Erie School Board Diversity Controversy Goes National

Almost two weeks ago, before any local television coverage, I blogged about the Erie School District, in Whiteside County, Illinois, about 30 miles outside the Quad Cities, and its school board’s decision to stop using anti-bullying and family diversity material from GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network.

This story has now gone national with stories on “The Huffington Post” and “The New Civil Rights Movement” and I’ve been contacted by several national organizations and writers.

That story was viewed almost 1,600 times by people very passionately explaining why they’re not happy with the school board for making the decision and others commending the school board because they don’t want the school to tell kids that some families have two dads or two moms.  Some of those opposing the GLSEN material want to teach their kids diversity (or the lack of diversity) at home and some just don’t want to admit that many families are non-traditional.  Not every family has a mommy and a daddy at home.

The bottom line is that blog entry gave people who are opposed to GLSEN and are happy with the school board’s decision an avenue to express their views.  Here is that link if you want to comment on that particular part of the story.

This may come across as crass, but opposing comments are not welcome on this particular blog entry.  Why?  Because the blog entry you’re reading now is not in support of the five Erie School Board members that opposed the GLSEN material or Superintendent Bradley Cox.  So, in all fairness, comment on the earlier link if you’re opposed to GLSEN.  This is in support of “The Family Book”, tolerance, and diversity of all families.

The purpose here is to share a video from the author of “The Family Book”, Todd Parr, talking about the book that is being banned by the Erie School District and a plea from a 2010 graduate of Erie High School to sign his petition to have the school district to reverse the ban on GLSEN materials and LGBT-inclusive lessons.  This is someone who went to school in Erie and knows first hand what is needed in not just Erie, but all schools.

“My name is Sean Leeds and I grew up in the Erie Community Unit School District in Erie, IL. Perhaps one day my children will go to school in Erie as well, except the Superintendent and School Board recently made it clear that my non-traditional family may not be accepted there….”

Here is the link for you to read the rest of Sean’s story and to sign the petition:

Here, author Todd Parr talks about the controversy and his book:

Please take a moment to sign Sean’s petition.

Schools being inclusive of all students and families starts with one person and then another and another.  Thank you.


4 responses to this post.

  1. Because teaching tolerance and acceptance of difference would be a terrible thing for the world? Can you imagine what kind of world we would be living in if people were actually tolerant and accepting? What a better place to raise our children it would be. In this day and age, it baffles me how people can still be so clueless, cruel and hypocritical. Keep getting the word out, Anthony!


  2. Vicky,

    That would be such a beautiful and fantastic place! Take care and thank you for helping in the getting the word out, too, and being accepting.



  3. Posted by Erin Dial on June 6, 2012 at 5:58 am

    Charlie Brown and his son are THE biggest bullies and leaders of the unspoken Erie KKK and everyone who lives in or has lived in Erie knows it. EVERY kind of bullying… the Browns are the ringleaders AND THE trendsetters. ASK ANYONE. Bigots, racists, the man turns my stomach. Just ask their old neighbors. AND every person of color who has lived anywhere near erie il. Think I exagerate… ITS worse. much worse in reality.


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