A Maine school superintendent told staff to make sure a father had to jump through hoops to get progressive gender identity materials removed from his child’s classroom.
Now, the dad is calling for her to be fired.
Superintendent Heather Perry told staff in an email last month to “slow the process down” on parent Eric Lane’s request that posters about gender identity be removed from his daughter’s sixth-grade classroom at Gorham Middle School in Maine, about two hours north of Boston.
For months now, Lane, a single parent with joint custody of his daughter, says he has been battling with the Gorham school district to remove “gender theory promotional and educational material” from his daughter’s classroom, or at least convince the school to provide opposing viewpoints. Lane was particularly concerned about posters that defined terms like cisgender, transgender, and nonbinary.
Back in October, Lane met with Superintendent Perry and explained that his Christian values were the reason he objected to the gender posters. Months later in April, Perry denied his request, saying she was going off the recommendation of a review committee, Lane said.
She did not count on Lane obtaining her emails through Maine’s Freedom of Access Act, however.
In an April 20 email to school staff, Perry urged staffers to slow walk Lane’s request to remove the gender ideology materials, according to one of the government documents Lane obtained through his request.
“The reason I am reaching out is because for the first time in many people’s memories, we have a parent who would like to exercise their rights … to request removal of instructional materials from either our curriculum/classrooms or from our library,” Perry wrote in her email.
“This particular parent alone is likely to continue these requests for years to come,” the superintendent continued, adding that, “we need to use as many ‘rungs’ in the ladder as possible to slow the process down to ensure this parent has to ‘work’ a little on their end as well.”
After discovering the email, Lane submitted a formal complaint for First Amendment discrimination against Perry and Gorham Schools to the Gorham School Committee.
“There is a culture of contempt for anyone living and expressing Christian values in Gorham Schools and this email is a glimpse behind the curtain of how this school operates and intends to stifle Christians and their exercise of their rights,” Lane stated in his complaint.
On May 11, Lane spoke at a school board meeting and accused the school of a laundry list of offenses relating to forcing progressive gender ideology on students, saying the school is “encouraging children to be woke activists and fight for change.”
Perry apologized to Lane in a letter several days later, saying her intention was simply to make sure the proper process was followed regarding removing curriculum materials.
“Please accept my apology for my poorly chosen words and know that I remain committed to continue to represent Gorham and its Schools with a high level of passion and integrity,” Perry wrote.
The dad said he is not convinced.
“I don’t find the [apology] to be sincere and the timing suggests it was sent in defense of herself,” Lane said.
Lane told The Daily Wire that his initial reaction was that he did not want the superintendent to lose her job.
“Then I considered her position as a leader, her openness, and suggestion to other staff members of her agenda, the year-long battle I have had against those posters being hung, hung 24/7 in my daughter’s classroom for my daughter to be influenced by, which I find tantamount to child abuse, my faith-based objections and not least of all, the stress of dealing with it all as a single parent working two jobs,” he continued.
Now, he wants Perry fired and said there also needs to be a third-party investigation into the district “to evaluate how pervasive this behavior has become.”