Hilliard City Schools Parents Sue School District on LGBTQ+ Matter


In January, 2023, parents in the Hilliard school district, a Columbus area school, filed a lawsuit prohibiting teachers from being able to facilitate LGBTQ+ discussions and visible support on the teachers’ part within the classroom.

“Teachers in Hilliard City Schools [should] be prohibited from having discussions on “sexual matters” with students and also that teachers not be allowed to wear badges showing support for LGBTQ students,” reported Cleveland.com.

The main complaint of these parents is that the district refuses to clarify its policy, 

“The practice of automatically sharing information with parents regarding sexual orientation, gender identity, name changes and pronouns being used, should the students share this information with school staff [should automatically be shared with parents,” reported City Beat, a local news source. 

The Chagrin Falls School District has had a welcoming and positive approach to allowing LGBTQ+ support in the classroom. Most teachers display an ally sticker in their classrooms. Students feel comfortable reaching out to teachers and the school counselors without being judged or outed to people they are not comfortable with knowing.

There are 8 parents apart of this lawsuit. They claim that teachers are discussing with students and trying to hide LGBTQ+ conversations from parents. They believe that this is not appropriate discussions and can lead to indoctrination and child abuse.

“‘Teachers are taking specific actions to hide these conversations from parents. This is a recipe for indoctrination and child abuse,’” reported one of the parents to WCMH. 

The teachers have yet to respond to these parents’ lawsuits. However, In September, the school districts teacher union backed teachers showing visible support of the LGBTQ+ community through posters, badges, etc. Parents are arguing that the badges that these teachers are wearing are encouraging inappropriate conversations with students. However, teachers believe that having a safe environment is important in supporting every child in the classroom. The school district argues that these badges are resources and should not be shamed or misinterpreted.

“Unfortunately, extremists working to amplify the playbooks of a national network of political radicals are once again trying to manufacture controversy and weaponize LGBTQ+ issues to distract Ohioans from the very real issues facing our schools,” a statement made by the teacher union in September reported Cleveland.com.

Chagrin Falls english teacher, Mrs. Stefanie Ashkettle openly shows her support of the LGBTQ+ community within her classroom. She has been an advisor of the GSA club (Gay straight alliance) since the club started in 2018. 

“It is important to create a classroom environment in which all students feel comfortable and supported. I am also glad the GSA has been established as another safe space for all students.”

Mrs. Ashkettle has strong feelings about LGBTQ+ discussions in schools. She displays multiple of the ally stickers in her classroom.

 “I personally will always have an open environment in my classroom for all students. I believe that that is the most important part of being a teacher, creating a safe environment for all students to be able to learn and grow,” said Mrs. Ashkettle.