inside sources print logo
Get up to date Delaware Valley news in your inbox

Lower Merion Trans Teacher’s Video ‘Lesson Plan’ Sparks Parent Concerns

A Lower Merion middle school special education teacher’s video presentation regarding his transgender experience appears to be a presentation for children and is in the form of a lesson plan. Now that the video has gone public, thanks to the social media site “Libs of TikTok,” concerned parents are asking questions and demanding transparency.

The school district, however, is not cooperating.

The video shows Ben Beaman of Welsh Valley Middle School telling his students about his process of transitioning from female to male to non-binary. The slides explain that Ms. Beaman now goes by Mx. Beaman and that, “I was born in the wrong body. Even though I was born a girl, I feel more like a boy on the inside but fully feel like either.”

After parents approached No Left Turn in Education for help, Nicole Smith filed a right-to-know (RTK) request to see the lesson plans used by the teacher.  The district denied her request, but it was approved by the state Office of Open Records in Harrisburg. The district then sued to overturn that ruling.

While the video shows slides explaining the transition process to students, the district claimed they were not lesson plans. Assistant Superintendent Alexis McGloin testified Wednesday before Common Pleas Court Senior Judge Joseph A. Smythe, Jr. that the teacher’s class has no lesson plans.

McGloin told the judge there are no lesson plans for Beaman’s Welsh Valley Middle School four-student special education class because the teacher does not follow the district’s curriculum. Instead, each student has an individual education plan (IEP), and the teacher uses that to create progress reports.

“These are highly individualized for that child,” said McGloin.

“You’re saying you have no lesson plans?” asked Smythe.

“That’s a student record,” said district lawyer Justin O’Donoghue with Wisler Pearstine.

O’Donoghue said not only does the teacher not have lesson plans, but the open records request also violates the Family Rights and Privacy Act. And the district contends the RTK request was not specific enough.

Smith did not present an argument to the court or call witnesses.

“They’re going to great lengths to keep things out to the public’s eye,” she told DVJournal after the hearing. “And if they don’t think they’re doing anything wrong, I don’t know what the big deal is with releasing the lesson plans.”

Smith said the parents who contacted No Left Turn in Education, which was founded by Lower Merion resident Elana Fishbein, were afraid to file their own RTKs because the district might retaliate against their children.

They have “a real fear of retaliation,” Smith said.

From Ben Beaman’s video presentation on gender transitioning

Smythe did not rule but instead took the case under advisement.

Beaman did not respond to a request for comment.

Fishbein said her organization “has been filing FOIA (RTK in Pennsylvania) with school districts all over the country, many of them in Pennsylvania. We have been exposing a lot about the instruction, rule policy, and decision-making that results in student indoctrination or the teaching of inappropriate subject matter to school children.”

In the Lower Merion case, Beaman “was actively sharing her transitions journey to a male and then non-binary with her special education class, a personal matter of hers that should not have been a topic of conversation in a classroom, particularly among vulnerable children. We submitted our request seeking to find out what exactly she has been sharing and teaching her students.”

“Of course, LMSD has fought us tooth and nail, first claiming that the teacher creates almost 80 lesson plans a week and 3,000 a year, and thus the request was too burdensome and vague. They also claim the usual, that some of her material was copyrighted. The Pennsylvania RTK court ruled that they should share the lesson plans with us, and they filed a lawsuit to reverse that ruling.

“The Lower Merion community should be informed about the wide leeway that the local schools are permitting teachers in regard to the ‘instruction’ (or in many cases, indoctrination) they are divulging to their charges,” Fishbein said.

West Chester Elementary School Trains Kindergarten Teachers in Gender Curriculum

A ‘woke’ curriculum complete with transgenderism, Critical Race Theory, and an emphasis on drag queen performances rather than reading, writing, and arithmetic has permeated some Delaware Valley public school districts.

It has also become a hot-button issue in the governor’s race.

“Schools should be teaching children how to think, not what to think,” said state Sen. Doug Mastriano, the Republican running for governor. “Sadly, classrooms across Pennsylvania have turned into indoctrination facilities that are pushing radicalism on young kids.

“As governor, I will place an immediate ban on Critical Race and Gender Theory Studies in Pennsylvania schools on my first day in office. Unlike my opponent — who has been endorsed by groups who support irreversible medical transitioning of kids — I will protect young girls by ensuring that biological males are not allowed to use girls’ locker rooms. As your governor, I will put an end to the era of radical indoctrination of children once and for all,” Mastriano said.

Democrat gubernatorial candidate Josh Shapiro declined to comment for this article.

Part of the gender awareness curriculum

However, as attorney general, he signed an amicus brief in support of “transgender rights” to allow biological boys to use girls’ restrooms and locker rooms in Virginia. He also opposed a Pennsylvania bill, vetoed by Gov. Tom Wolf (D), which would have prevented biological males from competing in girls’ sports.

And while Mastriano opposes obscene books in school libraries, Shapiro said, “I don’t want the politicians in Harrisburg telling my kids what books they’re allowed to read.”

But even as education becomes a cudgel in Pennsylvania politics, another program for kids as young as 5 years old has come to light.

Documents released through a right-to-know request and first reported by the Daily Caller show teachers at Fern Hill Elementary in the West Chester Area School District went to a training session about how to talk to children as young as kindergarteners about being transgender.

The materials also include a warning to keep children’s gender secret if they prefer: “Also, remember student privacy—it can jeopardize a student’s safety and well-being if they are outed by their peers or non-affirming adults.”

Some of the bullet points in the presentation were: “Moving beyond boys and girls, explaining what gay means, using picture books to challenge gender limits,” and “responding to concerned parents.”

Other topics included “gender inclusive classrooms” and “tackling bullying.”

The discussion included several books for kindergarten and up, including “Jacob’s New Dress,” and discussed with the children what pronouns the character Jacob uses.

The training includes, “Let your students know that there are lots of different ways that children can dress. There are lots of ways to be a boy or a girl or both or neither. Also, “home and school can be different. Here at school, students can wear whatever makes them happy.”

Another book, “Red: A Crayon’s Story,” talks about a crayon labeled “red” but is blue.

According to the materials, the teachers were also taught to use children’s preferred pronouns and teach children to use preferred pronouns.

Yael Levin, a spokesperson for No Left Turn in Education, a nonprofit that opposes student indoctrination, called the curriculum “disturbing.”

“Elementary schools serve children ages 5 -11. Elementary education should consist of reading, writing, arithmetic, science, history, and as much play time as possible. Children in that age range do not need to learn about sexuality and gender identity or expression. We should not be having these discussions at all as a society with children. If parents want to discuss these topics with their children, then they can do that. Generally, children in that age range are not even thinking of life and their friends in those terms.

“Why are we bringing such topics to the forefront of elementary school education? Especially considering how behind our children are due to the unnecessary COVID school shutdowns. We must get back to basics. Parents in West Chester and across Pennsylvania and the nation must demand that their public schools focus on academics. We have to be competitive in this global market. The USA is now ranked 30th in math out of 79 countries, while our spending per student is among the highest in the world and increases every year,” she said.

“It’s time for parents to demand a top-notch education for their children. On top of the poor performance and the learning loss, this particular training (and we have seen this in other trainings as well) mentions evaluating students based on their use of the term gender expression and their understanding of the meaning of the word,” said Levin. “It also references assessing students on their behavior around gender expression – if they are behaving like allies or not. This is reminiscent of a social credit system such as is used in China. This is not compatible with a constitutional republic.”

However, the school district defended the teacher training.

“The West Chester Area School District is continuously looking to improve our ability to provide supportive, welcoming environments for our students and families,” said Molly Schwemler, manager of district communication. “The training at Fern Hill Elementary School focused on developing staff awareness and understanding of gender-based information. The training was not focused on sharing the many elements of transgenderism with students, rather it shared additional ways that our staff can create an environment where all students can achieve their best and where all families feel welcome, valued, and respected.”

Please follow DVJournal on social media: Twitter@DVJournal or



New Website For Parents to See Ratings, Excerpts From Explicit School Library Books

Parents around the country are concerned about explicitly sexual books in their children’s schools.

A website developed by a Utah mother lists a number of those books with excerpts and also rates the content of books from 0 to 5, with 5 being the most explicit. A teacher living in the West Chester Area School District, who is also concerned about the books children are being exposed to in their school libraries, identified books and began an offshoot website for WCASD books.

“For the past several months, I have been part of a team that has been doing a deep dive into the obscene books in the West Chester school district’s libraries,” said the teacher, who asked that their name not be used out of fear of potential retribution. “This has culminated with the creation of a website that contains all of the obscene titles, along with excerpts from the books. This will serve as a one-stop resource for parents, residents, political leaders, and anyone else with an interest in protecting our children.”

The books that many parents find objectionable are not just books related to LGBTQ topics, but also graphic discussions of heterosexual sex.

Image from “Gender Queer”

“There’s a lot of straight content that’s just as explicit,” the teacher said. “Or violent. Or includes drugs. It’s all explicit. It’s got obscenity in it.”

“The sole purpose (of these books) is to corrupt,” the teacher said. “They are downright sexual and have cartoons. They’re pushing an agenda.”

“We tried to have ‘Gender Queer’ removed” and were not successful, the teacher said.  However, the West Chester Area School Board “decided to keep that book.”

A spokeswoman for the district did not respond to a request for comment.

Website creator Brooke Stephens, a mother of four living near Salt Lake City, said she discovered the problematic books when she was given a copy of  “All Boys Aren’t Blue.” It is a memoir by George M. Johnson about his experiences growing up LGBTQ and his first experiences with sex.

Stephens decided to take action. She has spent hours reading the books and creating her website.

Ironically, she and her family moved to Utah from California because they wanted to live in a more conservative area, but she found the public schools have the same books on their shelves.

“There’s a problem with very sexualized content,” she said. When she asked the Davis School Board to remove the book, it refused. Thatwas when she decided to create the website.

Stephens blames the American Library Association for the graphic books turning up in school libraries nationwide. It cites the First Amendment to promote these books with school district librarians, but fails to take into account whether they are age-appropriate, Stephens said.

The Library Association did not respond to a request for comment.

Stephens sometimes shows people the content so they believe her and they tell her, “’I wish you’d never shown me this. It is so graphic.’ You can’t unsee it,” she said.

There is “truly obscenity, truly vulgarity that is harmful to minors,” she said.

Stephens is working to review school library books with other parents in Utah Parents United and No Left Turn In Education, which was begun by Lower Merion parent Elana Fishbein.

Stephens said while she wants educational content to be inclusive, she does not think it needs to be so graphic. For example, the books in category 5 include discussions of bestiality and necrophilia.

“Who doesn’t want to be inclusive?” Stephens asked.

She urges parents to be aware of what their children are reading.

“There are probably thousands of parents out there that have no idea that these books are in the school libraries,” the local teacher said. “And unless they come to the school board meetings, or have social media contact with people who do know, they’re not going to find out. So this was an easy way to provide a one-stop resource.”

Parents should take a look at the website and see the books their children could be reading that are in the school libraries, the teacher said.

“If you don’t like what you see, you need to start speaking up or you need to make sure your kids don’t read them,” the teacher added.


Please follow DVJournal on social media: Twitter@DVJournal or