A Texas school district is celebrating its own “Pride Week,” including small group activities that students – from pre-K through 5th grade – have been told to keep secret.
Austin Independent School District’s Pride Week began Monday and will end on Friday.
Each day is dedicated to a specific “pride-oriented” theme. For example, on Monday students focused on the history of the “LGBTQIA+” movement. Monday’s theme was “Differences are Awesome.” More information is available on the district’s website.
Pre-K and elementary students also can participate in “community circles” during the week. The district released guidelines for these small groups on Twitter that encourage students to keep what happens in those groups secret.
One guideline for pre-K to 2nd graders reads, “What we say in this room stays in this room.” For 3rd-5th graders, a similar guideline: “Please remember that we agreed to keep what happened in this Circle confidential.”
The district’s request of confidentiality appears to contradict Texas law, which mandates schools give parents “full information”:
A parent is entitled to full information regarding the school activities of a parent’s child except as provided by Section 38.004. An attempt by any school district employee to encourage or coerce a child to withhold information from the child’s parent is grounds for discipline under Section 21.104, 21.156, or 21.211, as applicable.
Eduardo Villa, a district spokesperson, told the Daily Caller that parents “have the right to opt-out of the activities … Everyone, not just parents, has access to the [community circles] materials ahead of time.” Still, no further public comment by AISD was made about parents hearing what their children’s group discussed.
And that’s just not what most parents want. Surveys continue to show parents want to be in the driver’s seat when it comes to their children’s education.