WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) — Washington, D.C. Public Schools (DCPS) is surveying students as young as age 11 about their “sexual identity” and “transgender” status, using a questionnaire from a firm owned by the U.S. Attorney General’s son-in-law.
An email to parents on Oct. 25 shared by the Daily Caller explains that DCPS will be surveying students during class about their “social-emotional learning” environment, and that parents can opt their children out of the survey.
“As in previous years, the survey asks students in grades 6-12 about their gender and sexual identity,” the email to parents reads. “These questions help the district promote equitable treatment for all students in accordance with our Transgender and Gender-Nonconforming Policy Guidance.”
The referenced 2015 guidance, issued by former DCPS chancellor Kaya Henderson, advises that ”students have the right to be addressed by the name and pronoun that correspond to the student’s gender identity,” and declares that DCPS standards for health education “support the importance of … sexual orientation.”
One multiple-choice question from the survey in question asks students, “Which of these best describes your sexual identity?” and another asks students whether they are “transgender.”
The survey is provided by the consulting firm Panorama Education, which DCPS has partnered with to issue surveys to students, teachers, and families since 2018.
A Panorama Education spokesperson told the Daily Caller, “Decisions about survey content, how surveys are administered, and other ways of engaging with Panorama are made by schools and districts. Local school districts know best which of our tools, offerings, and survey questions are right for their communities.”
Panorama Education is owned and operated by Xan Tanner, the son-in-law of Attorney General Merrick Garland, who has gained notoriety in recent years for the “weaponization” of the Department of Justice (DOJ) against peaceful pro-lifers as well as parents who have objected to policies and curricula at school boards meetings.
The group is also financially backed by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.
Panorama materials have been criticized for being “suffused” with critical race theory (CRT), according to the Heritage Foundation — that is, with an “ideology that looks at the world and personal identity through the lens of race, oppression and ‘privilege,’” according to Asra Q. Nomani, the vice president of investigations for Parents Defending Education.
One Panorama SEL survey question asks students, “At your school, how often are you encouraged to think more deeply about race-related topics?” Another asks, “How fairly do adults at your school treat people from different races, ethnicities, or cultures?”
In light of his targeting of parents who objected to radical gender ideology as well as CRT at school board meetings, Garland has been accused by Nomani of having a “serious conflict of interest” due to his connection to Panorama’s Tanner.