A prestigious private school in Chicago, Francis W. Parker, defended dean of students Joe Bruno on Thursday following the release of a video in which he said the school’s LGBTQ sex-education programming includes passing around sex toys and instructing students on how to use them.
“During Pride — we do a Pride Week every year — and I had our LGBTQ+ health center come in. They were passing around butt plugs and dildos to my students. Talking about queer sex. Using lube versus using spit,” Bruno says in one clip.
Bruno, who has been in his current role for four years, added that students asked him: “‘How does this butt plug work? How do we do — like, how does this work?’ . . . That’s a really, like, cool part of my job.”
Bruno reportedly wasn’t aware that his statements were being recorded at the time by a member of Project Veritas, an American organization known for making similar undercover videos. The outfit has been successfully sued by an organization over its tactics.
However, the release of the undercover video apparently has not shaken Francis W. Parker School’s faith in Bruno. The school defended him in a statement released Thursday.
“He was filmed without his knowledge or permission while describing one example of our inclusive, LGBTQ+ affirming, and comprehensive approach to sex education. Veritas deceptively edited the video with malicious intent,” the statement said, as reported by WGN-TV.
According to the outlet, the statement also said: “Parker administrators and Parker’s Board of Trustees support Parker’s programming, the strength and inclusivity of our curriculum, and the dedicated and talented faculty and staff that teach it.”
The revelations have prompted the school to offer “mental health check-ins” for students, Chicago’s NPR satellite, WBEZ, reported.
During the surreptitious video recording released by Project Veritas, the interviewer off-camera tells Bruno: “You have so much freedom. So much wiggle room,” to which Bruno responds: “So much freedom. So much money to do stuff.”
According to Parker’s tuition and fees website section, cost of enrollment at the institution ranges from just over $37,000 a year for junior kindergarten up to over $42,000 for grade twelve.