The new Lincoln Public Schools superintendent is already tackling some sensitive subjects, LGBTQ+ issues first thing “on the list”

LINCOLN, Nebraska – Even though the school year has just begun, the new superintendent of LPS is already addressing tough topics.

At Tuesday’s school board meeting, the first since schools resumed, LPS Superintendent Dr. Paul Gausman addressed controversy and misinformation around LGBTQ+ issues inside the district.

Dr. Gausman addressed two important topics. Concerns over the availability of a particular book in LPS school libraries, and a mandatory training session for LPS professionals like as counselors and school nurses to assist transgender children and others.

Dr. Gausman opened the first board of education meeting of the school year by discussing obligatory staff training that occurred on August 10 and what the guest speaker, transgender author Ryan Sallans, reportedly said, which has been the subject of a woman’s social media complaints.

“I want to be clear that it has been reliably reported to me by several staff members that the speaker did not say, the quote that has been attributed to that speaker on social media,” Dr. Gausman said. “However, given that there still seems to be some level of disagreement about what was actually said, I as the superintendent of schools will be looking into this matter further, and will do my best to get a sense of what staff members feel that they heard.”

Former LPS speech pathologist Stephanie Johnson made the social media remarks.

“And my point in all of this is just recognizing where people get their data and the public needs to know that,” Johnson said.

There are also allegations that Sallans favors the use of puberty blockers, and he stated that not using students’ preferred pronouns would constitute harassment. Gausman stated that he is investigating all of this.

“We do our best to ensure that any content for our students and in this case for our staff, will be appropriate and in line with our policies and with our curriculum,” Dr. Gausman said. “If we find that an invited speaker is not in line with those policies and practices, they will not be invited back.”

Several individuals spoke in favor of the training.

“I strongly support Lincoln Public Schools providing training for teachers on topics including but not limited to, LGBTQ plus issues, mental health, critical thinking, community building, diversity, equity and inclusion,” Lindsay Rodgers said.

Dr. Gausman also addressed issues over the book Gender Queer, which were noted in a Nebraska GOP tweet. According to him, that book is not available at LPS libraries.

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