Police were called to an elementary school in North Carolina where a teacher resigned her position last week after it was learned she used a set of LGBTQ-inclusive flashcards to teach colors to her students.
The unidentified teacher at the Ballentine Elementary School in Fuquay-Varina used a set of Progress Pride Flag Rainbow Families flashcards in her preschool class of special needs students, causing one concerned parent to reach out last week to State Rep. Erin Paré who in turn alerted House Speaker Tim Moore, the News & Observer reports.
In a statement linked on social media, Moore said he immediately contacted the school’s principal who confiscated the flashcards in question after confirming with the teacher they had been used in class as reported. Lisa Luten, a spokesperson for the Wake County School District, confirmed to the paper that the teacher resigned Friday.
Paré defended her actions in a television interview on Tuesday.
“A lot of loving families come in all different shapes and sizes and thank goodness for that,” Paré said on Fox News, noting she was thankful “loving families come in all different shapes and sizes” but also adding “when you’re looking at a card in front of a preschooler that has a mommy hugging a daddy with a baby in his belly, that’s just not age-appropriate material to be showing preschoolers, and I’m glad that this principal and the district acted immediately.”
One parent disagreed with Paré's assessment, and strongly objected to the use of her child in what she described as a publicity stunt.
“My special-needs child is being used as a prop and I hope that anyone reading about this remembers this come November when it comes time to vote that this is not supporting our children, not supporting our teachers, not supporting our schools,” Jackie Milazzo, whose child is in the preschool class, told the News & Observer.
While there were no specific threats reported by school officials, police were called to the campus yesterday as many parents were concerned in light of the recent school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, that left 19 children and 2 adults dead.
One person echoed that concern in a comment to Moore’s tweeted statement, telling the speaker to “read the room.”
Illustrated by Pakistani-Canadian designer, calligrapher, and illustrator Zainab’s Echo, the Progress Pride Flag Rainbow Families set of 12 flashcards use the colors of the Progress Pride Flag to “celebrate LGBT2SQ+ Families of diverse races, ages, sexualities, genders, and abilities.” The cards retail for 20 Canadian dollars — which is about $16 — and are currently sold out.
While having harsh words for those with strong negative reactions to the situation, Milazzo had only words of praise for the teacher.
“She is an amazing teacher who has worked tirelessly in an unpredictable school year to provide a safe, loving, and inclusive classroom for our children to grow,” Milazzo said.