HUDSONVILLE, Mich. (WOOD) — A pair of online petitions circulating in Hudsonville raised tensions at a school board meeting on Thursday night.
One petition is asking that Black Lives Matter movement content be removed from schools while the other is calling for the removal of a teacher who some say promoted abortion.
The board of education did not have either topic on the agenda, but people on both sides of the issues made their voices heard during public comment.
“No social or political agenda should be pushed on any kid in a public school system,” said one person who identified herself as a former employee of the district. “Teachers should teach facts and reserve their beliefs outside the Hudsonville High School walls. When I think of teachers pushing their views on these vulnerable students, I wonder what happened to teachers being professionals.”
The BLM petition states that the organization promotes violence and hate.
“Perhaps other parents will pull their children from the Hudsonville district out of Christian outrage that our Black and LGBTQ students exist, matter and are valued,” said a parent who recently moved into the area. “I am a new member of this community, I moved in a few months ago and my students are going to be starting in this school shortly, and I’ll happily take their place.”
Some parents say a teacher shared her experience with abortion in class.
“Regarding the teacher speaking about her abortion, I spoke firsthand to a student in her class last semester and how the teacher shared that abortion was the best thing she ever did,” a parent said.
Others were in support of the teacher at the center of the petition.
“I want to be her,” said a young woman who says she used to be a student of the teacher. “Overall, she cares about all students, she opens up her class to students who don’t even have her classes. Gives students an opportunity to share their beliefs in a way that is educational and helpful.”
Expecting a large turnout ahead of time, the district moved the meeting to the school auditorium. The board did not speak on either issue during the meeting.
Both petitions have gained more than 250 signatures so far.