|Back to November Ed Reporter|
|NUMBER 190||THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS||NOVEMBER 2001|
Pro-Gay Curricula: |
Coming Soon to a School Near You
Under the guise of "making schools safe" for "lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students," pro-gay curricula and lesson plans are proliferating in the nation's schools. "Safe Schools" and "Anti-Violence" initiatives have been implemented in states such as Massachusetts, California and Washington, and pilot projects have been introduced in various other states, including Georgia, Indiana and Kentucky.
Pro-gay initiatives may include lesson plans, books, videos, and student assemblies. A video called That's a Family enjoyed a high-profile debut with an official showing at the Clinton White House in December 2000. This video for use in public schools is designed to promote the concept that there are many different types of families, all normal and equally deserving of respect. According to Family Research Council Senior Director of Cultural Studies, Robert Knight, this film "ignores overwhelming evidence that children do best with both a mother and a father."
Census Bureau figures tell a different story. Independent researchers who studied the census data, including David Blankenhorn of the Institute for American Values, found that "the proportion of children living with their married biological parents remained steady at about 62% between 1991 and 1996." (The Census Bureau's own report shows an increase in traditional families from 51% in 1991 to 56% in 1996, but a bureau official later confirmed Blankenthorn's findings.)
In May 2001, columnist John Leo explained that the 2000 census report on families showed a decline in traditional families because it framed statistics "in terms of the total number of households." "Even if the number of nuclear families were rising," Leo stated, "they would likely account for a shrinking percentage of households" because Americans "live longer and marry later," and "they live alone more in youth and old age, creating more households."
Leo pointed out that the use of household statistics to make nuclear families appear in decline "is an old story in the 30-year war over the family." An earlier trick to get the percentages down, he noted, "was to count a family as nontraditional if mom had a job at all in the workforce, even just a couple of hours a week. Empty-nesters and newlyweds were not counted as traditional."
According to the Washington State Safe Schools Anti-Violence Documentation Project's Curriculum for Preventing Harassment and Fostering a Climate of Respect, K-5 children should be taught:
The curriculum, Preventing Prejudice: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgen-der Lesson Plans for Elementary Schools, produced by pro-gay parents' groups and funded by the Horizons and Vanguard Foundations, consists of 16 K-5 lesson plans offering "key messages," including:
The Inclusive Curriculum: The Silent Minority comes to the Classroom, by GLSEN-Los Angeles, gives K-5 teachers these suggestions:
The Inclusive Curriculum presents sample lessons that have already been used in the classroom. One exercise for grades 9-12 takes students on a "chronological journey through your mind's eye of what your life might have been if you were gay." Students are guided on a "fantasy" tour through a series of life experiences at different ages, each filled with painful rejection and disappointment. In the end, the fantasy character is beaten to death by violent, anti-gay bigots.