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Middle Schoolers’ Pushback

Middle school students wear red, white, & blue
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Penna Dexternever miss viewpoints

What happens when a Boston middle school holds a Pride Month Spirit Day complete with rainbow streamers, Pride banners and invitations to students and faculty to wear rainbow clothing in support?

In bright blue Massachusetts, one might expect that most kids would get onboard. But that is not what happened on June 2nd at Marshall Simonds Middle School in Burlington, a Boston suburb. As The Washington Stand reports, “Some students not only refused to bow to the rainbow idol, but also organized a counterprotest.” Groups of students wore red, white, blue or black, including face paint. They chanted, “U.S.A. are my pronouns.” Some of them got feisty and tore down decorations and ripped them up and stuffed them in water fountains.

The school’s principal, Cari Perchase wrote a letter to parents stating she was “extremely disheartened” by the protest. She complained that the protesting students “glared intimidatingly at faculty members showing pride.” She said celebrating students were shamed, causing some to remove rainbow stickers or cover up Pride messages on their clothing.

The Washington Stand’s Joshua Arnold observed that, the protesting “middle schoolers responded to peer pressure to celebrate LGBT Pride with peer pressure against celebrating LGBT Pride — and they succeeded.”

Principal Perchase’s letter prefaced her apology to Marshall Simonds LGBT-identifying students with this statement: “When one individual or group of individuals’ beliefs and actions result in the demeaning of another individual or group, it is completely unacceptable.” But, more than a few Marshall Simonds students do not buy into LGBT ideology. Doesn’t the school’s insistence that they celebrate Pride month “demean” them?

The Burlington Superintendent of Schools also sent out a letter. In it, he insisted. “We embrace everyone for who they are.”  Then he encouraged citizens to “join us in taking a stand against homophobia.”

To stand against oppressive, in-your-face contempt for traditional morality and simple biology is not homophobic. It’s courageous.  penna's vp small

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