After a year of unprecedented public comment over highly controversial changes to the Fairbanks School District’s curriculum, the final piece of the language arts overhaul was approved by the school board’s liberal majority.

The 4-3 vote reflects deep community division regarding a new curriculum approach that has injected LGBTQ ideology into the study of social studies and literature.

It appears that many public educators coordinated their efforts to ensure the passage of the curriculum update.

On Nov. 17 the board approved the second part of a language arts update that includes a high school elective course which allows students to read, discuss and present LGBTQ ideology to fellow students in a class called “Social Themes in Literature.” The course is reflective of the district larger plan to transition away from classical works of literature and toward what it calls “student directed learning” which opens the door to introduce books and classes that expose children to materials which many in the community find objectionable.

Curriculum updates, which occur regularly and rarely elicit much community input, inspired hundreds of emails, phone calls and hours of public testimony from both sides over the past year. Comments from the most recent meeting, however, were overwhelmingly in support of adding LGBTQ studies. All seven of those who called in to testify supported the move, as did 80 of 85 email submissions.

Conservative members of the school board increased ranks in the recent October elections, but are still outnumbered 4-3.

It appears that many public educators coordinated their efforts to ensure the passage of the curriculum update. Several of the comments came from district teachers or employees and the English departments from both Lathrop High School and Eielson Jr./Sr. High School signed letters in support.

While the conservative members of the school board increased their ranks to three during the recent October elections, they are still outnumbered 4-3 by board members who have been pushing for LGBTQ materials in classes. Additionally, district staff, including Superintendent ???? enthusiastically support the changes.

Prior to the vote, there was no debate on the merits of the contentious class, and conservative board members who voted against the proposal offered no comments before voting. Voting in favor were board members: Timothy Doran, Erin Morotti, Jennifer Luke and Chrya Sanderson. Opposing were Maggie Matheson, April Smith and Matthew Sampson.

While the district is now well on its way to embracing LGBTQ ideology in the classroom, it is on much less certain grounds financially. Prior to the vote, Superintendent Karen Gaborik said school enrollment is nearly 2,000 less than initially projected, which represents a nearly 15% decline.

The loss of students will mean a $7 million loss in revenue this year and a projected $11 million decrease for next year. Overall, the district will need to cut 20 to 25 million dollars from its budget next year, barring a massive influx of additional state or federal funds.

While part of the enrollment decrease is attributed to COVID, many parents have expressed the desire to remove their children from a school district that seems intent on exposing their children to objectionable sexual content via LGBTQ classes and so-called diversity and equality training.

Homeschool programs in Fairbanks are operating at or near capacity over the past year.

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Fairbanks approves LGBTQ class in narrow 4-3 vote

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.


  • Rhonda Stark says:

    Why in the world would any Christian parent keep their kids in public school? Parents in Alaska have complete autonomy and control and don’t even use it! Get your kids out of the cesspool and you might be surprised at how quickly things change. Money talks and you child means 20k per year to the district. We need a mass exodus and I guarantee it will be noticed. It is mind boggling.

  • Mark Feuerherdt says:

    Yup! So glad my wife’s grandkids are all homeschooled and not involved in that Communist/Socialist liberal whiny dumbing down bs that passes for education. Screw the borough!!


    You need to know this: the leftist, including many in the LGBT community and those who support their agenda have no compassion for ANYONE that disagrees with their views. I know as I was heavily involved in that community for many years (until the Lord led me away). Early on I learned not to let my more conservative political views or I was excoriated. There is absolutely no tolerance in many of those in active that community, despite their, correctly, wanting others to tolerate their lifestyle. They will never capitulate, ever! They will continue to introduce mandates and curriculum no matter what, unless a huge wave of protests inundates them. For those who are able, do it by in-person protests, for those like me who can’t do that, flood your representatives, mayors and school boards with emails and phone calls. If you are a lawyer plague them with lawsuits. If enough people do this we have a chance of keeping our rights; if not, we will be living under dictatorships on every level. Just look at history – especially how the (real) Nazis took over Germany.

  • NAV says:

    ABOMINATION will reap what it sows, and those who push it will one day reap their consequences in full measure eternally!!!