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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Orange County Schools to convene committee on gay fairy tale read in class

Posted by on Tue, Jun 2, 2015 at 1:05 PM

Efland-Cheeks Elementary third-grade teacher Omar Currie
  • Photo by Alex Boerner
  • Efland-Cheeks Elementary third-grade teacher Omar Currie

The fight over a teacher's decision to read a gay-themed children's book in an Orange County Schools classroom continues.

Orange County Schools Interim Superintendent Pam Jones will appoint a system committee to review the book, "King & King." This is the next step in the process, the system said Tuesday afternoon, after parents appealed a school committee's decision last month to allow the book.

A handful of parents were upset after third-grade teacher Omar Currie read the book at Efland-Cheeks Elementary in western Orange County in April. Currie, who is openly gay, said he was attempting to teach his students a lesson about bullying after one boy in his class was repeatedly called "gay" in a derogatory way.

The book tells the story of a prince who weds another man after his mother, the queen, pressures him to find a partner.

The superintendent's committee will meet in an open meeting, the date of which has not been set yet. The superintendent would be expected to issue a report after the group makes its decision. If parents are still not pleased, they could appeal the decision further, which would bring the matter before the system's Board of Education. Thus far, the school board has been largely quiet during the controversy.

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