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City requires anti-harassment training over pronoun comments

June 29, 2021 GMT

WARRENTON, Ore. (AP) — The city of Warrenton is requiring anti-harassment and discrimination training after a library board member and planning commissioner complained about a library employee’s preferred gender pronouns.

In newspaper column in May, Kelly Knudsen, the director of the Warrenton Community Library, introduced the new library employee using the pronouns, “they” and “them,” The Astorian reported.

Mary Ann Brandon, who served on the library board, sent an email to Christine Bridgens, a planning commissioner, describing the column as “disturbing.”

“I don’t like being forced to read such pronoun drivel. And I’m sure this liberal wokeness is most likely permeating our little library,” Brandon wrote in the email obtained by The Astorian through the state’s public records law.

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“I surely hope our little library does not fall victim to perversion indoctrination.” Bridgens wrote in response to Brandon, among other comments.

City Manager Linda Engbretson in response mandated training.

“Regardless of employees’ politics or ideology, the City of Warrenton is not in the business of discrimination nor will it tolerate any harassment or discrimination against our employees,” Engbretson said.

Brandon has resigned from the library board. She couldn’t be reached for comment, but told the library board chairwoman: ”I resign. You know why.”

In an email to The Astorian, Bridgens said, “I believe it’s appropriate for city employees/appointees to be reminded of the importance of being respectful to all other employees/volunteers.