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Wyoming School Board Removes Antihate Banners

Wyoming School Board Removes Antihate Banners

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School board members in Wheatland, Wyo., have prohibited antidiscrimination banners because an LGBT rights group is among their sponsors.

"If this is the way one chooses, then they can lead this particular lifestyle, but I don't believe it needs to be publicly displayed in a school," Platte County School District 1 board member Lee Dunham said of the banners, according to the Wyoming Tribune Eagle.

District administrators removed the banners after parents and school board members expressed concern over the fact that the Gay and Lesbian Fund for Colorado is listed as a sponsor. The banners are part of the Anti-Defamation League's "No Place for Hate" campaign, involving a variety of activities designed to teach young people about tolerance and respecting differences; other sponsors include the David and Laura Merage Foundation and Qwest Communications. Platte County trustees this week rejected a request to put the banners back up, voting 4-3 this week to keep them down at Wheatland High School and West Elementary School.

Board members have accused the Anti-Defamation League of promoting same-sex marriage in their conservative town. "I don't believe [homosexuality] is a normal lifestyle, but I don't have anything against them," board member Joe Fabian said. He went on to blame school administrators for allowing the banners without board approval and he implied students not supportive of the banner faced ridicule.

Bruce DeBoskey, regional director for the Anti-Defamation League, says schools can't participate in the program if they don't use the banners.

"[The Anti-Defamation League] will no longer allow the program if it's not being honored and used in its fullest intent," he told the Tribune Eagle. "The [league] is extremely concerned that this whole program has been derailed by people who appear to have biases."

The schools were two of 25 in Colorado and Wyoming involved in the program.

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