Some parents in Brunswick County are outraged, asking for a change in school policy due to a recently formed student-based gay rights advocacy group at a local high school.
As part of her year end project, a South Brunswick High School senior recently formed her own Gay-Straight Alliance network - a national group that aims to educate the school community about homophobia, transphobia, gender identity, and sexual orientation issues.
The Principal of SBHS gave approval to the group's formation as long as a staff chaperone is present to monitor meetings and events.
According to Brunswick County Schools, student initiated, non-curriculum related groups, like the Gay-Straight Alliance, are not sponsored by the school, the school board, or school employees.
The group has gained momentum since it's members recently passed out flyers, pins, face paintings, and more networking at a school sanctioned event called "Cougar Town" last week.
After the event, many students from South Brunswick High School and middle school went home with the group's merchandise and that's when parents took notice.
Donald Dixon said his 12-year-old son, a student at SBMS, was asked to wear a rainbow pin and contribute to the GSA.
Dixon said he was shocked that his son was asked about his own personal sexual orientation in a public school setting.
"I don't think we need a sex based club," Dixon said. "I surely don't think that my 12-year-old son would be put in a position to make a decision about his sexual nature at a school sanctioned event."
Dixon said he represents a group of parents that were angry that they weren't notified of this group before allowing their children to attend "Cougar Town."
Dixon addressed the school board on Wednesday night, requesting that leaders ban sexuality-based groups at school. Dixon also suggested that the school board take votes on controversial clubs and programs in the future.
Jessica Swencki, a spokesperson for Brunswick County Schools says policy permits the development of student initiated non-curriculum related student groups.
"If one student group was banned then it would be necessary to ban all student initiated groups," Swencki said. "This would include just for example chess club, Bible club, Self-defense club, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, SADD, etc."
School leaders did not take action at its meeting on Wednesday night.
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