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Pride Mural Removed From School After Church Calls It 'Offensive'

Pride Mural Removed From School After Church Calls It 'Offensive'

Pride Mural Removed From School After Church Calls It 'Offensive'

The church serves as a landlord to the public school.

rachelkiley

A Pride mural at a New Jersey school was painted over by their landlord — a church.

Holy Trinity Church owns the building Bergen Arts & Science Charter School (BASCS) resides in. When they saw the mural painted by a student at the school, consisting of a rainbow heart surrounded by figures lifting it up, they called the rainbow “offensive” and asked the school "to take care of it."

“[The church] think[s] it’s inappropriate and wrong for a school setting,” the student who created it wrote. “I’m heartbroken and I really never thought this could actually happen…This school is infringing on my rights just as much as the church now.”

“It is offensive, unconscionable, and flatly unconstitutional for this church acting as a for-profit landlord to restrict a public school’s curriculum or censor student speech within those walls,” said Christian Fuscarino, executive director of Garden State Equality, an LGBTQ advocacy and education organization in New Jersey.

Garden State Equality said this isn’t the first time Holy Trinity Church has forced the school’s hand on things regarding LGBTQ content within its walls.

In 2018, a program teaching students about historical figures stopped including any LGBTQ representation after the church complained.

And according to students, posters put up by the school psychologist letting students know the office was a “safe space” for LGBTQ students were taken down for the same reason.

Addressing only the issue of the mural, Reverend Paul Prevosto of Holy Trinity Church defended the demand to remove it, claiming that the mural was “obscene.” He also pointed out that the lease they have with the school prohibits anything that “would be contrary to…Catholic moral values, ethics and faith.”

But Garden State Equality and the students impacted by the persistent dismissal of LGBTQ content in the school believe something needs to change.

“This type of hate-fueled bigotry is precisely why New Jersey needs LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum to promote acceptance and understanding,” Fuscarino said.

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Rachel Kiley

Rachel Kiley is presumably a writer and definitely not a terminator. She can usually be found crying over queerbaiting in the Pitch Perfect franchise or on Twitter, if not both.

Rachel Kiley is presumably a writer and definitely not a terminator. She can usually be found crying over queerbaiting in the Pitch Perfect franchise or on Twitter, if not both.