FUSD reviewing feedback after presentation involving 'Genderbread'

Posted: Updated:
Part of the presentation given to one seventh-grade class at Mount Elden Middle School involved Genderbread, a graphic meant to teach gender identification, expression and sexual attraction. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Part of the presentation given to one seventh-grade class at Mount Elden Middle School involved Genderbread, a graphic meant to teach gender identification, expression and sexual attraction. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Radio talk show host Jeff Oravits said the Genderbread graphic shouldn't be taught in schools. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Radio talk show host Jeff Oravits said the Genderbread graphic shouldn't be taught in schools. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
FUSD spokeswoman Karin Eberhard explains the governing board did not approve the specific lesson but approved the overall anti-bullying effort. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) FUSD spokeswoman Karin Eberhard explains the governing board did not approve the specific lesson but approved the overall anti-bullying effort. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
FLAGSTAFF, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Flagstaff Unified School District says it will review feedback before again offering an anti-bullying presentation that includes a lesson on “gender socialization.” 

Part of the presentation given to one seventh-grade class at Mount Elden Middle School involved Genderbread, a graphic meant to teach gender identification, expression and sexual attraction.

Only students who provided signed permission slips were allowed to see the presentation. 

“They should have, first of all, defined it very clearly,” says FUSD parent and radio talk show host Jeff Oravits with 97.1 FM. “Second of all, should this be taught at schools? No, definitely not at that grade level.”

Oravits does not have a child who sat through the anti-bullying lesson, but he says he became aware of it after another parent came to him.   

“I sign permission slips and you’re looking for certain things,” says Oravits. “Gender socialization, when I saw that, what does that mean?”

FUSD says the material was provided by the nonprofit advocacy organization Northland Family Help Center in Flagstaff. The center was closed Monday.

“It was a piece of a very large and very important conversation,” says FUSD spokeswoman Karin Eberhard. “The big picture of this is for students to feel safe and secure and maybe for a little bell to go in their head that if they see someone that’s a little different than they are, that that’s OK.”

Eberhard says Genderbread was a small piece of a comprehensive anti-bullying message. She says the lesson promoted kindness and taught kids how to look out for one another. 

Eberhard explains the governing board did not approve the specific lesson but approved the overall anti-bullying effort. The Mount Elden principal approved the lesson.

“I think it’s surprising and I think FUSD should have done a better job of really pointing out what was being taught,” says Oravits. He also admits parents should read permission slips more thoroughly and ask questions.

Eberhard says FUSD can handle parent concerns if they reach out to the district.

“If you have a complaint about something, there is a process to go through,” says Eberhard.

Click/tap here to download the free azfamily mobile app.

Copyright 2018 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.