A female “pastor” spoke in support of the Black Lives Matter Week of Action indoctrination that will take place in the Ames Community School District.
Jennifer Hibben, with the Collegiate United Methodist Church and Wesley Foundation, started out thanking those who have spoken out against the initiative tonight – even though none had at this point – and said the opposition has made it “so abundantly clear why we need this programming, why there’s a need for Black Lives Matter at school.”
“What I want to lift up today though is the very insidious nature of bigotry and how many of those who are opposed to this initiative are actually hiding their racism behind other types of bigotry, specifically homophobia and transphobia,” she said. “We need to recognize that the resistance to this initiative, no matter what the concern is being raised, is rooted in racism and bigotry. Things like that are diametrically opposed to the Christian faith.
“Regardless of their right to believe whatever they’d like, it is the responsibility of the larger community through the school district to make sure that school is safe for all children. Those who are opposed to this are showing the alarming reality that all students are not safe. That there are children who are learning racism, homophobia, transphobia and who will bring it to school. We know that the rates of suicide attempts for LGBTQIA-plus youth are more than double that of their peers.”
Hibben said when kids are sent to public school, everyone knows they are taking a risk.
“But the weight of those risks should not and cannot be heavier on our black, brown, indigenous, person of color students or on students and families that identify as gender and sexual minorities. I applaud the school board for doing what is right and what is needed to make sure that all kids are safe at school and by extension in our community. I commit as a parent and as a religious leader and as a community member to continue to fight bigotry in our community and I am so, so grateful to be able to partner with our schools in that.”