News (USA)

Public meeting over reading of gay fable to third graders canceled

In “King & King” by Linda de Haan and Stern Nijland, the prince tells his mother “I must say ... I've never cared much for princesses.”
In “King & King” by Linda de Haan and Stern Nijland, the prince tells his mother “I must say … I’ve never cared much for princesses.”

EFLAND, N.C. — A public meeting in a small North Carolina town over the reading of a story about a gay prince to third-graders was canceled.

The meeting was scheduled for Thursday night at Gravelly Hill Middle School in Efland, a small community about 20 miles northwest of Durham, and was expected to draw hundreds of people on both sides of the issue, The News & Observer reports.

Omar Currie
Omar Currie

A statement released Thursday said the meeting was canceled because two appeals of an Orange County Schools review committee’s upholding of the reading have been withdrawn.

“The book challenge process … is concluded,” Orange County Schools spokesman Seth Stephens said in the release. “The decisions of the Media Review Committee are no longer under appeal.”

The release did not say why the parents withdrew their appeals.

Efland-Cheeks Elementary School teacher Omar Currie, 25, read his students “King & King,” a children’s story about a prince who falls in love with another prince.

Currie and Meg Goodhand, the assistant principal who gave him the book, later resigned.

Currie had said he would be leaving the school because administrators did not fully support him after he read the book in response to a boy in his class being called gay in a derogatory way and being told he was acting like a girl.

A school committee upheld using the book, but multiple people appealed the ruling.

After two public meetings were held earlier this month, Principal Kiley Brown announced the school would allow continued use of “King & King.”

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But Brown also instituted a policy that requires teachers to notify parents of all the books they plan to read in the classroom, Currie said.

Brown has declined requests for comment.

“The specific challenge involving ‘King & King’ is finished, and the school-level decisions stand,” Stephens said in the release.

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