Plymouth, IN-A first year teacher at Lincoln Junior High School is under fire from conservatives for teaching about sexual orientation and gender identity in her 8th grade health class. The lesson,“LGBTQ: Understanding Sexual Orientation and Gender Identities” was supposed to be one on tolerance and acceptance of others and the material is on the list of national standards for 8th graders according to Plymouth Community Schools Superintendent, Daniel Tyree.
Superintendent Tyree went on to add that, “ With the attention that the past two presidents and our governor over the last two years has given to harassment and bullying over sexual orientation and gender identity, students hear the news. By ignoring the topics in schools, we would be doing our students a disservice.” Monica Boyer, President of the Indiana Liberty Coalition disagrees, “It goes way beyond education, it’s actually indoctrination telling student not only they have to accept a lifestyle they have to celebrate it and embrace it.”
The Superintendent indicated that he has received e-mails from ‘concerned’ parents but no complaints from parents directly. “The ones I received on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning were in support of teacher and the principal.” Most of the complaints are coming from conservatives on social media. One user of the Marshall County Conservatives Facebook page had this to say, “I’m so happy that I home school and I can choose what I believe is appropriate for my child to learn.”
The lesson plan consisted of a video and some questions that students answer while watching. Some of the questions that drew outrage were,“What is an LGBTQ ally? What is gender identity? What are the two things you can do to show support for the LGBTQ community? Conservative columnist Todd Starnes accused the teacher of attempting to indoctrinate the students, “Kudos to the Indiana Liberty Coalition for exposing this nefarious scheme.” Then Mr. Starnes went on to ‘plug’ his book “The Deplorables’ guide to Making America Great Again.” Whether Mr. Starnes actually cares about children’s education or if he is only trying to sell his book remains to be scene.
Superintendent Tyree claims that the situation has been blown out of proportion and that the teacher in question did not follow board policy regarding how to address a controversial topic. It is unknown whether the teacher will be disciplined as it is a personnel issue and will not be discussed.