State excludes religious educators from sex-education talks, report says

‘In God We Trust’ is emblazoned above the American flag in the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. (Video screenshot)

Employees of the Nebraska Department of Education were offended that an associate director for the Nebraska Catholic Conference wanted to be part of the discussions about state sex education requirements and standards, and they deliberately excluded those with a religious affiliation.

According to the Free Beacon, which obtained state emails on the issue, one state agency worker warned another, “Jeremy is coming on pretty strong,” and the second responded,” I know. I really think they want to advocate for abstinence only education as well as gender identity, sexual orientation, etc.; but that is only my assumption.”

They were referring to Jeremy Ekeler, an associate director of education policy at the Nebraska Catholic Conference, who asked multiple times to be included in an advisory team that was to discuss plans to teach elementary school students about gender identity and transgender hormone therapy.

The state department “excluded input from religious education groups,” the report confirmed.

Ekeler is a former principal at a Nebraska Catholic school and asked the state agency three times about the process to develop those ideas, and eventually obtained a Zoom meeting with state officials after being told the advisory team was “full.”

“To know that a tax-funded state entity boxed out the beliefs of such a huge portion of our population is sadly ironic,” Ekeler said in an interview with the Free Beacon. “The NDE has preached inclusion and diversity through this whole thing and then they excluded anybody who doesn’t fit with their agenda.”

He had provided to the state three Catholic experts with relevant experience on the topic, but the state reportedly never even contacted at least two of them.

But internal emails obtained by the Free Beacon said Deborah Neary, a state board member, told the agency to include Lisa Schulze, a Friends of Planned Parenthood board member and former Planned Parenthood employee, in the curriculum evaluations.

“I am very disappointed that none of the folks that I recommended to participate in the Nebraska Department of Education Standard Writing Team were selected,” Neary complained in an email obtained by the publication.

Then Schulze and two other activists, the head of OutNebraska and a professor pledged to support the “intersection of sexuality and social justice,” were added to the team.

The first draft of the advisory team’s plans detailed “a curriculum to teach gender identity in first grade, transgender hormone therapy in fifth grade, oral and anal sex in seventh grade, and abortion in eighth grade,” the report explained.

Father Sean Kilcawley, a priest certified as a Pastoral Sexual Addiction Practitioner Supervisor, charged that the radical nature of the proposals “can be attributed at least in part to the fact that there was no Christian representation in the drafting process,” the report said.

He warned, in an interview with the Free Beacon, “Young people are going to be googling the content they are learning in class. So if they’re teaching about overt sexual actions in class it can lead to more pornography exposure, which leads to compulsive sexual behavior, which has led to an uptick on child to child sexual abuse.”

The standards, initially imposed on parents and children last winter, were suspended in September “after months of pushback from parents,” the report said.

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This article was originally published by the WND News Center.

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