A video designed during the COVID-19 lockdown to teach kindergarten students about gay people has been removed by the Maine state Department of Education after shady Republicans started using it to target Maine’s Governor Janet Mills.
As usual, the GOP is spinning this tiny story into a major issue for the Democratic Governor. First of all, the video is part of approximately 400 OPTIONAL videos created during the lockdown to keep younger children engaged. OPTIONAL. As a former high school English teacher I can tell you we had thousands of these videos to choose from on any number of topics. It would be interesting to see the figures on how many teachers actually used these ‘Freedom Holiday’ videos, I would guess very few.
The removed video and other 399 videos had NOT been screened by the DOE before being posted to a professional development platform accessible to all teachers. The GOP must have dug long and hard to find any dirt.
What’s in the video? It’s just one young girl speaking for five minutes. She begins by explaining the previous videos about freedom the kids have seen – Fourth of July, Juneteeth, Women’s Equality – and then beings to explain that LGBT people in this country are not really free. She explains what lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender mean.
The video itself is boring and dull. Kids would lose interest quickly. Videos usually are paired with worksheets to engage the students. I wouldn’t have even shown this video to my high school students for that reason, let alone the topic.
Governor Mills issued a statement through her spokesperson Lindsay Crete,
“The governor was not aware of the lesson, but she understands the concerns expressed about the age appropriateness, and agrees with the Department of Education’s decision to remove the lesson”
Crete continued explaining that Governor Mills,
“will continue to empower parents and elected school boards to make decisions about their kids’ educations. [She] will continue to respect LGBTQ+ people as valued members of the Maine community.”
According to the Press Herald the teacher who created the video was paid a $1,000 stipend for her work. Please tell me this teacher created numerous other videos like this one. $1k for a five-minute video? Where do I apply? The Press Herald also reported that,
“The Maine Department of Education would not specify why it could not recommend the ‘Freedom Holidays’ lesson plan for kindergarten instruction. Spokesman Marcus Mrowka said the video ‘should have received further review by a DOE specialist’ before it was posted online.”
The GOP is excellent at making a mountain out of a molehill and have already gone on the offensive attacking Mills. They are sticking to their playbook and throwing out words like pedophile and groomers in regards to the video. Do all Republicans get a handbook of what to say once they get elected? They all tow the line and hammer the same be laborious point over and over,
“I’m concerned about the mixed messages that are obvious to anyone who has had kids: we teach them about ‘stranger danger’ and that their bodies are their own. But this video talks about ‘people who love in ways that society hasn’t always allowed.’ – Maine GOP Chair Demi Kouzounas
In response to Kouzounas, Democratic party chair Drew Gattine commented,
“The Maine GOP knows they can’t run on Paul LePage’s failed record, so they are resorting to following a national playbook that seeks to distract, distort and divide. Maine people know better than to believe the Maine GOP’s lies.”
What do you think Instincters? Is the video appropriate for kindergartner-aged children? Sound off in the comments section.
**This post is solely the opinion of this contributing writer and may not reflect the opinion of other writers, staff, or owners of Instinct Magazine.”
Source: Press Herald