HOLLIDAYSBURG, Pa. (WTAJ)– The Hollidaysburg Area School District School Board held their work session in the Junior High auditorium to accommodate the large crowd of parents Monday evening.
Outrage grew on social media last week after multiple posts saying that a seventh-grade teacher had brought the book “Gender Queer” into her classroom. When brought to the attention of the school district, the district said the teacher was told to never bring the book back to school and additional corrective action was being considered.
“A composition teacher’s responsibility is to teach composition,” one parent said. “It is certainly not her place, nor does she have the training to council these young students in ways that may influence them on making life-changing decisions.”
“People seem to think that its because you’re homophobic or you don’t like the book,” another concerned parent said. “Listen, let’s call it what it is. The teacher doesn’t care. She brought a book to school that she knew she shouldn’t. And if she has that kind of judgment, I don’t want her anywhere near my kid.”
The school board was exploring changes to their policy that could limit what teachers display in their rooms and what they can discuss with students. Some in attendance warned about the implications this could have.
“We owe it to the future to not repeat the past mistakes,” one parent added. “People have hated and treated with scorn and bigotry and ignorance various people throughout our history. And we feel shame for it today.”
“For the sake of not just my two kids but for all those that attend Hollidaysburg area school district, I want our district to be welcoming, I want it to be open,” another parent said. “I don’t want it to be close-minded, I don’t want it to be bigoted.”
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While no changes could be voted upon the board is still exploring any policy changes that could prevent this from happening again.