Drew Zahn is a WND news editor who cut his journalist teeth as a member of the award-winning staff of Leadership, Christianity Today's professional journal for church leaders. A former pastor, he is the editor of seven books, including Movie-Based Illustrations for Preaching & Teaching, which sparked his ongoing love affair with film and his weekly WND column, "Popcorn and a (world)view."More ↓Less ↑
Scene from “Bikini,” one film in the “Youth in Motion” curriculum
A homosexual advocacy initiative claims that over 250 California schools have registered to show their students a curriculum of films that encourages teens to rethink their sexuality, society and even religion.
The curriculum includes videos made by a San Francisco group calling itself “the best in LGBT media,” and includes a clip in which a boy “comes out” by wearing his mother’s bikini and another that uses Native American spirituality to depict bisexual individuals as “two-spirit” people.
The accompanying discussion guides also encourage students to evaluate their religious traditions based on whether they encourage “choice” in sexuality or “reinforce gender expectations.”
The program, called “Youth in Motion: Empowering students through LGBTQ film,” is a joint effort between the Gay-Straight Alliance Network and Frameline, which describes itself as a nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender media arts.
“Our goal is to give student activists and teachers new tools to educate their peers about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender history and culture (and have fun doing it!),” states the curriculum’s website.
The curriculum comes in several packages designed for middle and high school students, including “Gender Matters,” which encourages children to think of sexuality outside the male/female dichotomy, and “In the Family,” which takes a critical slant on traditional marriage laws.
Each of the curriculum packages includes videos, discussion guides and action points for classroom use – some of which are certain to raise eyebrows:
The “Gender Matters” package, for example, includes a film called “Two-Spirit People,” which teaches teens that some Native American religions honor individuals who “embody feminine and masculine qualities” as “a third gender, beyond man and woman,” capable of being “a conduit between the physical and spiritual world.”
“Does your culture, religion or family have any similar coming-of-age rites of passage (quinceañera, bat / bar mitzvah, prom)?” the discussion guide asks. “Do these cultural events encourage gender choice or reinforce gender expectations?”
In the “In the Family” curriculum, students are invited to create coloring books for even younger children based on what they’ve learned from the videos. The curriculum holds up “Girls Will Be Boys Will Be Girls” as “a cool example of a fabulous gender coloring book.”
One group keeping a close eye on how this curriculum will be used is the Pacific Justice Institute, a legal defense organization specializing in the defense of religious freedom, parental rights and other civil liberties.
Brad Dacus, PJI’s president, told Focus on the Family’s CitizenLink.com,
“These pro-homosexual ‘tolerance’ films, shown to children as young as 12 years old in the seventh grade are a clear breach of parental trust.”
PJI is encouraging concerned parents to stay informed and to ask their school districts if the films will be shown.
Apparently, PJI’s warning stems from the reality that the videos can legally be shown in California schools without informing the parents.
“School districts in California cannot require parental consent for films that include mention of LGBT people or issues,” the curriculum’s website boasts, “only instruction or materials that explicitly mentions human reproductive organs and their functions
fall under consent laws for sex education.”
In a statement, however, PJI reminded parents that discover the films are scheduled to be discussed in their children’s schools that they have the ability to have their children excused from the discussion.
Furthermore, Dacus said in the statement, “PJI will continue to investigate whether any opt-out laws are being violated by the showing of these films. Any parents whose opt-out requests are denied by their child’s school should contact PJI immediately.”