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On this page we share stories and testimonies of events and occurrences at local independent schools. These stories are from our own members or others who gave us permission to share. We share information that was witnessed first-hand or confirmed by school officials after reports from students/parents. 

If you have a story, written or audio/video recorded, we would love to share it here. You and your child/children will remain anonymous unless you want this information disclosed. Our goal is to inform the community about happenings in private schools.

CCIS Gender Literacy Worskhop


In May of 2023, Julie Mencher, MSW, was invited by the Cleveland Council of Independent Schools to give a workshop to parents and teachers of the member schools. Teachers attended a private seminar with Ms. Mencher preceding a separate workshop for interested parents. We do not know what the teachers were told or how they will apply this information to teaching our sons and daughters.


Several parents who attended this event captured photographs and reported that Ms. Mencher provided very little if any research evidence for her information and recommendations to parents to allow their children to be "gender explorers" and try on every gender. The presentation was not balanced and taught as if a binary approach to gender was not a consideration. We responded by forming this organization. 

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Notable Occurrences​

  • Parents with a child in a 2nd-grade class at a private K-8 school report that their child was taught about gender fluidity by the teacher when a socially transitioning classmate began to attend.

  • In some local single-sex private schools, high school students are asked to announce their pronouns and preferred names in class or by survey.

  • Parents and students report teachers wearing their pronouns on buttons and sending email messages to students and parents that include their pronouns in the email signatures.

  • Several teachers at an all-girls school appear to avoid gender terminology when referencing students to parents, e.g. your student instead of your daughter or son.

  • The Catholic Diocese of Cleveland recently published a new policy around the issues of gender expression in schools under its order.

Julie Mencher "Gender Literacy" Workshop Slides and Quotes:

  • "Each Child is on a gender journey of some sort."

  • The Genderbread Person: GenderIdentiy Spectrum (mind) between woman and man; 

  • GenderExpression Spectrum (body) between feminine and masculine; Biological Sex spectrum (genitals) between Female and Male; Sexual Orientation spectrum (emotions) between Heterosexual and Homosexual

  • The Trans Umbrella: Binary, Transsexual, Cross-genderidentifying,Transgender boy (AFAB), Transgender girl (AMAB); NonBinary: Gender-queer, Gender-free, Gender-neutral, Gender-fluid, Non-binary, Agender, Pangender"

  • Gender Conforming Children: "Apples"

  • Gender Non-Conforming Children: "Oranges"; GNC in expression, but not in identity; Gender-trangressive in play choices, dress, appearance, movements or choice of playmates; Used to be called "sissies" or "tomboys"; Core gender identity still aligns with natal sex; No body dysphoria; Many 'oranges' will become lesbian gay, bisexual or queer because their gender nonconformity may be an avenue to exploring a non-heterosexual sexual orientation. 

  • Non-Binary Youth symbolized by FRUIT SALADS: "Gender weavers who make a tapestry of self that is neither male nor female but is their own creative understanding of gender" (Ehrensaft); ot binary in their thinking about gender; Less body dysphoria and angst than apples but more than oranges; "Genderqueer" has become a catchall identity for fruit salad teens and young adults; Increasingly common among teens and young adults; "probably will become more common among younger and younger kids."

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