WASHINGTON (TND) — A Washington D.C. private school with students as young as 18 months sent families pointers for discussing transgender pregnancies with their children, according to an email leaked on social media.
The email was sent following a transgender male teacher making a pregnancy announcement. Parents of children in the "Manatee Class" were told that teacher Tristan Powell, who was born female and now uses he/him pronouns, is pregnant after "a hopeful plan for at least a decade." Students have not yet been made aware, and Powell will teach through December or January.
The school says that when the class eventually has a discussion ahead of Powell's leave, they will explain the "reason" for his absence in "age-appropriate ways." However, they offer suggestions for how families can address this themselves at home.
The River School says that for kids "who may have associations with pregnancy and a certain gender," language previously used by Powell is helpful. Powell typically tells students, "some boys have bodies that can have babies, and I have the kind of body that can have a baby, isn't that cool?"
Suggestions also center around transgender identities. For older children who are confused, it is recommended to mirror Powell's language of "I am transgender, which means when I was born my grown-ups made a guess that I was a girl, but when I grew up I told everyone that I'm actually a boy." The email also emphasizes that younger children may be taught this as well if families would like to go further in-depth.
The email goes on to tell parents that if they are interested in further guidance on "discussing trans and gender identity, or explaining how pregnancy happens for curious kids," the River School will gladly share recommendations.
According to the school's website, Powell is a speech-language pathologist. It is not immediately clear which grades he oversees, however the website states that a speech-language pathologist co-teaches in every preschool classroom. The River School offers programs for children from 18 months to sixth grade.
The National Desk (TND) has reached out to the River School to confirm the legitimacy of this email and request a comment. Upon calling the front office and asking to be connected with a communications representative to discuss the email, TND was told the school "is not doing any of that right now," and was asked to leave a voicemail.
TND has left a voicemail and sent emails to the school, and this story will be updated if a response is received.