A preschool teacher in California said the idea of “childhood innocence” was a “myth” and demanded “queerness” to be taught to toddlers in the classroom.
The California teacher, William “Willy” Villalpando, works at Trapp Preschool.
“There is a common mythology that children live in this world of pure innocence and that introducing or exposing them to the real-world adults is somehow shattering this illusion for them. Therefore, there is a banning of topics and issues that children should not be exposed to, as if they are not experiencing them already,” he said.
Villalpando describes himself as at developing a child’s gender identity, according to his website, which has now been scrubbed, Fox News reported.
He stated on his website:
“While I absolutely love working with young children, my passions really lie in teaching others why we do the things we do and advocating on behalf of young children and their families. My research and interest areas are in gender development in young children and the impact that early educators have on that development.”
Villalpando answered whether speaking to preschool children about gender and sexuality is inappropriate.
“Absolutely not,” Villalpando said, defending the topics.
“Infants begin making gendered association by the time they are 10 MONTHS OLD! By the time they are 3, most children can label what gender they believe they identify with, and by 4, they can tell you what that gender means for what they can or cannot do.”
He also claimed 3-year-olds can be discriminating agents in society.
“With race, when a child is 3 months old, they begin to visually discriminate based on race, favoring those that are the same race as their caregivers. Children as young as 2 begin to use race to reason about people’s behaviors,” he claimed.
“Children experience gender and race every day. They need (and deserve) [to see] themselves to feel seen, and them to see others not like them.”
The teacher also said on his Instagram, “I’m tired of the ‘Childhood Innocence’ argument… Stop blaming a phenomenon that doesn’t exist.”
He also attacked the idea that children shouldn’t be exposed to “sexuality,” arguing “such a view is a very white, Christian, upper-class, cis-gendered, and hetero-centric.”
“Not talking about Queerness in the Classroom is NOT Letting Children be Children. It’s Telling Those People They Do Not Deserve to Exist,” he said in September 2021. “Kids are never too young.”
“Let’s work to deconstruct some of our own biases. (Adults incorrectly link discussions on sexuality and gender as equating to discussions about sex.)” the early childhood educator said.
In a November 2022 podcast of “Rainbow Parenting,” he also said, “We have so many people who tell us that this is inappropriate stuff we can’t talk about. And so I’m like, hey, no, we can talk about this.”
He then said it was up to teachers to foster classroom environments that “may make others uncomfortable.”
“Children who are exposed to environments with more fluid understandings of gender are more likely to understand that gender is fluid.”
The preschool teacher also said educators should talk to toddlers about “queerness” even if parents have avoided the topic.
“Parents haven’t already had conversations about these things with their kids, that kids don’t know, that they might be intersex, that they might be agender… non-binary. And really, children have a right to see themselves in our classrooms. It’s not okay to just forget about them or push them out just because it might make us uncomfortable or may make others uncomfortable.”
Villalpando claims “talking to children about gender” includes telling them that it is a “social construct.”
“This goes alongside teaching children to ask others for their pronouns. Trust me when I say children get this so much faster than adults give them credit for. Let kids practice with you,” he said.
“[C] children are exploring and understanding gendered association before they say their first words,” he said. “Around 3 to 4 months old, infants [sic] show a sex and gender preference in who they look at.”
“At 3 years old, a child can label their perceived gender identity,” he added. “By 4 years old, children have a stable sense of their gender identity and have assumptions and beliefs of what they can and cannot do based on their gender (i.e. dolls are for girls, cars are for boys).”