‘USA Are My Pronouns:’ Middle Schoolers Rebel Against Pride Month Indoctrination
According to reports, middle school students in Massachusetts were accused of displaying “intolerance and homophobia” when they protested against a Pride celebration at their school and chanted “USA” as their preferred pronouns.
Earlier this month, some students at Marshall Simonds Middle School in Burlington were accused of protesting against a school-approved spirit day that celebrated Pride Month. The event was organized by the Spectrum Club, a club for LGBT students and their supporters, and encouraged students to wear rainbow colors. Some other students countered by wearing only red, white, and blue clothing, chanting “U.S.A. are my pronouns,” and removing LGBT-themed banners and stickers.
“These displays of intolerance and homophobia are unacceptable and impact the whole community,” said Burlington Equity Coalition co-Chair Nancy Bonassera at a community meeting about the incident. “We challenge Burlington town leadership to take an active stand against hate under the guise of ‘free expression.’”
Some parents were offended by the school’s suggestion that children wear rainbow-themed clothing while others did not find it problematic.
“Some of the kids threw the stickers on the ground. But I can only speak for my daughter, she just didn’t want to wear that to school. It’s not that she wanted to hurt anybody’s feelings,” Christine Steiner told WCBV.
On 2, there was an incident and two days later, Superintendent Eric Conti of Burlington Public Schools sent a letter to parents criticizing the students who protested. He also mentioned that event participation was not mandatory.
“We recognize that intolerance can manifest in many different ways, and unfortunately our school community experienced intolerance during the school day on Friday. Students who participate in the Spectrum Club led a celebration of National Pride Month that included posters in support of identity pride, and other symbols of LGBTQ+ identity such as rainbow flags and clothing,” Conti wrote.
Some signs and posters in the school included messages like “Why it’s not ok to say ‘That’s so gay,’” and “Happy Pride Month.”
“I recognize that discussions and celebrations of individual identity are complex and impacted by individual values, religions, and cultural norms, the result of which may include expressions of racism, anti-religious hate, ableism, and in this case homophobia,” Conti’s letter continued.
The principal urged the community to fight against homophobia and promised to make the school a safe and inclusive space for everyone. Additionally, Principal Cari Perchase apologized for the intolerance displayed at the Pride event and mentioned that the school might introduce a program to educate students about acceptance and tolerance.