Parental opinions collide at RSU 9 board meeting

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FARMINGTON – Many Franklin County residents attended Tuesday night’s RSU 9 Board of Directors meeting to voice their concerns about a poster currently being displayed in the Mt. Blue High School. The poster is titled “Gender 101” and it provides definitions for terms such as “gender,” “transgender,” “gender non-conforming,” and “gender fluid.” It is currently being displayed outside of the guidance counselor’s office.

A poster titled ‘Gender 101’, displayed outside the guidance counselor’s office at Mt. Blue High School, was discussed by parents at a recent RSU 9 board meeting.

Many parents believe the poster should be removed and argue that the contents displayed are inappropriate and offensive.

“The immoral values and lifestyle that are being pushed on our children today will be devastating for them, and for the future of our world as we know it,” Kathy Hinds of New Vineyard said.

Others express concern that the poster is politically motivated and acts as a form of propaganda. Comments were also made claiming that the poster contradicts science and takes the focus away from students’ learning.

“I think they need to focus more on the reading and the math for these kids and not worry about whether the kid thinks he’s a cat today or a dog tomorrow,” Robert Geisser of Industry says in reference to people who identify as gender fluid.

“The ‘Gender 101’ poster promotes a politically motivated ideology based upon cultural gender norms that are ever-changing without regard to true science,” Charles Roberts of Wilton said. “Our students need to be told the truth regardless of the political winds of the day.”

Many other parents are in favor of the poster and believe that it strictly provides students with the information needed to help them communicate with others and feel like they are in a safe environment.

“The poster offers a simple set of definitions that align with the legal terminology,” Douglas Holdum of Farmington said. “This poster is informative, and allows all people to use the same language when discussing people and their identities.”

Other parents shared similar comments, believing the poster should not be removed because it would be taking information away from students and that it shows support for students who identify with the LGBTQ+ community.

“This poster gives students the language to express themselves and communicate clearly with their peers,” Farmington resident Julia Daly said. “It is so important to recognize and acknowledge all of the members of the school community, and this material supports that goal.”

“As the parent of a non-binary kid, it’s been a hard night and it’s been hard to hear the way people talk about these kids,” Farmington resident Kristen Case said. “My kid is real. They are not imaginary, and they are not an animal.”

The Board did not make any comments in regards to the poster, and further discussion may occur as needed during future meetings.

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