Parents in Oregon’s North Clackamas School District are outraged over a board’s decision to go virtual amid community outrage over LGBTQ+ content taught in area schools and substandard academic performance indicated by a Department of Education report.
The board’s move follows an October meeting in which parents complained about the curriculum and argued that the district is working to keep parents in the dark, according to KATV in Arkansas.
“This district and the way it runs is a complete dumpster fire,” one father said during the meeting, according to the outlet. “Stop gaslighting us in your little newsletters saying everything is okay.”
Another father told the board that “school choice and privatization of education” are coming while others slammed the board for allegedly sowing the seeds of division among students.
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Among the key arguments parents made in pushing back against LGBTQ+ content in the district’s schools were that this content focused on teaching about “gender-affirming care” or encouraged “pornographic” books offered in school libraries, according to KATV.
Parents claimed their voices are being stifled by the district and the virtual shift is only the school board’s latest effort to make sure their concerns are not being heard.
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One mother, who identifies as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, according to KATV, voiced outrage with content in area schools as well, saying, “It isn’t homophobic or transphobic to believe that children should not be sexualized or mutilated under the guise of the LGBT umbrella.”
“It is, however, homophobic, transphobic and incredibly harmful to our community to presume all gay and trans people support that because the majority of us do not,” she added.
Parents in the district characterized the board as “bullies” for pushing back against content they disapprove of, claiming they are intervening in their push to do what they believe is best for their children.
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According to the report, one mother claimed board members were “rolling their eyes,” “laughing” and “using their phones” while parents spoke.
The October meeting came to a head when one mother raised concerns over the controversial Maia Kobabe book “Gender Queer” and paraded a poster with explicit images from the book that has faced challenges from parents in school districts across the nation.
“‘Okay, I think we’re gonna have to shut this down and go back online,'” board member Jena Benologa announced, and she and other members walked out as the room erupted into protest.
Attendees reportedly shouted, “you’re just afraid” and “you have disrespected us” and some parents stayed behind and delivered their grievances to an active live stream.
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In a statement to Fox News Digital, the board said that meetings have moved online due to the conduct of some attendees at the controversial October gathering.
“We value public input during our board meetings, which is why we invite community members to sign up and address the board with their comments and concerns,” NCSD told Fox News Digital. “The main responsibility of board members during that designated time on the agenda, whether the meeting is in-person or online, is to listen. It is not a venue for discussion, so they do not provide immediate feedback. This can be frustrating to speakers and may contribute to the perception that they are not being heard.”
The district added that the Oct. 27 board meeting moved online because the conduct of some audience members “prevented the board from conducting the meeting in an orderly manner, including the opportunity to hear further comments.”
“Many of the parents who spoke on Oct. 27 and claim their voices are being silenced also commented during the online board meeting on Nov. 17. They were provided the same speaking opportunities afforded during every board meeting and that will continue whether meetings are held in person or hosted online,” the statement added.