A lesbian couple in Michigan is speaking out after their teenage daughter was barred from writing about same-sex marriage for a class assignment.
Angela McDermitt-Jackson, who married her wife Chris Jackson in 2015, said she was deeply offended by the teacher’s decision, which she called “unacceptable.”
Destiny McDermitt, a junior at Hill McCloy High School in Montrose, had been assigned to write a “Take A Stand Speech” about an issue that’s important to her.
When McDermitt asked whether she could write about same-sex marriage, the teacher told her the topic might offend other students. When McDermitt sought to ask other students if they’d be offended, the teacher responded in front of her classmates, “No, we’re not going to do that. I don’t want to hear about it, I don’t want to read about it, and I’m the one who has to grade it.”
“She was so offended and upset that she got ahold of me while she was still at school in that teacher’s classroom,” McDermitt-Jackson told MLive.com. “I was very offended considering I’m gay. I’m married to a woman; she has two mothers. It’s not just a problem that it occurred with my daughter. It’s a problem all over the world.”
The school district investigated the incident and determined that the teacher, whom officials didn’t identify, “needed to be clearer about the parameters of her assignments.”
Destiny McDermitt wrote a letter of protest to the administration, and later opted to be moved to a different class. But her family is rallying around her.
“[The teacher] should have kept her biased opinion to herself instead of saying that out loud in the classroom where all her classmates had to hear it, and hurting her feelings the way she did,” said Tina Brown, Destiny’s grandmother. “Everybody has a right to an opinion, but she should have kept that opinion to herself.”
“A kid should always feel safe at school, to talk to their superiors there, and something like this just robs the students of that,” said Heather Jirik, Destiny’s aunt. “It’s not fair to the kids. It’s not fair to the families. … It’s just not right.”
Watch the report below.