RSU 9 has eight schools in the county of Franklin, Maine, serving 2,423 students. At Tuesday night's school board meeting, there was a discussion about two of the schools, Mt. Blue Middle School and Mt. Blue High School, having a gender identity poster. Concerns were brought up by members of the community over the poster titled "Gender 101." The poster is being displayed in the guidance offices of both Mt. Blue Middle School and Mt. Blue High School. The concern is that the poster is not age-appropriate for the age of the students at the middle and high schools. There are also concerns that the poster is being used in the curriculum at middle and high schools.
The poster calls gender a social construct that is based on emotional, behavioral, and cultural characteristics. The poster also gives definitions of what it means to be cisgender, transgender, gender-fluid, and non-gender-conforming. The poster was produced by OUT Maine, which has provided support for LGBTQ+ students in Maine school systems for more than 25 years.
There were around 30 members of the public that came to give comments during the comment period at the school board meeting. Both sides of the debate were represented with parents in support of the poster and parents, not in support of the poster. The superintendent said that the board did a thorough review of the poster and that the poster came from resources that are supported by the Maine Department of Education. The poster has been found to be age-appropriate and informational, and after the review, the superintendent has determined that the poster should not be removed as it is an appropriate resource for RSU 9's transgender student guidelines.