SOUTHINGTON — A video titled “How to be a LGBTQIA+ Ally” shown to some Kennedy Middle School students led to concerns from parents and attention from school administrators.
The YouTube video includes suggestions for heterosexual students to support non-heterosexual friends, such as starting a gender and sexualities alliance.
School Superintendent Tim Connellan said the video was shown to a “small number” of students.
“The video is not and was not part of the approved curriculum,” he said in an email Tuesday. “The issue is being addressed by the administration as a personnel matter.”
Connellan didn’t respond to further questions on the video or parents’ response.
Terri Carmody, school board chairwoman, said she hadn’t seen the video but knew administrators were handling the issue.
“All I can say is we did get a lot of emails about it,” Carmody said.
She declined to comment further since the incident was a “personnel matter” and the board could be called upon to adjudicate it.
Joe Baczewski, education board vice chairman, said some parents complained the video was not appropriate for middle school students. He said the school does a great job of encouraging students to be inclusive but didn’t know if this video was effective at doing that.
The cartoon-style video was produced by amaze.org, a sex education organization. It centers primarily on a heterosexual character who interacts with non-heterosexual friends. Two male characters are shown kissing in a scene.
The video can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xS5FMErj0SE.
Southington is in the midst of gay pride events organized by Southington Pride Inc. It’s the first such celebration for the town.
Mitchell Olivia, a Southington Pride organizer, said he wasn’t aware of the video.
Southington Pride is working on information for youth, Olivia said, and urged those struggling or with questions to reach out to the group.
“We are starting youth programming and we are looking at how we’ll be able to roll that out over the next month or two,” Olivia said.