In Bay County, Florida, Bill Husfelt is the superintendent of the Bay District Schools. It’s an elected position and Husfelt, who’s been in the role for 12 years, is vying for another four-year term next month.
During a school board meeting yesterday, one of the speakers during the public comments portion brought up how Husfelt had recently appeared at a Republican event hosted by a man with a direct connection to a racist hate group. If that wasn’t disturbing enough, Husfelt said at the event that he believed systemic racism didn’t exist.
But then it got even worse.
The speaker — Cindy Wilker, president of the LGBTQ Center of Bay County — said she was at the Republican event that night and asked Husfelt a question. Bothered by his response, she wanted to ask it again in a more public setting.
What followed was a shocking exchange about midway through the video below:
WILKER: Do you believe that being gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender is a personal choice?HUSFELT: You did ask me that. I said yes.
WILKER: What evidence do you use to support that determination? What book do you use to support that determination? I’m relying on the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Association of School Administrators, the American [Counseling] Association, the American Federation of Teachers, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselor Association, the American School Health Association, the Interfaith Alliance, the National Association of School Psychologists, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, the National Association of Social Workers, the National Education Association, and the Social Work Association of America, and on and on and on. And I’d like to know, on the other hand, who are you relying on?
This is the guy who’s in charge of an entire school district: a man who believes some of the very students he’s responsible for educating are just choosing to be gay or trans on a whim.
How can any kids trust him when he’s this entrenched in his religious bigotry?
The election is weeks away. While his opponent is also a Republican, it may be a case of choosing the lesser of two evils. Someone whose understanding of LGBTQ people is so wrapped up in Christian lies, however, should never be in a position to oversee public school students.
(Thanks to Ashley for the link)