On February 12, 2021, the Westerville City School District promoted “parent prep workshops” related to “student well being, awareness, and equity.” The description for one session titled “LGBTQ+ 101” stated: “LGBTQ 101 offers basic/beginner information and awareness related to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community. Content includes vocabulary/terminology, common misperceptions, stereotypes, and resources as well as ways to be supportive and inclusive of the LGBTQ+ community.”
The district’s website also had what appears to be a newsletter for Westerville Central High School. The document states: “Today’s Woman of the Day is Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, presented to you by Women of Westerville.” The document continues to explain that “Hinaleimoana, also known as Kumu Hina, is a transgender woman and mahu which is someone that has a third gender between female and male.” The document explains that this person is important for “where she came from and queerness in Native Hawaiian culture.”
On May 21, 2021, the district posted an article about a “Race and Equity Studies: The Quest for Justice in the US” class at Westerville Central High School. The district explains that students “started the course with a deep dive on the history of systemic oppression in different communities.” The teacher of the class “challenged students to take all the lessons they covered and apply it to their experiences in school.” As a result, students “advocated for gender-neutral restrooms” and “proposed more cultural-based classes.” The district explains:
Students called for greater representation in the building, on the school walls and in the lessons educators teach. They outlined the importance of teaching “historical truths” and the need to include Black and LGBTQ historical figures and voices in the curriculum. They talked about “gatekeeping” and how they felt discouraged when their inquiries into taking Advanced Placement or honors courses were dismissed.