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Missouri School Counselors Deny Ex-Gay Voice at Conference

From our friends at PFOX (Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays)…

PFOX executive director Regina Griggs emailed the letter below to the Missouri School Counselor Association (MSCA) to ask why MSCA rejected PFOX’s application for a booth at the Nov. 5 conference.

On August 14, MSAC’s executive director called Regina Griggs to tell her not to send the Association any more emails. When Regina Griggs asked why PFOX had been rejected, she slammed the phone on Regina Griggs.

Evidently, the school counselors association in Missouri allows for pro-“gay” information but not ex-gay information. This dangerous policy means school counselors steer confused students exclusively to “gay affirming” sources without providing alternatives.

Since MSCA won’t answer Regina Griggs, maybe you should join in asking why PFOX was rejected as an exhibitor and if pro-“gay” exhibit booths were also rejected as well:

Ms. Lela Kosteck Bunch
Executive Director
Missouri School Counselor Association
3340 American Avenue
Jefferson City MO 65109
(800) 763-6722
Click HERE to e-mail MSCA

LETTER FROM PFOX TO MSCA

Missouri School Counselor Association
3340 American Avenue
Jefferson City MO 65109

Dear Ms. Kosteck Bunch:

This is our third inquiry. Please respond.

We are in receipt of your letter denying Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX) an exhibit booth at the Missouri School Counselor Association’s fall conference. However, your letter did not provide a basis for the denial of our application for a booth. Please explain why the Missouri School Counselor Association has denied PFOX an exhibit booth.

We note from your below course description that you have taught a session for gay students:

6 – Counseling GLBT Students

The bullying of students in our schools is an epidemic, with much of it focused on students who are perceived as different. Sexual minority youth (gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender students) are confronted as they progress through elementary, middle, and secondary schools, and even into college, with taunts, epithets, and a host of other negative, insulting, and derogatory labels designed to bring them into conformity with the majority culture’s view of “normal” sexuality–i.e., a heterosexual or opposite-sex orientation. Living in such an environment takes a psychological toll on young people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex, or simply questioning whether they are different sexually and affectionally from many of their peers. And the toll is greater because the bullying is occurring at an age when sexual minority youth desperately want and need to belong. Counselors have a critical role to play in helping these students and stopping this bullying and violence.

Mark Pope, EdD, NCC, MCC, MAC, ACS, is an Associate Professor in the Division of Counseling and Family Therapy at the University of Missouri at St. Louis. He is a Past-President of the American Counseling Association, the National Career Development Association, and the Association for Gay, lesbian, and Bisexual Issues in Counseling.

Lela Kosteck Bunch, PhD, is the Executive Director of the Missouri School Counselor Association.

We want to assure you and the Missouri School Counselors Association that PFOX is also concerned about the welfare of all students regardless of their sexual orientation. In fact, our exhibit booth at your conference will feature a brochure seeking the support of students to stop school bullying against gay, ex-gay and heterosexual students. We seek to protect all children who are at risk. Therefore, we request a reconsideration of your denial.

Thank you for your response,

Regina Griggs
PFOX Executive Director
Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays
Box 561
Fort Belovir VA 22060

CC: MSCA Governing Board and Committees

This article was posted on Tuesday, October 24th, 2006 at 12:26 pm and is filed under Boards, Administrators, Teachers, Counselors, News. You can follow any updates to this article through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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