Exclusive: Private Christian School Rejects Talk on Dangers of Fentanyl, Hosts Sessions on Race, Gender Identity

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A private Christian school in Dallas, Texas, rejected a sheriff’s office’s offer to give a presentation on the dangers of the fentanyl crisis at a conference that will instead discuss gender identity, toxic masculinity, and refugee resettlement.

Parish Episcopal School (PES), which is affiliated with the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), is set to hold its seventh annual Upper School Conference on Diversity and Inclusion called “Voice and Views.” 

The school, which recently suspended an elementary school teacher who was arrested on child porn charges, is hosting the conference on January 25th.

Parish Episcopal School Cancels Conversation on Fentanyl Crisis

The conference was originally set to include a presentation from Collin County Sheriff Jim Skinner on the deadly fentanyl crisis, which has plagued the border state. The presentation was, however, canceled. 

A representative from the Collin County Sheriff’s Office told Breitbart News that “The email canceling the presentation just stated that the school didn’t want Sheriff Skinner as a speaker because the topic would talk about the open border, and they felt it would be too controversial.” 

The Associated Press

A photojournalist takes pictures of the exhibits on “The Faces of Fentanyl” at DEA headquarters before a press event at DEA headquarters, Arlington, VA, in this file photo from Sept. 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe, File)

One report notes that in Texas, “Overdose deaths involving fentanyl … rose 399%, from 333 people dying in fiscal year 2019 to 1,662 in fiscal year 2021.”

Conference Set to Discuss Gender, Race, and Migration

The conference, however, is not even mildly averse to controversial topics. Instead of discussing the ongoing drug crisis that threatens Texans, the conference will discuss aspects of woke leftist ideology pertaining to gender, race, and migration. 

The first session listed on the conference schedule is titled “Affirming Gender Identity and Expression at School.” According to the description, the session “will serve as an introductory workshop to learn about identities related to sex, gender, gender identity, and gender expression” while also encouraging students to “examine the impact of stigma.” 

Those who attend the session on gender ideology will also “learn about how peers can be supportive and welcoming of gender diversity.” 

The training — led by the manager of diversity, equity, and inclusion for the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Mary Durbin Bandoh — will also “highlight the available resources and recommendations for best practices for being inclusive of gender identity and expression.”

Though the Christian school seeks to “affirm” certain gender identities, the conference also takes time to denigrate “toxic” masculinity. Titled “Healthy Masculinity” and led by PES staff member Courtney Joyner, this session will discuss “how media and peer groups enforce both healthy and toxic masculinity.

According to the description, the session also “looks at traditional stereotypes and expectations as well as the broadening of the definition in a move towards ‘healthy masculinity.’”

But how can men embrace healthy masculinity? By embracing “traditionally feminine qualities,” the session posits. The description reads, “Healthy masculinity could be as simple as asking for help but also, a willingness to embrace traditionally feminine qualities (nurturing, compassion, caring) in order to build healthy relationships.”

People hold up signs during a rally against "critical race theory" (CRT) being taught in schools at the Loudoun County Government center in Leesburg, Virginia on June 12, 2021. - "Are you ready to take back our schools?" Republican activist Patti Menders shouted at a rally opposing anti-racism teaching that critics like her say trains white children to see themselves as "oppressors." "Yes!", answered in unison the hundreds of demonstrators gathered this weekend near Washington to fight against "critical race theory," the latest battleground of America's ongoing culture wars. The term "critical race theory" defines a strand of thought that appeared in American law schools in the late 1970s and which looks at racism as a system, enabled by laws and institutions, rather than at the level of individual prejudices. But critics use it as a catch-all phrase that attacks teachers' efforts to confront dark episodes in American history, including slavery and segregation, as well as to tackle racist stereotypes. (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP) (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

People hold up signs during a rally against “critical race theory” (CRT) being taught in schools at the Loudoun County Government center in Leesburg, Virginia, on June 12, 2021. (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

But gender ideology and “toxic” masculinity are not the only topics that will be discussed at the conference. Students at the Christian school will also be taught critical race theory in a session called “Recognizing and Overcoming Biases, Microaggressions, and Stereotypes,” which will be led by Melanie Sheppard, a diversity consultant for Southwest Airlines.

The description reads, “Many biases come from our environment, upbringing, and lack of knowledge,” before going on to say, “If left unaddressed, they can lead to mental and even physical harm to self and others. This session will educate you on biases, stereotypes, and micro-aggressions.”

There’s also “A Philosophical Approach to Structural Racism,” which will be led by faculty member Dr. Brad Blue. The session description asks, “What is meant by the phrase ‘structural racism’?” and “Is structural racism real?”

“If so, what can/ought we to do about it?” the description also reads before saying, “Come and hear how philosophy can help us find clear answers to these questions.”

Meanwhile, one session focuses on refugee resettlement. Titled “A New Home: Refugee Resettlement in the U.S,” the session asks, “What is a refugee, and how are they different from other immigrants? What is life like for them when they come to the U.S.? How do refugees affect the U.S.?” 

The description goes on to say, “Learn about some of the most vulnerable people groups in the world, and how we can work together to support them.”

A History of Leftist Bias at Parish Episcopal School

The school previously held racially segregated “affinity groups” for students, including one for “white allies,” an investigation from The Federalist found.

The school held this same conference last year and included sessions on the alleged importance of LGBTQ pronouns. The seminar on “healthy masculinity,” which encourages boys to adopt “traditionally feminine qualities” was also part of last year’s conference. 

Thousands of people take part in a London Trans+ Pride march from the Wellington Arch to Soho on 9th July 2022 in London, UK. London Trans+ Pride is a grassroots protest event which is not affiliated with Pride in London and which focuses on creating a space for the London trans, non-binary, intersex and GNC community to come together to celebrate their identities and to fight for their rights. (photo by Mark Kerrison/In Pictures via Getty Images)

Thousands of people take part in a London Trans+ Pride march from the Wellington Arch to Soho on 9th July 2022, in London, UK. (photo by Mark Kerrison/In Pictures via Getty Images)

One teacher at PES has openly displayed not just an adherence to extreme leftist beliefs, but has also made vitriolic anti-white and anti-police statements.

Jania Hoover, who teaches social studies at the Christian school, blasted all white people as racist, remarking in a Facebook post that “Even well-meaning white people are complicit in racism and white supremacy.” 

In another Facebook post, Hoover wrote, “F-ck the police,” also writing, “If you believe the police are good because YOU know a good one, f-ck you too.”

Parish Episcopal School and the Extremism of the National Association of Independent Schools

The school is associated with the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), the largest accreditor of private schools in America. It has a history of pushing both critical race theory and “queer inclusive,” transgender ideology on young students, as Breitbart News has revealed.

Numerous investigations from Breitbart News have exposed and documented specific impacts of woke ideology at NAIS schools both in Texas and across the country.

River Oaks Baptist School, located in Houston, Texas, employed a diversity director who also worked at a crisis communications firm that specialized in dealing with “squeaky wheel” parents who felt “emboldened to speak their minds.” The school also had a “Hogan Fellow” program, which intends to “provide one year of classroom experience” specifically for “talented young educators of color.” It excludes white applicants, listing one of the qualification criteria as “self-identification as a person of color.”

Demonstrators who support banning inappropriate books gather during a protest outside of the Henry Ford Centennial Library in Dearborn, Michigan, on September 25, 2022. The protests emerged after Dearborn Public Schools temporarily restricted access to seven books following a parent’s complaint about their content. (Photo by JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP via Getty Images)

Project Veritas revealed that the NAIS-accredited Francis W. Parker School in Chicago had discussed “queer sex” with students and, even more shockingly, had given out sex toys to students. A Breitbart News investigation found that the school had received tens of thousands of dollars from a private foundation run by Jennifer Pritzker, a transgender billionaire and the cousin of Democrat Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

Perhaps most shockingly, the NAIS has also partnered with Gender Spectrum, an extreme organization that encourages child transgenderism and even partners with surgeons who perform sex changes on children. A conference held between the two groups discussed “effective ways to address the increasing gender diversity across the K-12 experience.”

A teacher at St. Matthew’s Parish School, an NAIS school located in California’s wealthy Pacific Palisades, wrote a letter calling whiteness “poison,” while also calling for the integration of “anti-racist teaching into all subjects at all grade levels” on the basis that it will give white students more “exposure” to “racially stressful encounters.”

Meanwhile, on the opposite coast, a former diversity director at Baltimore’s Maryvale Preparatory gave a talk in which she stated that “BIPOC [black, indigenous, and people of color] spaces are sacred” and argued that “It’s necessary for BIPOC students to have space away from white gaze.” She later resigned following the investigation from Breitbart News.

Notably, the National Association of Episcopal Schools received a grant from the Edward E. Ford Foundation in order to establish a network for diversity, inclusion, and equity (DIE) practitioners in Episcopal schools. 

A covert network of concerned parents called Undercover Mothers has formed to fight back against the indoctrination of students at the hands of NAIS. The organization describes indoctrination in the private school system as a form of “elite capture.” 

Following exposés by the Undercover Mothers, Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) pledged to investigate NAIS if the Republicans retake the majority in Congress. Banks specifically scrutinized the organization’s role in political advocacy given its 501(c)(3) status as a non-profit. 

Neither communications officials at PES nor the Vice President of Media for the NAIS Myra McGovern responded to a request for comment.

Spencer Lindquist is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SpencerLndqst and reach out at slindquist@breitbart.com.


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