I am writing to express my shock and disgust at the comments of Republican candidate for Elizabethtown school board Menno Riggleman during the forum held Thursday, Oct. 26. Mr. Riggleman first said that he doesn’t think schools should be teaching “lifestyles” or about “two men living together.” He went on to say later, completely unprompted, that he is concerned about “trans-whatevers” because “no one wants their little girl followed into a bathroom by a man.”
Not only are these comments ignorant, backward, and unacceptable from any person in any context, they are particularly troubling to hear coming from someone in a public forum who is aspiring to guide our school district as it grapples with the challenges of serving a diverse population of students and families. Mr. Riggleman’s statements can only serve to make students and their families feel unsafe and unwelcome in our schools. No student or family should feel this way in their own school district and it is incumbent upon us all to protect the rights of all students to be who they are and to thrive in a safe learning environment. It is imperative that we condemn in the strongest possible terms the statements of Mr. Riggleman and that we further do not elect him into an office of authority over our schools.