On October 14, 2022, the Alaska Watchman reported that Randy Smith Middle School was “preparing to launch an explicitly LGBTQ ‘explorations’ class for 6th-8th grade students during academic instruction time.” The news outlet provided an image showing the name of the class as “Safe Space.” The description of the class states: “This is GSA, or Gay Straight Alliance based exploration, open to students who identify as LGBTQIA+ or close friends and/or allies (support). We will do a variety of things including crafts, open conversations, music and possibly community service.”
Alaska Watchman reported that the school later changed the description of the class to remove any LGBTQ references. However, the name of the class is still listed as “Safe Space.” The new description is provided for the class: “This is an exploration that provides a safe space for students to create, and have fun while connecting to peers in a positive and safe environment while at school. Students will guide the projects and activities that may include: art, music, cooking/baking and possibly community service project(s).”
The news outlet continued to report that the class was originally revealed through an “internal email to school staff.” The class will also reportedly be overseen by a music teacher. The Alaska Watchman explains that this teacher is known for making LGBTQ posts on Facebook. In one post, he shared a drawing a student made of him as a drag queen.
The Alaska Watchman continued to report that “the 55-minute classes occur at the end of each Friday with students selecting their preferred class at the beginning of each academic quarter.” Students most recently made their selections on October 12. The news outlet also reported that “students are free to sign up for whatever ‘exploration’ they want, without parental permission.”