Gwinnett County Public Schools spokeswoman Sloan Roach said while McGaughey was not asked to take down the poster, she was asked to consider how not to make the poster a distraction for her students.
“Our employees do have the same civic responsibilities and privileges as any other citizen, including actively supporting causes,” she said. “However, that is not usually done in the workplace as it can become an effectiveness issue if it creates a disruption to the learning environment.”
McGaughey said she was surprised by the negative reaction to the poster. More than a dozen students and teachers have sent messages thanking her for its presence. She said she has had several conversations with school district officials, including her principal, about the poster’s future.
“HR would not tell me to remove it, but kept saying it impacts my effectiveness as a teacher,” she said, adding she was told there could be consequences if other parents complain.
After the controversy over the poster surfaced, McGaughey posted online on her teacher page about the poster and why she’s leaving it up. She spoke openly about acceptance and how she saw the matter personally, being a mom to a child seen as different.
“All children matter to me,” she said. “As the mother of a gay child, I wish more teachers had embraced my child’s ‘differences’ in school. If they had, middle school may have been a bit easier for my child.”
The sign, she said, will remain.