Conservative and reactionary members of the Republican Party are continuing to push their party and personal agendas on our public schools. 

The health teacher at Fallston Middle School, who was harassed on social media to the point she and her family are now in seclusion for protection, clearly demonstrates that right wing intolerance breeds fear, the threat of violence, and affects the quality of the educational programs.

The teacher, who serves as an adviser to a  Gay-Straight Group of students at the school, waived a Pride Flag in the school hall to show support for the students in the club. GSA stands for genders & sexualities alliances. They are student-run organizations nationwide in middle and high schools that unite LGBTQ+ and allied youth. 

 After a video of the teacher waiving the Pride Flag was posted on social media, multiple posts by right wingers began immediately calling for her firing, withholding her retirement, questioning her sexuality, and labeling her as a pedophile. Although there were no direct violence threats, she viewed some as “scary” and there was one posting of just two words, “target practice.”

Even a candidate for a position on the Board of Education in District C, Kayla Mariskanish, was a party to the social postings. She stated "as quoted in the local media,  “I find it very upseting that we are sexualiziing middle school children,” Kayla Mariskanish, a candidate for the Board of Education, on a Facebook post responding to a video. “ This is not only a distraction from academic {work}, but it is completely inappropriate for children. We do not need to celebrate sexuality with children as young as sixth grade.”

However, study after study shows students from ages 10 to 15, middle school age, are at a key period for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and strait students who search for their identity. They need understanding and guidance that is often not at home. 

That is why more mental health services and teachers like Ms. Johnson, are needed in our schools. And why voters need to examine the campaign comments and personal interests of the candidates  running for a position on the Board of Education of Harford County.