UPDATE: LGBTQ+ display dispute in Sullivan County

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UPDATE: The Sullivan County School District has released a statement via Facebook.

SULLIVAN COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — An LGBTQ display is at the center of a heated debate during a Sullivan County School Board meeting. Some parents are speaking out.

Parents in Sullivan County say they’re appalled with a school board member’s comments regarding an LGBTQ display in the library. It happened during Tuesday night’s board meeting that was live-streamed for the public.

“I feel that it’s being crammed down our throat and I do not like that,” board member Tim Nitcznski said.

Nitcznski is talking about the LGBTQ display in the school library.

The recording is from Tuesday night’s board meeting where he said he has a “real problem” with the display, adding that he thinks it is “wrong” and should be taken down.

He called it a slippery slope.

“Suppose that I feel we should have KKK Month or I feel we should have White Supremacist Month, and I’m not saying I support those things, I’m just going to extremes here. This is how I feel or somebody did with the rainbow organization or whatever you want to call it,” Nitcznski said.

Inciting a debate among board members. Superintendent Patricia Cross said the displays are based off a framework from the Pennsylvania Department of Education, meant to raise awareness and combat intolerance.

“Now we have a place that these kids can identify with and they feel safe,” Cross.

Parents like Jennifer Livezey and Mary Elise Nolan who watched the meeting said Nitcznski’s comments were unacceptable.

“To say promoting inclusivity for students who are LGBTQ is the same as having to allow white supremacists to have their say? That’s complete nonsense,” Nolan said.

Nitcznski tells Eyewitness News he thinks his comments were taken out of context. Nolan is calling for his resignation, but Livezey just wants a sincere apology.

“Educate yourself on what you’re saying before you say it, that’s all I’m asking and don’t do it with so much hate,” Livezey said.

Nitcznski declined Eyewitness News’ request for an on-camera interview, but told us he is “neutral in the situation” and that he was “conveying what others had brought to his attention.”

The display in question featured terminology, resources and LGBTQ celebrities.

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