Fighting Back: Groups Find Ways to Combat Gay Agenda in Public Schools
December 6, 2006 – By Ed Vitagliano, American Family Association Journal News Editor
(AFA Journal) – The influence of homosexual activists within the nation’s educational system continues to grow, altering the attitudes of children and teens toward the acceptance of a destructive and depraved lifestyle.
Often without parental knowledge, local schools are instituting policy changes that not only promote respect for homosexuality, but often even celebrate it. From teacher lesson plans to books in the school libraries to special speakers addressing children in school assemblies, activists are touting the “naturalness” of homosexuality.
“˜Risk Audit’ can reveal shenanigans
With so much politically-correct pro-homosexual indoctrination going on, how do parents assess the extent of homosexual activism in their own local schools?
Linda Harvey, founder of the Ohio-based pro-family group Mission America, has developed one common-sense tool. Harvey’s “Risk Audit Project” is a comprehensive survey which measures the promotion of homosexuality in a given public school district. (The survey can be downloaded for free at the organization’s Web site, www.missionamerica.com.)
The Risk Audit Project measures the extent to which public school districts are collaborating with gay activists by determining, among other things, whether schools have adopted pro-homosexual policies or curricula, and whether the school district is sponsoring pro-homosexual clubs, events, or activities.
Harvey said the main thing that the Risk Audit Project offers parents is knowledge. “Once the extent of the homosexual agenda directed to children is discovered, local parents, grandparents and citizens can alert the community, the media and notify the schools themselves,” she said. “Parents will then clearly understand their responsibility: hold schools accountable for removing pro-homosexual material; and if this is not done, then move children to a different educational environment.”
The Risk Audit Project has been endorsed by a number of pro-family groups, including AFA, the Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America, and the Illinois Family Institute.
Equal access cuts both ways
The leader in the public school promotion of homosexuality is the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network (GLSEN). Besides having succeeded in framing much of the debate over homosexual issues, GLSEN has also spearheaded the formation of more than 3,000 Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) clubs in schools.
These clubs are often formed without parental notification or input. Kids who consider themselves homosexual ““ or straight kids who are sympathetic to the gay movement ““ simply have to approach school administrators and obtain permission. Because most schools allow the formation of non-academic student groups, federal equal access laws often require schools to allow GSAs.
Once these groups get started, students are allowed to gather regularly at school and promote their meetings and their views using the school’s public address system, bulletin boards and copy machines.
Naturally, many parents object to GSAs in school. However, it is legally risky for school officials to refuse to allow their formation simply because the group is oriented around homosexuality.
So what can parents do? David Williams, a mid-Oklahoma representative of the Christian Educators Association International (CEAI, www.ceai.org), used to his advantage the very federal equal access laws that allow GSAs in the first place. Williams argued that students who believed that gays and lesbians can change their sexual orientation must also be allowed to start their own club.
That didn’t sit well with those pushing the GSA. Rather than allow an ex-gay club, the GSA was voted down ““ by the very students who initially wanted it.
Parental permission policies tried
Meanwhile, the Washington, D.C.-based pro-family group Family Policy Network (FPN, familypolicy.net) is promoting another approach to the problem of GSAs. In August, FPN launched a multi-state campaign to require schools to obtain parental permission before public school children can take part in non-academic clubs ““ including GSAs.
The expectation is that such a policy would dampen the number of kids who participated in the homosexual clubs, thus protecting them from the dangers inherent in that lifestyle.
“We think it’s going to be really hard for most [GSA] clubs to get much of a participation factor,” said FPN policy analyst Alexander Mason, “because not many parents are going to want to allow their children to sit in front of a homosexual activist and learn about deviant lifestyles and how they’re okay.”
As part of the campaign, lawmakers in five states ““ North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Alabama and Texas ““ will be asked to introduce measures requiring parental permission.
“Parents have a right to know that their children are going to be subjected to homosexual activism in the school,” said Mason. He concluded, it’s just common sense that homosexual activists should not have unfettered access to children, particularly without parent’s permission.
Copyright, 2006 – American Family Association Journal. This article appears in the November/December 2006 issue of the AFA Journal.