Pictured: Fenton School Board meeting April 10, 2023 with mixed opinions on both sides over LGBTQ badges.
FENTON- Genesee County Democrats have been attacking Republicans for running for school board, claiming: “Republicans are taking over school boards”. Yet—at a recent Fenton School Board meeting, they actually pushed their own agenda.
It seems as if both parties have brought their politics to the school board level, and the question is: should it be like this?
On Monday, April 10th, Democrats and Republicans from all across the county came to the Fenton Area Schools to support and oppose LGBTQ badges.
Concerned parents came out against the badges, claiming that indoctrination (the badges) have no place in schools funded by the tax-payers. Furthermore, they (those opposed) claim the board is violating their own policy by promoting such badges.
The Superintendent of Fenton Schools, Heidi Ciesielski, told the public that they (Fenton Schools) are trying to build an environment where all students feel cared about.
Pictured: Democrat Party Chairwoman and Fenton School Board Member Ashley Prew who was hired as the county legal counsel.
Ashley Prew, Genesee County Democratic Party Chair, and Legal Counsel for the County Government, also sits on the Fenton Schools Board of Education. Prew supported the badges by wearing a like minded t-shirt to the board meeting. Prew was elected in 2022 with Michael Pearce. Both Pearce and Prew are Democrats, who some say are fueling the ‘Democrat takeover’.
Prew was recently under fire in the news for being hired as legal counsel for the county. Some residents viewed her appointment as a conflict of interest and an ethics violation. See previous story:
Concerned parents like Julie and Kim were at the meeting, and claim that the badges encourage students to talk about their sexual orientation in schools and that is not the place.
“We feel that it represents sexuality and encourages conversations with minor kids”, said Julie.
Fenton Teacher Chuck Miller supported the badges and said that the badges allow LGBTQ students to be seen.
Additional parents spoke out against the badges and said that the school is a place for learning, not for a social agenda or LGBTQ grooming.
Dale Weighill, a Democrat Genesee County Commissioner came to the meeting and spoke in favor of the badges. Unlike Weighill, Shaun Shumaker, Republican, actually represents the district of Fenton at the county level, was not seen nor spoke at the meeting.
Pictured above: the badges being pushed in Fenton Area Schools for teachers.
Many parents say that they fully support LGBTQ students, and respect their opinions, but argue teachers should not be engaging in such activity with little kids on school grounds.
The board, and superintendent alike, never went into detail on what policy was violated.
After listening to multiple public comments, (on both sides), the board of education did not take any official action.
The next Fenton Area Board of Education meeting will take place Monday, May 1st 2023 at 6pm.
The topic is expected to resurface again with an even bigger crowd.
If you wish to speak, you must sign in prior to the meeting around 5:30pm.