A father in Missouri went to his daughter’s middle school and tore down a poser for its Gay-Straight Alliance club. He then brought the poster to a parent-teacher conference.
Ken Allen and his family believe the Columbia Public School District broke the law by advertising the club around the school.
Allen’s daughter, seventh-grader Summer, attends Smithton Middle School.
At a meeting with the Columbia Board of Education on Monday (10 December) night, the Allen family brought up the club. They stated the school district should have informed the parents of the club and its ‘intentions’.
According to ABC 17 News, Summer began noticing the posters for the club more frequently this school year. That’s when she told her parents.
She said her father told her the posters were ‘verbal sexual harassment’ and it was ‘against the law’ for the school to do that.
A matter of ‘privacy’
The poster in question shows several hands covering a heart. The hands are marked with terms like ‘lesbian’, ‘pansexual’, and ‘transgender’.
On the school’s website, GSA is listed as one of its clubs.
The description of the club reads: ‘The GSA, Gay Straight Alliance, welcomes all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning and straight youth to come and talk about any issues concerning them. We hope to create a safe place to offer support, resources, and a place to have fun!’
Ken Allen told ABC he removed the poster from his daughter’s school in a ‘fit of rage’. He also said school administrators ‘chased’ him from campus.
‘I think that parents that want to have this conversation with their children should, in the home,’ Allen said.
‘I think that just like certain other topics, such as religion and Christianity, that perhaps the school, in and of itself, should not be the proper place for this conversation.’
Not against the law
School district spokesperson Michelle Baumstark said the school is not violating the law.
The law Allen referred to is a law stating school district must notify parents of their children’s human sexuality and health instruction. Then, if parents want to, they can remove their children from instruction.
GSA, however, is a club and not a type of formal instruction.
The school is not pressing charges against Allen for coming onto property and taking the sign.
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Author: Anya Crittenton
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