New York teacher suspended for teaching class about LGBT issues
A teacher at a New York school has been suspended from her job after teaching students about LGBT issues.
Jacqueline Hall, the health teacher at the Cambridge Central High School, was suspended with pay after inviting a guest lecturer to teach about LGBT issues.
The second day of lectures by the Pride Centre of the Capital Region was also cancelled by the school.
Parents had complained about a pack given out to students which taught about gender identity and sexual orientation.
One parent, Sirell Fiel, took to Facebook, recording a video expressing his disgust that his child would be taught about gender identity.
“When it comes to teaching our kids certain things, that should be left up to us,” he says in the video.
“Not the school district. Not health class in seventh grade.”
He also encouraged other parents to find the booklet and confiscate it.
The parent also took aim at the booklet for teaching the 11-year-old class that some people have same-sex relationships.
“This is something my eleven-year-old definitely does not need to know in health class in seventh grade,” he said.
Fiel did accept that students should be taught not to bully people for their sexual orientation.
He described the booklet as “state-funded porn”.
“Genital reconstruction surgery!” Fiel exclaimed, working through the extensive list. “Is that really something an eleven-year-old kid should be learning and knowing about? Nah. I don’t think so.”
In the video, Fiel says he plans to make phone calls to complain about the reading material.
He says he thinks parents should have been informed prior to the class that it was taking place.
“They are literally taking the innocence out of our children every day with this BS,” he says.
The superintendent of the school, Vince Canini, says he has concerns about the class.
“The parents have concerns, and they are mine as well,” he told the Post Star.
Canini also said the booklet contained information he considered to be “inappropriate.”
He said it was “standard procedure” to suspend the teacher and that there had been no prior issue.
But he said that the school would be changing its policy.
“This is not what we would normally do… and you can be rest-assured it will not happen again.”
The Pride Centre of the Capital Region says it provides “training and education [as] an essential component in creative safer schools and community spaces for LGBTQA young people”.