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Tenn. School Board Member Confronts LGBT Threats Prior to Vote on ‘Gay’ Club Rules (Video)

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School Board Member Chris Guess (above, second from right) speaks out against the LGBT threats and intimidation against the Board prior to vote on rules for “gay” club. To his right is the Board Chairman. At far left is the liberal Board member from the University. [All photos by MassResistance except where noted.]

Good news: More and more, people are not backing down! They’re standing up to the LGBT aggressors.

When a local school board considers banning or removing a “gay” club from a school, the common tactic of the LGBT movement across the country is to threaten lawsuits and other forms of retaliation. They threaten the school district, and even individual board members personally. This usually works; usually, the board members reluctantly cave in rather than face an expensive lawsuit and malicious harassment.

But in Franklin County, Tenn., MassResistance helped put the school board on a path that was legally secure. We helped them understand that although the LGBT activists are angry and nasty, when you push back and don’t give in, they’re basically cowards. It’s a lot like dealing with 7-year-olds, with their childish name-calling, etc. When you realize that, it’s much easier to deal with them.

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The pro-LGBT crowd (above) of adults was right up front. Seated in front row in orange shirt is Gary Wright, homosexual activist from Alabama. Standing at upper right is Peter Trenchi, local activist and attorney.

Sure enough, in the weeks leading up to the School Board’s April 11 meeting,where the Board was prepared to vote on the new rules affecting “gay” school clubs, there were phone calls and other harassment directed at Board members and some outspoken parents. The Board members just took it in stride.

Legal threats from a local activist

A few days before the April 11 meeting, Peter Trenchi, a local pro-LGBT activist, contacted the Board by email. Trenchi was a speaker at the March 14 student “gay” club rally, where he gave the kids this chilling advice: “You have taken on a leadership role to teach people [i.e., your parents] how to be human. And it’s a hard job learning how to be human.”

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Peter Trenchi (above) speaking at the student “gay” club rally on March 14.

Trenchi is also an attorney who is involved with youth groups and “youth advocacy” issues. He seems particularly focused on the school’s “gay” youth club.

(Interestingly, he was also a classmate of Brian Camenker of MassResistance, when they were both undergraduates at the nearby University of the South!)

Threatening the Board – collectively and personally

Trenchi sent three emails to all the Board members, which he also posted on Facebook. (See the Facebook post of the emails here.) The three emails were basically threats of legal action:

1. The first email was directed to Board Member Chris Guess, who has been critical of the high school “gay” club. In his regular job, Mr. Guess works as a Deputy in the County Sheriff’s Department.

Trenchi accused Guess of directing the police officers assigned to the high school (SROs – school resource officers) not to take action on the “bullying” complaints reported by the “gay” student club, because of Guess’s opposition to the club’s existence.

Trenchi said that this constitutes “deliberate indifference.” He threatened that the county would face a federal lawsuit unless Guess either resigned from the School Board or took a different job. Trenchi added that he is notifying the County Sherriff (Guess’s boss) and the local news media about this matter.

2. The second email was directed to the Board Chairman, Kevin Caroland. Trenchi told Mr. Caroland that the proposed rules constitute a violation of the federal Equal Access Act and the right to free speech. He said that if the Board passed these rules, it would lead to an “expensive” Civil Rights lawsuit. (Note: The Liberty Counsel lawyers dispute this.)

3. The third email was directed to Board Member Adam Tucker.Tucker is the “liberal” member from the University district, and also an attorney. Trenchi instructed Tucker to warn the Board that “federal litigation is a serious matter.” In addition, he said that Tucker should warn his fellow Board members that setting a rule giving “opt-in” rights to the parents would make it impossible for the students’ “gay” club to be “a safe place” from their parents who may not agree with the LGBT lifestyle. A safe place from parents is necessary for the students, he said, to “save their lives.” This echoes the common refrain that homosexual activists are better suited to take care of troubled kids than their own parents.

At the Board Meeting – more attempted intimidation

About 150 people showed up at the School Board meeting, which was held in its usual location (the Middle School cafeteria). Half of the attendees were clearly pro-LGBT adult activists, most of whom were not recognized by the locals. Only one of them was a student. Some were known to be from other states. The activists were wearing big rainbow neck ornaments and several had signs. The other half of the attendees were local parents and their supporters from the community.

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The adult pro-LGBT activists wore rainbow neck ornaments to send a message to the Board. [Photo: NewsChannel5]

Board member Guess responds to the threats against him

Just before the vote was taken, Board Member Chris Guess spoke. He said, “No board member deserves to be personally threatened and attacked because of a social or political stance they take in their personal lives.” He read the email from Trenchi that was directed at him. Then he responded to it.

First, he addressed the accusation that he had directed the school police officers (SROs) to take no action on the bullying complaints. He flatly stated,

No one at the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office in a supervisory role dictates to a subordinate that they charge or arrest anybody. That is at the discretion of the deputy involved in the case or investigator as it may be. They use their training and their good common sense. And sometimes, advice and legal advice from the District Attorney’s Office.

Then he directly addressed Trenchi’s personal threat directed at him:

The biggest issue for approximately the last three months has been the creation of a gay straight alliance club at Franklin County High School. The fact of the matter is this: GLSEN and GSA are actually supported and driven by adult left wing activists and seem to have only the progression of their political agenda at heart, not the best interests of all students. Members of this board, me in particular, have been targeted and threatened. And I’ve been tolerant, and made every attempt to be civil and professional.

But I will not sit out and about while I’m accosted professionally and personally . . .They threaten my livelihood and therefore threaten the way I provide for my children … It’s not only distasteful, but it’s the ultimate example of being what we’re trying to prevent — and that’s a bully.

… And for my children, myself, and what I truly believe is the majority of residents of Franklin County, I will not be browbeaten, threatened, or bullied into comprising my values or belief system.

Peter Trenchi was in the audience, but didn’t react. After Chris Guess finished, Board Member Adam Tucker (the liberal from the University) spoke for about 13 minutes. He basically repeated the “warnings” that Trenchi had emailed to him.

Vote is taken and passes 7-1

Then the vote was taken. If there were any doubts, Chris Guess’ speech snuffed them out. The new regulations for school clubs passed 7-1. (Adam Tucker was the lone dissenter.) The Board had stood tall and stared down the threats and intimidation. The parents were joyful. The LGBT activists were stunned, and simply filed out of the room. At this writing it’s been nearly two weeks and there’s not been a word about legal action from anywhere in the LGBT movement. But if there’s any problem, the pro-family Liberty Counsel lawyers are ready to jump in.

Chris Guess was already very popular in the district and is unopposed for re-election. But his actions that night should inspire people everywhere. We want to see more school boards face down the LGBT threats against the parents and schoolchildren in their schools!



 

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