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Promo picture for GroundSpark film ‘That’s a Family’
If your child attends school in Vallejo, California, he will watch pro-gay propaganda videos whether you like it or not.
Forced by the ACLU to provide “mandatory diversity training” to students and faculty, the Vallejo Unified School District is now showing all students “anti-bullying” films produced by a homosexuality affirming San Francisco group called GroundSpark. Among other topics, the films discuss same-sex relationships.
“No one should take my rights and tell me what can be shown to my children,” said Vallejo mother Cookie Gordon at a fractious Nov. 18 school board meeting.
“We do not feel that this is an area that students can opt out,” school superintendent Floyd Gonella told KNTV after the meeting. He continued, “We feel this is an area we don’t have to give prior notification.”
“There are six protected classes in California that cannot be discriminated against, harassed or bullied,” said Pacific Justice Institute Chief Counsel Kevin Snider. “Religion, race/ethnicity national origin, gender, disability, and sexual orientation. The school district is showing three films, but the films don’t protect all six classes equally, as the law requires.” Snider contended that two of the GroundSpark films being shown, ‘That’s a Family’ and ‘Straightlaced,’ are primarily pro-gay.
“One of the problems is that African-Americans who have seen the film shown to the board were offended and distressed by the representations of African-Americans, that they were drug addicts, broken families, inarticulate,” Snider added. “However, in contrast, the lesbian and gay parents that were portrayed had much more information on them than other groups, and it was all extremely positive. There was no protection of religion at all.”
“This is sex education because you have to be involved in sex to be a lesbian or to be a gay man,” contended a second mother at the meeting. “Now what you do in your home, that’s your home, but as far as me and mine, my children are not ready for this.”
“Nowhere in the state law does it prohibit you as a school board from doing an opt-in policy,” argued a third woman.
According to Snider, the school district has the authority to offer both opt-out and prior notification of the diversity sessions if it chooses to do so.
California law permits parents to opt out of sex education classes, but the school district denies that the “anti-bullying” films constitute sex ed.
“There is no formal opt-out provision in the laws. California law specifically excludes these areas from the formal opt-out provisions in the law regarding sex education. This is not sex education. It is education about respecting differences” said Tish Busselle, public information officer for Vallejo schools.
KNTV reported that in May 2009 the ACLU sued the district on behalf of an “openly gay” student who claimed she was being harassed by “teachers and staff.” According to KNTV, “The student won the suit, and now the district is required to hold mandatory training, which include these videos, and some parents don’t like it.”
Busselle insisted that “there was no lawsuit,” and claimed the district had simply resolved the dispute by reaching an agreement with the ACLU which included showing the films.
Snider said the school district signed an agreement awarding the student $25,000 and requiring the district to provide “mandatory diversity training” to faculty and students.
“The ACLU provided six or seven options of acceptable curricula, and the school board selected GroundSpark,” Busselle told WND.
“Unfortunately, what the ACLU believes is diversity talks exclusively about LGBTQ. We said you have to talk about all six protected categories in equal proportion, you can’t disenfranchise the rest of the school,” said Snider.
“The ACLU is executing a cultural revolution using threats of lawsuits as their battering ram, knowing that school administrators can easily be intimidated, especially when budgets are tight and they don’t want unnecessary legal expenses,” observed Robert Knight, senior writer for Coral Ridge Ministries.
“The ACLU finds a student and uses her as a stalking horse to force schools to initiate reeducation sessions reminiscent of the Maoist Red Guard during the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s,” Knight told WND.
GroundSpark, formerly known as Women’s Educational Media, describes its mission as ” creating visionary films and dynamic educational campaigns that move individuals and communities to take action for a more just world.”
GroundSpark Executive Director Susan Mooney
Under its former name, GroundSpark produced the controversial film “It’s Elementary,” which was widely criticized in 1999 for propagandizing homosexuality in the public schools.
According to the GroundSpark website, “‘It’s Elementary’ is the first film of its kind to address anti-gay prejudice by providing adults with practical lessons on how to talk with kids about gay people. Hailed as ‘a model of intelligent directing,’ ‘It’s Elementary’ shows that children are eager and able to wrestle with stereotypes and absorb new facts about what it means to be gay or lesbian.
GroundSpark’s model for teaching students not to bully each other emphasizes persuading them that children come from a wide “diversity” of families, and all of these family structures deserve to be respected, including families with same-sex parents.
“This doesn’t have to do with teaching beliefs at all, it has to do with respecting differences among students. It does not teach beliefs about religion at all,” said Busselle.