Cheyenne Parent Speaks Out After Daughter Kicked Out of Class
Cheyenne South High School is defending its current sociology curriculum in answer to one parent's concern over a classroom assignment regarding gender identity.
At Monday night's Laramie County School District 1 Board of Trustees meeting, parent Lorraine Wilcox took issue with the fact that her daughter was asked to pack her things and leave after stating her opinion and exercising her right to not participate in the assignment.
"So can you recall when you first knew you were a boy or a girl? How about when did you begin noticing others were boys and girls? How do you define female and male? These were questions that students were given to answer before watching a PBS-sponsored documentary, 'Growing Up Trans,'" said Wilcox.
"When my daughter decided not to participate in this discussion due to the above questioning and the fact that the movie discussed children under 16 years old being given drugs that were not approved by the FDA to change their sex, she was asked to leave the classroom because she obviously didn't feel safe and she obviously had other things to do," Wilcox added. "This shows a direct contradiction to your own written core values."
Wilcox also said that the assignment was done without parents' notification or even the opportunity for students to discuss or voice any possible concerns.
"I also have screenshots that the actual lesson has now been taken off of the parent portal although it was taught," she said. "This is not transparency. This is not treating all students with dignity. This is singling out students and parents who choose to voice a different opinion than what the current agenda calls for."
But South Principal Phil Thompson, in a letter to the SHS community Wednesday, said the curriculum and instruction maps are accessible online at https://laramie1.instructure.com, and parents can also join their children’s Canvas pages.
Dear South High School Community,
We have been made aware of recent social media threads and discussions regarding our sociology course and the curriculum studied. During our Board of Trustees meeting on Monday evening, there was public comment from a parent regarding her child in the class.
Because of the conversation and discussions taking place throughout our community, we would like to clarify some information. Our sociology curriculum and materials were adopted through the policy process in 2016. The course textbooks were posted for 45-day review and align to state standards.
The class is offered as an elective, which means it is by choice. Additionally, the course description is included in the registration process. The course is standards driven and based on current research. It also offers flexibility in alternative assignments.
Parents may access the curriculum and instruction maps online at, https://laramie1.instructure.com. They can also join Canvas Courses. The district sends out links to parents on how to join their children’s Canvas pages. If parents have questions, we encourage them to begin their inquiry with the teacher and/or school administration.
It is important for our community to know that in all of our schools and throughout the district, we want all of our students to feel a sense of belonging. Specifically at South High there is a commitment from staff and students to ensure an open and inclusive environment for all students.
"Our sociology curriculum and materials were adopted through the policy process in 2016," said Thompson. "The course textbooks were posted for 45-day review and align to state standards."
"The class is offered as an elective, which means it is by choice," he added. "Additionally, the course description is included in the registration process. The course is standards driven and based on current research. It also offers flexibility in alternative assignments."
Still, Wilcox says her daughter should not have been kicked out of class.
"I, like many others, raise my children to have a moral compass that is led with compassion and love, but I have also told them to stand for what they believe is true to them, that they are allowed to have different opinions, and it is okay to disagree with others," she said. "It is disheartening that neither yourselves nor the district display the same."
Thompson says it is important that the community know that the district wants all students to feel a sense of belonging.
"Specifically at South High there is a commitment from staff and students to ensure an open and inclusive environment for all students," he said.