‘They’re afraid of empowered and informed parents’: Nevada sex education committee accused of bias against parents, favored LGBT-inclusive applicants

The sex education committee for a Nevada school district favored “queer-inclusive” candidates as new members and frowned on those from a parental rights group, says one of the group’s…

The sex education committee for a Nevada school district favored “queer-inclusive” candidates as new members and frowned on those from a parental rights group, says one of the group’s leaders.

The Sex Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) for the Clark County School District (CCSD) – one of the largest districts in the country – convened July 20 to vote in new members for medicine/nursing, counseling, teaching, and parent/guardian positions, according to district documents.

Julie Vigil, a current committee member, expressed concern over two candidates – Dr. Gregory Bigler and Amanda Knowles – due to their affiliation with a parents’ right group.

“I feel it’s my responsibility to point out that the other two candidates that have been nominated indicated that they heard about this position through a group called Power2Parent,” Vigil said. “I have to say that I find the leadership anyway to not necessarily have everyone’s best interests at heart, and that was a big red flag for me to not consider them.”  

Nevertheless, the committee voted for Knowles to fill the medicine/nursing position.  

But Deborah Earl, vice president of Power2Parent, told The Lion that she thinks parents are being discriminated against by the SEAC committee.  

“They’re afraid of empowered and informed parents regardless of their qualifications,” Earl said. “If parents want a shot at being selected to serve on SEAC, they should omit Power2Parent from their application to keep the process unbiased.”  

Two others were nominated for the counseling position: Tanya Attebery and Christopher Brace. 

Brace, who was nominated by Vigil, listed in his application that he does not have children in the school district and wants to “advocate for a more queer-inclusive curriculum for sex education in Clark County.”  

Vigil said Brace appeared to be “very inclusive of the curriculum” and is a “licensed clinical social worker.”  

Brace heard about SEAC from Laura Deitsch, a current committee member, who previously worked for Planned Parenthood and is a “clinical sexologist.” 

Parents and individuals from the district urged SEAC to not reappoint Deitsch in 2021 over concerns of her pushing a “sexual progressive agenda on children.”  

Brace’s website reveals that he does “LGBTQ+ affirmative” counseling and provides letters for gender-affirming surgery.  

Committee member Lindsey Dalley advocated for Attebery, saying she was a “little safter” on her views, as her focus would be on special needs students. 

“In our district the big concern is that we’re moving either away or towards concerns or issues that tend to violate family values and I’m not defining those family values, but there are certain values that families may hold,” Dalley said.  

There have been several incidents of purported inappropriate sexual content in the school district, one of which led Las Vegas mother Candra Evans to sue CCSD after her daughter’s teacher allegedly asked the theater class to “perform obscene, sexual activity as a class assignment for a grade,” the American Center for Law and Justice said. 

In the end, the committee voted for Brace.  

Brace did not reply to The Lion’s request for comment.