Rick Marcotte Central School introduces transgender and racial equity books into curriculum for fifth grade students; principal appears to explain that Valentine’s Day is not inclusive


Several concerned parents reached out to Parents Defending Education regarding newsletters sent to parents with students attending Rick Marcotte Central School in Vermont. The school appears to provide parents with a newsletter each week called the “Moose Memo.” In the January 6, 2023, edition of the newsletter, the “interim principal” explained:

Separate from the Beginning with Books program, the 5th-grade team will introduce texts about racism and gender identity as read-alouds and teachers will facilitate guided, restorative conversations about the topics they represent.

The newsletter then lists the books Melissa by Alex Gino and Stamped (For Kids): Racism, Antiracism, and You by Ibram X. Kendi. The book Melissa is about a young boy transitioning to be a girl. Amazon provides the following description: “When people look at Melissa, they think they see a boy named George. But she knows she’s not a boy. She knows she’s a girl.” The book Stamped is a book that promotes racial equity and tenets of Critical Race Theory.

The newsletter also links to resources from the South Burlington School District. Resources included in the newsletter are titled “SBSD Office of Equity and Anti-Racism,” “SBSD Equity Monitoring Report,” and “Continuing Best Practices for Schools Regarding Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Students.”

The “interim principal” promoted the books Melissa and Stamped in the school newsletter.
The newsletter included equity and transgender resources.

In the January 20, 2023, edition of the newsletter, the school’s principal appeared to explain that Valentine’s Day was not “inclusive” enough when discussing that the school would have a week promoted as “Random Acts of Kindness Week.” This specific week will take place during the same week as Valentine’s Day. The principal explained:

What I love about this celebration is the fact that everyone can participate! Valentine’s Day falls on Tuesday, yet not every culture celebrates this particular holiday. To be clear, I’m not banning Valentine’s Day. It can be part of the week, but a more inclusive way to show appreciation for others and exhibit kindness through action is by putting the school’s official stamp on Random Acts of Kindness Week, a school-wide effort everyone can access.

The school’s principal appeared to explain that Valentine’s Day was not “inclusive” enough.