New School Program Endorses Homosexuality
Special Report - December 19, 2008
A national homosexual advocacy group launched a new, community-based program December 10 in an effort to make schools more friendly towards lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) students. The program is designed to counter what the group perceives as “harmful, anti-gay campaigns by conservative advocacy groups.” Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) started the “Cultivating Respect” program, which trains local parents and allies “to work directly with their community leaders and school administrators to protect LGBT students” from “a growing epidemic of anti-lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) animus in the nation’s schools.”
According to PFLAG, the “Cultivating Respect” program seeks to foster understanding and acceptance of the LGBT lifestyle among students, parents, teachers, and administrators through films, library books, anti-bullying task forces, comprehensive sex ed programs, and age-specific programs. One suggested program is “Mix It Up,” which is geared toward encouraging elementary and middle school students to “identify with, question or cross social boundaries,” specifically related to sexuality. As part of the PFLAG program, high school and college students are encouraged to participate in a Day of Silence campaign to bring attention to LGBT issues. PFLAG also calls for anti-bullying training, specifically geared toward dealing with bullying of LGBT students, for all teachers. Jody Huckaby, executive director of PFLAG stated that “it is critically important that students, teachers, parents and administrators have accurate, inclusive information and materials about sexual orientation and gender identity.”
“Cultivating Respect” also advocates for strong national and statewide anti-bullying school policies. Critical to the suggested policies are the enumeration of specific categories and the inclusion of both LGBT persons and persons who are perceived as LGBT. During the 20072008 session of the North Carolina General Assembly, HB 1366School Violence Prevention Act sought to grant special legal protections to public school students and staff based on “real or perceived” characteristics including “sexual orientation” and “gender identity or expression,” the same language suggested by PFLAG. That bill failed to pass both chambers of the General Assembly and died upon adjournment.
“Organizations like PFLAG are using anti-bullying and harassment policies as a tool to force schools to promote and affirm harmful and immoral sexual behaviors,” according to John Rustin, vice president and director of government relations for the North Carolina Family Policy Council. “These policies are designed to ensure that conversations about sexual behaviors will take place in all classrooms, regardless of age, under the auspices of teaching respect and kindness. There is nothing respectful or kind about pushing harmful and immoral behavior on our children or undermining current law that requires abstinence until marriage sexual education.”
Copyright © 2008. North Carolina Family Policy Council. All rights reserved.