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04/29/2009

Reading, writing, and requesting notification when a teacher so much as mispronounces Uruguay

by Jeremy Hooper

It's one thing to resist LGBT adults on political grounds. It's quite another to encourage a world where kids -- whether they are LGBT themselves, have parents or other family members who are, or are simply allies -- are told that a simple recognition of their benign realities is something worthy of schoolyard expulsion.

Where are we going with this? Well check this out. In a new post to the group's Citizenlink site, Focus on the Family's Candi CushmanCushman says the following:

“We can take a lesson from what’s happening in British schools because the very same trends are mirrored in our own nation’s public school system," said Candi Cushman, education analyst at Focus on the Family Action.

She pointed to a San Francisco Unified School District Web site dedicated to the gay agenda — including curriculum for elementary classrooms.

"A taxpayer-funded school district now has an entire division dedicated to promoting homosexuality,” Cushman said. “And the Web site makes a point of stating that parents will NOT be notified when homosexuality and transgenderism are discussed with their children."

U.K. Teaches 11-Year-Olds about Homosexuality; San Francisco Schools Launch Pro-Gay Web Site [CitizenLink]

Then in a separate but obviously aligned press release, "pro-family" personality Karen England (who's fresh off her campaign to shun the pro-acceptance Day of Silence and then 200904290922-1misrepresent the "threats" she supposedly received in response), adds the following:

In a website launched just this month, SFUSD wrote, "As long as human sexuality is not the focus of the discussion, parent notification is not required." It claims a right to teach about same-sex romantic attraction, same-sex parenting, and much more -- starting in kindergarten.

"California leads the nation, and on this issue, San Francisco is leading California. Other school districts and influential organizations are pushing to follow the same path," England said.

"Do you want San Francisco school policies coming to your school district next?" she said.

Parents Excluded from Multisexual Issues in Schools [Christian Newswire]

Okay, so it's not surprising that both Cushman and England overlook the needs of LGBT children and families. They have chosen to operate with a mindset that cares only about heterosexual well-being, and have chosen professional lives that seek to further stigmatize already vulnerable groups. So their stances are disturbing and offensive, yes -- but not surprising.

But what is absolutely uncalled for, and what we REFUSE to let them get away with, is the deliberate obfuscation of what this SF school district's website actually says. The best way to cut through this noise is do something that is truly radical for the professional purveyors of disinformation who make up our opposition: To show you the whole damn thing right now and let you make up your own mind:

200904290849-1
Parent Notification: Things to Consider [SFUSD]

So as you can surely see, this website presents a measured, reasonable, rational response to reality. The SFUSD is acknowledging the gay individuals and families who add to the fabric of their community, and making strides to end the needless and hurtful disinformation that has plagued so many generations already. And they are still fully conceding that some things, like sexuality discussion, ABSOLUTELY deserve and will receive parental notification. The have dotted their i's without crossing off their LGBTs.

But in the pots of the Cushmans and Englands of the world, the above is boiled down in the lowest, most impractical way. They are using blanket fear, which, when translated, actually says, "We simply don't care for LGBT people and we would prefer that they just go away altogether." And they are suggesting completely unreasonable and unworkable standards, which would require teachers to send home permission slips every time a pair of lesbian mothers came to pick up their kid. This is because Candi and Karen don't care about protecting children in the full and inclusive sense of the phrase. They care about "protecting children" in only the politically opportunistic, falsely moral way that the religious right has been using to their advantage for decade!.

Here at G-A-Y, we love English candy, and can't wait to introduce our kids to the joy of Malteasers and British Kit Kats. But as for Karen England and Candi Cushman? We will keep every young person we know away from their falsely sweet agenda, as we'd much rather see them embrace fruits than to feast on such empty mental calories!

Bravo, SFUSD.

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Your thoughts

That is one of the things the religious right fears - having to actually admit that lgbt led families exist. I would like to see more folks ask specifically about the issue. It destroys their conspiracy theories.

Posted by: a. mcewen | Apr 29, 2009 11:46:08 AM

Jeremy,

They are never going to be what we consider as reasonable. Because they do not want a neutral, equal standing.

As I wrote recently about Laurie Higgins (a point with which she agreed) they see their job as protecting and propogating a society that is hostile to homosexuality. They see public disapproval as a social good. They view condemnation of homosexaulity as being in the best interest of not only the straight kids but the gay ones as well.

So where we see it reasonable to note that Michaelangelo's work was influenced by his orientation, or think it a benign comment to note that the Prime Minister of Iceland is a lesbian, they view these as an attempt to chip away at the public disapproval. Where we see same-sex couples as a simple fact, they see it as a subject that must only be discussed in a controlled environment.

You and I might see the emotional state of a same-sex attracted child as being something to protect and want to assure him that its ok. They want for society, the school, and everyone around him to tell him emphatically that it most definitely is NOT ok - or at least not interfere with their efforts to do so.

They don't want same-sex couples mentioned with neutrality. They want the only time that same-sex couples are discussed to be within a context of strong condemnation.

And because they know that they aren't going to get SF teachers to say, "Little Johnny's parents are an abomination", they want them to stop Little Johnny from ever being able to mention his parents at all. Otherwise, some child (Johnny or anyone else) may hear about same-sex couples without an accompanying condemnation.

It may seem hardly believable, but that is their goal.

Posted by: Timothy | Apr 29, 2009 1:57:20 PM

Agreed, Timothy.

But you do know I don't *really* except them to come around, right? I'm just using them as the vehicle through which to carry a message.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Apr 29, 2009 2:12:58 PM

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