On Friday October 20th Carroll County Board of Education member Steve Whisler published the following statement on social media:
As a school board member, I will defend students against anything contributing to their sexualization. To my great embarrassment, a group of parents discovered that school libraries held items with graphic and explicit sexual content. This material won’t raise a single SAT score, offer insight into a career specialty, or help someone learn about a technical trade.
I’ll never support giving students access to graphic images or content of sexual acts in books nor will I ever support instruction that teaches them how to engage in such activity. I won’t support images or text so controversial that even newspapers and media outlets cannot print or say them on-air because they violate FCC guidelines and very likely laws that prohibit disseminating such material to minors.
No student, regardless of how they identify or whom they love, should be subjected to sexualization. I insist that every employee maintain a professional relationship with students. There is no reason that students and staff should engage in any discussion of any person’s sexual preference or to whom they might be attracted.
My stance on this issue has absolutely nothing to do with orientation, a book’s theme or author, or politics for that matter. This isn’t an issue of Right or Left – it’s about what’s right and wrong. It’s about basic propriety and decency. And my beliefs don’t make me a hate monger, contrary to what some in this community claim. And they certainly don’t make me anti-LGBTQ. And they don’t place me in a crusade to ban books.
Placing so much emphasis on sexual orientation reduces our students. They’re so much more than that. They are talented scholars, artists, musicians, and athletes. And we should celebrate them – not devote time to help them explore sexuality. That is not our mission, and we should never assume the role of a parent or a behavioral health professional in the healthcare industry.
And because I hold these beliefs, I’ve been maligned, lied about, and misquoted. Opponents have created images on social media sites to defame me and my family. I’ve been shredded on social media and people call on state officials to remove me from office and even my employer to get me fired.
Despite all that, I’ll continue to support every student in this county from being sexualized regardless of orientation. It’s what should be expected of anyone in education, especially an elected official representing Carroll County.
For context to the statement above:
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