The decade's most triggering comedy
The federal government is funding gender activist nonprofits that push local school districts to the left on the issue — including in one case where members of an Illinois high school’s “Diversity Club” raised money to buy “chest binders” to help peers gender transition against their parent’s wishes, records show.
Waterloo High School teacher Maggie Partipilo, who served as an advisor to the club, emailed a journalist with a list of requests it was hoping to get publicity for. “Here are the texts from the kids: (some of them are great ideas),” she wrote on November 8, 2021.
The first request was to “maybe try to raise money for kids who want binders but cant [sic] ask their parents like, if their [sic] mot [sic] out or their parent [sic] are homophobic/ transphobic,” according to emails obtained by the school watchdog group Parents Defending Education under public records laws, and shared with The Daily Wire.
It wasn’t just an idle suggestion. Later that school year, in March 2022, Partipilo attended a “quarterly HS GSA Adviser Meetup” where she shared that “a few of her trans students aren’t able to get binders at home due to their parents and at a recent Diversity Club meeting a few other students pooled together money to buy binders for those trans students and now [she] isn’t quite sure what to do.”
Another attendee at the meetup worked as a “Youth Leadership and Organizing VISTA” at a group called the Public Health Institute of Metropolitan Chicago (PHIMC), and introduced Partipilo to the group for “helpful advice on this.” A “Policy and Advocacy VISTA” from PHIMC responded that the group was eager to help free of charge, though the records do not reflect any reply from Partipilo.
VISTA, better known as AmeriCorps, was created to allow the government to pay for young people to work for humanitarian nonprofits, but quickly morphed into a way for the federal government to subsidize political “community organizing” nonprofits agitating in different regions of the country.
In decades past, AmeriCorps/VISTA was tied to groups like the now-defunct and disgraced ACORN. But increasingly, adults paid by the federal program use nonprofits to enmesh themselves with schoolchildren, where they seek to radicalize them. Groups like PHIMC run cover for left-wing teachers by teaching them how to exploit loopholes, planning activism, and threatening school districts with legal action.
Because it is inappropriate for federal taxpayer dollars to be used to push partisan policies on local governments, President Donald Trump proposed eliminating AmeriCorpsVISTA, but his efforts were unsuccessful.
PHIMC says that it “manages a network of AmeriCorps Members.” It is currently seeking to hire more federally-funded employees as part of “AmeriCorps VISTA: Support LGBTQ+ Youth in Illinois,” according to its website.
“PHIMC’s Illinois Safe Schools Alliance program seeks a cohort of four VISTAs to support activities such as the Safe Schools Consortia Project, Action Camp, Midwest LGBTQ+ Network, youth leadership development, community outreach, and additional capacity-building activities across the state. The Alliance program promotes safety, support, and healthy development for LGBTQ+ youth in Illinois schools and communities, through advocacy, education, youth organizing, and research,” it says.
The email chain involving Waterloo said PHIMC stood ready to provide “support” on “Enforcement of Public Act 102-0340 (mandate to provide menstrual hygiene products in all bathrooms free of charge) 2. Binders for members of the Diversity Club 3. Concerns about Yik Yak.”
Erika Sanzi, Director of Outreach for Parents Defending Education, said “It is so beyond the pale for a school staff member to think it’s appropriate for a school sponsored club to purchase chest binders for students behind the backs of parents — it is a physical intervention that comes with well documented health risks to girls. There is simply no justification for such a violation of trust.”
In May 2023, Partipilo told her school district superiors that she did not believe that parents had a right to be aware that the school was helping their children transition genders, lobbying them to change a draft policy that would allow transgender students to use the opposite-sex bathrooms, but only with permission from their parents, according to another tranche of emails.
“I think it’s a great idea to have students work with a school social worker/counselor to develop a Gender Identity Plan,” but “as it is written, it creates more problems than it solves by requiring parent involvement,” she wrote.
“I wholeheartedly disagree that the ‘parental involvement’ in a student’s education, as referenced in [a parents’ rights policy], has anything to do with gender identity and bathroom facilities,” she wrote.
The week that bathroom policy passed, the superintendent said that normal students could use the nurse’s bathroom if they were uncomfortable using a bathroom alongside transgender students. When a large number of students opted to do so, he then said that “It was an effort to support those students’ comfort, but unfortunately, it resulted in a disruption,” and that the students who used the nurse’s bathroom could be disciplined for “harassment” for making transgenders feel bad.