Republicans Erupt Over New Medical Curriculum

Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

A controversy has erupted in Arizona, as the University of Arizona’s nursing school’s lesson plan slides about discussing gender identity with young patients became widely shared online.

“Being taught that gender is a mere sentiment, rather than a biological reality determined at birth, is deeply disturbing,” said GOP state Sen. Janae Shamp, as reported in a recent press release.

She went on to express her disapproval, commenting that this type of teaching attempts to mislead children, and was upset that upcoming nurses might not be able to provide care that aligns with traditional ethical norms.

One of the discussed slides, which was highlighted on the platform X by a conservative account named Libs of TikTok, provided guidelines on how to discuss gender feelings with children aged 3 to 13.

The post on Libs of TikTok became highly popular, gaining over 2.2 million views, with thousands of comments and reposts.

Another GOP state representative, Sen. Ken Bennett, expressed his concern about the lesson plan. He emphasized the need to stop such content, which he viewed as exploiting children. “I await a response from [UArizona] President Robbins to make sure such teachings, financed by state funds, do not continue,” Bennett remarked.

State Sen. T.J. Shope, echoing a similar sentiment, urged the university to discontinue the teaching approach, emphasizing that they would ensure taxpayer money is not used for such purposes.

In response, the university’s spokesperson, Pam Scott, directed inquiries to an official statement, which clarified that the institution does not endorse or integrate this type of training in its courses. The university emphasized the importance of always collaborating with parents or guardians and adhering to professional guidelines.

It was further elaborated that the slides were part of a brief session meant to stimulate discussion and critical thinking among a small group of doctoral students who are also practicing nurses.

Meanwhile, several Arizona Democrats expressed their backing for the university. Democratic state Sen. Priya Sundareshan expressed concerns over the Republican reaction to the situation.

Furthermore, the university highlighted that their faculty provides information based on evidence without prescribing any particular approach, leaving the decision-making to individual practitioners.