CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) – As a national debate unfolds over LGBTQ rights and education, some concerned Wyoming parents and lawmakers are wondering what the impact will be on students.
On Tuesday morning, a crowd of concerned parents, lawmakers, educators and speakers gathered at Little America to discuss the over-sexualization of children in education.
“The indictment of our schools is tremendous, and what worries me is that our public schools seem to be the new scapegoat, and why in the world would we risk what was once truly one of the strongest institutions in this community we have,” says Lynn Simons, former Superintendent of Public Instruction from 1979 to 1991.
Concerns about explicit books, gender identity courses, gender studies, and trans issues became hotbeds of discussion.
Educators discussed parents’ rights to decide what their children learn at school.
“A parent should have the right to determine what their child should be exposed to,” says Chip Neiman, District 1 House Representative.
They pushed back against what they said was a growing national narrative of LGBTQ material and the oversexualization of minors.
“Parental anger, listening to parents constantly about this, and then again seeing the national trends in the country and my beliefs about education..The purpose of education is to learn to think, and we are moving away from that. It is increasingly ideological; there’s more indoctrination,” says Brian Schroeder, Interim Superintendent of Public Instruction.
One speaker said that his organization is selling a t-shirt that says it has abolished the Department of Education.
“You want to have some kind of central authority to keep everything together. And surely every child has the same opportunity as every other child. Equity and equality are very important, and that is the function of the Department of Education,” says Simons.
Lawmakers say the next steps are parental rights legislation, statutory exemptions and amending our constitution.
“We want quality education without all the other … How to put a word for it … without all the other stuff,” Neiman says.
A local mother says we need to leave indoctrination out of education and schools.
“We can teach whatever we want at home and still be loving and inclusive, but not promote our personal beliefs,” says Gloria Courser, Concerned Parent and Citizen.
“Parents always have the opportunity for their children to learn. If they want to exclude their children from certain materials, they have every right to do that, what they can’t do for everyone else’s children,” says Simons.
As the policy evolves, one bill would make it illegal for parents and children to undergo sex reassignment before their 18th birthday.
Copyright 2022 KGWN. All rights reserved.