Children not mature enough to understand the complexities of these topics

To the editor:

I write to clarify some issues raised at the April 28 meeting of the ISD 88 School Board. I was misquoted as saying the creators of the Rainbow Eagle Head mascot buttons “should” have included a disclaimer that the merchandise was not endorsed by District 88, but were created by community members. What I actually said was “I should be clear, that the creators of the merchandise included a disclaimer that reads, ‘This merchandise is not endorsed or created by District 88. It is a creation by community members to show you are a safe, Eagle-affiliated person to LGBT members.'”

The real reason I spoke at the meeting was not to complain about school staff members wearing the buttons or even displaying signs and other pride merchandise throughout District 88 buildings, (including School Board members wearing the buttons during School Board meetings). Although I find the merchandise in poor taste, I indicated displaying the merchandise could arguably be a First Amendment protected activity.

My concern is the effect displaying the LGBT merchandise is having on our children. I spoke to alert board members that recently a school staff member (wearing an LGBT Eagle Pride button) at Washingotn Learning Center had a discussion with several kindergartners (classmates of my grandson) about whether it was OK for “boys to be with boys” or “girls to be with girls.” It is my humble opinion that our children are not mature enough to understand the complexities of these topics. These students will have ample time to explore such issues as they become adults. Further, these types of controversial issues should be discussed in the family home, NOT as a part of the school curriculum for minors (under age 18 as described by ISD 88 policy) in the education system. We should not burden our children with adult issues.

I requested the School Board consider the creation of a policy that would require parental notification whenever school staff have discussions of LGBT issues with students (either as a part of the scheduled curriculum, or any one on one discussions with a student). In my opinion, such a policy would create a level playing field for parents against the liberal education system in the state of Minnesota. Recent legislation passed by Florda legislators and signed into law by Gov. Rick DeSantis deals with exectly these issues. Do we really have to pass laws to force the education system to do what should make common sense? We, As a community, used to trust our education system with the care and concern of our children. Sadly, Minnesota, and now New Ulm, education has lost our trust.

Paul Platz



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