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Principal bans parents from pro-'gay' seminar
Posted By Bob Unruh On 03/15/2007 @ 1:00 am In Front Page | Comments Disabled
Administrators at North Newton High School in Newton, Mass., have held a seminar for students that explained how to know they are homosexual, but banned parents from attending.
“It’s absolutely insane,” parent Brian Camenker, who also is chief of the Mass Resistance organization, said. “I met with the principal. She told me no parents are allowed. She said only by invitation. I asked, ‘Can I be invited.’ She said, ‘No.’”
The event, called “ToBeGlad Day,” was the school’s “Transgender Bisexual Gay Lesbian Awareness Day,” and students were given a pamphlet that explains what it means to be “gay,” tells students how they are supposed to know if they are “gay,” and responds to the question, “Will I ever have sex?”
News of the event comes just a day after WND reported on a case at Deerfield High School in Deerfield, Ill., where school officials ordered their 14-year-old freshman class into a “gay” indoctrination seminar, after having them sign a confidentiality agreement promising not to tell their parents.
“This is very, very scary stuff,” Camenker said. “The pamphlet also lists places kids can go to meet homosexuals. How would something like this affect a kid who might be going through a confused and vulnerable time in his life? Well … the school isn’t interested in what YOU think.”
North Newton High Principal Jen Price
The Newton principal, Jennifer Price, didn’t return a message WND left seeking a comment on the event.
But Camenker said it supports his argument for the state’s Parents Rights Bill, S2063, which would toughen the state’s parental notification requirements, an issue he’s urging state lawmakers to act on as soon as possible.
He said the information about the brochure, a copy of which is available at the Mass Resistance Website, already has been e-mailed to each member of the Massachusetts Legislature.
“We’ve gotten a reaction from representatives who have gotten calls,” he said. “At least one is angry at us for the vehemence of the call [the representative got from a constituent]. I explained I didn’t tell people to be rude.”
“But if this is going on in public schools, you can’t be surprised [if people are upset],” he said.
“It’s absolutely insane.”
He said some of the topics of the seminar, as reported by the student newspaper, included: “It’s natural to be gay,” “Nature vs. Nurture,” and “Fabulous Gay History.”
That report from the student publication, he said, was the only way for parents to get information about what is going on, since they were banned on orders of the principal from attending.
“The first step in coming out is to tell yourself that you are gay and say, ‘That’s OK,’” the brochure tells students. “Later you may want to tell someone else – someone you trust to be understanding and sympathetic…”
Certainly not one of those homophobic religious people, however. “I had to reject a lot of negative heterosexual and religious programming that made me feel lousy about myself as a gay person,” said a testimony from “Bill, age 18.”
The school also promised help there. “Many faculty members have joined Bridges, a faculty/student group devoted to eliminating homophobia and making our school a more accepting place,” it said.
“No matter what people say, you are normal,” said a testimony from “Nathan, age 19.” “God created you, and you were made in this image. If you are non-religious, you were born and you have a purpose, and being gay is only part of it.”
The school’s information also included some very practical advice. “Do not shoot up drugs… Avoid anal intercourse… Use condoms whenever you engage in anal or oral sex (or vaginal sex if you have sex with women)….”
But of course, “Sex should only happen between mature individuals who care about each other. You will know when the time is right.” The brochure was written with the help of the Boston Alliance of Gay and Lesbian Youth and produced by The Campaign to End Homophobia.
A second brochure included 16 pages of Website addresses, telephone numbers and other information through which students can reach “gay” organizations, law firms, advocacy groups, support clubs and others.
It was made available through the National Youth Advocacy Coalition, which calls itself a “social justice organization that advocates for and with young people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning…”
“It is very scary,” Camenker said.
He also said coming on the heels of the David Parker court case, this is what parents in Massachusetts should expect from their public schools.
In that case, U.S. District Judge Mark L. Wolf dismissed a civil rights lawsuit brought by Parker and ordered that it is reasonable, indeed there is an obligation, for public schools to teach young children to accept and endorse homosexuality.
The lawsuit was brought by parents of children in the Lexington, Mass., Estabrook Elementary School alleging the school violated state law and civil rights by indoctrinating their children about a lifestyle they, as Christians, teach is immoral.
Camenker’s group called the ruling “every parent’s nightmare.”
“In the ruling, Wolf makes the absurd claim that normalizing homosexuality to young children is ‘reasonably related to the goals of preparing students to become engaged and productive citizens in our democracy.’ According to Wolf, this means teaching ‘diversity’ which includes ‘differences in sexual orientation.’
“In addition, Wolf makes the odious statement that the Parkers’ only options are (1) send their kids to a private school, (2) home-school their kids, or (3) elect a majority of people to the School Committee who agree with them. Can you imagine a federal judge in the Civil Rights era telling blacks the same thing – that if they can’t be served at a lunch counter they should just start their own restaurant, or elect a city council to pass laws that reflect the U.S. Constitution?” the organization said.
Lawyers for the families said they already had planned an appeal of the judge’s opinion.
Wolf concluded that even allowing Christians to withdraw their children from classes or portions of classes where their religious beliefs were being violated wasn’t a reasonable expectation.
“An exodus from class when issues of homosexuality or same-sex marriage are to be discussed could send the message that gays, lesbians, and the children of same-sex parents are inferior and, therefore, have a damaging effect on those students,” he opined.
Matt Barber, policy director for cultural issues for Concerned Women for America, called the Deerfield case unbelievable.
“It’s not enough that students at Deerfield High are being exposed to improper and offensive material relative to unhealthy and high-risk homosexual behavior, but they’ve essentially been told by teachers to lie to their parents about it,” he said.
The situation, according to district Supt. George Fornero, was partly “a mistake.” He said the confidentiality agreement wasn’t right, and the district would be honest with parents in the future.
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