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Toronto Area Teacher Comes Out, Parents Angered

From affiliate

(Toronto) A teacher in the Toronto suburb of Mississauga has created a storm of controversy by coming out to her grade four students.

The woman, a first year teacher at Elmcrest Public School whose name has not been made public, told her two grade four classes she is a lesbian and answered questions from the 10 year old students about homosexuality and gay relationships.  The issue came up when students asked her about a newspaper picture of her and another woman at a local Pride Day celebration.

The school's Parent Council demanding a policy to deal with similar situations.

"Our concern has absolutely nothing to do with being gay or anyone's right to their lifestyle.  The problem is announcing it out of the blue to a class of youngsters who are not prepared to deal with it," one parent, who did not want to be identified told the Toronto Star.

"My 7-year-old daughter in Grade 2 learned about it from a fourth grader and when she got home Friday, she asked me if she was gay because she has girlfriends," Andrea Pouw, the chair of the school's parent council, said in an interview with the paper.

"This particular teacher is very nice, but we're concerned at her lack of judgment in this matter."

Pouw said a group of seven parents met with the principal and the area schools superintendent and demanded the board immediately formulate a policy to deal with the issue.

Peel District School Board spokesperson Brian Woodland said that the teacher's action "was no doubt a mistake (but) the issue was the subject of much rumour and playground talk."