A lesbian couple in Maryland says that the director of a daycare center left them a disturbing anti-LGBTQ+ voicemail message in which she spoke in tongues.
Kelly and Ky Gibbs say they removed their child from Rising Generations Early Learning Center in Prince George County, Maryland, after receiving a voicemail from the center’s director, Kimesha Munford, who is also the daughter of the center’s owners.
The Gibbses both describe the voicemail, which Kelly received in the wee hours of the morning in February, as “disturbing.” In the message, which the couple shared with local Fox affiliate WTTG, Munford claims to be a prophet, urges the couple to split up, and even speaks in tongues.
“Hi Mrs. Gibbs, this is Ms. Kimesha from Rising Generation. I’m so sorry to be calling you this late and to be calling you from my personal private cell phone, but I had to call to let you know that I’m a prophet and God often speaks to me through dreams and visions,” Munford said in the voicemail. “And the word of the Lord says that God wants you and your wife to split up and I am so sorry to have to tell you this… [speaking incoherently] I also speak in tongues, I pray in tongues.”
The couple said that Munford’s message came as a shock. Rising Generations is not religiously affiliated, and the Gibbses say they had no prior indication that anyone at the center disapproved of their marriage. On its website, Rising Generations says that it complies with federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of “sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation).”
“The message itself was so dark and disturbing that we were like what the…?” Ky Gibbs said.
“If you don’t have the control to not call me at 3:30 in the morning, especially to tell me something that has nothing to do with my child, I just don’t trust that you have the self-control to not do something with my child during the day,” Kelly said.
Rising Generations issued a statement to WTTG: “At Rising Generations Early Learning Center, we provide quality childcare in a safe, friendly, loving, and inclusive environment for hundreds of families in the community regardless of race, class or sexual orientation. With the safety and welfare of children in our care at the heart of what we do, any negative statements made about the LGBTQIA+ community do not reflect the thoughts or beliefs of our learning center.”
“After launching an internal investigation into the allegations, we reprimanded the alleged employee. As such, we have and continue to extend our apologies to any of our affected Rising Generations Early Learning Center families.”
The center later sent a letter to parents calling Munford’s statements “offensive and inappropriate.” Munford, the letter said, “has been reprimanded and acknowledged their error in judgment.”
As of last week, Munford was still working at Rising Generations. WTTG reports that the Maryland State Department of Education’s Division of Early Childhood says that “prior incidents” have occurred at the center as recently as January. The Gibbs family says they have reached out to the state to investigate the center.