LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) – The new LPS superintendent is already tackling some sensitive topics and the school year has just begun.
At Tuesday’s school board meeting, the first since classes resumed, LPS Superintendent Dr. Paul Gausman took a moment to address the controversy and confusion surrounding LGBTQ+ topics in the district.
Dr. Gausman touched on two important points. One being whether a certain book was available in LPS school libraries and the other being a mandatory learning session for LPS staff, such as counselors and school nurses, to better support transgender students. And the others.
Dr. Gausman’s first school board meeting for the school year began by addressing the mandatory staff training that took place on August 10 and what guest speaker, transgender author Ryan Sallans, would have talked about, which been at the center of a complaint made in a woman’s social media posts.
“I want to make it clear that several staff members have reliably reported to me that the speaker did not say, the quote that was attributed to this speaker on social media,” Dr Gausman said. . “However, given that there always seems to be some level of disagreement over what was actually said, as Superintendent of Schools I will look into this further and do my best to get an idea of what that staff members think they heard.”
Stephanie Johnson, a former LPS speech pathologist, took to the social media posts.
“And my point in all of this is just to recognize where people are getting their data and the public needs to know that,” Johnson said.
There are also allegations that Sallans supports the use of puberty blockers and he said not calling students by their preferred pronouns would be harassment. Gausman said he was looking into all of this.
“We do our best to ensure that any content for our students, and in this case our staff, will be appropriate and consistent with our policies and curriculum,” Dr. Gausman said. “If we find that a guest speaker is not complying with these policies and practices, they will not be invited back.”
Several people spoke in favor of the training.
“I strongly support Lincoln Public Schools providing teacher training on topics including but not limited to LGBTQ plus issues, mental health, critical thinking, community building, diversity, equity and inclusion,” said Lindsay Rodgers.
Dr. Gausman also commented on concerns about the Gender Queer book, which was mentioned in a Nebraska GOP tweet. He said, to his knowledge, that this book is not available at LPS libraries.
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