Tomorrow evening (Thursday, 1/17), the Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB) is scheduled to elect a new President.
Current OPSB Vice-President Leslie Ellison is actively lobbying to assume this public-facing role, and along with it, the enormous responsibility to ensure a robust and inclusive education for our children. Unfortunately, Ms. Ellison has a well-documented history of bias against the LGBTQ+ community.
Ms. Ellison is on the record:
- Opposing protections for LGBTQ+ youth while on the Orleans Parish School Board
- Stating that she believes being gay is a “lifestyle” and a choice
- Telling a LA Senate committee she refused to sign a contract with the LA Dept. of Education because it included a clause prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation
This is not a case of a public official “evolving” on our issues after bigoted remarks in the past. Just this week, after the Forum and many other leaders from our community engaged with Ms. Ellison, she pointedly declined to retract or even reflect upon her past statements. Make no mistake – these are her current and sincerely-held views.
While we have made a significant amount of progress in recent years, there is much work to be done. It is genuinely shocking when someone with Ms. Ellison’s record of public anti-LGBT advocacy reaches high office in our City/Parish.
We must be clear that anyone who supports Ms. Ellison for President of OPSB believes that a career of vocal support for anti-LGBT discrimination is not disqualifying for a purported educational leader – and they will be held accountable. Period.
Not only do we need to protect all children in New Orleans from bullying and discrimination, but we also need to protect them from Ms. Ellison and those who agree with her. Please take action now by telling OPSB members to oppose Ms. Ellison’s candidacy for Orleans Parish School Board President.