from Gay Activism in the Schools
The following newsletter of Parents and Teachers for Responsible Schools details the remarkably broad based support enjoyed by gay activism in communities like Seattle, and the gradual process by which this support was gained. Not only is social/moral affirmation of homosexuality taught in these schools, but in many cases, inaccurate scientific data is used as well. "Those who disagree are perilously close to losing the right even to voice their concerns on this issue," Mrs. Durham warns. Her group can be contacted by writing Parents and Teachers for Responsible Schools, P.O. Box 28519, Seattle, WA 98118, fax 206-761-2317.
Dear Concerned Parent, Teacher, or Community Member:
Parents and Teachers for Responsible Schools (PTRS) is a group of community members concerned about the recent escalation in the campaign by homosexual activists to teach affirmation of homosexuality in the public schools.
We have learned that there are formidable challenges faced by parents of public-school children who question the authority of the School District to teach values that conflict with those of their families.
A group of us met with the superintendent of schools, and school board president in May. We were told that purchasing the homosexual affirming books was necessary to help make schools safe for all children, and to recognize and respect the diversity of the District's families. The District based its decision on inadequately substantiated and biased "studies" designed to justify the conclusion that homosexual teens were harassed and assaulted at school more than other students, and therefore were more likely to fail in school, suffer from depression, engage in high-risk sexual conduct, use alcohol and drugs, and commit suicide.
According to the District, the only way to effectively deal with this situation is to affirm homosexuality, thereby reducing harrassment and improving the homosexual teen's self-esteem, and thus eliminating the destructive behaviors.
PTRS agrees with the District that all children and their families should be safe from harrassment and physical harm on school grounds, and that differences between children and families should be tolerated. The District was unable to show how teaching affirmation of homosexuality would accomplish this, or how success would be measured, but they remain unyielding in their commitment to this plan. School officials flatly reject the proposal that zero-tolerance for all name-calling and bullying behavior be enforced without teaching affirmation and acceptance of homosexuality.
The district was also unable to provide any guidance as to how the wishes of parents who objected to their children's exposure to homosexual affirming material were to be honored, and none was offered. They have still failed to adequately address this issue.
Since our meeting with the Superintendent in May, PTRS has reviewed thousands of District and City public records that establish that:
The City of Seattle and the Seattle School District have created departments, paid for with public money and staffed by public employees, to advocate for homosexual civil rights, which include the right to marry, adopt, conceive children through artificial insemination, and to receive legal status equivalent to that afforded race under law. These departments, the Seattle Coxmmission on Sexual Minorities ("SCSM"), and the District's Sexual Minority Advocacy Council ("SMAC") are part of their respective Office of Civil Rights. Comparable departments exist at the county and state level to advocate for homosexual civil rights.
The District has already conducted teacher trainings-- instructing teachers at all levels how to incorporate acceptance and appreciation of homosexuality into all aspects of education, starting in kindergarten. These trainings have incorporated the film "It's Elementary," which disparages conservative political and religious beliefs as "homophobic" and "heterosexist," and compares those who object to the normalization of homosexuality to Nazis who persecuted homosexuals during World War II.
The Family Living and Sexual Health (F.L.A.S.H.) Program, taught in Grades 5-12, presents false and misleading information on homosexuality, and withholds very important information concerning health risks of homosexual conduct, as well as the potential for effective treatment for many who experience gender-identity problems and other emotional or psycho-social problems that may be the cause of same-sex desire.
Through the teen-health centers located in most high schools (also recently approved for middle schools) and other student counseling services, "questioning" teens are referred to homosexual-affirming organizations that counsel them to accept their sexual orientation and "come out."
Some schools have devised "safe staff" lists identifying "homosexual-positive" staff as safe people with whom questioning teens can talk about sexual orientation. Some schools have had assemblies on the subject of "gay dating" presented by Gay and Proud Theater; others have assigned students to debate the subject of same-sex marriage in history class.
Posters observing Gay and Lesbian History Month, or National Coming Out Day, or Pride Day, and other posters urging homosexuals to "Be Proud," may be seen in any school, depending on the preference of the principal or school staff.
Schools do not require notification of parents when homosexuality is discussed (outside of the context of the F.L.A.S.H. program), nor are schools required to offer an "opt out" when such instruction is given.
The District has associated itself with many homosexual- activist organizations, including GLSEN. Through the "Safe Schools Coalition," GLSEN members are presenting a program on homosexual issues to public-school teachers and students, including clips from the film, "It's Elementary."
PTRS discovered, and brought to the District's attention, direct links from the GLSEN Internet homepage to extremely pornographic sites--one of which is maintained by the company for which Chelle Mileur (of the PRIDE Foundation book grant) is an executive. The District did take steps to block access to the pornographic sites on school computers, but refused to criticize GLSEN for placing the links on its site in the first place.
Previously, PTRS had notified the District that many of the books on the PRIDE booklist were published by Alyson Publications, a major publisher of homosexual pornography. The District ignored our concern. Some of the Alyson publications, including "One Teenager in Ten," had already been placed in the schools. These books encourage teens to, among other things, go to gay bars and have sex with adults to see if they like it. Alyson recently published "Becoming Visible," a how-to on introducing the homosexual agenda into the public schools.
The District's position regarding parents' concerns about gay-affirming information in schools--outside the context of sexuality instruction--is that it is not required to get parental approval for curriculum, and parents have no right to opt out of instruction with which they disagree. Notwithstanding, the District has asked school principals and teachers to work with parents "to the fullest extent practicable" consistent with the school's "ability to educate all children."
In practice, this has meant that parents are on their own to negotiate with individual teachers and principals, and are without legal or procedural options when a teacher or principal refuses to cooperate with them.
Pro-homosexual advocates gained access to the schools in the late 1980's by capitalizing on fear about AIDS--and have increasingly been using the public schools as a forum to educate children to accept the normalization of homosexual conduct, same-sex marriage and parenting, and to promote civil-rights status based on homosexual conduct.
There is a growing sense among many well-intentioned, but sadly misinformed people, that homosexuality is the civil- rights cause of the era. The homosexual advocacy organizations are well-organized, well-financed, well- established in the public institutions, influential--and have the sympathy of the media and social liberals everywhere.
Those who disagree with any objective of homosexual advocates--or simply think it wrong to use other people's children to engage in social or political indoctrination-- are perilously close to losing the right to even voice their concerns on this issue. All opposition to homosexuality or homosexual political objectives is routinely viewed now as "homophobia," and many would designate all such speech "hate crime."
In a tragic story told by a Safe Schools Coalition member about her 15-year-old bisexual son's suicide, those who oppose homosexual civil rights--on any grounds, and particularly religious grounds--are directly responsible for the death of her son. Homosexual activists have repeatedly tried to implement rules that would strip any therapist who attempted to help a patient to change their sexual orientation, even on request, of his or her license.
We are working on several projects. First, we have been talking with a national organization that wants to stage an "educational event" in Seattle this year. We seek to build a speaker's bureau of individuals available to make presentations to interested community groups. And we are considering bringing suit against the District.
Several potential causes of action are presented by the situation in Seattle. Just a few of the possible plaintiff groups:
1) teachers whose names have not been placed on a "safe staff" list;
2) parents whose children have been exposed to gay-affirmative information against the parents' wishes, and
3) children who have tried to present conflicting ideas about homosexuality, but have been admonished or corrected for voicing differing opinions.