In a shocking report, Abigail Shrier, the author of the best-selling book “Irreversible Damage,” revealed that at a late October meeting at a conference of California’s largest teacher’s union, the California Teachers Association (CTA), documents show teachers were encouraged to recruit students into LGBT clubs, urging them to “have the courage to create a safe environment that fosters bravery to explore sexual orientation.” One teacher reportedly chortled, “We’re going to do just a little mind-trick on our sixth graders.”
Additionally, Shier wrote, “Speakers went so far as to tout their surveillance of students’ Google searches, internet activity, and hallway conversations in order to target sixth graders for personal invitations to LGBTQ clubs, while actively concealing these clubs’ membership rolls from participants’ parents.”
A Buena Vista Middle School teacher and LGBTQ club leader, Lori Caldeira, was heard on tape saying, “Because we are not official—we have no club rosters, we keep no records. In fact, sometimes we don’t really want to keep records because if parents get upset that their kids are coming? We’re like, ‘Yeah, I don’t know. Maybe they came?’ You know, we would never want a kid to get in trouble for attending if their parents are upset.”
Another middle school teacher, Kelly Baraki, joined with Caldeira to lead a workshop titled: “How we run a ‘GSA’ in Conservative Communities.” GSAs are “Genders & Sexualities Alliance” clubs run by high school students. Baraki admitted naming a club “the Equity Club,” later, “You be You,” rather than the more obvious “GSA.”
Caldeira was recorded saying, “We have LGBTQ kids who come to us, and they come and spend a year with us and they get all the love and the affirmation that they need. And we give them tools to be powerful and brave and bold …” She added that the kids “go hang with their friends at lunch. And they do their things. And we love them for that, but we miss them when they don’t join us. So we saw our membership numbers start to decline.”
Baraki added, “So we started to brainstorm at the end of the 2020 school year, what are we going to do? We got to see some kids in-person at the end of last year, not many but a few. So we started to try and identify kids. When we were doing our virtual learning – we totally stalked what they were doing on Google, when they weren’t doing school work. One of them was googling ‘Trans Day of Visibility.’ And we’re like, ‘Check.’ We’re going to invite that kid when we get back on campus. Whenever they follow the Google Doodle links or whatever, right, we make note of those kids and the things that they bring up with each other in chats or email or whatever … we use our observations of kids in the classroom—conversations that we hear—to personally invite students. Because that’s really the way we kinda get the bodies in the door. Right? They need sort of a little bit of an invitation.”
Caldeira reportedly stated:
I’m the teacher who runs our morning announcements. That’s another type of strategy I can give you. I’m the one who controls the messaging. Everybody says, “Oh, Ms. Caldeira, you’re so sweet, you volunteered to do that.” Of course I’m so sweet that I volunteered to do that. Because then I control the information that goes home.
“For those paying attention, the educators who guide California teachers in the creation of middle school LGBTQ clubs asserted the following: they struggle to maintain student participation in the clubs; many parents oppose the clubs; teachers surveil students electronically to ferret out students who might be interested, after which the identified student is recruited to the club via a personal invitation,” Shrier notes.
Baraki informed the teachers how she hoped to “mitigate” parents’ objections, “Next year, we’re going to do just a little mind-trick on our sixth graders. They were last to go through this presentation and the gender stuff was the last thing we talked about. So next year, they’ll be going first with this presentation and the gender stuff will be the first thing they are about. Hopefully to mitigate, you know, these kind of responses, right?” Baraki can be heard telling the teacher audience. Parents who oppose this material being taught to their sixth graders will find that their objections arrive too late.”
Shrier spoke to one conference attendee who said Baraki mocked a parent who had claimed the school’s presentation had forced her to discuss sexual orientation and gender identity with her middle-school child. Baraki reportedly sneered, “I know, so sad, right? Sorry for you, you had to do something hard! Honestly, your twelve-year-old probably knew all that, right?”