Russell Fish, an activist and founder of OpenRecords.org, spoke publicly during the board meeting concerning a self-described “queer teacher” who identified with the LGBT community.
Fish, a taxpayer in the school district, told The Epoch Times he felt compelled to get involved after he was told about the situation discovered by a parent.
In an email obtained by The Epoch Times, the parent alleged the teacher’s social media account showed “violent sexual fetishes and fantasies,” among other things.
The email, which appeared to be addressed to the superintendent and principal, demanded that the teacher be barred from the classroom and for authorities to investigate “if any crimes against children have been committed.”
The parent said the images had been posted under a pseudonym.
Images obtained by The Epoch Times—allegedly from the teacher’s site—depict a sketch of a hermaphrodite posing against a ballet bar.
Another female-like figure appears to be handcuffed. Other photos showed sexually suggestive content, but it was unclear if the images included a child.
The teacher in question resigned on Sept. 9, according to an addendum to the Sept. 13 school board meeting.
Highland Park director of communications Jon Dahlander responded in an email to The Epoch Times and said that the district is unaware of “any sexualized social media content involving children by either current or former staff members.”
“Any allegations made about staff members are taken seriously and handled with discretion,” Dahlander added.
He said he could not comment further on whether the district received the parent email detailing the allegations.
Fish said parents sounded the alarm after a 5-year-old came home and said, “My teacher is crazy.”
The child said the teacher looked like a girl but dressed like a boy, Fish said, adding that parents told him the student’s father began digging and discovered the social media account.
A former resident of the district, Traci Schuh, confirmed she and residents in the district saw the parent’s email and images.
She also saw a text from the teacher’s principal saying the issue was being resolved and that a substitute would be in the art class.
Schuh had three children attend Highland Park ISD, but things started to change recently. She said parents in the elite district get in an uproar over issues, and the district puts out the fire until next time.
Fish said the incident illustrates why Texans are done with the secrecy and the sexualization of children in schools.
“These districts are broken,” he said. “They continue to lie to the parents.”
Fish pointed to a bus driver accused of sexually assaulting grade-school sisters in nearby Prosper ISD.
According to news reports the driver, Frank Paniagua, was arrested in May 2022 and died after jumping from the second floor of Collin County Jail.
The mother of the children filed a lawsuit against the district in August, claiming Prosper Superintendent Holly Ferguson told the mother to keep the matter quiet to avoid media attention, news reports said.
Fish and County Citizens Defending Freedom are pushing for a new Sexual Grooming Protection Act that will allow parents to leave districts where children are exposed to sexual content and take their child’s educational dollars with them.
“Parents are fed up with school administration, staff, and board members promoting the sexual grooming of children. We are here to shine a spotlight on it,” said Rebecca Clark, Fort Bend County CCDF executive director, who was at the Highland Park school board meeting.
Highland Park ISD parents have fought in the past to remove objectionable library books.
It was not the first time parents contacted him about the sexualization of children at Highland Park, Fish said, adding that people know he is associated with OpenRecords and will speak out.
More recently, the school yearbook featured a male transgender senior.
Parents also fought a public battle in 2014 to remove books with inappropriate content.
Wealthy families have the choice of leaving a district if they fear their children are being exposed to sexual content in the classrooms, Fish said. But most parents don’t have that luxury.
Tim Hutchins is one of those parents who left Highland Park last year because he felt the district should focus on giving students a good education instead of sexual and social-emotional content.
Hutchins discovered his 6th Grade daughter was reading “First French Kiss,” a book her teacher assigned to demonstrate character over adversity. He said his daughter didn’t know what a French kiss was until it was brought up in school.
“I’m sitting there thinking, I’m like, all the books that she could have chosen out of the reading, and all of the catalog available to you. This was the one book that you chose,” he said.
Hutchins said he decided to dig deeper into the curriculum and noticed that progressive material was inserted into health, language arts, and social studies.
He complained to the school board, but it seemed everyone wanted to pass the buck. To him, the school’s focus was skewed toward advocacy for gender and LGBT ideology.
One lesson titled “Support for LGBT Teens,” told students to “be an ally for LGBT teens and speak up to support them.” Another was titled “Influences on My Decision to be Sexually Active.”
A skill-building challenge asked children to discuss with a partner: “What your gender identity is and what it is like to have that identity.”
The Hutchins family left California to escape the sexual agenda in schools there, never dreaming it would appear again in Texas, a state thought to be more conservative. The only difference is that it’s more subtle in Texas, Hutchins said.
“I felt violated,” he said. “I trusted the education system.”