Miller Middle School in San Marcos, Texas is hosting a “Queer Week” where students as young as sixth grade are urged to dress in “pride” colors, wear nametags with preferred names and pronouns, and “protest” LGBT discrimination.
“The goal of the week is to provide a school culture that values diversity, equity and inclusion,” MMS Principal Saumnya Hart told parents in an email forwarded to The Federalist by the school.
According to a “Miller Queer Week” schedule obtained by The Federalist, MMS set aside four school days in April “to provide support for students in the LGTBQIA+ community, their allies, and the greater student and staff body.”
Beginning on Tuesday, April 19, students were encouraged to “share their stories on the wall in the hallway in order to stand against mistreatment.” On Wednesday, students were told to “dress in colors of the rainbow to support the LGTBQ+ community.”
Nametags designated for “pronouns and preferred names” will be supplied for all students on Thursday, according to the “Queer Week” calendar. On Friday, the week is scheduled to close out with a “National Day of Silence” where “LGTBQ+ students and their allies protest the harmful effects of harassment and discrimination of LGTBQ people in schools.”
Hart told parents that she approved the event after approximately 15 students “who identify in the LGTBQIA+ community” asked the administration for “protection and a safe place to learn without being belittled.” She justified the school-sanctioned event by claiming that the activities “are completely voluntary and will not be included as part of any lesson or instruction being provided.”
San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District Chief of Communications Andrew Fernandez told The Federalist that the school has received complaints from concerned parents but believes the activities are appropriate because they are “not part of the instructional day.”
“We have calls every day about questions or concerns that families may have and we’re handling the situation as we do any other situation,” Fernandez said. “We speak with the parent. Hear their thoughts and concerns and then share the reasoning behind the activities taking place this week.”
Texas officials have made it very clear that school-sanctioned activities dealing with sexuality violate the state’s sex education opt-out requirements for parents.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton recently scolded Austin Independent School District for hosting its annual Pride Week which featured activities such as “watching Queer Eye” and “nail painting.”
“The Texas Legislature has made it clear that when it comes to sex education, parents — not school districts — are in charge,” Paxton wrote. “By hosting ‘Pride Week,’ your district has, at best, undertaken a week-long instructional effort in human sexuality without parental consent. Or, worse, your district is cynically pushing a week-long indoctrination of your students that not only fails to obtain parental consent, but subtly cuts parents out of the loop. Either way, you are breaking state law.”
It appears based on the email and the substance of the activities at Miller Middle School that this school is likewise in violation of Texas state law.