Lesbian Mom Launches Campaign After Teacher Wears Anti-Gay Pin

by Jason St. Amand

National News Editor

Wednesday November 21, 2012

A lesbian mother from Washington State was so offended by an anti-gay marriage pin her daughter's math teacher wore that she has taken matters into her own hands and launched an online campaign in hopes to ban teachers from promoting political causes in school, the Peninsula Daily News (Wash.) reports.

Cynthia Deford, a gay parent who has a daughter in the eight-grade, claims that an unnamed teacher from Steven's Middle School in Port Angeles, Wash., wore a button days before the Nov. 6 election that read, "No on 74: one man + one woman = marriage." The pin references the state's Referendum 74, which legalized same-sex marriage in Washington and was passed with 52 percent of the vote.

Port Angeles is about 120 miles north of Olympia.

"Urge the Port Angeles School District to prohibit politicking by teachers in the K-12 classrooms," her petition, which has been taken offline, stated. "This would not affect balanced discussion of political issues in civics, history, social sciences, etc."

Deford also wrote that her daughter "lives with myself and my lesbian partner" and that she "loves me very much and we have a good family relationship" She added that until the incident occurred, she respected the teacher but is "uncomfortable with him" and doesn't want her child to return to the class.

The publication points out that Superintendent Jane Pryne said the district has a policy in place when it comes to teachers showcasing their political views in the classroom and that the issue has already been addressed. She also wrote in an email that "an employee may not campaign for a political candidate or for a political issue during school hours on school property."

But that apparently did not satisfy Deford, who wants more to be done and is demanding an official apology and for teachers to undergo sensitive training.

"It just shocked me that it happened here," Deford told the newspaper.