There is a mass exodus in public education. Teachers are leaving, as districts all across the nation struggle to fill vacant positions weeks before school is set to begin. But what’s more, families are leaving for alternatives like private school or homeschool. A New York Times report from this past May found that 1.2 million students have left public schools since 2020. And as many politicians make education reform their utmost concern, all eyes are on public schools, causing experts to expect many more to leave. Stetson Middle School in Pennsylvania is the perfect example of why gender ideologies and divisive concepts are causing many of these families to leave, here’s why.
Two separate families pulled their children out of the Stetson Middle School in West Chester, Pennsylvania after photos circulated in which a teacher at the school decorated his classroom with photos of popular LGBTQ icons in celebration of Pride Month. The pictures, complete with QR codes for the students to research and learn about, included those of contentious drag queens, which parents felt were inappropriate for middle school children. The notion is that more families will follow suit, in the growing call focusing on diversity and inclusion over core academia at the school.
According to a report from The Daily Caller, two families pulled their children from the Stetson middle school after learning about some of the people that adorned the wall of the classroom. Pictures of historic LGBTQ figures like Harvey Milk decorated the wall, but others were more controversial. One of the fathers learned that a popular drag queen comedian was added to the posters. He alleged that his son was able to google and view the raunchy material in the drag queens’ comedy skits, which he said talked about heroin, sex, and a lot of other vulgar languages.
This wasn’t the only issue the father pointed to for what he called political and gender indoctrination. The Stetson Middle School is dedicated to diversity and equity, with resources made available to families on the district’s equity page. Additionally, the school is said to promote contentious divisive concept books from famous CRT advocates like Ibram X. Kendi among others.
Likewise, the obtained information stated that children in this same Stetson middle school class were forced into a project that required the middle schoolers to choose from only four books all centered around what some parents fear are pushing radical agendas. One book, George, is the story of a transgender girl. Another, Ghost Boys, tells the story of a black child killed by police.
Many families are fed up with the number of social topics including anti-racism, gender, and one-sided politics weaving their way into classroom lessons. The fear is that teachers are now spending more time on these matters than they are on common subjects, which children are perpetually falling behind in. While some see activist pushes like these within the Stetson Middle School as a means to make everyone feel included, others see it as another notch in the failure of public education in academia.