About 1,000 students thought they were attending an anti-bullying conference for gay and sexually questioning teens but were shocked by what some called “pornographic” content.
The April 3 conference was sponsored by a nonprofit group, Iowa Safe Schools, focused on helping create “safe and supportive schools” for gay youths.
However, Fox News’ Todd Starnes spoke to some students who attend the conference and their parents who said the conference was inappropriate for teenagers.
“We were absolutely flabbergasted,” a father of one of the students told Starnes. “It was graphic and pornographic. From a parent’s perspective I cannot think of anywhere this should be an acceptable conversation.”
His daughter is part of a group at her school that helps students who’ve been bullied.
“She thought the conference would give the group better ideas on how to deal with bullying issues,” he said. “But there was hardly anything about that.”
The dad told Starnes there were parts of the conference that focused on teaching the teens the pleasures of gay sex.
According to Starnes, the man said the principal of his daughter’s school apologized for putting them in that situation and stated that if he knew what the conference would entail he wouldn’t have encouraged them to attend.
In an email to Starnes, the principal of West Des Moines Valley High School wrote, “Some students and teachers were surprised by some of the content. Not what they thought they were getting into.”
Bob Vander Plaats, president of the conservative Christian advocacy group The Family Leader who had an observer at the conference, told Starnes this conference would bring people of all faiths and political stripes together in contempt for it.
“If Iowans heard this, Republican or Democrat, liberal or conservative, they would be outraged,” he said.
Iowa Safe Schools took to its Facebook page to refute the accounts of the students, parents and teachers who spoke out against it as well as to directly attack Vander Plaats.
“Vander Plaat’s email to his followers has been a campaign of pure hate,” the group wrote. “This language and the response by Vander Plaats only proves the importance of this event and illustrates the grim reality LGBTQ youth face in Iowa.”
Interesting that the group believes that so many people who attended the conference because they support helping bullied kids would then distort would happened there.
Interesting because it’s nonsense.
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