A secularist group complained to school officials in Minnesota over a student outing to hear a lecture on sexual purity.
The American Humanist Association said the Sept. 30 presentation by Jason Evert, of the Chastity Project, included unacceptable religious elements that parents were not told about beforehand, reported the Associated Press.
“Evert is hardly a health expert, but instead is a trained theologian – he reportedly holds two degrees in theology from a Franciscan college and is quite public about the religious nature of his activities. He also runs a program known as the ‘Chastity Project,’ which promotes prayer, so-called ‘purity culture, and other unscientific, religious concepts,” the group said in a letter sent Tuesday to Luverne Public Schools.
“Despite this, his speaking event was deceptively presented to parents and students via a nondescript flyer that made no mention of his religious mission,” the letter continued.
Evert claims he offered “zero religious content” in his talk to the public school students.
“My last intention is to recruit the kids into any denomination,” Evert said. “We’re just here to support the parents and school.”
But at least one parent pulled his child out of school that day over his concerns about the event’s message.
“They scrub this — it’s very deliberate,” said parent Randy Perkins. “It’s kind of disguising.”
More than 90 ninth-graders attended the lecture, which the school’s principal said was a non-religious program intended for public schools.
Brian Gilbertson, principal of Edgerton Public School, said Evert told students that abstinence helped prevent sexually transmitted disease.
The humanist group noted the anti-choice sponsor handed out business cards referring students to its abortion counseling services, and they asked school officials not to endorse similar events in the future.
Listen to Evert discuss safe sex in this video posted online by bostonrespectlife: