A school board member in Jefferson County, Colorado is attempting to do damage control after she published a letter from an anti-LGBT hate group on her Facebook page that called the National LGBT Day of Silence observance a form of "perverse indoctrination."
The education newsletter Chalkbeat Colorado reported that Julie Williams says she is "genuinely sorry" that she forwarded the letter from SaveCalifornia.com, a group that the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has designated as a active anti-LGBT hate group.
The letter was protesting the National Day of Silence, in which LGBT high school students and middle schoolers and their allies spend a day without speaking. The observance is meant to counter the bullying and intense harassment that many LGBT youth face in school settings.
SaveCalifornia.com's newsletter urged Christian parents to keep their children out of school on the 17th so as not to expose them to the "perverse indoctrination” of the “homosexual-bisexual-transsexual agenda.”
"The Day of Silence postures every person who identifies as a homosexual or cross-dresser as a victim of ongoing, unrelenting harassment and discrimination (being ‘silenced’). While some incidents like this do occur, this event is an overwhelming exaggeration in an effort to manipulate our kids’ natural sympathies. The result ironically is that youth develop favorable views about a controversial, high risk behavior,” said the letter on Williams' Facebook wall.
"In reality, the Day of Silence is a one-sided campaign to manipulate acceptance of homosexuality by every student," it continued. "Nationwide, parents are fed up with the political hijacking of their kids' classrooms. What makes it even more problematic is that the results of 'tolerating' this lifestyle without objection can be tragic for many young people. The risks of homosexual behavior are well-understood by public health officials, but are being ignored by some politically correct school administrations."
When students, parents and other school officials decried the hateful post, Williams said that didn't mean it and that she had posted the SaveCalifornia.com letter without reading it.
“To be honest with you, I didn’t read the article,” Williams told Chalkbeat. “I just saw it and thought I was sharing information with parents.”
“I believe in choice," she said, "who you are and want to be and what you want to do.”
Jefferson County School Superintendent Dan McMinimee said that the views expressed on Williams' Facebook page do not express those of the school district. The district, he said, "always strives to foster an environment that encourages students to feel safe, to learn, and to thrive, we respect students’ rights to participate in Day of Silence."
[Hat-tip to Towleroad]