Delgaudio Draws Rebukes

Washington Post Loudoun Extra
December 16, 2004

Equality Loudoun, the Loudoun County Democratic Party and some religious leaders condemned recent comments by Supervisor Eugene A. Delgaudio (R-Sterling) about Loudoun County public schools’ anti-bullying program.

Delgaudio has been campaigning against a survey at Sterling Middle School in which school officials gave parents a list of 17 examples and asked them to indicate the behaviors they considered “bullying.”

The list included “name-calling,” “giving mean looks” and “talking about a student’s sexual preference.”

Last week Delgaudio — who is executive director of Public Citizen of the United States, an anti-gay lobbying group that has spent millions of dollars on a nationwide campaign that has often vilified gays as pedophiles and rapists — offered “a Christmas thank you” to schools officials for “backing off of the program.”

“Pro-homosexual teaching lessons often seen in other schools’ social programs have been dropped from Loudoun County’s anti-bullying program,” Delgaudio said. “Pro-homosexual propaganda . . . will not be coming to Loudoun.”

School Board Chairman John A. Andrews II (Potomac), a Republican, said Delgaudio’s statements were “totally false.” Superintendent Edgar B. Hatrick III sent a letter to the School Board saying Delgaudio’s comments were “inaccurate.” He wrote that what Delgaudio called “pro-homosexual lessons” have never been included in county curriculum, and said that Delgaudio’s assertion that he caused such lessons plans to be dropped was “false.”

“We believe that the young people attending our public schools are entitled to protection from bullying in all forms,” said the Rev. Roberta Finkelstein of the Unitarian Universalists of Sterling. “We are pro-family, and we believe that the best way to protect and support families is to teach children kindness rather than cruelty, tolerance rather than divisiveness, acceptance rather than fear. Bullying in any form is unacceptable, and to suggest otherwise is irresponsible bordering on mean-spirited.”

The Rev. Don Prange, pastor of St. James United Church of Christ, said: “We have yet to fully recognize the tragedy of these kinds of homophobic attitudes for what they are. Condoning the exclusion and demeaning of people for arbitrary reasons is a way of denying their full humanity, and it lessens us as a community. Authentic family values mean you don’t turn anyone away.”

This entry was posted in News and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.