|Back to November Ed Reporter|
|NUMBER 262||THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS||NOVEMBER 2007|
|Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger Signs Pro-Indoctrination Bills|
California's Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger disappointed pro-family activists by signing several bills affecting how California students will learn about homosexuality, gender and the family. These bills force public school teachers to present a positive view of homosexuality and transgender behaviors, with the effect that any mention of the natural family of mother, father and children may become taboo.
SB 777 adds sexual orientation to a list of characteristics specially protected in schools by California law. It is now illegal to use any instructional materials in the public schools that "reflect adversely upon persons because of their disability, gender, nationality, race or ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or any other characteristic contained in the definition of hate crimes that is contained in the Penal Code."
The consequences could be far-reaching. Even referring to "Mom and Dad" could be seen as "reflecting adversely" on a homosexual lifestyle or on households headed by homosexual couples. "Because no textbook or instruction in California public schools currently disparages transsexuality, bisexuality, or homosexuality, the practical effect of SB 777 will be to require positive portrayals of these sexual lifestyles at every government-operated school," warned the Campaign for Children and Families, which fought the bill.
Formerly, California law outlawed materials reflecting adversely on individuals because of their sex. SB 777 changes the word "sex" to "gender" and defines gender as including "a person's gender identity and gender related appearance and behavior whether or not stereotypically associated with the person's assigned sex at birth." Apparently, it is now a "stereotype" to label a person as male simply because he was born male. This could result in schools being forced to allow a male student to use the women's locker room, and vice versa, if the student claims to identify himself with the opposite sex.
Schwarzenegger also signed AB 394, a bill instating "anti-harassment" training for children, teachers and even parents who express disapproval of homosexual or other lifestyles.
The governor vetoed almost exactly the same bills last year, in the midst of an important reelection campaign. His change of heart has prompted an outcry among socially conservative Republicans, who view it as evidence that they can't count on liberal Republicans once they are in office. Schwarzenegger has won many votes in the past from conservatives who saw him as the "lesser of two evils."
Meredith Turney, legislative liaison for Capitol Resource Institute, pointed out that bills like SB 777 only take the public schools farther off track. "Parents want the assurance that when their children go to school they will learn the fundamentals of reading, writing and arithmetic not social indoctrination regarding alternative sexual lifestyles. Now that SB 777 is law, schools will in fact become indoctrination centers for sexual experimentation."