Each week, 6 to 12-year-old students at Eisenhower Elementary School in Hopkins, Minnesota are encouraged to participate in “Pride Wednesdays,” a day when students and teachers dress up in rainbow colors to support the LGBTQ+ community.
A photo of a poster shared to Alpha News shows the school directing staff and students to “wear any LGBTQ+ symbols or pride gear to show support for the LGBTQ+ folks in our community.” The poster also lists hashtags including #BeAnAlly and #ShowYourPride, apparently encouraging participants to post online about their weekly pride celebration.
The poster showcases several teachers wearing shirts adorned with rainbow colored black poser fists, trans pride colors and other LGBTQ+ symbols.
A statement from a Hopkins school district spokesperson indicates that Pride Wednesdays have been a fixture of student life in Hopkins public schools for over a year, and that the celebration is not limited only to Eisenhower Elementary. “Pride Wednesday started in January 2021 in Hopkins Schools,” the spokesperson tells Alpha News. “In Hopkins, we believe in creating affirming learning environments.”
It’s not the first time Eisenhower talked to children about sexual identities. Last month, some parents were outraged after learning the school will participate in a “gender, sexuality, LGBTQ+” lessons that include instruction on transgender pronouns.
Hopkins is also not the only Minnesota school district promoting LGBTQ+ ideas. Earlier this year, St. Paul Public Schools partnered with an organization that offers LGBTQ+-affirming curricula for students as young as three years old. The school also offers “pride resources” for children for the purpose of “supporting children with gay and lesbian family members” and “understanding gender diversity.”
Last month, a Lakeville principal promoted an LGBTQ+ protest for 10-year-olds. The principal, Kelly McDermott, advertised a “day of silence” during which students refrained from speaking to protest for LGBTQ+ causes.
Stillwater Middle School also encouraged students to participate in the same LGBTQ “day of silence” protest. The event was scheduled April 22 and is a “national youth movement protesting the silence faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their allies,” according to a poster at Stillwater Middle School.