Letter: Vancouver Public School District parents want the book “Gender Queer” removed


Vancouver resident Michael Jelineo joins the fight to have book removed from Vancouver Public Schools libraries

Editor’s note: Opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are those of the author alone and do not reflect the editorial position of ClarkCountyToday.com.

Vancouver resident Michael Jelineo joins the fight to have book removed from Vancouver Public Schools libraries.
Michael Jelineo

As parents in the Vancouver Public School District, we are concerned about the materials and stuff being taught to our children. One such example is the book “Gender Queer,” which has been found in High school libraries and has the potential to harm our children’s mental health. 

We understand the importance of being respectful when communicating with school officials, however, we also believe it is necessary to be bold and firm when it comes to protecting our children from harmful materials. Schools have the financial resources to do as they please, and unfortunately, teachers unions often exert influence on school boards and dictate what policies are put in place. This can be problematic, as there are a variety of perspectives represented on school boards, including a preschool teacher from a Private School, a school psychologist, and former student, who may not always have the best interests of all students in mind. 

As parents, we have attended school board meetings and have requested changes, however, we have often been met with little response or action from the board or superintendent. We fought hard over the COVID-19 policies, including the requirement for students to wear masks for long periods of time, the mandate for COVID-19 testing before sports practices and games, and the prohibition of unmasked parents from attending their children’s games. We have also been told that parents and school staff at the time must be vaccinated to participate in field trips and volunteer in classrooms, that isn’t a problem anymore, but now we keep being pushed with other things, such as books that go against many peoples beliefs that are available for kids to check out. 

Furthermore, we are tired of the indoctrination and want it to stop. Books that can harm our children’s mental health and cause them to question their identity should not be allowed in school libraries. Therefore, we recommend that parents email Darci Fronk, the head of curriculum for Vancouver Public Schools, with a formal complaint and request that the book “Gender Queer” be removed from all school libraries her email is darci.fronk@vansd.org 

The Vancouver Public Schools have violated their own policy, Policy and Procedure 2000, Course Design, Selection and Adoption of Instruction Materials, which states that pornographic material should not be allowed. The librarian at Fort Vancouver High School should also be aware that her actions in not showing up to meetings goes against this policy. 

We support our children in receiving a good education and hope that the school district will take action and make changes to ensure that all students receive the education they deserve. Lastly, we urge parents to vote against the upcoming levy for Vancouver Public Schools on February 14, 2023. We cannot allow the school district to use taxpayer money to fund materials and teachings that are harmful to our children without our knowledge. This is their slush fund, and they can use it to hire whoever they want, regardless of the harm it may cause to our children.

Michael Jelineo
Vancouver


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Gary Wilson
Gary Wilson
16 days ago

Well said Mike. Parents need to become aware of the agenda pawning for their children and the schools part in that scheme. Send a clear message to this school board and superintendent and Vote No on the VPS levy.

Brett
Brett
16 days ago

Well, you asked for my opinion and so here it is. I am not in favor of book burning like the Nazi’s did, or as displayed in the novel written in the 1980’s “Fahrenheit 451”, which was the same topic. But in the case of this lefty “Gender Queer,” book, I agree…get rid of it from public schools and certainly from any ‘required’ reading list the crazed left promotes. Don’t lose it though. Someday folks will want other folks to know what this generation of lefties attempted to brainwash our children into thinking. Take care good folks and God bless you!

Janice McFarland
Janice McFarland
15 days ago

I can understand why some parents are upset at this book. After all, it deals with gender nonconformity. And the grossness of bodily fluids, and period nightmares, and deciding (realistically) never to have children – and worse, masturbation! – and sex! The HORROR. Parents tend to want to think of their kids being pure, and innocent, and unsullied by base urges, etc etc… And on the other hand, most parents want grandkids, too. The idea that your kid might discover that there are other options, better for the person’s own happiness perhaps, but not what their parents want, is a thing that can drive authoritarian parents to violence. For teens, though? Being able to understand themselves and others, having real and honest information, can make all the difference in the world, and lets people avoid a great deal of harm and self-damage. This memoir is very real, and very honest. It isn’t *focused* around sex and masturbation, the things that are most often invoked to try to paint the book as obscenity – those things are literally dealt with in a couple of pages. (And I assure you, as someone who actually *remembers* being a teenager, your teen has seen and thought far muckier things already. Really.) The memoir is focused around identity, and understanding your own feelings. About understanding the self, and the self in relation to others. Reading it will not turn your kid queer – that’s really not how it works – but if they are already uncertain of who and how they are, they’ll see that they aren’t the first, and that they can still be part of a community. And if they aren’t uncertain and aren’t even queer? It can help illuminate those who are, and remind us all of our shared humanity. Frankly, I think everyone should have a chance to understand these things. It’s a good book. It’s well drawn, too, as well as coherent and full of information, as a starting point rather than an end point. Give it a chance.

Standing-Up for our kids
Standing-Up for our kids
15 days ago

Pornography does not be belong in Vancouver Public Schools Libraries, it’s ridiculous you would defend this book and say there is nothing wrong with it. What Planet are you from?

Janice McFarland
Janice McFarland
15 days ago

Because this is not pornographic. It is a autobiography. Older kids who identify as LGBTQ have a right to access information and stories that help them.

Let’s be honest, you are against this book and are claiming it’s pornographic because it deals with an issue that is against your religion and your beliefs. Because if you’re really honest with yourself, high school kids are exposed to way worse material than this every day on their phones.

Your parents claimed that you cared about teen suicide rates, LGBTQ kids need to have resources. It is a proven fact is that if they have access to this kind of thing, they are less likely to kill themselves. They also have some of the highest rate of suicide.

TAM
TAM
14 days ago

If, as you say, that kids can find pornography on their phones, then they can read this book on their phones, and not in their school library.

TAM
TAM
14 days ago

School is NOT the place for any of this absolute nonsense and it should be taken out of all school libraries. I’ve seen this book and if you want your kids to read it, buy it and you read it aloud to them!

Cindi
Cindi
12 days ago

There is a good percentage of teen-aged children who wonder about their sexuality. Wondering is par for the course at this age/stage of life. Most work their way through to figure things out without explicit, school sanctioned, books. I think the book is just a symbol for the increased focus on alternative sexuality in our society. If you are watching TV, sex (and violence) is what is most prominent for themes. As a society, do we really need this? Do the schools need to educate our children about alternative sexual or gender preferences? In my view, this should be a parent’s domain until children become adults (at least until after high school). Public libraries can include these books if they want to. Removing books with this theme from school libraries does not mean people will never learn about alternatives but it does mean that they will, hopefully, be mature enough to understand it and make wise choices regarding it. We may not agree on every family’s parenting style but we should agree that parents should have a say in what their child is exposed to at school.

Janice
Janice
15 days ago

Another point I want to make is that there is no way this man wrote this article. Look up his you tube channel, watch his speeches at the board meeting. He can barely put together a coherent sentence, he did not write this article.

Christopher Young
Christopher Young
14 days ago
Reply to  Janice

He did write this article. He is a good friend and very smart. People like you are what’s wrong with people now a days.

Bill Dean
Bill Dean
14 days ago
Reply to  Janice

So do you attend School Board Meeting? How the hell do you say he didn’t write this? So you think sexualizing kids is fine? That is called “Grooming” or Pedophilia… Vancouver Public School District and other school districts are promoting just that when they allow books like Gender Queer and other to be in the school libraries…. VPS is not teaching the basics anymore… they are teaching kids to be Activists with Marxist ideas…. I don’t care how much you defend a book it does not belong in public school libraries.

Valerie A
Valerie A
14 days ago

English, Math, History, Science, Trades, Technology; can anyone explain to me how “Gender Queer” and other sexually explicit reading material fit in to our children’s public education? How does this help prepare them for college or a career pathway? How does this help them become a productive and independently functioning member of society? Does it help them get better scores on college entrance exams? Does it help them get a better job in a practical field? Does it teach them how to pay bills, manage finances, pay taxes, or function as a working member of society? IT ABSOLUTELY DOES NOT!
So, explain to me then… why is it in our public school libraries?

Born in Washington
Born in Washington
12 days ago
Reply to  Valerie A

Valerie hit the nail on the head. I wonder how many wolves are in sheeps clothing at the schools. By the amount of news articles released about underage students and teachers, PLENTY.

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