Education

Teacher, administrator resign amid gay fairy tale flap

Posted June 16, 2015

Efland parents are upset that a third-grade teacher read "King & King," a book about a gay prince's quest for love, to their children without informing them ahead of time.
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— The third-grade teacher whose reading of a gay fairy tale to his class in April spawned a parent protest has resigned, Orange County Schools officials said Tuesday.

The school district accepted the resignation of Efland-Cheeks Elementary School teacher Omar Currie. Vice Principal Meg Goodhand, who Currie said gave him the book to handle a case of bullying in his class, also resigned, officials said.

Orange County Schools officials say they had no reports of bullying in Currieā€™s class.

Three parents complained after Currie read "King & King" to his third-graders. They said the book was inappropriate for children that age, and at least one said parents should have been notified in advance.

The children's book is about a homosexual man's quest for love and includes a picture at the end of two princes kissing.

Efland-Cheeks Elementary officials upheld the book in April after the initial complaint, and then again ruled last month that the book was appropriate after fielding questions from angry parents during a community meeting.

The parents recently appealed the matter to Orange County Schools officials, where a district committee is evaluating the book in light of curriculum goals, and a public meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday at Gravelly Hill Middle School, 4801 W. Ten Road in Efland, before the superintendent issues findings.

The matter could still be appealed to the Orange County Board of Education after the superintendent makes a decision.

33 Comments

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  • Michael Gemmell Jun 17, 2015
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    Every child in third grade already knows about loving, committed same gender parents, Eric Johnson, because anti-gays like you have been shrieking about how much you hate and fear LGBT Americans since Anita Bryant. If you take your children to church and your minister shrieks anti-gay Hate Speech, do you get up and take your children out of there? However, your children already know other children with same gender parents, and they know these other children are well-adjusted and greatly loved, so none of that anti-gay hate speech they hear at home and church will ever fool them about LGBT Americans.

  • Michael Gemmell Jun 16, 2015
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    Did Mikaya Thurmond really write the word, "homosexual"? The Associated Press considers that Hate Speech. There is a respectful way to refer to LGBT Americans.

  • Eric Johnson Jun 16, 2015
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    you are still doing you! You lump everyone together! Yeah your "tolerance" is just so evident. Now i feel good about hatred according to you. Yeah i am sure you have just been to so many churches its just oozing from you. You are right there is a seperation of church and state. So its okay for that but if someone says they aren't okay with their children learning about gay relationships in 3rd grade THATS where the issue is. Because it doesn't fit with YOUR belief. Buddy thats not tolerance. You can stomp your feet and yell from the mountain tops. You can NOT force something on a group of people that don't believe in something then brag about tolerance. It goes both ways.

  • Ben Sanders Jun 16, 2015
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    I notice you didn't answer the question, and instead resorted to an ad hominem attack. I'll ask again, what exactly is being "taught" here (other than not to bully kids who might be different than you)?

  • Corey Taft Jun 16, 2015
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    Not really. Im pretty tolerant. I have family that are religous and I support them, because it makes them happy and its something they believe in. There is a separation of church and state for a reason. Would you support the schools if they taught religion, ALL religion. Mix some Muslim and Judaism into your religous studies. I am not religious and yet I've gone to several types of church services, to see how they celebrate their lord. I was raised in church and was a victim of the church's hands on teaching approach, where they let the religious physcally correct the behavior of those in need and yet as an adult, remained open minded to religion. I hope I make you sick, because if you feel good about hatred, you need to get sick in the same way as I. Children need to learn tolerance, because as life goes on, they are going to deal with many people unlike them and wouldn't you like to see them have a chance at peace and tolerane?

  • Ashley Moore Jun 16, 2015
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    Many of you are using the words "tolerance" and "acceptance" as synonyms. They are not the same. It is quite okay to be tolerant of opposing beliefs and not accept them. In fact, the law requires tolerance, but it does not require acceptance. I fear in this society we are attempting to teach the mindset that disagreement is a form of hate. We will have many more problems if we continue down this path.

  • Ashley Moore Jun 16, 2015
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    I suppose if you only read the Old Testament, you might say the Bible teaches hate. However, if you have ever read the New Testament, you would know Jesus preached love. I think it would do well for the Bible to be taught in high school, simply from a literary standpoint. Let it be no different than Animal Farm. Let the students make their own religious judgement; at least they would be armed with information to make that decision. The Bible makes a person Christian no more than Animal Farm makes a person Communist. I would prefer students have information instead of relying on their parents' prejudices.

  • Marcy Lyn Jun 16, 2015
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    Well Ben Sanders, if you have children, I hope you enjoy what they are being taught at a very young age. Guess you don't care .

    And if you don't have children , then lucky children.

  • Chase Truman Jun 16, 2015
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    First of all, what does this book have to do with sex? Secondly, what is "unnatural" about gay sex? If you do some reading about the animal kingdom, you will find that there are many many species of different animals that partake in homosexual behavior, including intercourse. So are you saying that nature is unnatural? Thirdly, I do believe in God, so are you assuming to know my religious beliefs because I support queer issues? Hmmm, that almost sounds like you don't think I could have religious values that believe in God, Heaven and Hell because queer support doesn't fit into that agenda. Well, now that's a bad assumption, don't you think? Fourthly, as I mentioned to someone else who responded to my post, why not find another book involving a religion that helps children learn acceptance and love? Why does it have to be a christian book? Come on, expand your horizons!

  • Lisa Lindsay Jun 16, 2015
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    Next they'll go back to burning the books.

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