Some Ohio parents have expressed their anger that their local school district permits teachers to wear a “safe space” badge with a QR code that when scanned, leads to websites containing sexually explicit content.
“Teachers K through 12 can wear the badge that says, ‘I’m here. Safe person, safe space.’ The district says the message of the badge is a message of safety and inclusion for all students,” veteran Emmy Award-winning reporter Lu Ann Stoia of ABC 6 Columbus reported.
The superintendent of the Hilliard school district responded to ABC 6’s inquiries with a statement saying, “Teachers were reminded that the resources linked to the QR code were for adult learning only. Teachers were reminded that if asked about the ‘I’m Here’ message on the badge, their response should be age appropriate.”
.@HilliardSchools allows teachers to wear a “safe space” badge with a QR code. When scanned, the code leads to inappropriate websites containing sexually explicit content.
The superintendent continues to allow the badges to be worn in school. pic.twitter.com/0cQc0yGVWq
— Libs of TikTok (@libsoftiktok) September 21, 2022
Some of the parents in the district may sue the district because they argue the district is not being transparent about gender and sex-related conversations their children may be having with school staff, the Ohio Press Network reported.
In July, some of the parents confronted Stewart about Title IX changes; Stewart reputedly argued that if a teacher were to “out a kid” to their parents, the teacher would face a potential risk.
Columbus attorney Joshua Brown, who represents over 30 parents in the district, sent letters to the school legal counsel, as well as a letter to district Superintendent Dave Stewart giving the district until September 15 to answer the parents’ questions or a lawsuit would be filed.
In the letter to Stewart, Brown asked if the school would “require school officials to notify parents when their child manifests symptoms of gender dysphoria (or symptoms of anything else) at school, and what specific exceptions may apply.”
The district’s law firm replied on September 14, the last day before the parents had said they would sue. They wrote, “Without going back and forth about who can assess ‘symptoms,’ and what that undefined term may mean to you or the parents you represent, it appears your question is really – if a student identifies at school as a gender different than their birth gender, will the school discuss this with the parents? The answer is ‘probably.’”
The letter added, “While parents generally have rights regarding the upbringing of their children, schools and educators have an obligation to act in the student’s best interest when the student is at school.”