SOUTHINGTON – A video titled âHow to be an LGBTQIA + allyâ shown to some students at Kennedy Middle School has raised concerns among parents and the attention of school administrators.
The YouTube video includes suggestions for straight college students to support their non-heterosexual friends, such as starting a gender and sexuality alliance.
School principal Tim Connellan said the video was shown to a “small number” of students.
âThe video is not and was not part of the approved program,â he said in an email Tuesday. “The problem is being treated by the administration as a question of personnel.”
Connellan did not respond to other questions on the video or the parents’ response.
Terri Carmody, president of the school board, said she had not seen the video but knew the administrators were handling the issue.
âAll I can say is we’ve received a lot of emails about this,â Carmody said.
She declined to comment further as the incident was a “personnel matter” and counsel could be called upon to comment.
Joe Baczewski, vice chairman of the board of education, said some parents complained that the video was not appropriate for middle school students. He said the school was doing a great job of encouraging students to be inclusive, but wasn’t sure if this video was effective in doing so.
The cartoon-style video was produced by amaze.org, a sex education organization. It mainly focuses on a heterosexual character who interacts with non-heterosexual friends. Two male figures kiss in a scene.
The video is available on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xS5FMErj0SE.
Southington is in the midst of gay pride events hosted by Southington Pride Inc. This is the city’s first such celebration.
Mitchell Olivia, a Southington Pride organizer, said he was not aware of the video.
Southington Pride is working on information for young people, Olivia said, and urged those who are having difficulty or have questions to contact the group.
âWe are starting a youth program and looking at how we can roll it out over the next two months,â Olivia said.
[email protected]: @JBuchananRJ