School Board Passes Pro-Homosexual Policy

Special Report - March 13, 2008

The Charlotte Mecklenburg School (CMS) Board voted 6 to 3 on March 11 in favor of a pro-homosexual anti-bullying policy that includes the categories of “sexual orientation” and “gender identity or expression.” The CMS board approved the policy despite significant opposition from concerned parents and other community leaders. According to The Charlotte Observer, the CMS board heard from over 40 citizens on both sides of the issue during the meeting, which lasted over two hours. Prior to the final vote, the board rejected an alternative policy that did not include the categories of “sexual orientation” and “gender identity or expression.”
The CMS policy approved by the board states in part: “It is the policy of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education to maintain learning environments that are free from harassment or bullying. This freedom includes, but is not limited to, freedom from harassment or bullying based on an individual’s real or perceived race, color, sex, religion, creed, political belief, age, national origin, linguistic or language differences, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, socioeconomic status, height, weight, physical characteristics, marital status, parental status, or physical, mental or sensory disability.” The CMS policy does not define bullying and harassment, but instead leaves it open for broad interpretation. In addition, the policy requires the superintendent of schools to publicize the policy, train staff members and students on how to implement the policy, and create trainings and other programs. As we reported last week, parents in Charlotte raised concerns about the policy’s far-reaching implications, including its potential to threaten parental rights, student expression and religious freedom in Mecklenburg County schools.
The CMS Board’s adoption of the pro-homosexual anti-bullying policy will undoubtedly bolster homosexual activists who are pursuing a statewide anti-bullying law in the North Carolina General Assembly. “Equality North Carolina applauds the new policy and calls on the state legislature to pass the School Violence Prevention Act, House Bill 1366, which would ensure all students statewide would have these critical protections,” reads the website of Equality North Carolina, a self-described, “statewide advocacy organization that works to secure equal rights and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender North Carolinians.” HB 1366, which was introduced last year and is still pending in the General Assembly, would require every local school board in the state to amend their existing anti-bullying and harassment policies to include “sexual orientation” and “gender identity or expression.”
“The Charlotte-Mecklenburg School Board’s approval of this pro-homosexual anti-bullying policy is disappointing to say the least. This policy not only opens the door for the promotion of homosexuality, bisexuality and transgenderism in Mecklenburg County schools but also poses a significant threat to the First Amendment rights of students and parents,” said John Rustin, vice president and director of government relations for the North Carolina Family Policy Council. “Our public schools should not tolerate bullying in any form against any child, and the issue should be addressed in a form that all the state’s citizens can support. Using it as a means to push a pro-homosexual social agenda in the schools will only create divisiveness and discontent with our public education system.”

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