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 ↑
A key attorney in the fight for Christian and family values in California’s trend-setting school system warns his state’s teacher’s union is about to begin its “next major push” in the cultural battle over homosexuality in schools.
“‘Gender liberation’ will likely be the new vogue term used to describe the tidal wave that is fast approaching the shores of the California public school system,” writes Robert Tyler, founder of Advocates for Faith & Freedom, a non-profit law firm dedicated to protecting religious liberty. “And you can be sure that it won’t stop there. It will spread throughout the nation and have disastrous consequences on the innocent.
“In other words,” Tyler explains of what “gender liberation” means, “male-female distinctions must be eliminated in order to ‘liberate’ children from unnecessary ‘stereotypes.’ This is not a movement seeking ‘equal rights,’ but a movement seeking to obliterate our God-given distinctions between male and female.”
Tyler’s law firm represents students and parents in a number of cases in California, including former high school student Chad Farnan, who brought suit against his history teacher for regularly ridiculing Christianity in class, including making the statement, “When you put on your Jesus glasses, you can’t see the truth.”
Attorney Robert Tyler
Tyler argues that the 325,000-member California Teachers Association “has allied itself” with radical homosexual activists and says he has uncovered evidence of how the CTA is pushing teachers to take the next step in “brainwash[ing] children into believing that gender neutrality is ideal for society.”
In October, the CTA hosted its third annual Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Conference under the theme “Pride in Education,” which included addresses from the group’s president and retired Col. Grethe Cammermeyer, who successfully sued to be reinstated in the National Guard 1994, despite being an admitted lesbian.
Tyler reports in the Christian Examiner that his group received literature distributed to public school teachers at the conference, including the following instructions on proper “gender etiquette” in schools:
“One way of acknowledging the needs of all people is to designate restrooms as gender neutral. … Each of us can decide for ourselves in which bathroom we belong.”
“Please do not assume anyone’s gender, even people you may have met in the past. A person’s external appearance may not match their internal gender identity.”
“Pay attention to a person’s purposeful gender expression. We consider it polite to ask: ‘What pronoun do you prefer?’ or, ‘How do you identify?’ before using pronouns or gendered words for anyone.”
The CTA’s website touts the conference with reactions reportedly from educators, including a 4th-grade teacher named Lisa Bartoli from Santa Monica-Malibu Classroom Teachers Association.
“I know that some of my elementary students may be experiencing a sense of being different without attaching such feelings to a specific identity,” Bartoli is quoted as saying. “One reason for participating in the GLBT Conference was to learn how better to help such students and those around them become more tolerant of differences.”
Tyler, however, argues, the CTA is pushing an “alternative agenda” that is an affront not only to parents but also to many of the teachers represented by the union.
“The CTA is promoting drastic causes that are contrary to the moral values taught in homes across California and the nation,” Tyler writes. “California families have placed their trust in the public school system. Unfortunately, however, many of the public servants educating our kids have an alternative agenda that is contrary to the fundamental purpose of teaching our kids reading, writing and arithmetic.”
The conference also featured an address from State Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, author of the newly signed SB 48, the Fair Education Act, a controversial law that goes into effect Jan. 1 and mandates that all children from kindergarten through 12th grade in all “instruction” be taught to admire “the role and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans.”
As WND reported, critics have said SB 48 means children as young as 6 years old will be taught to admire homosexuality and same-sex “marriages” and to support the political activism of so-called “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Questioning” (LGBTIQ) political groups.
Furthermore, they claim, parents will neither be notified of the teaching requirements nor allowed to opt their children out of such indoctrination.
Randy Thomasson, president of SaveCalifornia.com, which also operates the RescueYourChild.com website that provide specifics about the issue, has been expressing alarm over the waves of activism in California’s schools regarding homosexuality and other alternative sexual lifestyles for more than a decade.
It was in 1999, he reports, that Gov. Gray Davis signed into law AB 537, which allowed teachers and students to use their school day to proclaim openly and display their homosexuality, bisexuality or transsexuality. Included in that expression of “rights” was the ability of cross-dressing teachers and school workers to access the restroom of their choice.
Thomasson pointed out that SB48 is just the latest California law “mandating the homosexual-bisexual-transsexual agenda – as well as heterosexual fornication – in every government school in California without exceptions, and without parental exemption.”
SB48 was pushed through the Democrat-controlled state legislature..
Previous moves were made through:
SB 543, signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2010, “allows school staff to remove children ages 12 and up from government schools and taken off-campus for counseling sessions, without parental permission or involvement. The purpose is to permit pro-homosexuality teachers and administrators to remove sexually confused children in 6th grade and up from campus and take them to pro-homosexuality counselors who will encourage them to embrace the homosexual lifestyle.”
ACR 82, approved by the California Legislature in 2010, “creates de facto ‘morality-free zones’ at participating schools (pre-kindergarten through public universities). Schools that become official ‘Discrimination-Free Zones’ will ‘enact procedures’ (including mandatory counseling) against students from pre-kindergarten on up who are accused of ‘hate,’ ‘intolerance,’ or ‘discrimination’.” What is the hate? Peacefully speaking or writing against the unnatural lifestyles choices of homosexuality and bisexuality.
SB 572, signed by Schwarzenegger in 2009, establishes “Harvey Milk Day” in K-12 California public schools and community colleges. In classrooms, schools and school districts that participate, children will now be taught to admire the life and values of late homosexual activist and teen predator Harvey Milk of San Francisco the month of May.
SB 777, signed by Schwarzenegger in 2007, prohibits all public school instruction and every school activity from “promoting a discriminatory bias” against (effectively requiring positive depictions of) transsexuality, bisexuality and homosexuality to schoolchildren as young as five years old. SB 777 means children will be taught their “gender” is a matter of choice.
AB 394, signed by Schwarzenegger in 2007, effectively promotes transsexual, bisexual and homosexual indoctrination of students, parents and teachers via “anti-harassment” and “anti-discrimination” materials, to be publicized in classrooms and assemblies, posted on walls, incorporated into curricula on school websites, and distributed in handouts to take home.
SB 71, signed by Gov. Gray Davis in 2003 and implemented in 2008 through the new “sexual health” standards approved by appointees of Schwarzenegger and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell, teaches children as young as 5th grade that any consensual sexual behavior is “safe” as long as you “protect” yourself with a condom, and teaches children that homosexuality, bisexuality and transsexuality is “normal.”
AB 1785, signed by Davis in 2000, required the California State Board of Education to alter the state curriculum frameworks to include and require “human relations education” for children in K-12 public schools, 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.
AB 537, signed by Davis in 1999, permits teachers and students to openly proclaim and display their homosexuality, bisexuality or transsexuality, even permitting cross-dressing teachers, school employees and student on campus, in classrooms, and in restrooms.
“There’s a battle for your child, Whoever fights harder will win,” Thomasson said.
Homosexual former San Francisco leader Harvey Milk
In honoring Milk, schools are advocating for the acceptance of what Milk sought: the entire homosexual, bisexual and cross-dressing agenda; a refusal to acknowledge sexually transmitted diseases spread by the behavior; his behavior as “a sexual predator of teenage boys, most of them runaways with drug problems”; advocacy for multiple sexual relationships at one time; and “lying to get ahead”; according to SaveCalifornia.com, the leading statewide pro-family organization promoting moral virtues for the common good.
A 1982 biography of Milk tells of a 16-year-old named McKinley, who “was looking for some kind of father figure.”
“At 33, Milk was launching a new life, though he could hardly have imagined the unlikely direction toward which his new lover would pull him,” the book says.
It also states, “It would be to boyish-looking men in their late teens and early 20s that Milk would be attracted for the rest of his life.”
Thomasson said in a report that he got an email from a parent whose daughter had objected to attending a “gay straight alliance rally to honor Harvey Milk at Moreno Valley High School.”
Said the email, according to Thomasson, “You were right: Our daughter was told she had to attend a gay straight alliance rally to honor Harvey Milk. … She shared she was a Christian with the teacher and only after she saw Lauren was clearly upset about going to this rally did she issue her a hall pass. She was persecuted by another student but made it out of the class. I picked up her and she was very upset. How many other Christians were forced to go to this rally?”
The account from 16-year-old Lauren provided more details, Thomasson reported.
“When she walked into her U.S. History class Monday, May 23, she saw the words ‘Gay-Straight Alliance Assembly – Harvey Milk’ on the blackboard. Her teacher, obviously a pro-homosexuality agenda sympathizer, told Lauren and every other student walking in to go to the assembly. Lauren protested, but the teacher didn’t listen to her at first. Lauren again said she didn’t want to go, and finally the teacher exempted her, but only her,” he said.
“Lauren got out of that one, but her fellow students were corralled into the brainwashing assembly, like cattle going to slaughter, where the homosexual sponsor of the on-campus Gay-Straight Alliance told them how they must support the homosexual-bisexual-transsexual agenda of Harvey Milk. Later, a Muslim classmate told Lauren she wished she had refused to go to the assembly, too.”
The report described how the teacher, several days earlier, had “played several minutes of the R-rated ‘Milk’ film, which showed two homosexual men in bed together.”
“Parents, realize there was NO advance parental notification of this happening or the opportunity to opt out your children. Even more, realize there was no parent permission sought, no opt-in form to sign. No, Harvey Milk sexual indoctrination, and other sexual indoctrination implemented, because of other perverse laws are being done behind parents’ backs and despite parents’ objections,” Thomasson’s report said.
WND previously reported what happened to one irate parent who found out about a public school’s sexual indoctrination of his children and demanded changes – he spent the night in jail.
David Parker, who brought a case against Estabrook Elementary school in Lexington, Mass., several years ago, eventually ended up withdrawing his children from the school because of the harassment they endured in the dispute.
An appellate court said the indoctrination was appropriate because same-sex “marriages” are legal in Massachusetts following the work of former Gov. Mitt Romney and others, and the refusal of the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene.
That left the school district not only teaching behaviors the Parker family considered immoral but deliberately refusing to tell them when it would be taught, so they could keep their children home.
Parker noted the ruling says teachers “have a constitutional right to coercively indoctrinate little children [into whatever they choose to teach].”
A WND/Wenzel Strategies poll earlier this year indicated an overwhelming majority of Americans believe elementary school is no place to promote the homosexual lifestyle. Even among liberals there is the strong belief that such lessons should be left outside the door of the classroom.
“Whether they object on moral grounds or simply out of concern that many U.S. schools are failing in their core missions of teaching basics doesn’t really matter – the vast majority of American adults want this type of curriculum kept out of the classroom,” Wenzel chief Fritz Wenzel said.
The scientific telephone survey was done April 19-21 with a margin of error of 3.23 percentage points. It found that 65 percent of all respondents objected to teaching elementary school children that homosexuality is a “normal alternative lifestyle.”
The question was, “Do you believe elementary school children should be taught that homosexuality is a normal alternative lifestyle?”
Only 22 percent said yes, and 13 percent were unsure.