Parents of Schavey Road Elementary students in Dewitt last week received correspondence from school officials that their children would receive gender sensitivity instruction.

A letter attributed to Liz Crouch, principal, Schavey Road Elementary, and Shanna Spickard, superintendent, DeWitt Public Schools, appeared on Schavey Road Elementary letterhead that misspells the small town’s name as “Dewitt.”

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The letter states: “We would like to inform you of a lesson that will be taught in your child’s classroom. The lesson goals are to help students share and explore pronouns through discussion and literature to embrace differences and promote acceptance.”

Crouch and Spickard’s letter continues.

“During the lesson students will:

  • Listen to the book, “They She Me Free to Be” and participate in discussion about the book.
  • Practices using the pronouns “they/them” and what to do if we make a mistake with pronouns.
  • Learn that it’s not ok to change someone’s pronouns on purpose and to always try to use the pronouns that people want to be called.

We will be teaching this lesson in the next few weeks. The lesson and discussions will be taught and led by your child’s classroom teacher and our school social worker.”

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Crouch and Spickard then give parents an April 18 deadline to schedule an appointment to review the curriculum material in-depth and/or exclude their child from the lessons.

Michigan School Grades 3-8 State Testing Data reports 30.5% of DeWitt Public Schools students are only partially proficient in mathematics, 14.8% of students are not proficient, and only 35.2% are proficient.

Likewise, 38.6% of DeWitt 3-8 students scored partially proficient or not proficient in English Language and Arts, and 14.4% scored not proficient in the same category.