The reason this teacher was suspended has divided social media

Nov 6, 2017

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Classroom

A New York public school teacher has been suspended after an outraged parent accused her of giving year seven students materials on gender identity that wasn't appropriate. The teacher was suspended with pay after a parent, Sirell Fiel, shared a video telling other parents what was being taught to his 11-year-old son in health class. 

The video has been viewed over 750,000 times and has received countless comments from other concerned parents and friends. 

In the video, Mr Fiel says:

“Genital reconstruction surgery… Is that really something an 11-year-old kid should be learning and knowing about? No. I don’t think so.”

“It should not be allowed or tolerated. Period. It’s not your right to take the innocence of my kid like that at that … age.”​

Mr Fiel explains that the handout gave explicit details about sex and that is what has angered him so much. 

The teacher has been identified as Jacqueline Hall by the Glen Falls Post Star, but she has not commented on the matter. It seems that the trouble began when Ms Hall brought in a member of an LGBTQ group to speak with her year seven and ten students.

The speaker gave students a handout with LGBTQ terminology and asked students to match words with their definitions. The speaker also gave year seven students a more detailed 42-page handout on transgender issues meant for year ten students.

Mr Fiel also said:

“I have no problem with the school talking about diversity... Gay kids are out there, and the kids need to know about it. But the problem I have is that it went so in-depth. That’s too much for 11- and 12-year-olds.”

Most of the comments agreed with Mr Fiel that it wasn't wrong to teach about diversity, but the explicit nature of the content is what has angered so many people. 

Superintendent Vince Canini told the publication:

“I would like to again stress that the topic of gender identity was never of concern. The graphic ‘common terms and definitions’ were. The two are totally separate but have blurred into one which is not the case.”

They also spoke to the Pride Center of the Capital Region's president and CEO Martha Haven, who said the group had been going to schools for 12 years but had never received a complaint.

“Transgender kids are coming out younger and younger... If you love kids, you want them to have the most information possible. If a parent has a problem with the presentation, that’s the parent’s problem.”

Image: Getty

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