of new ways they seek to confuse and indoctrinate children,” claimed Brady Gray, president of Texas Family Project, speaking with the Texas Scorecard.

Still, some studies have suggested that “gender-affirming care” can positively impact transgender-identifying youths.

“Research demonstrates that gender-affirming care — a medical and psychosocial health care designed to affirm individuals’ gender identities — greatly improves the mental health and overall well-being of gender diverse, transgender, and nonbinary children and adolescents,” reads a writeup published by Columbia University’s Department of Psychiatry.

The now-defunct music teacher training course at Fort Worth ISD used to instruct educators on “how best to instruct a transgender student in their music classroom,” according to the program’s website. The course was started by a transgender music teacher who goes by the name Melanie Stapleton. Stapleton is currently raising money for sex alteration surgery.

Stapleton wrote on the course website that the inspiration for its content came from frustrations she had as an adolescent who had to sing in a lower voice once hitting puberty.

“As any middle school or junior high educator can attest, strange things happen around this particular portion of adolescence,” Stapleton wrote. “Hormone levels start to fluctuate, voices start to change, body odors start to develop a specific funk, and student behavior and verbiage become inherently unpredictable. I did not escape this particular trend in the seventh grade.”

Teachers who take the course are instructed to use students’ preferred pronouns and allow them to dress as they see fit. The course also provides information on how transgender hormone usage affects children’s voices.

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