A former student of a Long Island teacher accused of forcing a fifth-grade girl to go by male pronouns has claimed she once called his entire class “sexist little children” because they were only playing with classmates of the same sex.
The unnamed student alleged during a contentious school board meeting Monday night that the teacher, Debra Rosenquist, made the remark when he was in her fifth-grade class at Terryville Road Elementary School in Port Jefferson Station.
“One time, I think there were boys in the class and girls in the class and they were hanging out with each other,” the student said as he addressed the Comsewogue School District board.
“She yelled at the whole class that we were all little sexist children,” he continued.
“I was offended personally because my best friend in the class was a girl. It was like ‘why would she do that to me, I was just a child’. That affected me and made me very upset.”
Earlier, the student had claimed his teacher would “target me” in the classroom, adding: “I don’t know why, I’m assuming she just didn’t like me.”
The Comsewogue School District didn’t immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment Wednesday.
The student, who didn’t elaborate on when the alleged remarks were made, was among the more than a dozen speakers — including parents and local residents — to address the school board meeting in the wake of the troubling lawsuit being filed.
The parents of a 9-year-old girl are suing Rosenquist and the Comsewogue School District over allegations the teacher “forced” the child to go by a male name and pronouns, which confused her so much that she had suicidal thoughts.
During the board meeting, one speaker drew applause after he demanded district superintendent Jennifer Quinn “step down” when she couldn’t confirm if Rosenquist was still interacting with students amid the pending litigation.
Quinn had said she wasn’t able to respond to questions about specific staff members and repeatedly noted throughout the meeting that even though there was a lawsuit, it didn’t mean the accusations were accurate.
She added that the district, who investigated the incident a year ago when the parents first aired concerns, would only be responding to the allegations through the court system given the pending litigation.
“The district will not and cannot respond to the unproven allegations made in those reports – we will not litigate this matter in the press,” Quinn said at the beginning of the meeting.
“What the district will do is vigorously defend itself and allow the judicial process to unfold as is appropriate.”
While many speakers aired their grievances about the lawsuit specifically, some parents used the opportunity to speak more broadly about their gripes regarding teachers pushing their own personal beliefs onto students.
“I’m not saying certain things shouldn’t be taught at certain ages, but when we’re dealing with kids in the ages of single digits, we shouldn’t be going into these places,” a parent named Tom said, referring to classes about gender or sexuality.
“That doesn’t mean we don’t tolerate people’s differences because we should absolutely tolerate people’s differences, but it doesn’t mean we have to accept people’s values that are different from our own.
“There is a difference between tolerance and acceptance. Being pushed into areas or having our children an agenda pushed down their throat, it’s not what we’re supposed to be doing.”
Tom, who is also a special education teacher, continued that he was a Christian but insisted he would never invoke his beliefs on students.
“I want everyone in here to come to Jesus, but you know what, as a teacher… I don’t think you’d want me to say that if your values are different than my own. You probably wouldn’t like that,” he told the board.
“If a teacher in an elementary school has personal values that may be pro-LGBTQ and they want to teach their own children that, by all means, do what you want. But don’t do it to my child.”
A small protest took place ahead of the board meeting between Moms for Liberty, who allege the student at the center of the lawsuit was groomed, and the LGBT Network, who argue the teacher did everything she was supposed to in order to support the child.