Pastor David Goh of “The Garden” says “Of course, we are adamantly opposed to the bullying of any child.” ("Community members from local churches fill BCSD's chambers to speak out against LGBTQ resource library," Aug. 26.)

If that is true, pastor, then what do you think should be done when bullying and discrimination happen to a student within a classroom because of the student’s LGBTQ status?

Bakersfield City School District had planned to provide responsive lessons when needed, about LGBTQ Antibullying/Nondiscrimination and Inclusivity. But because of protests by parents and church members, now parents will be allowed to prevent their children from participating in such lessons.

I think this was a mistake by BCSD. A better response would be to invite parent representatives to a discussion about what the content of those lessons would include. For example:

Is it important to include the reasons for a person’s sexuality? Maybe not. Is it important to include the reasons for a person’s gender nonconformity? Maybe not. Must you approve of a person’s sexuality or expression of gender? Maybe not — but you need to keep your feelings of disapproval to yourself — at least, at school.

Most important is the affirmation that LGBTQ people are deserving of respect, compassion, dignity and inclusion. (I think Jesus would agree with this.) Harassment because of their LGBTQ status is unacceptable. All students need to understand this is the expectation, and that there will be consequences if expectations are not followed. That is the content of these lessons that should not be optional. Parents should not prevent the teaching of tolerance.

— Susan Stuart, Bakersfield