RALEIGH, N.C. — LGBT advocates in North Carolina today questioned the appointment of a Winston-Salem, N.C. school board member they say is anti-gay to the state’s Task Force on Safer Schools.
Republican Gov. Pat McCrory announced Wednesday he would appoint Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Board of Education and North Carolina State Board of Education member A.L. “Buddy” Collins to a two-year term on the task force, which provides guidance to the Center for Safer Schools and considers future policy and legislative action that is needed to improve school safety in North Carolina.
Equality North Carolina, a statewide LGBT advocacy group, says Collins has a history of anti-LGBT statements and an anti-LGBT record as a local school board member. The group wants McCrory to rescind his appointment.
“We call on Gov. McCrory to reconsider his incredibly disappointing and controversial appointment of Buddy Collins to a two-year term on the state Task Force on Safer Schools,” Equality North Carolina Executive Director Chris Sgro said in a release. “Given his derogatory views of the LGBT families and his willingness to put some of our states most vulnerable children at risk of bullying – it defies logic that Gov. McCrory would appoint Mr. Collins to a position so directly tied to protecting the rights and safety of all North Carolina students,” said Sgro. “All students, no matter their sexual orientation or gender identity, deserve a high quality education, in a safe environment and free of harassment of any kind. We fear this choice of Buddy Collins puts these basic tenets in true jeopardy.”
The group has compiled a background on Collins on its website.
Collins’ appointment by McCrory earlier this year to the North Carolina State Board of Education also caused controversy. [Ed. Note — This writer, who attended public school in Forsyth County where Collins serves on the local school board, was interviewed by media and shared his experiences publicly during that controversy.]