Parents rally against UConn law symposium on race, gender and sexuality
A crowd of parents gathered at the UConn School of Law building in Hartford Friday to protest a symposium questioning parental rights surrounding race, gender-affirming care and school curriculum.
The rally was organized by several conservative groups who believe their children are too young to learn about gender and sexuality. They say it should not be taught at school.
Christine Rebstock, who’s transgender, protested the symposium and believes these conversations should be held in the home and not in the classroom.
“You don’t need a curriculum to say ‘everyone’s different, let’s treat everyone with kindness and respect.’ This should come from the parents’ home, it’s a kitchen table issue,” Rebstock said.
Anastasia Yopp, a board of education member in Newington, said parents should have more influence when it comes to their child’s education. Yopp is concerned she may not know everything her children are learning in school.
“I think parents should have a full say in everything their children are taught. They should be able to opt out of anything that is not aligning with their beliefs,” she said.
Yopp believes elementary school children are not old enough to learn about gender and sexual orientation and would support children learning about it in middle school or high school.
Cadence Castro, a counterprotester, believes transgender children need privacy and autonomy.
“There are many cases where homophobic and transphobic parents can harm their children,” Castro said. “Children, for a reason, don’t feel comfortable telling their parents. School is often one of the only places they can feel that safety.”
The symposium was designed to use an academic lens to explore laws governing parents and children, according to UConn spokesperson Stephanie Reitz, who also said the law school values free speech, peaceful assembly and respects all who choose to publicly express their views.