Today when someone in a public position has the courage of his or her convictions, it is so rare that everybody takes notice. Last week, a high school principal resigned over a matter of principle, and it made headlines. Eddie Walker, principal of Irmo High School in Columbia, South Carolina, has had enough. School authorities in Lexington-Richland School District 5 declared that the high school had to allow the formation of a Gay-Straight Alliance Club for students. The principal faced a costly lawsuit if he did not allow the club, and knowing that other schools taking a stand against such clubs have lost their lawsuits, he had only three options: (1) allow the club, (2) ban all non-curricular clubs, or (3) take a stand.
Mr. Walker chose to take a very courageous and principled stand. He acknowledged that he couldn’t change the situation, but he would not preside over the implementation of what is essentially a forced decision being imposed by a minority on the majority of the school system and community.
In effect, a tiny minority of activists are ramming an unacceptable policy into effect against the will of the majority of citizens in the school district. These activists are being aided and abetted by a cadre of leftist lawyers and jurists who are clearly overriding the community’s standards in order to mainstream homosexual behavior among teenagers and give such deviant practices a pseudo-stamp of approval by the local Board of Education.
Federal law, according to legal advisors to the school board, prohibits discriminating against a club based on its purpose. These attorneys predicted a deluge of lawsuits that would be impossible to win.
Irmo High School teaches abstinence-only education, therefore, any club advocating sexual activity (whether heterosexual or homosexual) for high school students conflicts with the values that the school is trying to instill in its students. For Mr. Walker personally, the club would violate his own religious beliefs. Equally important for the principal, the club would violate his professional beliefs. He wrote the school board to say, in part, “we do not have other clubs at Irmo High School based on sexual orientation, sexual preference, or sexual activity … [such a club] implies that students joining the club will have chosen to or will choose to engage in sexual activity with members of the same sex, opposite sex, or members of both sexes.”
One very important aspect of Mr. Walker’s integrity is that he asked the school community to apply “Golden Rule treatment” to everyone in the community as the decision by the school board is implemented. He also made it clear that the legal system has put school systems in an untenable position because “the district would have been sued and the current legal opinions and precedents indicate that in all likelihood the district would have lost.”
Predictably, “gay” rights activists accused the principal of prejudice and segregationist policies; they believe that his “misguided religious beliefs” are causing “immense harm” and creating a climate of “rejection, condemnation, and violence.” The same old proven-false statistics were cited supposedly showing that “gay” students suffer abuse in school systems.
Many leaders in public schools and in public policy arenas are cowed by the made up numbers and the threats, so they cave in to the pressure. Thus, the tanks of oppression roll through our public squares and squash all in their paths. Only a few dare stand before them to thwart their plans. Thankfully, Eddie Walker has the courage to speak the truth to those behind the wheel.
In CWA’s latest issue of the Family Voice, I wrote about the rarity and value of courage. In that article, I quoted the ancient philosopher Archimedes, “Give me a place to stand, and I will move the world.” In the moral confusion of today, there is a deep need for more people like Eddie Walker who are willing to take a stand for righteousness. Many of the world’s ills have fallen before the efforts of men and women who stand for righteousness. Only a vast aggregate force of such stands will stop those evils that will harm all of society. May it happen in our time and through our involvement.