A school administrator was caught colluding with community activists to recruit students of the Forrest M. Bird Charter School [grades 6-12] to join a Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA), while intentionally hiding this information from their parents. Principal Mary Jensen admitted the secrecy under which school staff and others had operated. Some of the same adults had even facilitated kids meeting off-campus at a local library under the supervision of “supportive” third parties. Jensen stated that they wanted to be “a progressive school on that sort of thing, but we did not want to be 'in-your-face',” so parents could not prevent their children from attending. She states “we're keeping it kind of on the down low,” because “this is North Idaho,” and “kids who wanted to participate in the club did not necessarily want their parents to know.”I am no fan of charter schools (they have made Florida education a mess) but that all seems perfectly reasonable and sensible. Playing football should require parental consent. Joining a GSA? Not so much. There are some things that students should be able to keep private. I doubt that parents get involved if their kid joins the French club or the Key Club.
Mr. Staver, however, trades on the idea that gay people pose a threat to children. I suspect that he also believes that there are gay kids who are not out to their parents and those children might join a GSA. Staver wants parents to know that their children are gay so that they can send the kid to some sort of toxic conversion therapy camp or take some form of disciplinary action. That idiocy makes perfect sense to Mr. Staver.
By now it should be obvious, at least to rational thinking people, that parents have as much control over their child's sexual orientation as they have over their eye color. Yet, Staver persists with this harmful nonsense. The sad thing is that some children find it necessary to hide their sexuality from their parents. Apparently some kids have to hide the fact that they are gay allies. We have imbeciles like Mat Staver to thank for that, at least in part.
It continues to astonish me that some parents will be influenced by an unhinged crackpot like Mr. Staver but not the American Academy of Pediatrics. Just how unhinged are Staver and his hate group, Liberty Counsel?
Liberty Counsel originally contacted the school asking for assurances that it would respect parental rights. The school falsely claimed no violations had taken place and its legal counsel replied, "[M]y clients deny that they have ever violated any parental right to control their minor children…" The school also refused to require parental permission slips for clubs, despite parent permission being required for almost anything else, including field trips, medicine, and even dress code expectations.The school is absolutely correct. Permission slips are not, and should not be, required for clubs. They are required for field trips because they are off school property and the insurance carrier requires parental consent. Medicine might require consent depending upon what is involved. Dress code expectations? I have no idea.
“It is outrageous that this school would intentionally undermine parental rights in this manner. Parents have the fundamental right to know about and direct the activities and associations of their minor children,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “It is simply not credible that this GSA is a 'student-led club.' Parents must stand up for their rights and expose activities like this to public scrutiny, as our clients have done here,” Staver concluded.Staver is not terribly bright and he is intensely resistant to secular logic.He is also a homophobic bigot who displays his bigotry at every opportunity. The fact that he cloaks his hate in scripture doesn't make it any less hateful.