Parents say daughter told them middle school teacher made anti-gay remarks

School investigating claims

SAN DIEGO - A Mira Mesa mother and her wife reached out to 10News on Tuesday, upset after their daughter said her middle school teacher made anti-gay remarks in a sex education class.

"She immediately came in and said, 'Mom, I need to tell you something that happened today,'" said parent Breena Stevens.

Stevens says her 11-year-old, sixth grade daughter wrote her a note about what she says her teacher at Wangenheim Middle School said in sex education class, writing, "He said ... (occasionally) girls and boys will like the same gender. When I see a gay or lesbian couple hold hands in public, I think it's gross and disgusting. That's my opinion."

"We never encountered anything like this before," said Stevens.

Stevens was furious and so was her wife Marlee. Their sixth grade daughter is one of their eight children in a family being raised by same-sex parents. The couple's adult children also have children of their own.

"We want to make sure that we're teaching our children to be who they are, and to not be scared to go to school because a teacher is going to talk about your family in a negative light," said Stevens.

They told 10News the teacher is still teaching, but their daughter has been pulled from the class. 10News has not talked to school officials about the situation.

Stevens said what makes matters worse is that the family moved to San Diego from the Midwest and expected a different welcome.

"We thought when we came to California that we would have a more open minded, more liberal environment and never thought that our children would experience this," she said.

On Wednesday, following a meeting with school officials, Stevens told 10News that she was informed the school has "an open investigation and that it's on their radar."

"The teacher has been teaching for 30 years," said Stevens. "He knows that he should be teaching curriculum and not personal opinion."

On Wednesday, 10News contacted the school for comment but was told they could not speak about matters involving students or staff.

Stevens said the district did tell her they were looking into the situation.

"They said that there's a human resource person that was taking over the case," Stevens said. "I don't know if an apology is enough. I don't know yet. I definitely haven't received that yet."

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