Tuesday, May 24, 2022
Tuesday, May 24, 2022

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HomeBreaking NewsWisconsin State Superintendent Defends Lessons on Race, Books on LGBTQ Issues

Wisconsin State Superintendent Defends Lessons on Race, Books on LGBTQ Issues


Jill Underly’s op-ed is 572 words long. She doesn’t use the word “parent” once.

Wisconsin’s state superintendent of schools is jumping to the defense of teachers and schools in the debate over race, gender and sex in the state’s classrooms.

Superintendent Jill Underly wrote an op-ed Wednesday that defends what she calls “welcoming spaces.”

“The way we – as leaders, as community members, as adults – talk about race, or about respecting pronouns, or about including books in libraries that address racism or those with LGBTQ+ characters, have an impact. When the adults in charge – those who make policy, or run for office, or serve on boards – speak negatively and encourage harassment of students with disabilities, or of students because of their gender, immigration status, race, sexuality or gender identity, it makes life harder for students,” Underly wrote. “These are children! And when adults sit passively without calling out these harmful behaviors, they are no different than the bystander who does nothing or says nothing when someone is being bullied or harmed.”

Jill Underly didn’t mention any specific policies or specific adults that she thinks are harming children.

But her op-ed comes just days after Gov. Tony Evers vetoed the Parents Bill of Rights that would have allowed parents to see just what is being taught in their kids’ classrooms, and remove their children from classes that they object to.

Jill Underly’s message also comes as schools in Madison and Eau Claire continue to defend their policies of keeping student gender at school secret from parents.

Jill Underly framed her “welcoming spaces” approach as a life and death issue for students.

“We know that the higher the number of supportive staff members at a school or family members at home, the safer LGBTQ+ students feel and the greater sense of belonging they report. Affirmation matters, and fostering a sense of belonging saves lives,” she wrote.

Jill Underly’s op-ed is 572 words long. She doesn’t use the word “parent” once. She concludes her essay: “This is a moment of reckoning. Our students need affirmation and to be connected to their schools and their communities – in our classrooms and in our state,” she wrote. “I believe we have the collective will to support them the way they need to be supported: with welcome and with belonging.”

GOP State Senate Watch List

Updated: 5/24/2022 2:00PM

The GOP Senators that have signed the Roth petition to go into extraordinary session to fire parole commissioner John Tate:

Stephen Nass

John Jagler

Roger Roth

Kathy Bernier

Julian Bradley

Andre Jacque

Patrick Testin

The GOP Senators who have NOT signed the petition:

Robert Cowles

Dale Kooyenga

Alberta Darling

Devin LeMahieu

Rob Stafsholt

Mary Felzkowski

Joan Ballweg

Howard Marklein

Dan Feyen

Van Wanggaard

Duey Stroebel

Jerry Petrowski

Eric Wimberger

Chris Kapenga

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