Nearly 2,000 Minnesota high school students opted out of an “LGBTQIA+ History and Culture” lesson earlier this month, according to a local parent’s rights group.

The opt-outs came after Liberty Counsel, a non-profit legal group, sent a demand letter to Osseo Area Schools District 279, in March requesting that both teachers and students “whose sincerely-held religious beliefs conflict with the lesson be permitted to opt out of it.”

“Teachers have expressed to Liberty Counsel that this one-sided LGBT political indoctrination violates parental rights and the teachers’ sincerely-held religious beliefs; that they object to teaching it; and that they fear retaliation if they seek to exercise their rights under Title VII to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 for a religious accommodation,” the letter stated. 

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The school district responded by communicating to students and teachers they were free to exercise their legal rights to opt out of participating.

According to 279 Parents United, a local parents’ group in Minnesota’s Osseo Area School District 279, an estimated 1,800 students and at least 15 teachers opted out of the lesson. 

The school had to use a cafeteria and auditorium to accommodate the large number of students opting out, according to the group.

The school district also confirmed that 394 students officially opted out at Maple Grove Senior High School by filling out a form.

“Hopefully, the school district learned a lesson to stop trying to force its agenda on students, parents, and teachers. Nearly 2,000 students and 15 teachers exercised the right to opt out of the ‘LGBTQIA+’ indoctrination. Public schools must respect the rights of students, parents, and teachers,” said Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver.

In June 2022, the Osseo school board approved an “LGBTQIA+ History and Culture Resolution,” which directed the superintendent and all district staff to “support policies, practices, and curricula that respect LGBTQIA+ students and their families in June and throughout the school year,” Alpha News reports.

According to the resolution, the superintendent and district staff must officially recognize June as “Pride Month,” dedicate another month other than June for recognizing LGBTQIA+ History and Culture Month,” and give support for “gender-affirming curriculum and pedagogical practices.”

The “LGBTQIA+ History and Culture Lesson” included references to several pop culture figures who identify as homosexual or “transgender” and several global cultures which meet the criteria for inclusion in “LGBTQIA+ culture.”

It also provided numerous instances of “encouragement” for students to accept and affirm false pronouns and identities including asking them if they are “confused” about; “curious about” and “questioning” their sexuality, fitting within at least one of the “Q” categories in its lengthy acronym: “LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer & Questioning, Intersex, & Asexual).” 

“When thousands of students opted out of the lesson today it was a clear message that parents and students do not support the agenda of these board members,” 279 Parents United told Alpha News. 

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