Note: This article may contain commentary reflecting the author's opinion.

A petition targeting parents, drafted by an LGBTQ activist from Loudoun County, Virginia, is circulating with the demand to “ban hate speech in Loudoun School Board meetings” after a parent dared to cite a biblical passage and refer to homosexuality as “immoral” at a Dec. 13 meeting.

Parents attending the meeting were pushing for accountability and demanding board members resign after a damning Special Grand Jury ruling found that the board prioritized the interests of the district’s administrators over the safety of students in the fallout of 2021’s multiple sexual assaults at two Loudoun County high schools. According to Daily Caller News Foundation, the grand jury placed the blame squarely on the district’s superintendent and public information officer who “deliberately [made] no mention of the sexual assault that took place just hours earlier” in an email to parents.

“Nor does [their message] mention the fact the assailant had gone missing in SBHS for hours after he committed the sexual assault, jeopardizing the safety of all students,” the report added.

The petition by 19-year-old Andrew Pihonak blatantly misrepresents the parent, Mr. Mark Winn, and the statements he made during the meeting. Pihonak alleges in the petition, “A man said that people in the LGBTQ+ community are better off with ‘millstones around their necks at the bottom of a river.’ Many people in the audience cheered.”

However, reports reveal that Mr. Winn made no such statement rather citing board transcripts confirming that he said, “[LGBTQ] behaviors should never have been promoted, taught or encouraged in the schools that you oversee.”

Adding in reference to the board members, administrators, and LCPS staff, “If any man or woman causes one of these little ones to stumble, it would be better for a millstone to be put around your neck and thrown into the lake,” alluding to Mark 9:42. He urged them instead to, “Get back to reading, writing and arithmetic and quit grooming and pimping.”

He at no point in his comments called for violence against the LGBTQ+ community as suggested by Pihonak, presenting the potential that the petition could run afoul of’s policy against defamatory content.

Do you think Trump should be arrested?*
This poll gives you free access to our premium politics newsletter. Unsubscribe at any time.
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Loudoun County School Board Member Tiffany Polifko told WJLA-TV, “The school board is not the speech police and that’s certainly not my role.”

“And that’s the furthest thing from my mind right now when it comes to correcting course for the citizens and the stakeholders of Loudoun County Public Schools.”

Responding to 7News’ question if she supported a policy to cut off public comment when ‘hate speech’ is spoken Polifko answered, “Absolutely not”

She explained, “Because what is hate speech and who gets to decide what hate speech is. If people can control what you say, they can control what you think and that flies in the face of the United States Constitution and I’m 100 percent opposed to it. As I said before, people might have things to say to me that aren’t kind. But I will always advocate, and I will defend people to the death for their right to be able to say what they believe, what guards their principles, their morals, their ethics, whether I like it or not. That is their right.”

Polifko called the school board to instead focus on addressing the community’s concerns regarding Loudoun County Public Schools’ mishandling of the sexual assaults.

“This is beyond what is most important in our community right now which is dealing with what is in front of us regarding these sexual assaults that occurred over the last 18 months,” she said. “My calling for that internal review to be made public in whatever means necessary – that is the most important thing right now. Everything else is just noise. What we are seeing as far as people’s concern about hate speech and public comment and quelling that, that is eyes off the ball. That is noise as far as I am concerned.”