CARTERSVILLE, GA — A mock “marriage” between two kindergartners — meant to illustrate how the letters Q and U always go together — inadvertently blew up when a social-media post of the event drew the wrath of outsiders angry about Republican attacks on LGBTQ rights and alleged pedophiles.
The Wednesday Facebook post from Bartow County Schools in Cartersville shows two children dressed up for a wedding ceremony, with the boy wearing a heart labeled “U” and the girl wearing a heart labeled “Q.”
“Kindergartners have worked hard this year learning letter identification and letter sounds,” said the post. “As a culminating activity, (Hamilton Crossing Elementary School) held a wedding to help students remember the spelling rule for the letter Q … Q and U always go together in a word!
“Reception was immediately following the ceremony,” the post added, followed by a smiling emoji.
The post — meant for family and friends of students at Hamilton Crossing — features photos of the mock wedding ceremony and smiling children.
But when the post was shared outside of Bartow, it went viral and developed a life of its own. As of Friday, the Facebook post had been shared more than 5,000 times and had drawn nearly 8,000 comments.
“You know the response is actually not from our community,” Bartow County Schools spokesperson Alisha Evans told Patch Friday. “We do not have a response. Any other questions?”
Evans then asked the Patch reporter to email her for an official statement before adding that the school district had received only two phone calls about the post.
As of Friday afternoon, Patch had not received an official statement from the Bartow County school district. The story will be updated if Patch receives a response.
A check of responses to the Facebook post confirms the criticism is mainly from outsiders.
“This is so weird,” wrote a man from Florida. “But saying ‘gay’ is the big issue.”
“As a teacher, I would never think to do this nor should I in my professional opinion,” wrote a woman from New Hampshire. “It is a subtle, underground, indoctrination into a certain lifestyle. Families and unions are all diverse and all should be respected.”
Other commenters likened the activity to child marriage and compared it to “grooming,” a term popular with some Republican politicians inaccurately describing how showing same-sex relationships to children affects them.