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Students, parents questioning New Richmond Schools LGBTQ+ policy

The district is allegedly banning forms that allow students to provide their preferred gender identity and pronouns.
Published: Sep. 24, 2021 at 7:02 PM EDT
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CLERMONT COUNTY, Ohio (WXIX) - New Richmond Middle School is coming under fire by some community advocates who say that the district is removing LGBTQ+ support measures for students.

On Monday at the New Richmond School Board meeting, students and teachers stood at the podium to stand up for LGBTQ+ rights that they say are now under attack.

Michelle Johnson is the president of New Richmond Pride.

Johnson shared an email she says was sent to the staff saying in part: “We as educators have been instructed to take a neutral stance on everything and try to maintain our focus on academics. In that, I am directing you to remove anything in your room that has rainbows on it.”

Said Johnson, “I was told it’s just a really small rainbow sticker that a teacher, if they wanted to, they could put on a badge or their laptop or whiteboard just to show that they’re a safe person to talk to.”

Johnson explains the district is also banning the use of forms that allow students to provide their preferred gender identity and pronouns.

She says she is concerned about how the changes could impact some students.

“These are middle-school kids,” she said. “They are very high risk for self-harm and other things because of bullying and all these other things, and taking away a safety net is really... We don’t feel it’s in the child’s best interest any child.”

Johnson says some staff members are also afraid to speak out for fear of losing their jobs.

Superintendent for New Richmond Schools Tracey Miller released a statement (below) saying in part: “Regarding the rainbow stickers the board heard your concerns and wants you to know that the district prioritizes our classrooms being a safe space for all students.”

The district also says that their Gender Student Support Plan, which would allow students to provide their preferred gender identity, will be used by administrators to identify the resources students need.

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