Teacher, assistant principal at Orange County school step down over gay fairy tale controversy | News
News
INDY Week's news blog

Archives | RSS

Monday, June 15, 2015

Teacher, assistant principal at Orange County school step down over gay fairy tale controversy

Posted by on Mon, Jun 15, 2015 at 2:54 PM

Efland-Cheeks Elementary third-grade teacher Omar Currie has resigned.

A teacher and an assistant principal at Orange County's Efland-Cheeks Elementary have stepped down following the backlash over the teacher's reading of a gay children's book in the classroom.

Third-grade teacher Omar Currie and Assistant Principal Meg Goodhand confirmed their resignation to the Indy Monday. Currie sparked an uproar this spring when he read the book, "King & King," to his class following a bullying incident. The book, which was given to Currie by Goodhand, tells the story of a fictional prince who defies the pressure to marry a princess and weds a man.

Currie wanted to teach a lesson after one student was repeatedly bullied and called "gay" in a derogatory manner.

"My reading of 'King & King' was the 100 percent right thing to do," he said on Monday. "It's obvious Orange County Schools is lacking leadership right now."

A handful of parents expressed anger, arguing Currie was forcing his opinion on the children, although many LGBTQ advocates, as well as Goodhand, came to Currie's defense in a heated public meeting last month.

Currie said Monday that school system administrators were "hostile" to him in a recent meeting, after he publicly criticized the system in last month's Indy report. "There was no way I was going to have the support I needed to continue teaching in Orange County," he said.

Currie was angered when the controversy prompted the school's principal, Kiley Brown, to order a new policy in which teachers would be forced to notify parents of every book read in the classroom. Brown, who did not respond to Indy interview requests, also ordered that parents be given the choice to opt out of the lesson.

A school committee has chosen multiple times to support keeping the book at Efland-Cheeks, although Interim Superintendent Pam Jones has appointed a system committee to review the book after parents appealed their case to the district.

That committee's first meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday at Gravelly Hill Middle School in Efland. It is a public meeting.

Orange County Schools spokesman Seth Stephens confirmed the system had received Currie's resignation. "We wish him well," Stephens said.

Goodhand declined to talk about her resignation Monday.

Tags: , , , ,

Pin It

Comments (6)

Showing 1-6 of 6

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-6 of 6

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in News



Twitter Activity

Comments

Cora landed the endorsements of the Durham Committee (DC) and the Friends (FD) for 10,400 votes.
Huggins with the DC …

by Frank Hyman on Cole-McFadden Survives Durham Council Primary, Moffitt Does Not (News)

Cora landed the endorsements of the Durham Committee (DC) and the Friends (FD) for 10,400 votes.
Huggins with the DC …

by Frank Hyman on Durham's Next Mayor Will Be Steve Schewel or Farad Ali (News)

Most Recent Comments

Cora landed the endorsements of the Durham Committee (DC) and the Friends (FD) for 10,400 votes.
Huggins with the DC …

by Frank Hyman on Cole-McFadden Survives Durham Council Primary, Moffitt Does Not (News)

Cora landed the endorsements of the Durham Committee (DC) and the Friends (FD) for 10,400 votes.
Huggins with the DC …

by Frank Hyman on Durham's Next Mayor Will Be Steve Schewel or Farad Ali (News)

Just because one of our two newly elected Council members is pro-neighborhood and natural resources, it does not qualify her …

by Meredith de la Vergne on Make Way for the NIMBY Raleigh City Council, as Newcomers Nicole Stewart and Stef Mendell Oust Bonner Gaylord and Defeat Stacy Miller (News)

To follow-up on my previous comment. Mary-Ann and Nancy are both very developer friendly and neither one can claim to …

by FONCitizen on Make Way for the NIMBY Raleigh City Council, as Newcomers Nicole Stewart and Stef Mendell Oust Bonner Gaylord and Defeat Stacy Miller (News)

Nicole Stewart was endorsed by Mary-Ann Baldwin, her campaign manager is Nancy McFarlane's daughter and she was supported in her …

by FONCitizen on Make Way for the NIMBY Raleigh City Council, as Newcomers Nicole Stewart and Stef Mendell Oust Bonner Gaylord and Defeat Stacy Miller (News)

© 2017 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation