Gay Illinois teacher sparks debate with tolerance talk

Prairie View Elementary School music teacher Nathan Etter, right, addressed members of the school board on Monday, April 16. Photo by Chicago Tribune.

ELGIN, Ill. (AP) — A gay Illinois teacher has sparked debate after explaining to his students he received flowers from his husband and encouraging them to be respectful and tolerant.

The Daily Herald reports that Prairie View Grade School music teacher Nathan Etter received the flowers on Valentine's Day. He says he spent about 30 seconds on the topic of acceptance after some of his first-grade students had negative reactions to him having a husband.

One student's parent came to district officials with concerns about the discussion. Etter says officials warned him to "stick to the curriculum."

Etter and a union representative allege school leaders are treating him in a "discriminatory manner."

Central Unit District 301 officials said last week that the district is committed to diversity and respect.

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The Gayly. April 18, 2018. 2:08 a.m. CST.