Over 120 complaints have been made to The Philadelphia School District over the recognition of Gay and Lesbian History Month on their school calendar.
Cecilia Cummings, Philadelphia’s senior vice-president for communications and community relations said the month was added for the first time this year in an effort to be more inclusive and follow the districts policy requiring equity for all minority groups.
200,000 calendars have been sent to parents, and there had been praise from some of the districts residents for the recognition of the month.
Gay and Lesbian History Month is one of four special history months noted, alongside Hispanic Heritage in September, African American in February, and Asian Pacific American in May.
Philadelphia district was not planning to roll out any district wide curriculum or hold celebrations to coincide with the month.
Ms Cummings told the Philadelphia Inquirer the complaints were expected. “We knew that this would be controversial”. “When you deal with diversity, there are some hot-button issues that emerge,” she said.
Protesting parent Ms Watson has called upon other parents to take their children out of school and boycott the district in October. She said: “How can you celebrate gay and lesbian month? What are you going to teach my daughter?”.
President of the district’s Home and School Council Greg Wade, supports the decision to include gay history month. “I understand that there are many people out there who have problems with the gay community, but they’re part of our community, and we, as a council, have to support every parent and every student in our school district,” said Wade.
The school calendar also notes National Day of Silence Against Anti-Gay Bullying on April 18. Ms Cummings saying the district was committed to ”foster knowledge and respect for all’.