A North Carolina preschool teacher has resigned following backlash over her unauthorized use of LGBTQ-themed flashcards, which included images of a pregnant man.
The identity of the teacher has not been revealed by the Wake County Public School System.
On May 27th, House Speaker Tim Moore (R) posted about the flashcards, saying Rep. Erin Paré (R-Wake) learned of them from a concerned constituent. Moore’s post says the flashcards depicted a pregnant man and were being used to teach colors in a preschool class at Ballentine Elementary School.
Paré contacted the school’s principal who confirmed the cards had been used in the classroom and “were not part of approved curriculum and that she was unaware that they were being used.”
In response, Wake County Public School System officials said they were concerned “to learn of the inappropriate instructional resource found in a preschool classroom.”
“An initial review determined that flash cards were not tied to the district’s Pre-K curriculum, did not complement, enrich, or extend the curriculum and were used without the principal’s review, knowledge, and/or approval,” Wake County Public School System officials said in a news release Friday. “The materials have been removed from the school. The district is reviewing the matter.”
Officials also stated the district strives “to provide high quality instructional materials that will enrich and support the curriculum and enhance student learning.”
“I am grateful that a concerned constituent reached out and that this issue is being addressed in a swift and professional manner by Ballentine Elementary School,” said Paré.
“Schools should only be using age-appropriate materials, and these flashcards clearly do not meet that standard for a pre-school classroom,” she added.
“I hope schools across Wake County and the State of North Carolina will follow the example of Ballentine and respond swiftly when a parent expresses concern and ensure that materials like this are not being used to teach young students.”
The cards are made by a now-defunct company called ByUs Box, who also made sets of flash cards showcasing non-binary and transgender animals, gender neutral nursery rhymes and a “Blackness Collection.” The company was created by two women who said they were inspired by the murder of George Floyd.
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