Wimberley students talk homophobic harassment before school board

Hays

WIMBERLEY, Texas (KXAN) — A Wimberley School District Trustee remains on the board after a night of debate over her actions in support of the LGBTQ community.

The board heard passionate pleas from the community both for and against Trustee Lori Olson this week, regarding a grievance filed against her.

A Pride-inspired rainbow T-shirt ignited the debate.

“Just as Christ-following board members do not have the right to alter the logo to make it represent Christian values, neither does Lori have the right to represent the LGBTQ agenda,” said one parent during Tuesday night’s school board meeting.

School board member Lori Olson didn’t attend Wimberley’s Pride parade in October but posted her support on social media, wearing a T-shirt with a rainbow WISD logo.

Wimberley School Board member Lori Olson posted this picture on her Facebook, in support of the LGBTQ community. (Courtesy: Bonny Krahn)

School board members heard from students, teachers and parents on Tuesday night.

One of them shared video with KXAN.

Some wanted Olson kicked off the board and a written condemnation of her use of the altered district logo.

“If we don’t set up a process that stops people from using that perceived endorsement, where does it stop?” said Carl Owens, a father of former students.

But others say reprimanding an LGBTQ ally for her support will enable bigotry.

“The fact that we’re discussing if it’s OK if a board member publicly supports our right to romantic freedom sends the strangest, most backward message to our students,” said Sarah Kline, a Dripping Springs mother.

“Every single time I would report homophobic bullying, I was told it was their right as Christians to call me a f*ggot,” said Daniel Morgan, who identified himself as an openly gay student.

“I stand with you Lori Olson, because you are one of the only board members that I know supports me,” Morgan said Tuesday night.

“There will always be liberal conservatives in this community and we will still have to live here together and coexist and raise our children here together,” said Olson, tearing up.

“We must begin to put our shared community and our children first,” she told attendees.

It remains unclear what action the school board took, if any, against Olson. She does, however, remain on the board.

KXAN reached out to the school board president, Joe Malone, for comment. In an emailed statement, he wrote:

“All information regarding the grievance in question is confidential under state law so as Board President I have no legal authority to make any comments nor answer any questions related to the grievance.”

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