Karen Pence ‘excited’ to work at school banning LGBT students and teachers

The second lady spent 25 years as a school teacher

Sarah Harvard
New York
Wednesday 16 January 2019 22:27 GMT
Karen Pence set to be teach at school that doesn't allow LGBTQ students or teachers

The Second Lady of the United States, Karen Pence, has accepted a position teaching art at a Christian elementary school known for a ban on LGBT+ students, parents and teachers.

Karen Pence, who will be referred to as “Mrs Pence,” will be teaching two days a week Immanuel Christian School in Springfield, Virginia.

“I am excited to be back in the classroom and doing what I love to do, which is to teach art to elementary students,” Ms 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.”

Ms Pence taught at the school while her husband, Vice President Mike Pence, served in Congress, and spent 25 years as a school teacher.

Immanuel Christian School has a “parent agreement” posted on its website that says it bans gay 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,” the agreement 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.”

Ms Pence’s communications director, Kara Brooks, called the media coverage paid to the school’s anti-gay agreement “absurd.”

“Mrs Pence has returned to the school where she previously taught for 12 years. It’s absurd that her decision to teach art to children at a Christian school, and the school’s religious beliefs, are under attack,” Ms Brooks told CNN in a statement. She did not answer when asked if Ms Pence agreed with the policy.

It should be noted that in 1991, Ms Pence—who was an elementary school teacher at the time—wrote a letter to the editor to an Indiana newspaper where she denounced an article that embraced gay and lesbians, the Washington Post reported.

Support free-thinking journalism and attend Independent events

In addition to teaching, Ms Pence is also an artist with a specialisation in watercolor paintings of homes and historical buildings.

Some of her work recently appeared in her daughter’s book, “Marlon Bundo’s Day in the Life of the Vice President.”

The second lady has also adopted art as her policy platform, and established the “Art Therapy: Healing with the HeART” in 2017 to bring awareness to art therapy as a mental health profession through public appearances in the US and abroad.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in