Gender Diversity Counseling Lessons - Elementary 

What does Gender Diversity Mean?

We all have a gender identity and we each understand and express our gender differently. Gender diversity is an umbrella term that encompasses all understandings and expressions of gender, from male and female, to non-binary gender, gender fluid, or transgender. For some people, the idea that gender is binary does not fit the authentic representation of who they are. For others, stereotypic expressions of gender may not fit with how they feel about themselves and their identity. Gender diversity recognizes that there are many ways to authentically express your true gender, and gender does not limit us in what can achieve, become, or dream. 

In OPUSD, we affirm and support the rights of all individuals, including those on the gender spectrum, and educate students about diverse gender expressions every day. Research shows that students who feel supported at school have lower rates of mental health concerns, suicidality, or at-risk behaviors and that education and the modeling of acceptance by supportive adults decrease bullying and harassment. These areas of concern occur at a much higher rate for gender-expansive students. A recent report by the Human Rights Campaign found that 50% of students report being teased or bullied for either a real or perceived difference in gender or sexual identity and 28% of LGBTQ students report being threatened with physical violence at school. We know that inclusion and acceptance of diversity increases a positive school climate and decreases bullying for all students, not just those who may be targeted by harassment. Our OPUSD gender diversity lessons aim to create a safe and supportive school climate for all.

How long will the lessons be?

Each grade level lesson is roughly 30-45 minutes long and will be delivered by the school counselor once a year per class. 

How were the lessons developed and reviewed?

OPUSD’s gender diversity lessons are based on developmental norms and delivered by the counseling staff as part of the existing Character Counts lesson continuum and in support of our Anti-Bullying initiatives. These lessons draw upon lessons from organizations such as Learning for Justice, Welcoming Schools, and Rainbow Umbrella. The full lesson plan has been reviewed by our district counselors, Safe Kids Task Force, Curriculum Council, District Leadership, and approved by the OPUSD School Board at the April 23, 2019 meeting.

Are teachers still allowed to talk about boys and girls?

Of course! Awareness of the gender spectrum does not, in any way, negate that there are boys and girls. The gender spectrum celebrates boys, girls, and all gender expressions.

Will you be talking to my child about sex or intimate relationships?

No. Gender identity is separate and distinct from sexual identity. For more information, click here.

Why Parents Cannot Opt-Out of the K-5 Gender Diversity Program?

Gender Diversity Lessons:

Kindergarten Lesson

First Grade Lesson

Second Grade Lesson

Third Grade Lesson

Fourth Grade Lesson

Fifth Grade Lesson

For specific information on the lesson for your student, click on the grade level link above. We will also be sending this information home prior to the lesson taking place in your student’s classroom. Parents will be informed of the lesson schedule for their class through Parent Square as well as the specific content of their student's lesson.

If you have specific questions, do not hesitate to reach out to your school principal, counselor, or Mr. Brad Benioff, Director of Student Support and School Safety at