Some Orange County parents upset over controversial book being read to third graders

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Third grade students were given a lesson in homosexuality and some parents are furious over the subject matter because they were not notified about the book beforehand.

Third grade students in an Orange County classroom were given a lesson in homosexuality, and some parents are furious over the subject matter because they were not notified about the book beforehand.

ABC11 has learned a school administrator was made aware of the reading selection and physically handed the book to the teacher.

Three complaints have been filed.

"They keep religion out of school. Let's be careful what else we want to enter into school," said Efland resident Frederick McAdoo.

A teacher at Efland-Cheeks Elementary School, who is openly gay, read the book in class.

"This is something that should be taught by parents or at least the parents be aware what is being taught to their kids," said parent Mary Palmatier.

"It's just too young," said McAdoo. "We shouldn't have to go through this."

The book in question is called King and King. The fairytale is about a prince who defies his mom and marries a man, not a woman.

Teacher Omar Currie told ABC11 he was trying to address a bullying problem.

"We talked about how the moral of the book was just you accept others the way they are," said Currie. "Some of the kids said the book made them feel a little uncomfortable, and I told them that was fine."

Currie said he plans to resign from the job. He said he will be sad to leave behind his students, but is disappointed with the district.

"There are staff members who obviously disagree with the fact that I read the book and they made that very clear," said Currie.

Principal Kiley Brown told ABC11 that while the assistant principal knew about the reading selection, she did not. She said parents should have been notified.

"We are dealing with this matter and following policy as best we can in light of the situation and I think this will be a huge learning experience for our staff and our community," said Brown. "I think that letting parents know and be key aspects of the educational process is huge."

Brown said staff is now reviewing the Common Core State Standards. Some said they feel it is the appropriate course of action for the children in this school.

"They need to learn, read, write. We are losing that," said McAdoo.

The school is holding a community meeting to further address concerns. It'll be held Friday at 5:30 p.m. in the school library.

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