A contentious school board meeting was held in Tennessee on Monday night after a video released on social media by a local chapter of Moms for Liberty showed two girls briefly kissing on a Pride float in their local high school’s homecoming parade. The conservative group also accused folks on the float of groping and even exposing a breast. Indy Pride, the local LGBTQ+ group responsible for the float, said the parents were overreacting to the kiss and denied the other allegations.
“WCS parents, did you know yesterday’s Independence High School’s homecoming parade included an LGBTQ+ float, that was paraded in front of Thompson Station Elementary & Middle School students, featuring two girls kissing?” the Moms For Liberty chapter in Williamson County, Tennessee tweeted last week.
The post went on to suggest a youth in the parade was handing out bisexual “recruitment” cards, though those just ended uo being information pamphlets about Bi Week.
Sophomore student Spencer Lyst, the president and founder of Indy Pride, denied the allegations.
“The information shared by this group is completely and utterly false and disrespectful,” Lyst told the Tennessean.
In a letter to the school board members before Monday’s meeting, Lyst said the kiss was only a peck and came in response to the “multitude of booing and discrediting” of the students and float.
“Indy Pride does not condone, nor did Indy Pride orchestrate this display of affection,” Lyst continued. “However, I am extremely proud of these people for responding to slurs and hatred with a display of love and affection rather than succumbing to hatred.”
Robin Steenman of the local Moms for Liberty chapter was quoted in the Williams Home Page before Monday’s meeting saying she received calls from “outraged parents” upset that the float was “paraded in front of K-8 kids.” Steenman also claimed one parent told her they had witnessed exposed breasts.
“Making out and French kissing on top of a float in front of our children from kindergarten to sixth grade, eighth grade, is uncalled for,” speaker Brian Russel was quoted by WSMV saying at the school board meeting Monday evening.
“That video was not a French kiss,” another was quoted. “It was a quick peck that I had to watch three times to catch, and if that was a boy and girl there is zero chance anyone would have cared.”
After the meeting, Moms For Liberty tweeted they were “not for the erasure of anyone’s existence” but still opposed the appropriateness of the float in a school’s homecoming parade.
Lyst declined to attend Monday’s meeting due to her safety. Williamson County Schools is investigating the incident and said students will be disciplined if their actions violated school rules.