A Ventura County high school principal has barred a booster club from selling a popular fast-food sandwich on campus because of the chain’s position on gay marriage.
Ventura High School Principal Val Wyatt told the Ventura County Star that the football booster club could not sell Chick-fil-A sandwiches at Wednesday’s back-to-school night because the restaurant’s beliefs could offend some students and their parents.
“With their political stance on gay rights and because the students of Ventura High School and their parents would be at the event, I didn’t want them on campus,” Wyatt told the newspaper.
Every principal has the discretion to invite community groups or businesses onto their campuses.
“We value inclusivity and diversity on our campus and all of our events and activities are going to adhere to our mission,” Ventura Unified School District Superintendent Trudy Tuttle Arriaga said.
The chain’s now deceased owner, S. Truett Cathy, is known nationally for his conservative Christian beliefs, and his son and now-president of the company, Dan T. Cathy, has publicly expressed being against gay marriage.
The booster club expected to raise about $1,600 for the football team as the Ventura Chick-fil-A restaurant volunteered to donate the 200 meals. The Ventura location has already donated $21,000 to Ventura schools.
The club helps pay for everything from food to uniforms for the players and does not charge students to play football. Michelle Cisneros and her daughter say they were so outraged by the principal’s decision, they complained to the school officials.
“Everybody is embraced,” Cisneros said. “And Chick-fil-A should have been allowed to be here.”
But student Graham Wallace says he agrees with his principal’s decision.
“There are gay kids that go to our school, and for them it might be kind of weird,” he said.
Chick-fil-A is not being banned from donating, however. The football booster club will be selling tickets for meals, right off campus, when school is not in session.
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