Press Room

February 04, 2005

Category: Schools

HRC Joins Call for Fairfax County School Board Member’s Resignation

'Junk science has no place in our schools,' said HRC Vice President for Policy and Strategy David M. Smith.

WASHINGTON - The Human Rights Campaign today joined Equality Fairfax Equality Virginia the national capital area chapter of the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays of the Metropolitan D.C. Area and the Fairfax County Safe Schools Coalition in calling for the resignation of Stephen Hunt, a member of the Fairfax County School Board. Hunt recently sent a letter to school principals in Fairfax County touting the junk science of "ex-gay" reparative therapy that major health organizations have renounced.

"Junk science has no place in our schools," said David M. Smith, HRC's vice president for policy and strategy. "No school board member should ignore the scientific evidence that sexual orientation cannot be changed just to push a personal agenda."

Although the school board issued a public reprimand, Hunt remains unrepentant for distributing egregiously erroneous information about homosexuality to high school principals.

"Hunt should not be permitted to spread this kind of harmful misinformation," said Paula Prettyman, president of Equality Fairfax. "Reparative therapy techniques - or 'ex-gay' therapies - have been denounced by the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Medical Association."

"Fairfax County residents deserve better representation than what Mr. Hunt has exhibited," said Rhonda Buckner, executive director of PFLAG of the Metropolitan D.C. Area.

"This type of rhetoric only continues to fuel the already hostile atmosphere in our schools for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students," said Smith. "Hunt has done a grave disservice to the students he represents and should step down from his position on the school board."

More than four out of five gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students report being verbally, sexually or physically harassed at school because of their sexual orientation and this harassment leads to decreased student performance, according to GLSEN.