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Fargo schools letter recruits Florida teachers following 'Don't-Say-Gay' bill

The letter was issued this past April and recently began circulating on social media. The letter was signed by Fargo Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Rupak Gandhi; Dr. Tamara Uselman, the school district's director of equity and inclusion; Fargo City Commissioner John Strand and North Dakota state Rep. John Boschee.

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The Fargo School District offices in July 2022.
David Olson/The Forum.
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FARGO — A letter urging unhappy Florida teachers to move to North Dakota after Florida passed its so-called "Don't-Say-Gay" law is getting national attention.

The letter was issued this past April and recently began circulating on social media.

Addressed to Florida teachers, it began with: "We are way OK with saying gay, or straight, or LGBTQ+. Though we have a long way to go to become a fully inclusive community, we believe it is an injustice to diminish any individual's gender identity in any way."

The letter was signed by Fargo Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Rupak Gandhi; Dr. Tamara Uselman, the school district's director of equity and inclusion; Fargo City Commissioner John Strand and North Dakota state Rep. John Boschee.

The letter surfaced on social media after Ethan Harsell, a Grand Forks Republican running for the state House seat in District 43, shared screenshots on Twitter.

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the Parental Rights in Education Act into law in March, which has since come to be known as the "Don't Say Gay" bill.

It prohibits teachers from discussing gender or sexual orientation topics in grades K-3, and bars any such discussions found to be inappropriate for all grade levels above that.

The letter sent to Florida teachers and signed by Fargo school officials and others has caught the attention of a number of media outlets, including Newsweek and Fox News .

The letter closes with:

"In summary, please know that Fargo Public Schools and public sectors within the greater Fargo community not only offer a welcome to you but also offer actionable examples of our commitment to becoming an inclusive community that LGBTQ+ people can call home."

Asked for comment, Fargo Public Schools provided this statement from Superintendent Gandhi:

"The letter to Florida educators was drafted by the authors for the reasons outlined in the letter. Inclusion is necessary for Fargo Public Schools to meet its mission to 'achieve excellence by educating and empowering all students to succeed.'

"The letter shares our welcoming environment in Fargo to those who are interested in joining our community and was intended for those considering new opportunities," Gandhi said.

I'm a reporter and a photographer and sometimes I create videos to go with my stories.

I graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead and in my time with The Forum I have covered a number of beats, from cops and courts to business and education.

I've also written about UFOs, ghosts, dinosaur bones and the planet Pluto.

You may reach me by phone at 701-241-5555, or by email at dolson@forumcomm.com
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