COL Reports: Students All Set to Learn about ‘Gay History’ in California SchoolDecember 12, 2011 No Comments
COL Reports: Students All Set to Learn about ‘Gay History’ in California Schools
Monday, December 12, 2011 8:59 PM | (Catholic Online)
In January a new law takes effect in California that will affect what kids are taught in school about those who self identify as lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgendered people. They will now be treated in the same way as members of racial or religious minorities. The law is known as the California Fair Education Act and mandates that school districts and schools are to individually decide how this subject should be approached.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) – One of the common objections to the new law is that these topics are subjects which are best discussed at home and in the church or religious institution because they deal with fundamentally moral issues. However, some California lawmakers have disagreed.
Another objection is that how one engages in non-marital sexual acts with a person of the same gender – or if one struggles with confusion over their own gender identity – will now, as a result of the law, be elevated to the level of a civil right. That the law is a part of a cultural agenda.
Another objection is that parents are once again being bypassed by a State government which fails to recognize their primary role in the teaching and formation of their children.Their input is not valued. In addition, the parents seriously question the propriety of having the public school classroom used for this purpose at all.
Schools in Los Angeles have already made changes to their curricula to comply with the new law. Danielle Tacklender, an English teacher at Los Angeles’ Grover Cleveland High School complies with the law by having her students read the book “Luna” by Julie Anne Peters. In fact, Tacklender says she has been teaching the book for seven years. The book is about a “transgender” teen boy who dresses as a girl and claims his body “betrayed him”.
Tacklender says she does not teach the book any differently than others in her 10th grade class. She uses “Luna” to teach new vocabulary and different ways of thinking about pronouns. Class discussions and lectures focus on gender identity, sexual orientation, and gender roles in literature. What is clear is that gender is no longer being viewed as a given; a gift. Rather, students are being taught that gender is now a choice.
Tacklender explains that she has not had any negative feedback from parents, students, or the schools. She said, “no students ever say they change their sexual orientation because of it.” Of course, many parents would say that this response from the teacher betrays the problem. It reveals an agenda aimed at the restructuring the moral and social norms of culture.
Advocates of the homosexual equivalency movement claim that efforts like Tacklender’s are necessary because only a small percentage of students think favorably about lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people. In fact, Scott Hirschfeld, director of curriculum at the Anti-Defamation League explained that students can go through their entire education without ever learning about LGBT people. He explained, “they are really getting an incomplete history. The reality is that in most schools this is not a standard part of the curriculum.”
Whether or not this should even be a standard part of the curriculum is an issue that is a matter of debate in California. Although the law will take effect in January, ballot initiatives responding to it are already being prepared.
According to the attorney general there are at least five initiative measures waiting to be reviewed and they could appear on the November 2012 ballot in an effort to repeal the changes taking effect in January.
Defenders of the law argue that what are now called “LGBT issues” are not the only ones covered by the law, but that the law also applies to Native Americans, people with disabilities, and other minority groups.Of course, the laws are already in place to encourage diversity and promote fundamental human rights. The elevation of “LGBT” to the category of a “civil right” is a much bigger issue, according to opponents of the law. It reflects an effort to elevate sexual behaviors to a civil right.
The homosexual equivalency advocates say the law bans instructional materials that reflect poorly on a person because of their sexual orientation. Opponents of the law say there are no such materials. Rather, that the subject of “sexual orientation” is not handled at all, and rightly so. They maintain it is a matter which is best handled in another forum, like the home, and not in a classroom.
They maintain that the law actually advocates for an entirely different approach to human sexuality. That the law is actually a part of the propaganda advocating an agenda intended to change the culture. The changes in the law are in addition to already existing law which mandates that various ethnic groups and people with disabilities receive a proper share of attention in the classroom.
If any of the counter-initiatives pass, they will undo the changes that are taking effect in January.
What do you think? Is it right for this approach to these issues to be taught in California public schools? Share your thoughts below.
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