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Now that the Cedar Falls School District, Sen. Eric Giddens and Kendra Wohlert have all put out statements and/or answered questions about the gay pride event that took place at Peet Junior High, it is time to highlight the inconsistencies between the responses.
First, in Wohlert’s statement, she claimed three days into the school year a student at Peet was “bullied.” Two eighth-grade students hit his head with a locker and called the student a “fu*king fa**ot.”
Giddens included this incident in his statement.
After learning of this alleged incident, The Iowa Standard reached out to Sen. Giddens as well as the district. We asked if anyone reported the incident to school officials and/or law enforcement.
Nobody has responded to that basic question.
What happened as described by Wohlert is not bullying, it’s assault. It’s a crime. Giddens is a state senator. Wohlert describes herself as a teacher. Obviously teachers are around Peet Junior High.
Did any mandatory reporter go to police about this incident of assault?
Wohlert said she and Christine Sexton, another Peet parent, met with Theresa Kenser, a counselor at Peet, along with six junior high students on Sept. 16 to “discuss hosting the pop-up in collaboration with the school’s newly formed Gay Straight Alliance/Anti-Bullying/Tolerance group.”
Janelle Darst, the district’s spokesperson, said the name of the group is “Difference.” This came after the Principal said the group did not have a name. School officials never referred to the group as a “Gay Straight Alliance.”
Wohlert said the students explained the event to Kenser.
“We,” Wohlert wrote, “would welcome all students to school that morning with free donuts and give away rainbow stickers to any students who wanted them. We would bring our own tables, LGBTQ flags to decorate the tables, donuts and stickers.”
While Wohlert’s statement suggests adults were given permission to conduct political activity on school grounds during school time, the district said no adults not employed by the district were given permission to do so.
Wohlert said they informed Kenser they’d use chalk to decorate the sidewalk, Kenser offered the use of window markers in case the group wanted to decorate the school’s windows — according to Wohlert.
Wohlert said Kenser had no concerns and was fully supportive of the event.
Kenser received approval from Principal Bill Boevers and relayed that message through email.
When asked how permission was given — written or orally, the district responded “orally.”
Wohlert said the event was put on as it was described to Kenser.
The district, however, said the event, as it took place, was not expected nor approved.
“It became something different than ‘show kindness,'” Darst said. “We have reviewed how we can and will handle situations like this better in the future and something like this/or similar will not take place again.”