A Virginia public school board member voted against a proclamation Tuesday that would recognize June as Pride Month because “children should be learning about sex education from their parents” and not from teachers, Loudoun Now reported.
The Loudoun County School Board held the vote to recognize LGBTQ+ Pride Month for the second year, and passed the vote five to one, with three members abstaining. But one member questioned the foundations of the Pride Month recognition by the district.
— Loudoun Now (@LoudounNow) May 26, 2021
The proclamation would “honor both the obstacles and strides of the LGBTQ+ community, including the LGBTQ+ students and staff members of our school division.” A similar resolution passed on a seven-to-one vote in 2020, with one member absent, according to Loudoun Now, a local publication.
John Beatty, the single dissenting vote in 2020 and 2021, disputed the notion that it was the public school’s role to “promote sex amongst minors,” since Pride Month is essentially about “celebrating your perceived sexual identity.”
“Children should be learning about sex education from their parents,” Beatty said, according to Loudoun Now. “But if parents choose to have schools educate their children on that topic, that is their right as parents. As representatives of Loudoun County Public Schools, what does this proclamation say about us?”
Beatty mentioned that some parents opt out of the Family Life Education curriculum because they want to teach their children about sexuality themselves.
The Family Life Education curriculum is state-sponsored instruction that teaches students in grades K-12 about “abstinence education, the value of postponing sexual activity, the benefits of adoption as a positive choice in the event of an unwanted pregnancy, human sexuality and human reproduction,” among other subjects, according to Virginia’s state website. Parents have the right to review the curriculum.
“We are telling parents that we are trying to usurp that role. That even though they don’t want their children learning about sex from us, we’re going to make them learn it anyways. And that is what celebrating Pride month comes down to,” Beatty continued. “In the Catholic Church, June is dedicated to the sacred heart of Jesus. But we have religious freedom, and we don’t promote one religion over another in schools. And the same should be done for sexual orientation.”
Beatty added that no one should be discriminated against for any reason.
“As you have already seen from some of the sexualized material in our classrooms, it is inappropriate and damaging for adults to be putting adult material into the classroom with children. We are here to educate. Let’s do that job first,” he concluded.
Jeff Morse, another school board member, said that the proclamation was unnecessary since the school already upholds a commitment to an “inclusive and affirming environment,” and abstained from the vote along with Denise Corbo and Harris Mahedavi.
“I believe that Loudoun County Public Schools rejects hateful language and actions based on gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation. And I believe everyone should be able to live without fear of prejudice, discrimination, violence, or hatred based on gender identity, gender expression or sexual orientation and that right should be acknowledged, but I will not support this proclamation,” Morse said, according to Loudoun Now.
The Loudoun County School board has recently faced backlash from parents over its promotion of Critical Race Theory (CRT) in the school curriculum.
CRT holds that America is fundamentally racist, yet it teaches people to view every social interaction and person in terms of race. Its adherents pursue “antiracism” through the end of merit, objective truth and the adoption of race-based policies.
The debate over the school system’s curriculum has included evidence that CRT is being used in schools despite denials, and some officials calling for the firing of teachers who opposed CRT. (RELATED: ‘CRT Is Racist. It Is Abusive’: Parent Goes Nuclear At School Board Meeting)