LGBT activists have quite a tag-team going between pollsters and the media. First, the pollsters present a dishonest survey of public support for LGBT curricula in the schools, and then their allies in the media give Americans the impression that most favor such instruction.
Two such polls recently teed it up for the media to distort the truth even further. Both are being used to discredit the Parental Rights in Education bill signed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis: it disallows classroom instruction of sexual orientation and gender identity for grades kindergarten through the third, and it insists on parental rights.
“A Majority of Parents Are Okay with Teaching on Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation in Schools, a New Poll Finds.” That was the headline of a Yahoo news story about a National Parents Union poll. The headline is deceptive. So is the news story. The headline reads, “Majorities of Parents Support Classroom Instruction about Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation.”
When asked whether classroom instruction about these matters should be allowed in middle school and high school, 31% said it should be allowed but not encouraged, 25% said it should not be allowed, 7% were unsure. When asked if such instruction should be encouraged, just 37% agreed, meaning that the majority were opposed to encouraging such classroom instruction. But one would never know this from reading the story. Keep in mind that the DeSantis bill addresses kindergarten-3rd grade.
When respondents were asked about such classroom instruction in elementary school (the question never mentioned the early grades), only 30% said it should be encouraged. Similar numbers were posted about having students read books about LGBT people.
The results of a Morning Consult poll, taken for an LGBT organization, The Trevor Project, merited a positive story in The Hill, an influential Washington media source. It said the survey showed that a majority of Americans “do not support banning books on LGBTQ+ topics from school libraries or discussions about LGBTQ+ issues from classrooms.”
It should be noted that the DeSantis bill says nothing about classroom discussions—it only addresses classroom instruction. No young student in Florida will be punished for discussing anything.
Also, the DeSantis bill deals exclusively with kindergarten-3rd grade. This poll asks respondents how they feel about LGBT instruction and library books “at school” and “in school libraries.” It is not specific to the early grades.
One of the “Key Findings” cited in the survey is the following: “Most adults, including parents, feel that ages 5 through 11 are the most appropriate ages for students to be learning about LGBTQ topics at school (our italic).”
That is a gross distortion of the truth. In fact, 57% of adults, and 58% of parents, said that the most appropriate age would be 12-18. The authors of the poll came to its conclusion because 38% said the most appropriate age was 5-11. Just because that was the highest number given the age levels that respondents were asked to choose from (0-4, 5-11, 12-14, 15-17, 18), that doesn’t mean that most adults and parents agreed that 5-11 was the most appropriate age. A plurality is not a majority.
A majority, 55%, said parents should have “the ultimate say” about whether their transgender child receives gender-affirming medical care.
The average American has no idea what kinds of things are being taught in LGBT curricula and what kinds of books are being made available to students.