We have another story of a religious conservative having an issue with LGBTQ people in West Virginian schools.
Just earlier today, we updated you on more info concerning a West Virginian cop and bus driver who told a gay teen he’ll “burn in hell” and how the same man has a history of violence.
Well, now we have a story of a West Virginian parent, who has a history of intolerance, getting upset that an LGBTQ themed video was shown in a classroom.
Jackie Coffin, a teacher at Mountain Ridge Middle School in Gerrardstown, West Virginia decided to show her homeroom students a video about suicide prevention. The video she showed her students ended up being Logic’s music video for “1-800-273-8255.”
The video depicts a young black track runner whose family and friends struggle with his sexuality, which leads him to consider suicide.
And as noble as some may think Coffin’s action of sharing a video about suicide prevention was, one parent was not so thrilled.
Rich Penkoski is the father of a 13-year-old student, named Ariana, in Miss Coffin’s classroom. After school, Ariana told her father what had happened and Rich Penkoski then took the issue up to school officials.
Rich Penkoski via Facebook
Turns out that the music video wasn’t the school approved video to start a conversation on suicide prevention. In addition, Penkoski claims that Coffins allegedly told her students not to tell their parents about the video.
Then, the beginnings of a “he said, she said” situation came up.
As Penkoski told Christian Post after hearing back from the school’s principal:
“He called me back and told me [they] did an investigation and it turns out that the teacher admitted to showing the video," Penkoski said. "She said the students wanted her to show it but that she denied telling students not to tell their parents about it."
When Ariana was asked what happened she stated that the teacher was lying. She said that, “No, she put it on herself,” and then recounted that, "At first when I saw it and I was watching it, I thought, 'That is weird and I don't want to watch it anymore.' So I just stopped watching it and began reading my book,'" she explained.
And, of course, Rich Penkoski had to share his thoughts on the entire situation,
"There are two issues with this. No. 1 is the teacher telling my daughter to not run home and tell your parents. I need to know and I think most parents feel the same way," he continued. "As far as the video goes, I do think showing two boys in bed — granted you didn't see the sex scene — and having the [sex toy] thing going on after that is completely inappropriate. The anti-suicide part is not the issue here. It's a pro-gay video and an educator is doing this without approval from her higher-ups. As a parent, I have a right to know what is being taught to my children in school."
While we do admit that it is in every parent’s right to give consent to the content their young children sees, we also have to note Rich Penkoski’s history.
If you don’t recognize him by his name, Rich Penkoski is one of the leaders of “Warriors of Christ.” That’s the same Christian group that threatened to ban anyone who used the rainbow flag in the group’s Facebook page back in June.
Knowing that, we don’t doubt that the real issue here is the gay content. That’s the source of the Penkoskis’ problem, and that’s why they’re making a big stink.