Parents outraged after preferred pronouns posted by Farmington Jr. High counselors

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FARMINGTON — There was outrage at Farmington Junior High School after school counselors had new placards made that showed their preferred pronouns.

The move motivated parents to send emails and make phone calls to the school.

Some were angry enough that police were asked to investigate. Likewise, some families reached out to show their appreciation for the effort to offer a safe space.

Outside Farmington Junior High Monday, the marquee sign read, "Respect your fellow Huskies!" Whether preferred pronouns inside helped foster that, however, drew some heated opinions.

"In my opinion, in the state of Utah, we have to be protecting our children first," said Eric Moutsos.

Moustos lives outside the Davis District but put out calls to action on social media after seeing pictures of the new placards.

"I just said, 'Be respectful, be polite, because we can have these conversations. We can disagree with each other and still love each other," he said.

A lot of the emails and phone calls were angry and mean. Farmington police responded but concluded there were no clear threats.

While the preferred pronouns might have been displayed to show support for students who might otherwise feel marginalized, Moutsos said he feels those words used in that way can also be harmful.

"There are people that believe in their minds and in their hearts that a man can change into a woman, and that is not true. It's not science," Moutsos explained. "I know that these topics are very, very polarizing, but if our children can't go to school and not be propagandized by staff, we are in a world of hurt in the state of Utah."

Eric Moustos is pictured Monday.
Eric Moustos is pictured Monday. (Photo: Mike Anderson, KSL-TV)

In hearing about the negative response staff members received at the school, some community members had a much different response than Moutsos.

"I would say to people who are afraid of it is why is a word going to make a difference? It's not going to change who your child is or is not," Genevra Prothero, director of Davis Pride said.

She was disappointed that the placards were taken down.

Genevra Prothero, director of Davis Pride, talks to KSL Monday.
Genevra Prothero, director of Davis Pride, talks to KSL Monday. (Photo: Mike Anderson, KSL-TV)

"In all reality, if your child is queer, they don't want to talk about it anyway. They don't feel safe and comfortable. So if there is a safe place and you're not that safe place because you're afraid, you could be putting your own child in jeopardy."

Prothero added that marginalized students need that support, which is why she's helping with a counter-campaign to show appreciation for staff at the school.

"It's going to be a lot of gratitude and a lot of thought and love put into it. There are already messages that we're going to be putting from different people anonymously, thanking them," Prothero said.

Current and former students put together messages and small gifts after some donations came in as requested by Davis Pride.

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Utah K-12 educationUtahEducationDavis County
Mike Anderson
Mike Anderson often doubles as his own photographer, shooting and editing most of his stories. He came to KSL in April 2011 after working for several years at various broadcast news outlets.


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