A private secular K-8 school in Washington, D.C., was accused of having a double-standard as prominent Christian conservatives have spoken out against its plan to boycott basketball games held at the conservative Christian school where second lady Karen Pence works.
According to a letter obtained by The American Conservative, the Sheridan School in Northwest recently informed parents that the schools’ basketball teams will no longer travel to take on Immanuel Christian School (ICS) in nearby Springfield, Virginia because of the institution’s policies pertaining to LGBT issues.
The Sheridan School decision comes after ICS became the center of a media firestorm last month after it was announced that Vice President Mike Pence’s wife, Karen, would begin working there as an elementary art teacher twice a week.
Several mainstream media outlets were quick to point out that ICS asks aspiring teachers to agree in their applications to abide by the school’s traditional beliefs that marriage is a union between one man and one woman and that no sexual activity is to take place outside of biblical marriage.
This policy bars teachers from engaging in acts of homosexuality or premarital sex. Meanwhile, the school’s parent agreement asks parents to “acknowledge the importance of a family culture based on biblical principles and embrace biblical family values such as a healthy marriage between one man and one woman.”
The school was accused by commenters of being homophobic and “anti-LGBT” after reports of its policies were publicized nationwide. Because of the media firestorm, leaders at the Sheridan School decided to reevaluate their relationship with ICS.
The two schools play twice a year in boys and girls varsity and junior varsity basketball.
The Sheridan School’s letter told parents that it was only when the news broke about Pence’s job there that they learned of the ICS policies of “prohibiting gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students, parents and teachers. “
“Given our school’s fundamental belief in diversity and inclusion as expressed in our diversity statement, this information, and what to do about it, poses obvious challenges,” the letter written by the school’s head Jessica Donovan reads. “While we have played ICS in the past, we were not aware of its policies, so this new information prompted conversations among the staff and many families.”
The letter explained that the option was presented to Sheridan faculty and students to no longer travel to games at ICS. The other option was to continue traveling to ICS and have the student-athletes make a statement by wearing rainbow colored socks.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith