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Jun 17, 2015

Equality NC Responds to Efland School Resignations

MEDIA CONTACT: Jonah Herman, Equality NC, (919) 860-1416, jonah@equalitync.org

RALEIGH, N.C. (June 16, 2015) -- Equality NC, North Carolina’s largest statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) advocacy organization, responded today to this week's resignations of an Efland, North Carolina teacher and assistant principal for presenting affirming images of a gay couple to students.

According to The News and Observer, teacher Omar Currie resigned from Eland-Cheeks Elementary because he felt administrators “did not support him” after he read “King & King,” a children’s book in which two princes fall in love and get married. Currie told the Observer that he read the book “after a boy in his class was called gay in a derogatory way and told he was acting like a girl.”

Assistant Principal Meg Goodhand, who provided Currie with the book, has also resigned.

Equality NC Executive Director Chris Sgro said his organization would pledge to work with Orange County School System officials to prevent any bullying and harassment, and in support of positive representations and role models for LGBT students and allies.

“In the wake of these resignations, we believe it is vital in the coming days for Orange County school leaders to take affirmative steps to ensure that LGBT students attending Efland-Cheek Elementary and their allies, feel safe, supported and heard in this discussion. In addition to actively enforcing LGBT-inclusive anti-bullying and harassment laws like the School Violence Prevention Act, that also means embracing actions that are inclusive of the very diversity we see in every school system in our state.”

Sgro added, “While we understand discussions are ongoing between school administrators, parents, and the community, it will be Equality NC’s goal to not only work with Orange County school officials to support all students in this school, but take this as an opportunity to reevaluate what all of North Carolina’s schools like it can do to further protect vulnerable LGBT and questioning youth.”

Equality NC is a statewide organization working to secure equal rights and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender North Carolinians.

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