Farmington Area Public Schools is facing criticism following the removal of an LGBTQ sign from Farmington High School.
“It’s probably meant to be a symbol of inclusion but it’s sexual in nature,” a concerned parent said regarding the sign at an Oct. 9 school board meeting. “It had a lot of things on it that I didn’t, and still don’t, know what they mean.”
The parent went on to list some of the sexual orientations listed on the sign, which include “skoliosexual,” “androsexual,” and “gynosexual.”
“It doesn’t belong in a high school,” the parent said. “All students should feel included at school, but a sign that has obscure sexual preferences isn’t necessary or appropriate.”
The sign, which was designed by a student, allegedly was used to designate classrooms that are a “safe space” for LGBTQ students.
Parents found some language on the sign objectionable and after receiving complaints, the school’s principal asked that the sign be removed. The school board chair posted on Facebook following a Nov. 13 work session, saying that police were called to the meeting because of a disruption.
“You are negatively impacting queer students now. Shame on all of you!” someone in the audience yelled at the board members, CBS News reported. Others chimed in with their own yelling and swear words, according to the outlet, and the board left the room during the chaos.
“Thank you to those [who] attended peacefully and with honest purpose, and to the Farmington Police Department for responding quickly when called,” Farmington School Board Chair Kyle Christensen wrote. The YouTube recording of the meeting appears to have been cut short.
Christensen then responded to criticism from some commenters on his post. “The administration asked that a single graphic that apparently appeared in a handful of classrooms be removed out of concerns its message was unclear and/or not inclusive,” he said. “I’m actively working to learn more, but at the same time, the administration has stated it will work with staff and students to examine current signage and create a more uniform, inclusive approach that demonstrates our true values. I support the administration’s efforts.”
A former school board candidate also posted about the controversy. “Today our School Board mandated that Farmington High School district staff are no longer allowed to display materials supportive of the LGBTQIA+ learners/community,” Kelsey Jezierski said.
She claimed that educators were being individually called into the principal’s office and threatened. “Not too long ago the school librarian was directed to take down the ‘banned books’ display. What’s next, classroom segregation?” Jezierski wrote.
Contrary to Jezierski’s post, the school board did not mandate anything or change any policy, according to Maggie Storlie, a Farmington School Board member and self-proclaimed ally to LGBTQ students.
“Our teens need to know who their ‘safe people’ are within the school. A sign on the door, the corner of the room sends a simple message,” Storlie posted on Facebook following the work session. “When the weight of their feelings gets to [sic] heavy, their immature frontal lobes need a quick reminder of who these people are.”
The Farmington School Board and superintendent did not respond to Alpha News’ request for comment regarding the situation.