A North Carolina preschool teacher who used a set of flashcards featuring a picture of a pregnant man has resigned following an outcry from parents and lawmakers.
Last week, Tim Moore, the Republican speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives, issued a statement announcing that Republican Rep. Erin Pare received an email from a concerned constituent alerting her to the use of LGBT themed flashcards “to teach colors to children in a preschool class at Ballentine Elementary School.
One of the flashcards included an image of a pregnant man to illustrate the color “white.”
The flashcard is part of a set titled “Progress Pride Flag Rainbow Families Flash Cards.” The set is touted as a way to “explore the colours and meanings of the updated Progress Pride Flag.”
The sold-out collection features “custom-designed illustrations” portraying LGBT families “of diverse races, ages, sexualities, genders, and abilities.” Another flashcard in the collection depicts a family led by two mothers, which was created to introduce the color “pink.”
“Rep. Pare immediately contacted the principal of the elementary school to alert her of this constituent concern and to confirm the use of the flash cards in the classroom,” Moore said. “The principal of the school took swift action to investigate and respond to the information.”
After finding “the stack of cards in a preschool classroom,” the principal “verified with the teacher that they had been used by the teacher in the classroom to teach colors” and “confirmed that the flash cards were not part of the approved curriculum.”
Moore noted that upon discovering them, “the principal immediately took possession of the cards, contacted the WCPSS area superintendent, and engaged human resources.”
The Wake County Public School System, the largest school district in the state, told local news outlet WRAL Tuesday that the teacher who used the LGBT-themed flashcards has resigned. In a statement emailed to WRAL, Wake County Public School System Spokesperson Lisa Luten reported that “the district is concerned to learn of the inappropriate instructional resource found in a preschool classroom.”
Pare, who represents North Carolina House District 37, which includes Ballentine Elementary School, praised the school for addressing the concerns of her constituent in a “swift and professional manner.” She maintained that “schools should only be using age-appropriate materials, and these flashcards clearly do not meet that standard for a pre-school classroom.”
“I hope schools across Wake County and the State of North Carolina will follow the example of Ballentine and respond swiftly when a parent expresses concern and ensure that materials like this are not being used to teach young students,” she added.