Hundreds of parents gathered in the Germantown Hills Middle School gym Wednesday night, for a meeting on what the district calls disrupting conversations around sexual and gender identity by students.
“Students were aggressively having conversations about sexuality both from our LGBTQ and our students who don’t identify that way.” said Dan Mair, the Superintendent for Germantown Hills, “They would turn into spats and arguments, issues that would carry over into the classroom.”
However the LGBTQ community felt singled out, so a number of people showed up including Cassidy Bowers. She recalled a similar experience at her school. She felt silenced and confused.
“It makes me feel angry because people are just learning and figuring out who they’re supposed to be.” said Bowers.
This is why groups such as Peoria Proud and P-Flag say it is important to have open conversations so kids feel supported as they explore these topics.
“Educate the parents, help educate the community so that this sort of thing doesn’t happen and that these kids are told they are loved.” said P-Flag member Amy Orwig, “That’s the big thing, we just want to make sure they feel loved and safe.”
Parents called it a positive conversation and feel the school is headed in the right direction which includes more instructional training for teachers who may have to deal with these issues.
“It’s a sensitive topic and that’s understandable.” said Superintendent Mair, “but our parents, I couldn’t be prouder and it and gives me a great sense of optimism going forward that we’re really going to raise the bar when it comes to our students.”