A married lesbian couple in Michigan say their daughter’s teacher banned her from writing a speech about marriage equality for fear that it might “offend somebody in the class.”
The school district is investigating the incident.
Angela McDermitt-Jackson and Chris Jackson married in 2015 and are raising Destiny McDermitt, their 17-year-old daughter who is a junior at Hill McCloy High School in Montrose, Michigan.
Destiny’s teacher assigned her class a “Take a Stand Speech” in which students were told to speak in favor of or against a social issue important to them. Having two mothers, Destiny said she wanted to speak in support of same-sex marriage.
Destiny and other classmates claim that the teacher forbade her topic over worries it might offend other students. When Destiny asked whether the teacher could inquire if the topic offended her fellow classmates, the teacher declined her request.
The teacher also reportedly said she didn’t want to read or grade such a paper.
“No, we’re not going to do that,” the teacher reportedly said in front of the class. “I don’t want to hear about it, I don’t want to read about it, and I’m the one who has to grade it.”
Destiny was so upset that she contacted her mother Angela while still present in the class. Later, Destiny wrote a letter complaining to school officials. Destiny has since been moved into a different class.
“[It] offended me because I have two moms [who] are married and I really thought it was inappropriate,” McDermitt wrote. Her mothers, aunt, grandmother, grandfather, niece, and younger sister all support her.
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