Second Lady Karen Pence has taken an art teaching position at a Christian school in northern Virginia that bans gay students and parents.
Pence will teach elementary art two days a week at Immanuel Christian School in northern Virginia, her office announced. She’ll be known as “Mrs. Pence” to her students, not as the second lady of the United States, per her office according to the The Philadelphia Tribune.
“I am excited to be back in the classroom and doing what I love to do, which is to teach art to elementary students,” Pence said in a statement.
“I have missed teaching art, and it’s great to return to the school where I taught art for 12 years,” she added.
The second lady previously taught at Immaculate while her husband served in Congress. The Tribune said Pence has spent 25 years as an elementary school teacher overall.
Immaculate has a “parent agreement” posted online stating their policy that bans LGBTQ students and parents from the school.
“I understand that the school reserves the right, within its sole discretion, to refuse admission to an applicant or to discontinue enrollment of a student if the atmosphere or conduct within a particular home, the activities of a parent or guardian, or the activities of the student are counter to, or are in opposition to, the biblical lifestyle the school teaches,” it states.
‘This includes, but is not limited to contumacious behavior, divisive conduct, and participating in, supporting, or condoning sexual immorality, homosexual activity or bi-sexual activity, promoting such practices, or being unable to support the moral principles of the school. (Lev. 20:13 and Romans 1:27.) I acknowledge the importance of a family culture based on biblical principles and embrace biblical family values such as a healthy marriage between one man and one woman. My role as spiritual mentor to my children will be taken seriously.”
Karen Pence’s office on Tuesday defended the decision. “It’s absurd that her decision to teach art to children at a Christian school, and the school’s religious beliefs, are under attack,” Pence’s spokeswoman Kara Brooks told the Huffington Post, which first reported the school’s controversial views. It is unclear how long the school has had this policy in place.
“Moral misconduct which violates the bona fide occupational qualifications for employees includes, but is not limited to, such behaviors as the following: heterosexual activity outside of marriage (e.g., premarital sex, cohabitation, extramarital sex), homosexual or lesbian sexual activity, polygamy, transgender identity, any other violation of the unique roles of male and female, sexual harassment, use or viewing of pornographic material or websites, and sexual abuse or improprieties toward minors as defined by Scripture and federal or state law,” the application states.
Fast Company says that “In Virginia as well as Ohio, Missouri, Arizona, and Alaska — it’s legal for employers to discriminate based on gender identity.”