I am a grandmother of children attending Efland-Cheeks Elementary. When I first heard that a third-grade teacher, Omar Currie, had read a book focusing on homosexuality to his class without the principal’s knowledge and parental consent, I immediately researched the book “King & King” and how a book that did not belong to the school, and was not part of the curriculum, infiltrated this classroom.
My findings have been shocking. Mr. Currie has been openly gay while teaching at Efland-Cheeks. This was no secret. Both he and the assistant principal, Meg Goodhand, who gave him the book, were recent speakers at an LGBT conference.
Ms. Goodhand’s conference profile was shocking. “She asserts social activists must focus on elementary school culture to begin to confront heterosexism and homophobia at this early period of development. Her research shares a perspective that through transformative learning opportunities, educators can reframe attitudes, beliefs about gender noncomformity ... within schools and society. Ideally, with this new understanding, educators as social justice leaders will be willing tio disrupt the heteronormative culture of a classroom and their schools,” according to the LGBT in the South conference website.
It sounds like an agenda to me!
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I was told the book was read because of bullying of a student in this class. I read the book and looked at the pictures. The text had nothing to do with bullying and appeared aimed at indoctrinating children into a gay agenda and steering them in that direction. The prince is attracted to a man, and they get married and kiss in the mouth on the last page. The book clearly wants young readers to believe this is normal.
The concept of homosexuality is foreign to the majority of children at 8 years old. To be introduced to it without parental consent or knowledge is a violation of parental and religious rights. I am a Christian and my religious faith does not support homosexuality. Parents should have been notified before the book was read. I believe that our school has been disrupted by reading the book without proper consent. It is a parent’s right if and when to teach their child about homosexuality.
The book brings no educational value but disturbs and confuses children. Some in the class said the book made them very uncomfortable. Children come to school to learn academics and follow a structured curriculum, not how or whom to fall in love with. It is clear the author and teachers who introduce this book in their classroom’s intent is NOT to teach about bullying, but to bring debatable sex issues of the adult world to pure, innocent and impressionable little children.
A meeting was held at the school on May 15 allowing parents and the community to speak for three minutes. The meeting was very heated as was Mr. Currie, who was shouting his concerns over current and new text restrictions for future instructional material not belonging to the school requiring review and approval by the principal. His tone and raised fists shocked many parents who had known him or had heard was a good teacher whom the children thought a lot of. Parents received an email advising of this policy change. But many parents are not satisfied with just this action. They do not want this book in the school curriculum and feel when faculty knowingly violate parental and religious rights, they should be subject to reprimand.
Deborah Davis lives in Burlington.