TPS Board Member Claims Her Post On Facebook Was Misunderstood

Tuesday, May 24th 2022, 10:40 pm

TULSA, Oklahoma -

A Tulsa School Board member is getting attention online after posting a controversial Facebook picture.

It compares America's education system to other countries, and implies our students are only learning LGBT topics in school.

New Tulsa board member E'Lena Ashley's post has her in hot water with dozens of comments calling her transphobic and anti-gay, but she said this is all a misunderstanding.

The post in question is a shared image comparing the advanced math learned by students in China, the chemistry learned in India, then trans and gay images representing what's supposedly taught in the U.S.

It has more than 200 comments and several dozen shares. But TPS District Four board member E'Lena Ashely said commenters are focusing on the wrong thing.

"It's kinda satirical, but it makes a point that we need to be still able to participate and that our students need to be literate, able to do math and be able to function globally," she said.

"I'm genuinely hurt that they don't see the big picture of me wanting to promote education."

She says it was just a meme and she isn't referring to Tulsa Public Schools specifically, but America as a whole.

Former TPS educator Lynn Stockley is one of those commenters who don't buy it.

"When you post what I would call trash, like that you're taking all of the real issues off the table and you're trying to make something that isn't an issue and making it one," she said.

Stockley and another former TPS educator, Laura Bellis, see this as anti-trans and anti-gay.

"Ultimately, talk like that in the long run is dangerous," Bellis said.

"Because it might just seem like a meme right now but when you put out messaging like that, it can add up, and people eventually take that kind of messaging to extremes and it's unacceptable to feed into that rhetoric."

The picture was posted Monday at 5:00 p.m. and is still up on Facebook as of Tuesday night.