Key issues • Louisiana

East Baton Rouge schools field trip was like church service

More than 2,100 students from Baton Rouge high schools were excused from classes Tuesday morning and hopped on school buses to attend what was billed as a “College & Career Fair.” … Bryant, a biology teacher at Woodland High, particularly objected to the organizer’s decision to separate the audience by gender and have the girls listen to a series of emotional talks from three female speakers.

“They talked about rape (and) forgiving the offender, suicide, prayer leadership, and many more dark controversial topics. We had females in the bathrooms crying due to the topics of discussion,” Bryant wrote. Her transgender child, who identifies as “he,” tried to walk out as the “girl talk” started and was initially barred from leaving, the mother said. Bryant said she also heard that other transgender students were bullied Tuesday.

… Alexis Budyach’s mother, Bonnie Kersch, said neither she nor her child had any idea the Day of Hope event was occurring at a church. “She felt she was duped into thinking that she was going for a college and career fair, that she was proselytized over and prayed over,” Kersch said.

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