Wyoming School District Bans Anti-Hate Banners
Platte County School District No. 1 in Weatland, WY banned anti-hate banners because they’re co-sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League and the Gay and Lesbian Fund of Colorado.
“We’re a conservative community. We don’t need extremist organizations coming in propagating their liberal views,” said dance studio owner Joe Fabian, a school board trustee.
Starting in 2008, an elementary and a high school in the district signed up for “No Place for Hate,” a project run by the Anti-Defamation League in Colorado and Wyoming. The initiative works to “enhance the appreciation of diversity and foster harmony amongst diverse groups,” its mission states, and to “empower schools to promote respect for individual and group differences while challenging prejudice and bigotry.”
Fabian has a problem with both the gay group and the ADL, which is a Jewish organization.
“We have a different moral standard here,” he said, apparently sensing my green horns over the phone. “We don’t need people coming in promoting premarital sex, extramarital sex and all other kinds of belief systems.”
Principal Maureen Ryff approved “No Place for Hate” at Wheatland High School. “Not in my wildest dreams,” she said, did she think the district would usurp her decision.
Wheatland is 90 minutes from Laramie, where Matthew Shepard was beaten to death in 1998. We invited Mr. Fabian to appear on radio tonight, but he declined, saying in part:
Thank you for the invitation to participate, but I am going to have to decline the offer. The one thing I have learned about the media is that they do not fairly represent ones opinions on an issue.
I’m afraid that my statements have been taken so much out of context and twisted to make them mean the exact opposite of their intent that I cannot in good conscience trust any news organization to be honest and fair. Although I respect Mr. Colmes I feel that his program would not be the most friendly environment for me to enter.
We can see how damaging a poster like the one pictured here would be.Click here for reuse options!
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