MIDDLE ARM, N.L. — A Burlington man says his Facebook comments against an LGBTQ presentation at MSB Regional Academy in Middle Arm were not homophobic.
Cody Thomas, a parent of non-school-aged children, made one of the comments on a Middle Arm man’s post about the Get Real Movement presentation that enraged many.
Only 13 of about 85 eligible students from Grades 6-12 at MSB Regional Academy attended the May 15 presentation that has been, and continues to be, held across the country. The presentation focuses on inclusion and acceptance of all people, specifically the lesbian gay bisexual transgender queer or questioning (LGBTQ) community.
In his Facebook post, Thomas wrote, “I can promise you that I will not be allowing my children to attend this course. I have no interest in allowing my children to become indoctrinated by the Liberal moral compass. As a parent, that is MY job to teach MY children according to MY values and beliefs, not the government’s. Disagreeing parents should grow some backbone and keep their kids home.”
Thomas’ children would not have attended the presentation at this time due to their age, but he said his view was in a general sense.
The original post has since been deleted, but a screenshot of some of the comments were still shared online — and that post has since been deleted. The Nor’wester contacted many of the people who posted comments, including those who supported or defended the presentation, and only Thomas would speak further about his concerns.
“My concerns are not homophobic as many might believe,” he said Wednesday, during a day in which he said his Facebook messenger was inundated with messages.
Thomas said the screenshot shared through Facebook was selected comments from individuals and in that sense were taken out of context. Many of the comments were responses to other people’s comments.
“What the world is indeed being shown is essentially a garbled mess,” he said.
Parents weren’t informed of this presentation, according to Thomas. There was no communication between the school and parents that it would take place or what it would involve, he said. That was something many of the Facebook commenters focused on. He said parents simply chose not to send their children into a situation they didn’t feel comfortable with, and he applauded them for doing so.
“Not because the seminar was a Get Real (Movement) seminar — because nobody knew that at the time — and most certainly not because it was LGBTQ inclusive,” he said. “I believe no parent should have to send their child to any program, be it core curriculum or a mandated seminar, that they are uncomfortable with or they feel that violates their freedoms.”
Many of the senior high students were out of town on a school function as well, according to Thomas.
He contends the comments taken out of context and a lack of understanding of the situation has unfairly painted the people of the Middle Arm and Burlington areas in a bad way.
“It appalls me to think that a person can be labelled a bigot for being concerned about their child’s education,” he said. “Trust me when I say that some of the comments and messages people around here have been receiving are far more repulsive that any of our comments.
“This is why I have no interest in allowing my children to become indoctrinated by the Liberal moral compass, because the moral compass of the left is only tolerant of themselves. Anybody who disagrees is vilified and demonized.”
He says true tolerance is agreeing to disagree, rather than lashing out at those who share a different opinion.
Thomas says the discussion around sexuality and sexual orientation is an important one for children to have, but believes it is one that should be had at home.
“When the time is right, my wife and I together, as a family unit, will teach these topics to my children in a setting controlled by us in a way that is loving, gentle and suited to the individual needs of my children,” he said. “Parents must be aware that in one way or another our children will be exposed to these lifestyles. I do not believe, however, that a mandated seminar is the best way of doing that.”