PA LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus urges Central Bucks SD to reconsider wrong-headed policy

HARRISBURG, Jan. 11 – The PA LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus issued the following statement on Central Bucks School District’s new policy that limits what teachers can discuss and display in the classroom.

“Last night, the Central Bucks School Board voted 6-3 to adopt a wrongheaded policy to ban teachers from displaying any number of items in the classroom in the name of ‘neutrality.’ But we see this policy for exactly what it is -- another attempt to muzzle free expression, effectively ‘disappear’ members of our communities and silence the exchange of ideas that we should all want in our classrooms. The existence of LGBTQ people is not salacious. But let us be clear: turning our classrooms into a political proxy war is wrong.  

“At best -- and giving a large benefit of a doubt that this policy comes from the best intentions -- this will have a chilling effect on the lives of LGBTQ youth in the district. At worst, this represents an Orwellian erasure of the truth that these students are living, one that will shame and isolate young people at a critical time in their lives.

“At a time when policies like these are being pushed across our nation by far-right extremist interests who seek political gain regardless of the costs, we are calling on the district to do the right thing, to re-consider this wrongheaded policy, and to help send a message that our communities will not tolerate these kinds of attacks on individual freedom.

“While board members have said this policy is about bringing ‘neutrality and balance’ into the classroom, it will have the exact opposite effect and, worse, do so at schools which are supposed to be safe places for students to learn and grow.

“Stifling students from thinking critically and expressing themselves is the exact opposite of what schools should be doing. Neither should we prioritize one student’s or parent’s comfort over another student's very existence.

“All students – no matter their background, sexual orientation or gender identity -- deserve to feel safe and welcome in school.”