|Back to July Ed Reporter|
|NUMBER 222||THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS||JULY 2004|
|Gay Marriage Curriculum Called Biased|
|'Day of Silence,' 'Diversity Week' Raise Hackles|
A new same-sex marriage curriculum for high schools is clearly biased in favor of gay marriage, conclude three authors led by sexual orientation researcher Warren Throckmorton.
“At Issue: Marriage – Exploring the Debate Over Rights for Same Sex Marriage” was produced in 2003 by the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network (GLSEN) to be used over a two- to three-week period by high school teachers. “Our curriculum is designed to give [students] a fair and balanced set of resources concerning gay marriage,” the network’s director Kevin Jennings declared on the Fox News show “O’Reilly Factor.”
However, an examination by Throckmorton and others at Grove City College found the opposite to be true, stating, “The curriculum would more aptly be titled ‘How to Advocate for Gay Marriage: A Teachers’ Guide.’ The curriculum clearly points to one conclusion: A truly fair and educated person will support same-sex marriage.”
Of the 18 references included, 14 are pro-same-sex marriage and 3 are somewhat neutral. “We document multiple instances where the curriculum is slanted, misleading and even coercive,” Throckmorton said.
On April 21, GLSEN promoted a nationwide “Day of Silence” by students to protest “the silence faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their allies.” At one high school in Ann Arbor, MI, two teachers participated by teaching without speaking. After displaying an explanatory paragraph, they handed out written instructions and communicated with students on note pads and chalkboards. (Ann Arbor News, 4-24-04)
This was too much for the local newspaper, which subsequently editorialized that “when teachers use their dominant station in the classroom to promote their own beliefs on issues reaching beyond the curriculum, as did two Huron High School teachers last month when they advocated gay rights, they’re turning an educational setting into a politically charged, largely top-down arena.” They “might just as well have promoted one political party over another.” (Ann Arbor News, 5-5-04)
In San Diego, a sophomore wore a T-shirt to school on the “Day of Silence” stating, “I will not accept what God has condemned” and “Homosexuality is shameful.” He was suspended under the school’s speech code, which bans statements that promote “hate” or “violence.” Such speech codes “are nothing more and nothing less than thought control by those who want no competition against the indoctrination that they are promoting under the guise of education,” commented Thomas Sowell. (townhall.com, 6-18-04)
During a Diversity Week observed in March 2002, a Michigan high school student was not allowed to express her religious views against homosexuality and school officials invited a panel of clergy to present only positive religious views of homosexuality. Last December, a federal judge issued a 70-page opinion highly critical of the school officials’ actions, ruling that the Ann Arbor Public Schools violated the student’s constitutional right to free speech and equal protection and additionally violated the Establishment Clause. (mlive.com, 12-6-03)
Some Florida parents were upset over the timing of a school field trip that sent middle school pupils to Disneyworld in the middle of Gay Days, which brings about 140,000 gays and lesbians to Orlando in early June. “If [students] were going to New Orleans, you wouldn’t pick the week of Mardi Gras,” groused a mother of a 7th-grader, who reported that on a previous visit to Orlando in early June she saw men groping each other in the streets and wearing sexually explicit T-shirts. (sun-sentinel.com, 5-6-04)