Image Credit: Grassland Middle Activities
The Tennessee Conservative [By Paula Gomes] –
Sources in Williamson County, TN tell us that a LGBTQ club is being advertised to middle school students under a name that may not alert parents to the nature of the club. In addition, a poster for the club features the Polyamory Pride Flag.
The poster, displayed at Grassland Middle School, reads:
Join the Prism Alliance Club!
– We’ll meet every other Wednesday after school until 4pm
– Mr. _____’s room (606)
– First meeting will be on 9/21
Anyone open minded is allowed to join. We’ll discuss our goals in the first meeting.
Parents have expressed concern that one of the circles on the poster that features the Greek Pi symbol is a representation of the Polyamory Pride Flag.
Polyamory is the practice of engaging in multiple romantic relationships — usually involving sex — with the consent of all partners.
The Polyamory Pride Flag, created in 1995, has blue, red and black bars with the Pi symbol in the middle. Honesty and openness among everyone involved in a polyamorous relationship is represented by the blue bar. The red bar stands for love and affection. The black bar represents the secrecy that most polyamorous people practice in keeping their multi-lover partnerships hidden.
Parents of Grassland Middle School students may have mistaken the Pi symbol to mean that the club had something to do with math, instead of “infinite love” among polyamorous partners.
Sources relay that some parents did indeed think the club had a math focus especially as the educator in charge of monitoring the student-led group teaches math at Grassland.
Several other Pride flags are shown on the club’s poster against a Progress Pride Flag backdrop. Along with the Polyamory Pride Flag, other circles on the poster represent Pansexual, Lesbian, Demigirl, Bisexual, Genderfluid, and Nonbinary Pride.
Most parents are aware of what Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) clubs stand for, and the student-led groups are not new to Tennessee public schools, but the word “prism” in relation to such a group is less likely to be recognized as having a connection with LGBTQ matters.
Parents of students at the middle school say that Tennessee law requires that they be notified before their children are presented with any materials pertaining to sex education so they may either give permission or opt their student out.
Given the nature of the Prism Alliance Club where aspects of sexuality are bound to be discussed, parents are wondering why no notification of the club’s existence has been made. There is also no mention of it on Grassland’s website.
In addition, Tennessee Code 49-6-1031 states that schools must notify parents annually of all clubs available to students and what their mission or purpose is, and how parents may opt their children out of participating in a club.
One parent who also has a child at Franklin High School reports that there is a Prism Alliance Club there too. Grassland Middle School feeds into Franklin High School.
Franklin High School’s website lists only school-sponsored clubs. A list of all student-led clubs must be requested from the front office.
One Grassland Middle parent has sent emails to school principal Dr. Drinkwine, asking for the full approved list of clubs available to all students but has received no response. The Tennessee Conservative has also asked Grassland for clarification on when parents will receive notification of the Prism Alliance Club’s formation, but have not yet received a reply.
About the Author: Paula Gomes is a Tennessee resident and reporter for The Tennessee Conservative. You can reach Paula at firstname.lastname@example.org.