News Story

Pride Flags And ‘Queer Of The Week’ In Classrooms Are A Red Flag To Grand Ledge Parents

Kids ‘walking into the atmosphere of programming and indoctrination,’ one says

Parents of children who attend Grand Ledge Public Schools near Lansing are distressed about what happens in district classrooms. They report that teachers hang gay pride flags in their rooms and celebrate “Queer of the Week” historical figures, such as Charity Bryant, a 19th-century lesbian said to be a member of one of the first noteworthy same-sex couples in America.

The parents in Grand Ledge claim their children are being indoctrinated by far-left ideologues.

“As a parent of Grand Ledge students, I have grown significantly concerned with the social issues that have been showcased with flags, banners, posters, and white boards in the classrooms,” Kristen Andriessen said in an email. “Unfortunately, some of the leaders of our school district have even taken it a leap forward and have brought discussions and books into our classrooms and have essentially forced our students to participate in subject matters that are far too mature for them, but also go against their own principles and personal strongly held belief system.”

Andriessen said, “Our kids are literally walking into the atmosphere of programming and indoctrination of this sexual confusion and agenda from the moment they walk into the door.”

A contentious school board meeting last year thrust Grand Ledge Public Schools into the national spotlight. The meeting was cited by the National School Boards Association in its Sept. 29, 2021, letter to President Joe Biden. The association said that America’s public schools and its educational leaders were “under an immediate threat” from parents and compared alleged “acts of malice, violence, and threats against public school officials” to domestic terrorism.

Ashley Kuykendoll is an inclusion and diversity officer in the Michigan Department of Treasury. Kuykendoll, who is African American, attended the Jan. 24 Grand Ledge school board meeting and is a candidate for the board.

In a Jan. 25 email sent from her state of Michigan work address to another person, Kuykendoll wrote that at a board meeting, a white man stood up near her children and yelled. She wrote that she had her children escorted out of the building out of concern for their safety. Kuykendoll added that a white woman at the meeting told her, “I bet you support BLM [Black Lives Matter], don’t you? You know they’re all criminals, you know your kind of people.”

Kuykendoll wrote in her email that she didn’t feel safe at the meeting. “I was reminded,” she said, “that I am an ‘other’ in this community... My experience...was horrific and brought to light many of the concerns that I had about moving to this community.”

When asked to state the school district’s policy on posting such flags in classrooms, Superintendent Marcus Davenport replied, “The goal of our district is to provide all students with a safe and welcoming learning environment.”

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.