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School counselor suspended for taking a stance against district ‘Gender support plan’

PENDLETON, Ind. (WISH) — The South Madison Community School Corporation adopted what is referred to as the gender support plan. The policy directs staff and teachers to allow students to select a different pronoun or name for use at school. If the student tells the school that they do not want their parents to know, the policy directs staff to not tell the parents.  

Keep Kathy yard signs are in support of a 20 plus year Pendleton heights school counselor, Kathy McCord. McCord is listed on the school’s website, but is on indefinite administrative leave for sending an email to other teachers asking them to not support the districts “gender support plan”.

The plan outlines how staff and teachers are handling students use to gender pronouns, which basically says if a student feels the parents are not supportive, teachers and staff are not to tell the parents their child has chosen a different pronoun or name.

The guy that has the Keep Kathy signs in his yard didn’t want to talk on camera, but told me on the record, that parents should be told and he supports McCord’s decision to stand up to the administration’s policy.  

This is the very issues being debated in the statehouse. a bill here in Indiana has passed out of the house that would require schools to notify parents about gender identity issues.  it’s headed for the senate. If the bill becomes law, it would supersede any local school board policy 

“As a parent I would want to know, but also i understand why sometimes at home children don’t feel safe to able to express themselves,” said Katie Orozco, parent.

 The superintendent of South Madison community schools didn’t respond to our email. And McCord’s daughter has taken to social media in support of her mother, told I team 8 that the family is not making a statement until after the school board’s executive session meeting on March 7.  

 As for support in Pendleton, we are told a group of people are stealing the Keep Kathy signs out of yards. And that this issue has divided the town almost in half.