Gay author no longer welcome to address N.B. students
Pressure from parents
A plan to have an acclaimed gay author speak to students in Charlotte County high schools has been scrapped after a few parents objected.
Alex Sanchez writes books about gay youth and their struggle to find acceptance, but local school principals were not comfortable allowing him to address their students.
Jay Remer, spokesman for the Charlotte County Rainbow Support Group, said Sanchez is a terrific public speaker whose message is about tolerance.
He said Sanchez’s mission is "to help the gay youth in the community to feel less isolated and more part of the community as a whole."
Remer’s group is one of the sponsors bringing Sanchez, who lives in Florida, to New Brunswick.
"The idea was to try and have an audience of maybe as many as 1,500 students," Remer said.
But Sanchez won’t be able to spread his message in School District 10 because some parents have pressured principals, he said.
Keith Pierce, District 10 superintendent, said he changed his mind about allowing the author to speak in area schools after meeting with school principals.
"A few of them were getting pressure from a few parents, and they just weren’t comfortable going in that direction," Pierce said.
Some principals felt their schools were just "not ready" for the kind of presentation that Sanchez will give, he said.
In 2002, the American Library Association named Sanchez’s book Rainbow Boys to the list of Best Books for Young Adults.
Sanchez is still coming to New Brunswick. He will give a presentation at Wesley United Church in St. Andrews.