Teacher And Assistant Principal Quit In North Carolina School After Parents Protest Reading of Gay Fairytale To 3rd Graders
There's still a lot of progress to be made, world. After reading his class a gay fairytale in May and facing backlash, North Carolina 3rd grade teacher Omar Currie has resigned. The only thing that makes this worse is that this news comes smack in the middle of Pride Month. Ouch.
Rewind: A month ago, Currie chose to read aloud the book King and King by Linda de Haan and Stern Nijland, which tells the story of a prince who falls in love with another prince. Although Currie read the book to his students to address an issue of bullying and the misuse of the word "gay" as an insult, parents at Efland-Cheeks Elementary School students protested the storytime choice.
The controversy went to a review committee in Orange County, North Carolina. And, even though a committee upheld the decision to allow the book in classrooms, concerned Efland parents have appealed. In the meantime, the school’s principal Kiley Brown instituted a policy requiring teachers to submit to parents a list of all books read in the classroom.
So, Currie resigned. The teacher told the Herald Sun that he walked away because he did not feel supported by the school’s administrators. “I felt they were trying to silence the conversation,” he said. He also told the paper his resignation was the best move for himself and his family. Currie’s resignation doesn’t mean he’s given up on his community, however. According to The News & Observer, Currie has had several positive interviews at Durham Public Schools and is tutoring and mentoring students in Efland this summer.
Efland-Cheeks’ assistant principal Meg Goodhand also stepped down. Goodhand was the one who gave Currie the book when he asked for it on the day he read it aloud to his students.
In losing Currie and Goodhand, educators who'd dare to push kids to broaden their views, Efland-Cheeks just lost people with open minds. And that's a loss for more than just a school district.