Gay Activism Within Your Child's Classroom

GAY ACTIVISM WITHIN YOUR CHILD'S CLASSROOM

 

 

Who knows what is best for our children? According to the B. C. Teachers' Federation, the teacher does. 1 Many parents would take exception to such a claim. They would say that a child's parents should decide what a child is taught, especially when it comes to controversial topics such as sex eduction. Today, the situation which faces families is that our education system, in British Columbia, is inundated with sex education material which affirms the homosexual lifestyle. At least fourteen school districts in B. C. have adopted some forms of anti-homophobia policies. The Vancouver School Board defined “heterosexism” and “homophobia” as: “The term heterosexism refers to the assumption that all people are heterosexual and that heterosexuality is superior and more desirable than homosexuality. 'Homophobia' is defined as 'the irrational fear and hatred of homosexuals.' Both of these are perpetrated by negative stereotypes and are dangerous to individuals and communities.” (Vancouver School Board “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual, Two-Spirit, Questioning POLICY, Feb. 2004). (bctf.ca) Under the guise of “anti-bullying,” teachers are encouraged to affirm homosexual attraction as a normal and acceptable orientation in students. 

How are teachers encouraged to affirm the homosexual lifestyle in their schools? Some examples of what teachers are encouraged to do are found on the B. C. Teachers' website. On the sub-page, “Taking Action,” educators are given suggestions to do the following, among other things:

As often as possible, include LGBTQ references and examples in your lesson plans. Use videos and books in your class that include references to LGBTQ people and families.

- Encourage students to create art instillations or work on projects which send positive messages about LGBTQ realities within schools. (i.e. Pink Day)

- Check out the BCTF website for information about the National Day Against Homophobia (May 17) for ideas about what you can do in your local.

- Apply to the BCTF for funding to host a regional conference for a number of locals in your zone on LGBTQ issues in Education. Contact jchamberlain@bctf.ca for details.

- Encourage teacher librarians in your district to buy books which positively portray the lives and realities of LGBTQ people for school libraries.Invite “Out in Schools” to show LGBTQ positive films in local high schools.
Log onto 
www.outinschools.com for details on how to book screenings and preview films.

- Avoid being derailed by the extreme right...check the BCTF webpage for
“Objections to Anti-homophobia Curriculum in Schools” and be prepared with responses to potential concerns in advance.

Not only are educators given suggestions on how to promote homosexual acceptance but, here, we see that they are encouraged to prepare for objections to homosexuality.

Material, such as this, on the B. C. Teachers' website goes beyond protecting students against bullying; it is gay activism, aggressively promoting acceptance of homosexuality. Further evidence of the B. C. Teachers' Federation's active involvement in gay activism can be read in “Motions passed by the BCTF to support LGBTQ Students and Staff”:

41.C.03—(a) That the BCTF actively support the establishment of Gay/Straight Alliance (GSA) support groups in middle and high schools throughout BC;
(b) That the BCTF actively encourage local leaders to facilitate the establishment of Gay/Straight Alliance (GSA) student support groups in middle and high schools in their locals.
(00 AGM, p. 18)

41.C.05—That locals of the BCTF be encouraged to work with school boards to develop and implement policies that will facilitate the use of learning materials that convey inclusive and positive portrayals of same-sex families.
(Jan./Feb. RA 03 p. 19)

41.C.07—That members of the BCTF be encouraged to address same-sex family issues in their classrooms in the context of relevant curriculum.
(Jan./Feb. RA 03 p. 19)

41.C.09—That in consideration of the implications of the Supreme Court decision, the Ministry of Education undertake a progressive leadership role in addressing the issues of same-sex families and sexual minority students.
(Jan./Feb. RA 03 p. 19)



Here, gay activism is referred to as undertaking “a progressive leadership role in addressing the issue of same-sex families and sexual minority students.” This kind of political correctness offends many parents.

Many parents and students hold a biblical world-view towards morality and sexuality.   The Bible teaches that "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination." (Leviticus 18.22).  In June 2010, the following guidelines were approved by the BCTF Executive Committee and are published in the BCTF Members' Guide. We read:

Responding to resistance to teaching sexual health education in an LGBTQ-inclusive manner

Complaints or concerns that you might hear: 1. Gay sex is unnatural.

Response: In all populations and all cultures around the world there are people who are attracted to the same sex. Like left handedness, it is a natural variation of the human population. Over 1,500 species of animals have same-sex behaviours.

2. Why are you teaching about gay sex in your classroom?

Response: I am teaching about all aspects of sexual health in a developmentally appropriate manner. Excluding important sexual health information is irresponsible.

3. What you’re teaching goes against my religion and family values.

Response: As teachers, we do not condone children being removed from our classes when we teach about Aboriginal people, people of color, people with disabilities, or gays and lesbians.

Response: You can teach your child your own values at home. Public schools teach everyone about respecting diversity and valuing everyone.

Response: This is not about parent rights. Children have the right to an inclusive education free from discrimination.

Response: The School Act requires education in British Columbia to be conducted on strictly secular and non-sectarian principles. The curriculum in BC stresses tolerance and inclusion, and places high importance on discussion and understanding of all family groups and relationships.

4. It’s not your job as a school to teach my kids about sex.

Response: As part of the mandated curriculum set out by the Ministry of Education, I am required to teach about sexual health to my students. The Health and Career Education IRP is available on the ministry website if you would like to have a look at the prescribed learning outcomes. You’ll also find the Alternative Delivery Policy outlined in the IRP document.

5. Teaching gay sex will make my child want to try it.

Response: There have been a number of studies done that show that there is no connection between an inclusive curriculum and changing someone’s sexuality.

1

Response: There have been a number of studies done that indicate that many youth engage in sexual activities with others of the same sex, regardless of whether they define themselves as gay or straight.

6. Are you gay? Why are you pushing your personal agenda?

Response: My sexual orientation is irrelevant to the subject matter that we are discussing and your question is inappropriate.

Your response could also follow this format: I don’t need to be a person of colour to ... I teach antiracism work and I don’t need to be a person of colour to do so. I teach antisexism work and I don’t need to be a woman to do so. My agenda comes from the Ministry of Education which values and celebrates diversity. Our curriculum is inclusive of the diverse populations that we serve.

7. Gay sex is just wrong.

Response: In a public institution we, as teachers, do not discriminate against groups of people. Your language is discriminatory.

8. Why aren’t my family’s traditional values being included?

Response: In a public institution, we teach in a manner that doesn’t exclude groups of people, especially those protected under the British Columbia Human Rights Code.

864566/Action Groups 2010-11/Resistance.health JC/cep:jb/tfeu

 

The BCTF wants its educators to be prepared for combating objections based on religious values. From their website and from their article, “Objections to Anti-homophobia Curriculum in Schools,” they say “Here are some quick responses for educators when talking to parents.”:

"Parent Rights"

"This is against our rights as parents to teach our own set of family values."

  • As teachers, we do not condone children being removed from our classes when we teach about Aboriginal people, people of colour, people with disabilities, or gays and lesbians.

  • You can teach your child your own values at home. Public schools teach everyone about respecting diversity and valuing everyone.

  • This is not about parent rights. Children have the right to an inclusive education free from discrimination.

 

Religion and Cultural Objections

"This is against our religion/culture."

  • As teachers, we do not condone children being removed from our classes when we engage in antiracism education. This issue is no different.

  • All children, including yours, have a right to an education free from discrimination.

  • Teachers and principals have a legal obligation to respond to all forms of harassment and discrimination in schools.

(Note: Don't enter into debates about meanings or merits of scriptural texts.)

Sexuality

"It's recruitment or teaching about sex!”"

  • No one suddenly chooses to become lesbian or gay simply because they heard about the topic in school.

  • Antihomophobia education at the elementary level does not include discussion about sex or sexual practices.

  • Secondary students need accurate information about relationships and safe sex. Lack of information can have tragic consequences for youth.

 

Age Appropriateness

"My child is too young for this topic!”"

  • Children are already learning homophobic slurs starting in the primary years. My job is to make school safe and counter all name calling.

  • All families deserve to be represented in the curriculum. The mandatory provincial curriculum includes diverse family structures.

  • It is our job as educators to teach accurate, up-to-date information to every child, including yours.

 
Produced by the BCTF's LGBTQ Social Justice Action Group

 

The BCTF has chosen a position of out-and-out opposition to the traditional religious values which oppose the homosexual lifestyle. Again, from the BCTF website they post the article, “The clash between queer rights and religion in schools.” In this article, we are told the story of a lesbian music teacher who essentially lost her job working for a Catholic private school in Vancouver. The teacher's lesbian lifestyle is in opposition to Roman Catholic belief. The Bible teaches that

"Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination." (leviticus 18:22)This is part of  the religious basis for rejecting the  homosexual lifestyle.The article goes on to the broader issue of Catholic schools in general and the clash between their religious freedom and the wishes of the gay community.

Such an article s this is boiling over with emotion. However, those who will step back from all of the emotion and will take an objective look at the issue are left with a moral issue to consider. Why would a homosexual seek out a job in a Catholic school in the first place? Don't religious schools have the right to defend their own values and defend their students from what they view as moral evil? Should the BCTF be posting on its website unrestrained articles, such as this, which openly denounce Catholic schools as “oppressive”?

Material, such as what I have quoted from the BCTF website, which promotes homosexuality and aggressively attacks religious, moral objections to homosexuality reveals a conscious decision to promote the wishes of the LGBTTTQ community against the the religious freedom of conscientious students and parents. In such a school environment anything less than the celebration of homosexuality is viewed as homophobia. Educators have gone far beyond their responsibility of teaching academics and have assumed responsibility for transmitting social change and even challenging moral and religious values. Those who stand against the harmful tide of political correctness and try to bring truth and light to the issue are treated as enemies. We need to remove gay activist material from our school system. Removing such material is not about denying people equal rights or about discriminating against a class of people or about intolerance or bigotry. It is about allowing people the religious freedom to hold positions on the rightness or wrongness of boundaries to sexual behaviors. Educators may feel that current policies are fostering equality amongst students. However, while it is true that people are equal, people's behaviors are not. Some behavior is constructive to a person's wellbeing and to society and other behavior is not. It remains a fact that the homosexual lifestyle is dangerous and unhealthy. This is not merely personal opinion. It has been well documented that homosexual behavior has resulted in the spread of sexually transmitted diseases to a much larger degree than has heterosexual activity. The Centre for Disease Control reported that over 82% of all known sexually-transmitted Aids cases in 2006 resulted from male-to-male sexual contact. Even the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association concedes that lesbians have the highest concentration of risk factors for breast cancer than for any other group of women worldwide. They also have greater risk of cervical cancer. A study by Katherine Fethers of more than 1,400 lesbians showed that lesbians experienced higher rates of hepatitis C and bacterial vaginosis. This is not a matter of prejudice. Statistical facts prove that the homosexual lifestyle is dangerous. Educators, therefore, should not be promoting something that could bring to their students so much harm. It would even be better for educators to remain neutral on this issue than for them to normalize and make acceptable homosexuality.

Why are educators being encouraged to normalize and make homosexuality acceptable to their students? Despite the propaganda, it is not about civil rights. It is about civil acceptance. Gay activists are manipulating the school system into making their lifestyle acceptable to society. Once a student is told that his sacred religious beliefs are nothing more than homophobia, that student is being pressured to abandon his sacred, conscientious faith belief. The school system should not be wandering into this sphere and making these kind of judgments. Why is the school system facilitating gay activism? Is it because this is in the best interests of students and families or is it because it's easier to accept the half-truths of the LGBTTTQ community, coupled with possible legal pressure towards this end? Remember, if this issue is not about civil rights but is, rather, about civil acceptance, why can't the school system simply opt out of the debate and maintain that schools will not be a forum for this kind of activism?

Has gay activism found a forum in our public school system because this lifestyle is more correct? It is sometimes easy to influence people with fast, one-line statements or “sound-bite” media comments or the emotional stories of a small handful of people. However, a calm, level-headed objective look at the issues may bring an entirely different rational to how we should approach issues such as these. Just because a person has a certain desire or orientation towards homosexual activity, does that mean that those desires are right and good? Just because someone claims that they were born with these desires, does that mean that they should be encouraged to accept them? Are people ever born with conditions that are not normal and even harmful? Should students act on every desire that they have? Is every desire a personal right? What is more important, endorsing homosexuality or endorsing safe sexuality? Is it the school system's responsibility to respect the religious and moral values of students who have a conscientious objection to homosexuality? Should the school system be entangling itself in controversial issues, such as these, that have enormous implications for religious freedom? Is promoting homosexuality simply “tolerance” or have these kinds of promotions gone beyond tolerance to endorsement? Is the school system tolerant of the sacred beliefs of students who cannot conscientiously accept homosexuality? Is endorsing homosexuality in the classroom within the scope of the academic responsibility of schools or have our schools gone over their heads into areas where they should not be?

 

Shawn Stevens

ENDNOTE :

1.  Susan Lambert, quoted in “What should your kids be learning about sex in school? Http://news.nationalpost.com/2011/10/08/what_should_your_kids_be_learning_about_sex_in_school

REFERENCES:

Scripture taken from the King James Bible

Turek, Frank. “Correct, Not Politically Correct.” 2008. Charlotte, N.C. www.crossexamined.org

bctf.ca

 By quoting this document I am not claiming that the School Board endorses my article.

Center for Disease Control, Cases of HIV infection and AIDS in the United States and Dependent Areas, 2006. HIV/AIDS Surveillance Report, Vol 17, April 2008. See Table 17: Reported AIDS cases, by age category, transmission category, and sex, 2006 and cumulative – United States and dependent areas. Available online at : http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/surveillanceresources/reports/2006report/table17.htm

Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. “Ten Things Lesbians Should Discuss With Their Health Care Provider.” http://www.glma.org/index.cfm? fuseaction=Page. View Page & page ID = 691.

Katherine Fethers, et al. “Sexually transmitted infections and risk behaviors in women who have sex with women,” Sexually Transmitted Infections 76:345-349 (2000).

Susan Lambert, quoted in “What should your kids be learning about sex in school? Http://news.nationalpost.com/2011/10/08/what_should_your_kids_be_learning_about_sex_in_school

Vancouver School Board. “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual, Two-Spirit, Questioning POLICY,” (Feb.2004). bctf.ca

 By quoting this document I am not claiming that the School Board endorses my article.

“Taking Action.” bctf.ca/Socialjustice.aspx?id=16462

 By quoting this document I am not claiming that the School Board endorses my article.

Butler, David. “The clash between queer rights and religion in schools.”

http://bctf.ca/publications/NewsmagArticle. Aspx?id=21216

 By quoting this document I am not claiming that the School Board endorses my article.

 By quoting this document I am not claiming that the School Board endorses my article.

“Dealing With Name-Calling.” Pride education network. Www.pridenet.ca

“Motions passed by the BCTF to Support LGBTQ Students and Staff.” bctf.ca/socialjustice.aspx?id=17918

 By quoting this document I am not claiming that the School Board endorses my article.

“Responding to resistance to teaching sexual health education in an LGBTQ-inclusive manner.” bctf.ca

 By quoting this document I am not claiming that the School Board endorses my article.

“Objections to Anti-homophobia Curriculum in Schools.” bctf.ca/socialjustice.aspx?id=10394

 

By quoting this document I am not claiming that the School Board endorses my article.