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Seattle Public Schools to end affiliation with Boy Scouts of America

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On Wednesday, members of the Assistant General Council of Seattle Public Schools wrote to openly gay Seattle-area Scoutmaster Geoffrey McGrath,ending their affiliation with the BSA. Chief Seattle Council and the BSA have refused to end their discriminatory membership and employment practices, and have opted to accept that Seattle Public School must end its partnership with BSA.

While the BSA voted to lift its discriminatory ban on gay youth in May 2013, adults who identify as LGBT are still barred from holding leadership positions within the organization. Despite the top-down attempt to remove Geoff from the role of Scoutmaster simply because he is gay, his troop and local community members have rallied to support him and to keep him in his position.

This letter is the most recent of an ongoing exchance between McGrath and Seattle Public Schools. Several weeks ago, McGrath wrote to the Seattle Public Schools to "understand why they were breaking the law in providing access to the BSA, well-known for its employment practices discriminating against LGBT people."

The latest letter to mcGrath says the following:

Thank you for working with Seattle Public Schools in your efforts to make our schools better.  Over the past few weeks we have conducted many meetings and have done a great deal of investigation regarding your concern.  As you can imagine, every course is structured with many layers from personnel to supplies so there are a number of issues that are being considered as we conduct this inquiry.  Further, as you may know, we are in a transitional period as our Superintendent has accepted a new position and we are in the process of hiring a new Superintendent for our District.

With that said, I would like to give you an update on the current status of this investigation and the next steps for the District.  At this point, we have concluded that we shall advise our Superintendent to end any affiliation with the Boy Scouts of America in relation to credit-earning courses.  We will continue to follow federal law and allow organizations to use our facilities after school hours pursuant to our facility use policy. We are currently working with our Risk Management and Curriculum and Instruction departments to determine the instructional material and insurance needs of an outdoor recreation credit-earning course.  We will keep you updated on the progress and thank you again for your cooperation in this matter.

GLAAD first started calls for the Boy Scouts of America to end its ban on gay Scouts and Scout leaders in April 2012 after Jennifer Tyrrell, a mom and den leader from Ohio was removed from her 7-year-old’s Cub Scout pack for being gay. Tyrrell’s Change.org petition has attracted more than 350,000 signatures in support of ending the Boy Scouts’ ban on gay Scouts and adult leaders. To learn more about GLAAD's continuous efforts to bring full equality to scouting, visit glaad.org/scouts.

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