Author Apologizes for Opposing LGBTQ School Club

Emails show Nicholas Sparks didn't want a club at his school
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 17, 2019 5:48 PM CDT
Nicholas Sparks Apologizes for LGBTQ Statements
FILE - In this Feb. 1, 2016, file photo, novelist Nicholas Sparks attends a special screening of "The Choice" in Los Angeles. Sparks chastised a former headmaster at the private Christian school in North Carolina he runs for promoting a pro-gay “agenda,” according to emails pertaining to an ongoing...   (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)

Nicholas Sparks has apologized as part of an explanation for opposing the formation of an LGBTQ club at the Christian school he cofounded in North Carolina, per the Hollywood Reporter. After conceding the power of words, Sparks said, "I regret and apologize that mine have potentially hurt young people and members of the LGBTQ community, including my friends and colleagues in that community." Emails that Sparks sent to the school's headmaster in 2013 showed that the author of The Notebook also wanted to ban student protests at the school, the Daily Beast reported last week. The emails surfaced as part of a lawsuit against Sparks and the school board by the former headmaster and CEO, Saul Benjamin. Sparks co-founded the Epiphany School of Global Studies, a K-12 Christian school, in 2006.

Sparks' statement says he didn't want to ban an LGBTQ club, just make sure it didn't violate school policies. That wasn't exactly what he told the headmaster, Variety points out. "In thinking long and hard, with an open heart, about this topic, and after discussions with Trustees and others, I have to conclude that the [Board of Trustees] will not sanction a club or association for GLBT students, no matter what it is called," Sparks wrote in an email. In another one, Sparks told Benjamin that his predecessor had worked with LGBT students and handled the issue “quietly and wonderfully," adding, "I expect you to do the same." In his statement, Sparks said he regretted that "I failed to be more unequivocal about my support for the students in question." Benjamin's lawyer responded, “The emails continue to speak for themselves." (More Nicholas Sparks stories.)

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