Metro Weekly

Michigan teacher bans daughter of lesbian mothers from discussing same-sex marriage

Students were tasked to write a speech 'taking a stand' on an issue -- but same-sex marriage was off-limits

michigan, teacher, gay, marriage

Photo: MLive

A Michigan teacher allegedly banned one of her students from discussing her lesbian mothers’ same-sex marriage because she didn’t want to read about it.

As reported by MLive, 17-year-old Destiny McDermitt was assigned by her teacher at Hill McCloy High School in Montrose, Mich., to write a “Take a Stand Speech.”

Students were instructed to “think about what concerns you in your community, your state, your country, or the world,” and to choose “an issue about which you feel strongly and take a stand for or against it.”

The only restrictions were topics that had been covered in other classes, or “anything that is awkward or inappropriate for a school audience,” according to the assignment.

McDermitt, whose mothers Angela McDermitt-Jackson and Chris Jackson married in 2015, decided to write about same-sex marriage, due to its importance to her family.

But the teacher, who hasn’t been named, reportedly banned McDermitt from writing about same-sex marriage, because it could offend another student.

McDermitt allegedly asked if she could speak to her classmates to see if offense would be caused, but the teacher refused.

According to letters sent to the school’s administration by other students in support of McDermitt, the teacher allegedly also told McDermitt that she didn’t want to read about same-sex marriage.

“[It] offended me because I have two moms [who] are married and I really thought it was inappropriate,” McDermitt, who ultimately decided to move to a different class because of the issue, wrote in a letter of complaint to the school.

According to the district Superintended Linden Moore, an investigation found that McDermitt’s topic wasn’t the only one banned, with an essay on “animal cruelty” also refused.

Moore said that future assignments should receive greater clarification.

“The teacher was thinking smaller and the kids were thinking bigger,” he said.

McDermitt’s mothers married in Chicago a few months before the 2015 Supreme Court decision which legalized marriage equality nationwide.

“We’re grown adults. These are our children,” McDermitt-Jackson said. “We went through issues when we decided to be together, but these are our children. They don’t need to be subjected to it.”

Watch MLive‘s report below:

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Rhuaridh Marr is Metro Weekly's online editor. He can be reached at rmarr@metroweekly.com.

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