I've been taken aback by the recent news coming out of Oregon from parental groups like the Oregon Moms Union, fighting the "woke left" about school board indoctrination. As a visitor and potential new resident of the great state of Oregon, I can't help but feel disheartened by the news.
Sexual orientation and identity are human rights. I always found Oregon to be an inclusive and tolerant place for all peoples. The values I've encountered on my visits to Portland, Bend, Salem and all places in-between have lead me to seek Oregon as a place to raise my family.
As a father of two, I've raised my boys to treat everybody fairly, no matter a person's skin color, religion or sexual identity/orientation. I am from Georgia, and I'm all too familiar with the arguments and dog whistles used by intolerant people seeking to subjugate minorities to second-class citizens. It makes me question whether Oregon is all that different from the place I look to escape.
My hope is that Oregon residents reject the false argument being perpetuated from these groups about sexual orientation and identity. Teachers, administrators and school boards need to ensure all children are heard, seen and feel safe at school. Attempts by parents to avoid facts they deem uncomfortable for school will leave children unprepared to interact with people different from themselves.
We as parents have a role in ensuring our children are exposed to real-world situations and be open to our differences, while concentrating on what unites us. These parental groups are seeking to indoctrinate our children on intolerance.
My hope is that Oregon remains the open, inclusive and loving place I have come to know.
David Pope is a resident of Woodstock, Georgia.
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