Of all the advances of the homosexual agenda, perhaps none is more disturbing than the penetration of the nation’s schools with messages and programs designed to teach homosexuality as normative. In recent years, homosexual advocates have injected pro-homosexuality discussions into early grade classrooms — including kindergarten — in the name of “tolerance” and “diversity.” In middle school and high school, youngsters are being encouraged to “come out” as “gay,” “lesbian,” “bisexual” or even “transgender” through pro-homosexuality school clubs. Meanwhile, activist teachers are incorporating homosexuality-affirming lessons in curricula and defending their “right” to be openly homosexual in the classroom — regardless of parental opposition.
Here are the top 10 strategies used by the burgeoning pro-homosexuality school movement to influence impressionable and often troubled students:
Emotional, overheated rhetoric of this sort fuels the pro-homosexuality education movement, which adopted the “Safe Schools” mantra to neutralize pro-family resistance to its agenda. Jennings laid out the thinking behind a “gay” rhetorical strategy used in Massachusetts, where the pro-“gay” education movement has advanced further than in any other state:
We immediately seized upon the opponents’ calling card — safety — and explained how homophobia represents a threat to students’ safety by creating a climate where violence, name-calling, health problems, and suicide are common. … We knew that, confronted with real-life stories of youth who had suffered from homophobia, our opponents would automatically be on the defensive: they would have to attack people who had already been victimized once, which put them in a bully position from which it would be hard to emerge looking good. … In Massachusetts, no one could speak up against our frame [of the debate] and say, ‘Why, yes, I do think students should kill themselves.’ This allowed us to set the terms of the debate.4
Pro-family advocates concede that students who identify as homosexuals face added risks and harassment, but argue that the homosexual lifestyle itself is far more dangerous than so-called “homophobia” — especially for males, due to the dangers associated with unnatural sex practices such as anal sex.5 It is particularly galling to those who understand this that homosexuality-affirming programs and lessons in schools — and radical sexual “identities” for teenagers — are being advanced in the name of “safety.” Says former homosexual Alan Medinger, director of the Baltimore-based ex-“gay” ministry group Regeneration: “From every medical and health aspect … including the probability of becoming infected with AIDS — it is tragic, even criminal to lead a child into homosexuality because he or she showed some degree of sexual confusion in adolescence.”6
One of the methods used to accomplish this goal is to intervene whenever the teacher or school administrator hears a student using a homosexuality-related term in a negative context (e.g., saying “That’s so gay” as a putdown), even if the child is unaware of the actual meaning of the slur. In such “teachable moments,” the teacher steps in and informs the student that such language is inappropriate. If that were all that was involved, pro-family critics would not object, but homosexual groups also advise teachers to use these “teachable moments” to give the children a wider lesson on tolerance of homosexuals in society — in other words, to use unkind speech as a springboard to teach a positive lesson about homosexuality. Consider this recommendation by Wisconsin “gay” activist Paul Varnell:
First and foremost, teachers must act promptly to stop anti-gay comments at their first appearance, explaining to children why they are wrong, and that there is nothing wrong with being gay. Students who persevere need to be disciplined or suspended to show children and their parents that the schools are serious.8 (Emphasis added.)
Certainly educators can teach decency and kindness without affirming homosexuality as normal and good. By using such incidents to dispense “politically correct” shibboleths about homosexuality, educators are confusing children and undermining the moral instruction of parents.
GLSEN is at the forefront of those advocating pro-homosexuality lessons for elementary-age children. At a 1998 GLSEN-sponsored conference in Boston, GLSEN member and New York kindergarten teacher Jaki Williams said teaching five-year-olds about homosexuals is important because children at that age are just “developing their superego” and “that’s where the saturation process needs to begin.”9
Shocking as it may seem, pro-homosexuality advocates now advise exposing even kindergarten-age children to their “gay”-positive measures. The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) ran an article in its newsletter, “Young Children,” suggesting answers to a question from 5-year-old Ethan about whether day-care classmate Tommy can marry his best friend Sam when the two grow up. The excerpt below includes one of the authors’ suggested answers:
Sometimes a simple, honest answer suffices. One teacher response might be, ‘Tommy and Sam can choose to live together when they grow up. There are men who prefer to make a family with another man instead of with a woman. And they love each other just like other families. They can even have a wedding if they want.’ This is a clear and factual response that answers the question directly, although it does not raise new questions about the complexities of laws about and societal attitudes toward lesbians and gays. Some children will be satisfied; others will have more comments and questions.10
NAEYC, based in Washington, D.C., accredits day care centers across the country.11
A leading force in promoting an approving view of homosexuality is the National Education Association (NEA) teachers union, which has a powerful “gay and lesbian” caucus. The following is the NEA’s view of diversity, laid out in a 1997 pro-homosexuality “Action Sheet”:
Recognizing that our world is heterogeneous and not homogeneous is a first step toward validating the existence of diverse groups of people. The second step is talking about and acknowledging differences. And the third step involves accepting as contributing members of society those we previously considered as “other.” No longer can we expect people to be alike, under the assumption that likeness will produce a shared culture and generally harmonious relationships. Now, we must be prepared to respect people who are different, even though their beliefs may conflict with our own and make us feel uneasy.14
Curiously, the same liberal education activists who champion “diversity” and respecting “people who are different” are disinclined to consider fairly the abundant evidence that men and women can abandon the homosexual lifestyle.
To illustrate the NEA’s deep commitment to the pro-homosexuality education agenda, consider the following excerpts from the same “Action Sheet” (note how opponents of homosexuality are denigrated as “extremists”):
Gay, lesbian, bisexual and heterosexual people experience the same basic developmental issues. … All of us learn to express our sexuality through intimacy, sensuality, and identity. And all of us act through a sexual orientation that is bisexual, heterosexual, or homosexual. … These orientations are not chosen but are discovered through normal child development. … The degree to which we accept who we are is the degree to which we can accept those who are different. …
In counseling programs, sociology classes, and school-wide events, [homosexual] students don’t find their concerns about gender identity, peer relationships, alienation, or suicide addressed. Counselors are often prevented from mentioning these topics because of right-wing extremists’ opposition. Among the events documented in Hostile Climate [a report by the Washington-based People for the American Way], a presentation by three lesbian parents to high school sociology students in Idaho was squelched by Focus on the Family; and a Diversity Day program at an Oregon High School was axed by Citizens for Excellence in Education.15
Grooming young students for “coming out” as homosexuals, bisexuals and “transgenders” is a central plank of the homosexual education movement. Schools are ignoring the societal debate over homosexual identity (and the possibilities of preventing “gay” identity formation and of change for homosexuals) and working hand-in-hand with homosexual activists to direct youth to “gay” advocacy groups.
As an example of the radical teachings fostered by GSAs, Newton North High School, in Rep. Barney Frank’s hometown of Newton, Massachusetts, held a panel discussion for students, titled, “What Is Transgender All About?” The panel, which students were encouraged to attend (during what normally would have been class time), featured three transsexuals who advocated for “transgender rights.” The school newspaper, the Newtonite, featured a sympathetic report about the event.20
Massachusetts teacher-activists have had considerable success in spreading the concept of GSAs to other states, especially in large metropolitan areas with large homosexual populations. In addition, Massachusetts’s Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth has proposed $1.5 million for pro-homosexuality school programs in the next school year.21
As if maligning the dead were not bad enough, it appears the homosexual education movement is now moving beyond the “soft sciences” to spread the pro-“gay” message into areas having nothing to do with sex. Consider these recommendations in a pro-“gay” report urging “subject-appropriate applications of lesbian/gay issues” in math classes:
Such politicization of basic education, which arrogantly ignores a student’s right to disagree with the homosexual viewpoint, threatens to further erode academic standards and student performance as more and more class time is wasted on “politically correct” discussions.
As discussed above, the effort to infuse curricula with pro-homosexuality messages has seeped down into elementary schools. Obviously, this is more manipulative, given that such lessons are targeted at children who don’t know about or are just learning about sex. It’s Elementary co-producer Debra Chasnoff said, “I would like to see mandatory homophobia prevention education integrated into elementary and secondary school curricula.”25 There can be no doubt that homosexual activists seek to displace the moral and religious teachings of parents about sexual morality with their own doctrine — revolutionary in the light of history — that homosexual relationships are as natural and valid as normal relationships between men and women.
Despite the special treatment homosexuality is receiving in today’s schools, homosexual practices are as immoral, unhealthy and unnatural now as they were 2,000 years ago. Discussions about this subject belong at home, not in the classroom — particularly since the school lessons that have come to light appear to lack any semblance of objectivity and instead are one-sided presentations that mimic the propaganda of homosexual groups like GLSEN. Schools have no right to undermine parents’ right to raise their children according to their own moral code. Parents must take every precaution necessary to ensure that their child’s school is not adding “re-education” to the three Rs of reading, writing and arithmetic.
[For information on how parents and pro-family activists can protect children from pro-homosexuality propaganda in schools, see “How to Protect Children from Pro-homosexuality Propaganda in Schools,” an FRC InFocus by Peter LaBarbera, 11/23/99, IF99J1HS.]
Peter LaBarbera is a senior analyst in the cultural studies department of the Family Research Council. He is editor of CultureFacts, a weekly fax/e-mail publication published by FRC that monitors the homosexual movement.
See Peter LaBarbera, “Gay Youth Suicide: Myth Is Used to Promote Homosexual Agenda,” Insight, IS94B3HS, Family Research Council, which points out the flaws on a now generally discredited youth suicide report by a gay activist named Paul Gibson. Since the publication of this FRC paper in 1994, other studies showing high attempted suicide rates for homosexual youth have been published and touted by homosexual advocates. However, even some homosexual researchers, such as Ritch C. Savin-Williams, have begun to challenge the general portrayal of homosexual youth as suicidal.