Parents told to find another school after complaining about ideological poster in classroom

Student was also subjected to ‘gay marriage’ approval poll in class

RALEIGH — A family has withdrawn their children from a charter school in the Charlotte area after an impromptu classroom poll about gay marriage and the principal dismissing complaints about a teacher’s poster promoting social justice and left-wing political ideologies.

The family, who wished not to be named, tells North State Journal that their child was subjected to a poll in class which asked students to raise their hand if they approved of gay marriage. 

The incident took place at the Socrates Academy charter school in Matthews during an apparent all-boy breakout session to on the topic of leadership. At the time, the female students were in another class watching a movie about bullying.

According to their 11-year-old son, a math teacher told those who raised their hands that he was proud of them. A number of students did not raise their hand and reported feeling upset and shamed as a result. The family’s son reported that the teacher also told the students he was “not brainwashing them” and that “being gay was okay.”

Last November, the same math teacher had placed a “Why We March” poster in the classroom. The poster was used during the controversial Women’s March on Washington, D.C., and displays a number of left-leaning activist topics such as #METOO, Black Lives Matter, Muslim Ban, Racism, and Time’s Up.

Their son told them it bothered him and the family decided to meet with Principal Vanessa Baker. At that time, the family also contacted the school’s board of directors but were told that Baker would handle it.

The couple asked for the poster be removed but Baker refused. According to the family, Baker told them the teacher wanted to take it down after realizing it had upset their son, however, Baker told him to keep it in place. 

Following Baker’s refusal, the meeting ended quickly with Baker telling the family “Maybe Socrates is not the place for you.”

The family has since pulled their children out of Socrates Academy. 

Prior to the meeting with Baker, the family had sent an email questioning the poster, to which Baker responded that the poster “lists several human rights issues.”

 “As our mission says, we want scholars to employ intellectual curiosity and engage in critical thinking while adhering to principles of diversity, equity, equality, and empathy,” Baker said in an email to the family defending use of the poster. “We promise an intellectual environment that values global engagement and citizenship, social and cultural diversity, inclusion and equity, ethical responsibility, and mutual respect. We think it is important for all scholars to feel accepted and represented – and we do have a wide variety of cultures and backgrounds here at Socrates Academy.”

North State Journal reached out for comment multiple times but received no response from Baker.

About A.P. Dillon 656 Articles
A.P. Dillon is a North State Journal reporter located near Raleigh, North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_