A school district in North Carolina announced that it will investigate how a controversial survey got distributed to kids asking them about their sexual orientation and gender identity.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Superintendent Earnest Winston told local media outlet WSOC Channel 9 that the school district was looking into who was responsible for the survey.
“I am very concerned with the timing and the way in which I was informed about the actual survey,” said Winston to WSOC.
“It did not occur to the expectation that I have. I have expressed that to staff, and it is an active human resources matter.”
The questions on sexual orientation and gender identity were part of a Title IX survey and were pulled following outcry from several parents, according to WSOC.
When asking for gender identity, the options included “Male,” “Female,” “Non-Binary,” and “Gender-Fluid.” The sexual orientation question included options like “Pansexual,” “Asexual,” and “Questioning my sexual orientation.”
“We want to be fully transparent about this process,” added Winston. “We are going to work as hard as we can to avoid a similar occurrence from happening in the future.”
“We have an obligation to our families, to our students. We have an obligation to our staff and to our schools to communicate effectively to our families when dealing with sensitive matters such as these.”
The Rev. Franklin Graham, head of the Charlotte-based Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, saw this as proof that parents needed to “pay attention and stay involved.”
“I’m sure many of these young students didn’t even know the meaning of some of the orientation categories listed as options—probably some teachers didn’t either,” posted Graham to his Facebook page.
“A number of parents were upset, and I’m glad that Superintendent Earnest Winston was quick to say he was going to get to the bottom of how it happened.”
Graham also stated that he believed whoever was responsible “should be fired, dismissed, terminated—period. They obviously don’t have discernment about what is the right thing to do for children.”
In 2016, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools attempted to implement a policy allowing students to use the public facilities of their chosen gender identity rather than their biological sex.
Criticized by conservative groups, the measure went against state law on public restrooms and gender identity. In August 2016, the school district decided to backtrack on the policy.