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

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