Mount Horeb parents host event about school curriculum, draws rally
MOUNT HOREB, Wis. (WMTV) - Demonstrators marched the streets of downtown Mount Horeb Thursday night, rallying against an event about school curriculum.
The presentation and Q-and-A session called, “Continuing the Conversation,” was sparked after a recent school district meeting in which parents showed concern over some materials in curriculum.
An organizer, who did not want to be named for her safety, said she and other hosts do not want “graphic” materials shown in schools and want parents to have the authority to review content.
“As parents, it is our duty to retain our children’s innocence and vulnerability, especially very early in their educational careers,” a statement from the organizers wrote, in part. The full statement can be found below.
NBC15 crews were not allowed into the event, as the organizer said she wanted everyone inside to feel safe.
Meanwhile, dozens joined in a march around the building, including Gwenna Mlsna who came out to show support for the district’s diversity and inclusion efforts.
“There is no inappropriate books in the school curriculum,” Mlsna, a junior at Mount Horeb High School, said.
She explained, she took a psychology class with a subunit on gender expression and identity: “That is the only time that has ever been discussed as a real subject in the classroom. For that unit we looked at real life examples of people and their experiences. We didn’t read any books with inappropriate content or anything like that.”
“I think the school district should not be censoring books that are age appropriate,” Justin Wilder, who also came out to the rally, said. “As a former educator myself, we need to let educators do what they do best, and that’s educate.”
Wilder said pride flags showed support for diversity in protest of the speakers, who according to organizers, were invited to discuss gender and critical race theory.
The organizers’ full statement follows as such:
This event was created following the Mount Horeb Area School District’s (MHASD) meeting on April 13, 2022, where parents expressed concern over some of the materials being presented in the K-12 curriculum. Attempts were denied by MHASD to continue the conversation prior to the commencement of the next school year. As more parents spoke out, it was clear that the conversation needed to continue, and that was the call to create this event.
Parents want to be included when it comes to our children’s curriculum; all voices deserve to be heard and alternate viewpoints shared. We are hosting this event as allies to all students, teachers, staff, and families in the MHASD. We are eager to contribute to the continued desire for diversity, equity, and inclusion in our community. As parents, it is our duty to retain our children’s innocence and vulnerability, especially very early in their educational careers; which is why many parents wish to have a seat at the proverbial table as to when certain topics are introduced to their small children, by whom, and in what manner.
A few community members, without having spoken with the event’s hosts, have spread misinformation that this event is a direct attack on the LGBTQ community and further expressed it as being “antiteacher”; both of the claims are completely false.
Hosts of the event reached out to community members and the Board of PFLAG Mount Horeb and shared our intentions for this event. We further asked to meet with PFLAG representatives in person, prior to the event, in the hopes of unifying and creating understanding; our requests were denied.
The goal of this event is to have a respectful listening session with a brief Q & A at the end of the event. This intent has been misaligned by the PFLAG community group to create division. Because of the unfortunate misinformation shared on social media, the event hosts made the executive decision for the event to be 18 and older.
We all wish to be unified and inclusive. In order to achieve that, we must have tough conversations, ask questions, and work together. It is achievable.
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