While Lafayette Parish students will be home Wednesday, Lafayette Parish School System teachers are being asked to report to a local church to listen to a guest speaker. But online, some educators and commenters are crying foul.

Last week, LPSS announced to teachers that half of a professional development day scheduled for Wednesday, September 21, would feature Dr. Amanda Mayeaux, an assistant professor at the University of Louisiana.

attachment-lpss guest speaker

However, what concerned some teachers wasn't so much the speaker, but the location.

Our Savior's Church on E Broussard is a large church that offered its large stage to LPSS free of charge. According to The Acadiana Advocate, another large venue was discussed, but that venue would not assist with parking, meaning that LPSS would have to bus teachers to that location.

Teachers online grumbled about how problematic it would be for a public school system to use a church as the venue for professional development when not all teachers are Christian, and several are LGBT. While the professional development is not meant to be religious, the location itself is the issue.

“I asked if there were religious artifacts in the hallways and I was told ‘no, there isn’t,’” LPSS public information officer Amanda Blanco told The Advocate.

However, there are accusations online that a leader of the church is a proponent of conversion therapy.

One person we spoke to suggested there would be a number of teacher absences for tomorrow's professional development. Another said that there seems to be a movement for teachers to wear pride attire to the gathering.

LPSS, according to another, sent out an email reminding staff to "dress professionally," though jeans and a school spirit shirt are fine. Some teachers, however, felt the email was a response to the pride attire idea.

Middle school and high school teachers are scheduled to attend the guest lecture in the morning, while elementary school teachers are scheduled for the afternoon.

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