Two parents who objected to a Massachusetts high school’s homosexual-awareness day were expelled from the campus after a mother began videotaping a session.
Brian Camenker, an activist who has a son at Newton North High School in Newtonville, Mass., and Kim Cariani, mother of two students, said four police officers and the school principal warned they would be charged with trespassing if they didn’t leave the campus Wednesday.
Kim Cariani tried to videotape a “gay day” session at her childrens’ school. (Courtesy Boston Herald)
A distraught Cariani told the Boston Herald she believes the school’s “To BGLAD: Transgender, Bisexual, Gay and Lesbian Awareness Day” has no place in the curriculum.
“It’s against my religion,” she said. “It’s morally wrong and forced in a child’s face.”
Camenker said the event, with assemblies and workshops such as “Out at the Old Ballgame” and “Color Me Queer,” was intended to make students feel good about homosexuality, bisexuality and transgenderism.
“This is so incredibly objectionable,” he said, according to Concerned Women for America. “The parents are so outraged that this is being pushed on their kids that they don’t know what to do. To use children’s minds this way without even letting the parents know is horrible.”
As WorldNetDaily reported, Camenker’s Article 8 Alliance is a pro-family Massachusetts group seeking to unseat the four Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court justices for the Nov. 18, 2003, decision that led to legalization of same-sex “marriage.”
The school did not send home a note to parents about the event, a Newton North spokeswoman acknowleged to CWA’s Culture & Family Institute. But she said the event is listed on the school’s website and in calendars at the beginning of the year, and some e-mails were sent out.
While the event was not mandatory, she said, “Classes are scheduled to attend various workshops, but if students are uncomfortable or their parents are uncomfortable, the students can instead go to the library.”
Camenker and Cariani, who kept her two children home that day, were in the audience when adults on a panel discussed being homosexual. The video recording began when one man told students he was attracted to his sister’s husband.
The principal demanded Cariani turn over the videotape or leave, Camenker told the Herald. District policy prohibits taping or photographing students without parental permission.
“They took the two of us and pulled us out and gave us one minute to leave and if we came back on the property we would be arrested for trespassing,” Camenker said.
A local newspaper columnist, Tom Mountain of the Newton Tab, also was barred from the assembly “for the safety and security of the children.”
Camenker told CWA he sent a copy of the event schedule to the school superintendent and all eight school board members prior to the event, advising them that parents would be at school that day monitoring activities.
At a “gay day” two years ago, Camenker said, a 20-year-old male wearing a dress spoke to students, telling them he was taking female hormones but hadn’t yet had his penis cut off.
Last year, a boy was suspended for making fun of another boy who came to school in makeup and a dress.
Schools in Newton, the hometown of openly homosexual Democratic Rep. Barney Frank, adopted a “Respect for Human Differences Mission Statement” in 2001, which in part says: “The Newton Public Schools will provide a climate that actively promotes social justice where children perform at the highest levels,” listing among the “human differences” sexual orientation.
The school district also is committed to multiculturalism, stating, “Effective multicultural education suggests a re-examination of the history, social constructs and dynamics related to race, class, gender, ethnicity, economics, and culture that impact curriculum and instruction. Multicultural education includes rigorous curriculum and inclusive teaching that challenges all students and staff. We are committed to developing a philosophy of multicultural education that can be infused across transformed curricula.”
Camenker’s Article 8 Alliance supports a Parents Rights Bill in the new Massachusetts Legislature that would change attendance rules to make sex-related programs and courses “opt-in” instead of “opt-out” and would include all school programs and activities.
Massachusetts taxpayers pay about $1.5 million annually for a Gay and Lesbian Youth Commission that aggressively promotes homosexuality in public schools and helps schools create “Gay/Straight Alliances,” student clubs that press for acceptance of homosexuality.
The school’s website notice about “To BGLAD” includes the long-discredited “fact” that one in 10 students is homosexual, CWA says. Most researchers place the population at only about 1 percent.
Camenker said he is working on a plan to bring in former homosexual Stephen Bennett to speak to students about overcoming homosexuality.
An outline of Wednesday’s event on the district’s website included these descriptions of these sessions:
- “A Day in the Life: Statistically one in ten students at this school are (sic) not straight. Teenage life is complicated enough, but how does it differ for Gay/ Lesbian/ Bisexual/ Transgender (GLBT) teens? Come to this panel and find out.”
- “Student Speakout: Newton North students read original pieces about GLBT issues.”
- “Life Outside the Gender Norm: What happens when ones (sic) gender identity does not match their sex? In this session, speakers will talk about their experiences with gender identity and expression.”
- “Out at the Old Ballgame: Athletes and coaches discuss what it’s like to be GLBT in the gym, on the field, and on the road.”
- “Family Matters: What does it mean to be a family? What discriminations and legal obstacles do queer families face? Children and parents discuss living with queer family members.”
- “GBLT What’s in a Name: What is homophobia? heterosexism? Why is there a ToBGLADay? In this interactive presentation, we will use activities to provide the groundwork for talking about GBLT issues.”
- “Color Me Queer: A panel discussion of race, culture, and sexual identity.”