Schools are winding down for summer, but Pride Month celebrations are building across the country—whether parents are in favor or not.
Festivities can include kids as young as fourth grade, which was the case at Johnson’s Elementary in Charlottesville, Virginia. A video showed some students speaking about Pride Month in front of an assembly. The young students explained what the letters stood for in LGBTQ, then they said they would read from a book about Pride Month. The book went through the alphabet and said what each letter could stand for, which several young speakers took turns reading.
For instance, “G” stood for “Gender,” which “Some people guess [sic] based on how you dress or how your body looks. But, you know best who you are,” one young speaker read.
Teachers’ unions have expressed their complete support of Pride Month, such as in Jefferson County in Colorado. The Jefferson County Education Association sent out this message: “Happy Pride Month! Attacks on LGBTQIA+ people are up everywhere and we need to do more than post rainbows to show our support – we suggest donating to the Parasol Patrol, an amazing organization that helps shield LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC youth from hate at events.”
Schools in New Hampshire, Oregon, and Washington also report having Pride Month festivities that are deemed “family friendly.”
At one New Jersey school in Bergen County, Pride signs were actually taken down because they violated the school’s new flag policy that only allows for the American and state flag. But that hasn’t stopped one student who’s part of the LGBTQ+ community from fighting back. The student has managed to gain one thousand signatures to bring back the Pride signs.
The U.S. Department of Education (ED) has made it clear they support Pride Month, even changing their social media icons to reflect the Pride flag.
“Everyone in the school community should feel valued for who they are & free to be their authentic self,” ED tweeted. “Our message to LGBTQI+ students, teachers, and staff as we begin #PrideMonth: ED has got your back.”
Yet, critics were quick to point out that ED may have misplaced priorities when it comes to education.
“We have schools in America where not a single child is proficient in their grade level, yet taxpayer money is being spent on sexualizing our children,” tweeted one user, Jillian Anderson. “These indoctrination camps that we call Public Schools are promoting and pushing sin and confusion, while actual education sits on the back burner.”
“Tell me why @usedgov does NOT light up red the entire month of October for Dyslexia pride, tweeted another user, Marilyn Muller. “After all, it is the number one learning disability in education.”
Parents have expressed disapproval over some Pride celebrations, including in Los Angeles. One elementary school in the area held a Pride parade, where there was a slew of protestors and counterprotesters. There were reportedly even physical fights that police had to break up. Out of those that showed up, however, there were more protesters of the event than supporters.
In Seminole County, Florida, a high school offered refunds and reprints after featuring a yearbook spread that defined “genderfluid” and “pansexual.” Parents were not happy with what they saw and said it was not age-appropriate material.
“They shouldn’t have any sexual definitions in a yearbook,” said the Moms for Liberty chair in the area, Jessica Tillmann. “This is a yearbook that goes to every student as young as 14.”
Learn more about inappropriate material that might be in your child’s school and what you can do about it.