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Gender identity, Critical Race Theory generate discussion before Lakeland Union High School board

Lakeland Union High School
Erin Gottsacker
Lakeland Union High School

Intense discussion flooded the halls of the theater at Lakeland Union High School in Minocqua on Tuesday.

Debate surrounding the teaching of Critical Race Theory and gender identity policies opened up conversation between parents and board members, after someone asked the board to add it to the agenda.

Currently, the school board does not have any curriculum in place regarding the teaching of Critical Race Theory, something some parents said shouldn't matter to kids.

"There's no race, white, red yellow, it doesn't matter to little ones." said one parent.

Others said teaching should be more focused on reading and arithmetic, and getting students caught up from setbacks due to pandemic learning.

"We have a chance right now to decide we are LUHS, to put their education first, to put everything else to the side." said another parent.

Some parents expressed concern over bathroom gender policies, they said it's difficult to make everyone feel safe.

"Having someone who is male at birth come into a female bathroom or locker room does not make a female feel safe even though it might make that transgender man feel safe." said one parent.

Board members also showed hesitancy with bathroom policies, they said teachers and staff are more than equipped to handle any personal changes a student make choose to make, and shouldn't be dictated by a rule.

""For us to put in a policy that limits that, trying to say that it's black and white this is what we have to do, I think we can give guidelines." said Shari Nimsgern.

Other parents and students said at the end of the day, students should be able to make their own choices and decide for themselves as they navigate both school and the struggle of self identity.

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