“Secretive” Sexualities Club at Elementary School Raising Parent Concerns

Parents of students at Raleigh Hills Elementary School in Beaverton, Oregon are expressing frustration over the establishment of a new “gender and sexualities” club for fourth and fifth graders aged 9 to 11 years old.

Concerns were raised at a January 18 virtual school board meeting where parents asked the necessity and appropriateness of the club, which was started at the beginning of January. Multiple parents noted that they had not been informed about the club’s existence, nor were they invited to provide input.

“These kids are far too young to be learning about this subject at school,” one parent said during the meeting, asserting that parents should be responsible for educating their children on “different lifestyles.”

According to school board officials, the club was created by two fifth-grade students who identify as transgender and is a student-run, non-staff facilitated venture. But one parent, Jeanette Schade, challenged that narrative, noting that she had received indications from school documents that teachers had been working to keep the club “secretive” and actively avoid divulging its existence to parents.

“You cannot tell me that this club is being run by students. This club is very clearly directed by staff.”

Schade is a former educator who runs a community organization called Build Back Basics in Education. She says she filed a public records request for information related to the club at the school, and found several teachers were involved and had planned its creation in November of 2021.

Following Schade’s comments, another parent wearing a rainbow-flag scarf was invited to speak. Elessia Buddress stated her daughter was in a leadership role within the sexualities club, and called parents opposed or concerned about the club’s existence “homophobic, transphobic, [and] queerphobic.”

Since its inception just two weeks ago, the club has apparently gained over 40 members at the school — almost 8% of its total student body.
Anna Slatz
Anna Slatz
Anna is the Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief at Reduxx, with a journalistic focus on covering crime, child predators, and women's rights. She lives in Canada, enjoys Opera, and kvetches in her spare time.