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Author Nicholas Sparks, who is a co-founder of the Epiphany School of Global Studies in New Bern, North California, used his Facebook page to write a long apology after his past emails have emerged. The emails showed Sparks reprimanding a former headmaster of the school for promoting a pro gay "agenda" and voiced opposition to an LGBT club in the school. After The Daily Beast revealed those emails Sparks posted a long Facebook statement saying he failed to be “unequivocal” in his support for LGBTQ students.
"As someone who has spent the better part of my life as a writer who understands the power of words, 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," Sparks wrote, as USA today reports. "It’s never been my intent to be unresponsive to the needs of the LGBTQ or any minority community," Sparks wrote. "In fact, the opposite is true, and I trust my actions moving forward will confirm that."
The emails are connected to a lawsuit filed against Sparks; besides the lack of tolerance for LGBTQ community there are also accusations of racism. The former headmaster of Epiphany, Saul Hillel Benjamin, filed a lawsuit against Sparks and the school's Board of Trustees in 2014 accusing Sparks of willfully keeping minority students out of the school, banning students’ exposure to non-Christian faiths and discouraging staff from helping bullied LGBTQ students.
According to AOL, Benjamin alleged Sparks told him “black students are too poor and can’t do the academic work” asked of the school’s students. In one November 2013 email from Sparks obtained by The Daily Beast, the writer said the school’s lack of diversity “has nothing to do with racism” but rather “money” and “culture.” The author didn’t directly respond to the allegations of racism in his apology.
In the case against Sparks a federal judge determined that a jury should decide whether the author defamed the former headmaster by allegedly suggesting to other board members the former headmaster had Alzheimer's and also whether he was pressured to quit or he willfully resigned. Meanwhile the same judge dismissed the headmaster's claims that he was forced out due to his attempts to improve the position of minorities at Epiphany and that his Jewish background played a role in it, as AOL reports. The case is expected to go to trial in August.