More than 2,000 public school students in Louisiana were told earlier this week that they were going to a college fair. They were then shuttled to what parents later deemed a sexist and transphobic church event which left many of the students traumatized.
On Tuesday, more than 2,100 high school seniors from the East Baton Rouge Parish School System – which serves residents of Louisiana’s capital – were taken to the local Living Faith Christian Center under the promise that they would receive college and career advice, as well as free food.
The Christian nonprofit organization 29:11 Mentoring Program organized the event, calling it “Day of Hope,” the Baton Rouge Advocate reported. The permission slips distributed to students promised “free food”, “fun and games”, “college fair” and “special guest”.
But, ominously, the bottom of the slips also read: “I agree to release and hold harmless 2911 Academy, any and all affiliated organizations, their employees, agents and representatives, including volunteer and other drivers from any and all claims arising from or relating to student’s participation.”
One parent wrote, “I signed a permission slip for a College and Career Day. What I got was indoctrination and trauma.”
Speaking to WBRZ amid the backlash, the East Baton Rouge parish school board’s vice-president, Dawn Collins, said: “There is a separation of church and state, and it seems like those lines may have been crossed.”