Marchers, puppets express support for LGBTQ community in Superior
Prior to a School Board vote on gender identity curriculum, community members expressed their support for inclusion with a march.
SUPERIOR — With flags, signs and strollers, students, teachers and residents marched on Thursday, Aug. 25, in support of the LGBTQ community. Organizer Tiffany Mattson, a Superior High School counselor, said the walk was about inclusion.
"A peaceful march for 'all' means 'all' in the Superior School District," she said, referencing the district's vision: "'All' means 'all' ... every student, every day."
The path led them from the Superior School District administrative offices to Superior Middle School, where the School Board held a special meeting on fifth grade gender identity curriculum later that evening. They were met with the occasional honk from passing motorists.
Marchers supported keeping the curriculum at the fifth grade level.
"It's very important because it shows that we acknowledge that there's difference and we are teaching to provide the proper education and knowledge about identity and pronouns so there's acceptance for all kids," Mattson said.
Jenn Dahlberg marched with her children, Jace, 7, and Cyler, 5, to raise awareness and to support their friends and family. "We're here because 'all' means 'all,'" Dahlberg said.
They were greeted at Superior Middle School by six larger-than-life puppets depicting famous LGBTQ individuals. The puppets were created by artist Mary Plaster.
"I think she has 13 total puppets; this is just the queer contingent here," said Kathy Hermes with Together for Youth, a social support group for LGBTQ young people through Lutheran Social Service in Duluth.
The group included Frida Kahlo, David Bowie, Walt Whitman and Rachel Carson.
Hermes said she brought the puppets to Solon Springs last year when a similar curriculum concern was brought up. The puppets traveled to Virginia, Minnesota, last week and will be on display at the Duluth Superior Pride festival in Duluth.