The Education Department invited representatives from two anti-LGBT groups to speak at a secretive event on Thursday, a move that prompted the national Parent Teacher Association to pull out of the daylong "Engaging Fathers and Families" event.
Representatives for the evangelical groups Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council — which advocate for gay conversion therapy — both spoke at the event, according to a copy of the agenda that was obtained by BuzzFeed News, sitting on a panel called "Family Engagement in Faith-based Organizations." The agenda was first reported by Politico.
The National PTA, which has 4 million members nationwide, said it withdrew from the event after it learned of the two groups' participation, saying in a statement that they were "not in alignment" with the PTA's stance on protecting gay youth.
The event Thursday, which was hosted ahead of Father's Day, included several high-level officials, including acting undersecretary Jim Manning and the head of elementary and secondary education.
While the event was live streamed, there was no agenda made publicly available in advance.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos did not attend the event, according to the agenda. She has said publicly that she "supports equality" and has "always" been opposed to gay conversion therapy, but under her watch, the department has come under fire for several stances that advocates say harm gay children. Along with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, DeVos rescinded protections for transgender children put in place by the Education and Justice departments under Barack Obama.
DeVos's extended family are some of the biggest donors to both Focus and the Family and FRC, giving millions of dollars over the course of the past decade.
On its website, FRC warns of the danger of allowing gays to raise children, and it has falsely claimed that gay men are more likely to sexually abuse children in their care.
I've long talked about the DeVos dream of privatizing the tens of billions spent on public education in America and creating a permanent two-tier system where only the "right kids" get a quality education, and "undesirable" children get nothing...hey, maybe they don't even need an education because they should maybe start working for a living, the little vermin. The notion that groups like the FRC weren't specifically invited by DeVos, one of their biggest donors, is too stupid to fathom as she bravely ducked out of the meeting.
After all, you need to cover both ends of the school to prison pipeline in this country, and you have to profit from it while doing it.