Parents and Students Upset Over Guest Speaker at Clare Public Schools

“It just isn’t fair that they’re made to listen to that kind of stuff in a public school,” said Beth Thompson, an upset mother of a Clare High School student.

Some parents, downright disgusted about a guest speaker at Clare Public Schools.

Her controversial message even had one parent protesting outside the school on Friday.

Tina Griffin spoke at Clare Schools Thursday.

Her message got some varied reactions from the community.

The self-titled “counter culture mom” travels around speaking on how to avoid what she calls the pitfalls of things like pop culture and social media.

The former actress made anti-vaccination and anti- LGBTQ posts and it’s not just parents upset.

Some students took to social media saying they felt uncomfortable during the assembly.

Now, both parents and students are asking why was it necessary for her to speak to the public school?

“Her views are just there out there. They’re not today’s age of, it’s just not right,” said Thompson.

Thompson is upset after her daughter came home distraught from listening to Tina Griffin speak.

The speaker who calls herself the “counter culture mom” spoke on the influence of social media and Hollywood.

Some say, she took it too far.

“She wants to take us back to the 19th century. Hello, this is America,” said Thompson.

Parents and students say parts of the conversation made LGBTQ students feel they didn’t belong.

So Thompson made sure the school knew how she felt.

“I was worried that people were going to throw things at me or something but I haven’t had anything like that,” said Thompson.

Another mom eventually joined her.

“It’s not ok,” said Angela Altobello, another upset parent. “There are straight students who were upset about the content and they were upset for their friends. They were upset for the community.”

Students took to social media, posting things like this, saying, “she’s a homophobe that makes false claims constantly and pushed Christianity on us via calling our music and movies satanic and responsible for suicide and murder.”

Another statement read, “She should not have been welcomed here at Clare. This is a huge step down from where we have been and I hope this isn’t where we continue to go.”

But one mom says it’s healthy for students to hear a different perspective, even if they don’t agree with it.

“It never really hurt anyone to try to understand what somebody else is saying,” said Stephanie Montney, who says she sees both sides.

She says she’s disappointed to see how other parents have reacted.

“It’s really important that children understand restraint with their emotions because that’s how we learn how to understand each other and that’s how we learn to grow,” said Montney.

Harrison Public Schools was also supposed to have Tina Griffin speak tonight, but they decided to cancel that.

We did reach out to Griffin.

She did not reply to our message.

Right before the newscast, Griffin posted a video to social media, upset about the cancellation of that assembly in Harrison.

She claims she is being silenced and that she did not bring up anything about religion or LGBTQ or say anything offensive.

She says she came into the schools to talk about what they wanted her to talk about.

She partly blamed the decision on “the new world order”.

We also reached out to Clare Schools for comment.

The superintendent doubled down on the decision to have Griffin speak.

“We are confident in the message Ms. Griffin actually delivered to students, and believe that message was timely and appropriate.

It focused on positive and real self-images, avoiding the pitfalls of social media and Hollywood idolization, and finding your own gifts, talents and passions.”

This is not the first time Clare Schools stirred up controversy, involving a similar subject.

A former teacher there is currently suing the district.

Julie Mayra says she was discriminated against because of her sexual orientation, something she says she had always been open about.

According to court documents, Mayra says it was never a problem until the 2016-2017 school year when the district hired superintendent as well as a new principal.

She was told she was being laid off in April of 2017 for budgetary reasons.