BARTOW, FLORIDA — Polk County Schools postponed plans to formally celebrate homosexuality and gender confusion on Tuesday.
The district opted against making its now annual “LGBTQ Pride Month proclamation” during the month of June, but still intends to do so in October.
While conservatives celebrated the temporary relief from the rampant rainbow salutes currently canvassing America, Superintendent Frederick Heid did his best to assuage the angry LGBTQ champions who voiced their disapproval with the move.
“I don’t want the community to believe for a moment that we are eliminating the Pride Proclamation month,” he said at a school board meeting on Tuesday. “That is not what’s being recommended here.”
“PROCEDURE AND POLICY”
Heid assured them that the proclamation will take place in October during LGBTQ history month.
“I simply did it as a matter of procedure and policy,” he said. “Part of the problem that we have is not only a process with procedure, but again, how do we ensure that our proclamations are reflective of all of the values and groups within our community.”
Heid pointed out that popular other causes do not always receive proclamations, such as veterans appreciation, autism awareness or women’s history.
Although many local LGBTQ activists were frustrated with the “optics” of the last-minute cancellation, one suggested October may present more opportunities for children and teens to participate.
“[Heid] is wanting to do this in October, where more students can attend. I understand that,” Polk Pride VP Kerri McCoy told WFTS. “I think it’s great if more kids can attend this. Running an LGBTQ youth group, a lot of my kids are currently on vacation.”
Opponents of the proclamation bemoaned it as a departure from the school district’s primary function of teaching students.
Robert Goodman, executive director for Citizens Defending Freedom Polk County, told the board: “You can say whatever you want, but making the proclamation – it’s promoting what’s going on in people’s bedrooms. It’s not focused on what school is supposed to be: education.”