gender unicorn 2

poster at Mission View Elementary in Wenatchee

WENATCHEE - Anger expressed by dozens of members in the Wenatchee community prompted a formal response from the Wenatchee School District regarding inclusion-themed posters that is on display at an elementary school.

Recently, staff at Mission View Elementary posted a couple of "gender unicorn" posters in classrooms at the school.

Developed by the organization, Trans Student Educational Resources, the "gender unicorn" poster explains gender identity, gender expression and attraction.

gender unicorn

The consensus amongst those against the poster is that it’s premature to be educating and informing kids in the elementary age group about such things.

However, Wenatchee School District says it sees it from a different perspective and issued the following statement:  

The "Gender Unicorn" poster is not part of any district-adopted curriculum or instruction; therefore, our staff are not using this poster as teaching material. These materials were placed in some classrooms by staff members for the purpose of promoting an inclusive environment for all students.  Staff commonly decorate classrooms with posters and other messaging intended to build rapport with students and to promote the District’s mission and values.  In this instance, the poster chosen by staff appears to be reasonably intended to further those legitimate purposes.  The posters do not advocate or encourage bias or prejudice.  Instead, they are aimed at promoting an environment of inclusion and understanding at the school.  As reflected in its recently adopted strategic plan framework, and consistent with state law and OSPI guidance, one of the District’s priorities is to create “welcoming spaces where all individuals flourish, are seen and valued, feel safe, and know they belong.”  This priority applies across all District schools and classrooms.  For all these reasons, at present these posters do not appear to violate any applicable, pre-existing policy.

Those expressing their stance against the material want Dr. Paul Gordon out as superintendent of the district.

The Facebook group, Wenatchee Valley Community for Children and Public Schools, reposted an email that was sent by Dr. Gordon to staff.

In the email, Gordon says the poster at the school has “become a focal point of conversation, debate, and disagreement among staff. 

Gordon went on to say:

“…the two posters chosen by staff appear to be reasonably intended to further those legitimate purposes.  The posters do not advocate or encourage bias or prejudice.  Instead, they are aimed at promoting an environment of inclusion and understanding at the school.  As reflected in its recently adopted strategic plan framework, and consistent with state law and OSPI guidance, one of the District’s priorities is to create “welcoming spaces where all individuals flourish, are seen and valued, feel safe, and know they belong.”  This priority applies across all District schools and classrooms.  For all these reasons, at present these posters do not appear to violate any applicable, pre-existing District policy.”

Gordon added that further guidance and oversight is warranted on staff messaging, including classroom décor. As a result, Gordon says the district is currently working on a new policy to address such matters and will implement it in the 2021-2022 school year.