SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Children attending California government
schools will soon be taught explicitly to avoid “discriminatory
attitudes and practices” toward homosexuals in accordance with two new
state laws that fund revised curriculum and unspecified “tolerance”
Assembly bills 1785 and 1931 were both passed in the Democrat-run
legislature by a one-vote margin. While the latter went into effect
immediately upon receiving a signature by Gov. Gray Davis on Sept. 30,
the former goes into effect on Jan. 1.
Authored by former Assembly Speaker Antonio Villaraigosa, who left
the Assembly this year due to term limits,
AB 1785 requires “the State Board of Education to revise the state curriculum frameworks and guidelines and the moral and civic education curricula to include human relations education, with the aim of fostering an appreciation of the diversity of California’s population and discouraging the development of discriminatory attitudes and practices,” according to the state legislative counsel’s digest. The “diversity” education must be incorporated into new state education frameworks to be adopted in 2008.
Additionally, AB 1785 would require a course on “human relations” as a prerequisite for receiving a teaching credential to teach “limited-English-proficient pupils,” and would define “culture” and “cultural diversity” to mean “an understanding of human relations, including,” among other things, “recognizing and responding to behavior related to bias based on race, color, religion, nationality, country of origin, ancestry, gender, disability, or sexual orientation.”
The bill also requires schools to report “hate-motivated incidents and hate crimes” to the Department of Education, which in turn shares such information with the Justice Department.
“AB 1785 will help us identify and respond appropriately to hate crime hot spots,” said Villaraigosa. “By improving the data collection about hate crimes occurring in our schools, we can more efficiently target our limited resources. We will better understand where and why these crimes are occurring. Only then can we begin to break the cycle of intolerance.”
While the author of the bill focuses on hate-crimes reporting, critics point to what they say is “far-reaching language” that will “promote homosexuality and bisexuality to shape the attitudes of schoolchildren.”
Pointing to provisions in the bill that authorize “coordination” with “private agencies,” political activist Randy Thomasson said, “The bill will also empower homosexual organizations to come into the public schools.”
“The bill would allow schools to use ‘supplemental resources’ from homosexual organizations,” said Thomasson, executive director of
Campaign for California Families. “We must ask, does this include resources such as those
Massachusetts to train children how to engage in oral sex and ‘fisting’? The bill language is very broad: It prohibits any ‘bias on the basis of … sexual orientation.’ What form or part of sexual orientation does this not mean?”
But AB 1785 is not the only bill signed by Gov. Gray Davis that has family activists up in arms. Former Assemblyman Jack Scott’s
1931 paves the way for school-aged children to be taken on field trips to “participate in educational programs focused on fostering ethnic sensitivity, overcoming racism and prejudice, and countering hatred and intolerance.” The bill does not define “hatred” or “intolerance.”
Specifically, the bill allows for the appropriation of $150,000 “to contract for the services of an organization with the experience to provide regional training programs throughout the state to assist school district personnel in the identification and determination of hate violence on school campuses, and allocate $2,000,000 for the purpose of providing grants on a competitive basis, as specified, to school districts and county offices of education to enable pupils and teachers to participate in educational programs focused on fostering ethnic sensitivity, overcoming racism and prejudice, and countering hatred and intolerance.”
Thomasson said the bill “can easily be used to promote the homosexual agenda to schoolchildren. The bill funds subjective programs that are given carte blanche to deal with ‘prejudice,’ ‘intolerance,’ and ‘hatred.’ This lack of definition is very broad and far-reaching. The funding in the bill can therefore be given to homosexual groups to teach children to approve of homosexuality, bisexuality, transgenderism and transvestitism. There is no clear limit to the ‘tolerance’ subject matter contained in the bill.”
Regarding the bill’s funding of tolerance-related “educational programs, Thomasson asks, “Does this mean pro-gay conventions for teachers, such as GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network)? Does this mean pro-homosexuality events and field trips for students, such as ‘Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning Youth Lobby Day’ at the State Capitol? All these ‘programs’ are quite possible because of the lack of definition and accountability in the bill.”
GLSEN came under fire this year for its
“Teach Out” in March, held at Tufts University, which featured Massachusetts Department of Education employees instructing children as young as 14 in how to properly perform homosexual sex acts. It also included a session to help teachers create a pro-homosexual environment in the classroom. The group maintains such conferences are necessary to prevent violence and abuse of homosexual children.
According to its mission statement, “GLSEN creates learning environments that affirm the inherent dignity of all students, and, in so doing, teaches them to respect and accept all of their classmates — regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity. GLSEN believes that the key to ending anti-gay prejudice and hate-motivated violence is education. And it’s for this reason that GLSEN brings together students, educators, families and other community members — of any sexual orientation — to reform America’s educational system.”
Through its self-described “groundbreaking” teacher-training materials, the organization hopes to “ensure that the next generation of Americans will live in a world without anti-gay prejudice.”
But critics believe efforts of groups like GLSEN infringe on their free speech and religious rights. Many religious groups believe the practice of homosexuality is a serious sin and do not want their children taught that it is an acceptable lifestyle. Yet, through the efforts of the Democrat-dominated legislature in California, children are increasingly being taught just that, they complain.
“The pro-homosexual Democrats have imposed much of the homosexual agenda in California. The pro-family community is learning how to fight back. We have much work to do and the battle has just begun,” Thomasson said enthusiastically, noting his group’s efforts that contributed to the defeat of several pro-homosexual measures this year. “Concerned citizens must become active citizens who pledge their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to the defense of children and families. CCF will lead if people will step out in faith.”
Democrats gained even more seats in the state’s law-making body in the November election, giving the party a 50-30 majority in the Assembly and a 26-14 majority in the Senate.
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