GERMANTOWN HILLS — A central Illinois school district says it will be changing policies after it came to statewide attention with a letter that called LGBTQ students discussion their orientation as “disruptive.”
The changes were discussed at a town hall that had been closed to the press and general public after the letter went out. District superintendent Daniel Mair told local TV station WMBD would review the policies and codes of conduct and make any necessary changes.
A previous letter from the principal informed parents that discussions on sexual identity have caused significant disruptions at the school, many believed the letter targeted the LGBTQ community. The superintendent said they had no intentions on targeting the LGBTQ community, nor was it stated anywhere in the letter. In a press release given to WMBD from the district it states “The intent of the letter was to communicate that the school will protect the rights of all our students to attend school free from harassment, bullying or intimidation.”
It further states, “The intent also was to inform parents that the distribution of non-school related stickers during class was a related issue creating a significant disruption and would not be allowed going forward.
“We have been dealing with kids that are aggressively having conversations about sexuality both from our LGBTQ and our students that don’t identify,” said Superintendent Daniel Mair in an on camera interview after Wednesday’s meeting. “That would turn into spats then arguments that would carry over into the classroom.”
Mair did tell the TV station that the letter could have been written better and that this incident should be a lesson for everyone.
The controversy had gotten strong responses from area organizations like Peoria Proud and PFLAG Peoria, but also statewide ones such as ACLU of Illinois, Equality Illinois and the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance.