Some AISD campuses will be hosting their Pride Week in the coming weeks. The purpose of Pride Week is to "highlight LGBTQ students, staff and families with the district's commitment to create a safe, supportive and inclusive environment for all." The stated purpose is because "LGBTQ students need to know that you accept them -- there are still too many people who don't." Therein lies the fallacy. The non-acceptance of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer sexual activity has nothing to do with accepting the person because a person is not defined by his or her sexual preferences! And in fact, sexual activity should not be accepted in any children (straight or otherwise), or outside of the bonds of marriage, due to the serious health and emotional risks alone. So why is AISD taking an entire week to celebrate sexuality choices when the truly healthy approach would be to discourage all sexual activity during youth and outside marriage?
The week includes events, activities, lesson plans, artwork, and school displays, as documented here, supported by the AISD SEL department. One teacher reported that her middle school campus has the students cross-dress in different themes throughout the week. For families for whom the promotion of LGBT sexuality conflicts with their morals or religious values, Texas education code 26.010 (a) states that "a parent is entitled to remove the parent's child temporarily from a class or other school activity that conflicts with the parent's religious or moral beliefs if the parent presents or delivers to the teacher of the parent's child a written statement authorizing the removal of the child from the class or other school activity." We have provided a sample exemption letter for Pride Week here, and a more general letter here.
It will be important for parents to contact their principal directly to see what, if anything, their child's campus is doing for Pride Week. Some schools will do nothing, while others will go all out with displays and events. Some are having their activities after school or on the the weekend, as would be more appropriate so as not to obligate all children to participate. Other schools will by tying Pride Week celebrations into other events, like Red Ribbon Week. Usually, the only way to know is to ask, and we've had reports that some principals have been evasive in answering questions, so persistence is key.