Parents in Hilliard, Ohio, are frustrated with the school district for allowing teachers to wear QR code-enabled badges that link to a website that showcases sexually explicit material.
The National Education Association and its local affiliate in Hilliard have been providing staff in the school district with the QR code-enabled badges as a way to reach out to LGBTQ+ students, according to local reports. The code links to the “NEA LGBTQ+ Caucus” website and resources from gender activist organizations including Scarleteen, Sex, Etc., Gender Spectrum, The Trevor Project, and Teen Health Source, education activist Christopher Rufo recently highlighted on his website.
“My reaction is I’m horrified. These badges imply that any teacher not wearing the badge is not safe. It also implies that the teachers wearing the badges are somehow licensed to speak to our children about sexual identity,” Lisa Chaffee, a Hilliard parent with Ohio Parents Rights in Education, told “Fox & Friends First.”
“And that just is not acceptable. Aside from the fact that these kids are already vulnerable, it opens the door to any bad actors that might want to take advantage of our children. And the QR code does go to some very inappropriate material that even for a teacher, they would not be able to utilize that in the classroom. And as you saw, students do have access to the QR code.”
One of the linked resources, Teen Health Source’s “Queering Sexual Education,” promises to “empower youth” and includes a how-to guide for performing “anal sex,” “bondage,” “rimming,” “domination,” “sadomasochism,” “muffing,” and “fisting.” One of the materials offers instructions on how to, “[put] a fist or whole hand into a person’s vagina or bum.”
“The badge has a QR code that once scanned takes you to a website that has extremely inappropriate information and as a parent that crosses the line,” said Chaffee.
Hilliard Schools Superintendent Dave Stewart, who defended the badges as sharing a “message of safety and inclusion for all students” in a statement to ABC 6, said the QR codes were not intended for students, but as resources for the teachers. He said the teachers were aware of it, but “out of an abundance of caution,” they were given additional guidance on the badges, including that it might be in their best interest to “cover” the QR code.
Franklin County, Ohio parents Omar Tarazi said that the superintendent is saying that the badges are a “good thing.”
“The superintendent has been all over the place about these badges because initially, he said, well, it’s not me, and it’s nothing to do with us. It’s the teachers union. Now he’s saying that the badges are a good thing. The reality is we went to the superintendent and the board and said, look, you can reprint these badges for almost nothing worth out of the bag without the QR code. If the goal is not to distribute the QR code to students, just remove it.”
Parents in other states are sounding off on classroom material they argue is inappropriate for adolescents, including an Oklahoma parent who warned of a teacher directing students how to access “pornographic” books via a QR code. The QR code took students to the Brooklyn Public Library Books Unbanned site, which is designed to give students access to books that are removed from, or otherwise challenged, in libraries and schools.
Fox News’ Cortney O’Brien contributed to this report.