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A couple of years ago, HuffPost education reporter Rebecca Klein showed how taxpayer funds were being used to indoctrinate kids with religion. Schools that received government funding were purchasing fundamentalist Christian textbooks that promoted Creationism among other myths.

And now Klein has found that millions of dollars are going to religious schools that “punish” LGBTQ students with a form of conversion therapy.

Calvary Christian Academy is one of at least nine private schools that participate in voucher or tax credit programs and appear to push LGBTQ students to attend a form of conversion therapy, HuffPost has discovered. A 2017 HuffPost investigation found that at least 14% of religious schools in voucher programs advertised anti-gay policies or barred LGBTQ students and staff from admission and employment. Now HuffPost has found that some of these schools go so far as to push a medically discredited and often harmful treatment on their students in an attempt to change their sexual orientation.

Some of those schools balked at the phrase “conversion therapy,” insisting that’s not what they do… but that’s totally what they do.

Why is a Christian school receiving taxpayer money, anyway? They’re receiving them in the form of vouchers. There are state programs that give lower-income students “scholarships” to attend the school of their choice — including private schools. In some cases — and not without controversy — religious schools are included in the mix. (The Supreme Court will literally be weighing in on this matter any day now.)

That means schools that accommodate students using vouchers could ultimately use taxpayer money to promote their religious propaganda. In this case, that involves the religious belief that being gay or trans is immoral or not part of God’s Master Plan.

In fact, writes Klein, of the 7,500 private schools receiving public funding, 500 have anti-gay policies, and at least eight of them require “counseling” for openly LGBTQ students. (A few other schools were a bit more “vague” in their policies.)

And you know Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is eager to make this a national thing:

… DeVos has always used her position to try to increase private school choice, but she’s had more success during the COVID-19 pandemic: A new program allows states to apply for federal coronavirus relief dollars to help families cover school expenses ranging from technology services to private school tuition. Public school advocates say it’s part of DeVos’s larger agenda to shift funding away from the public school system — which serves 90% of kids in the country — to private, often religious, institutions.

These are just some of the reasons public money shouldn’t be going to private schools at all. Vouchers funnel public money to unaccountable private schools. In these cases, they’re literally harming students with religion. They shouldn’t be doing that, period. They certainly shouldn’t be allowed to do it with taxpayer money.

Read the full article here. You can also see what those problematic Christian schools’ handbooks say about dealing with LGBTQ students. It’s truly disgusting to see the schools couch nasty policies in “loving” language.

(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Alan for the link)

Hemant Mehta is the founder of, a YouTube creator, podcast co-host, and author of multiple books about atheism. He can be reached at @HemantMehta.

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