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'Gay' Pledge Cards Given to Some California Kindergartners

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  • SIG_Fiend

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    Feb 21, 2008
    Austin, TX - School Clams Up on 'Gay' Pledge Cards Given to Kindergartners - Local News | News Articles | National News | US News

    During a celebration of National Ally Week, Tara Miller, a teacher at the Faith Ringgold School of Arts and Science in Hayward, Calif., passed out cards produced by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network to her class of kindergartners.
    The cards asked signers to be "an ally" and to pledge to "not use anti-LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) language or slurs; intervene, when I feel I can, in situations where others are using anti-LGBT language or harassing other students and actively support safer schools efforts."
    The school has acknowledged that the exercise was not appropriate for kindergartners.
    Parent Adela Voelker, who declined to be interviewed in depth for this report, said she was furious when she found her child's signature on one of the cards. She said she contacted a non-profit legal defense organization specializing in parents' rights.
    Meanwhile, a school board member, Jeff Cook, says some type of action should be taken.

    "We have a general rule that all instruction should be age appropriate, and this clearly was not," said Cook, who has served on the school board for five years.
    Val Joyner, a school district spokeswoman, told in an e-mail that when deciding what to teach on this subject matter, educators "gather materials from community agencies and other education groups" and that "the materials have grade level indicators which help determine what is age-appropriate."
    The district said the pledge cards were intended for middle school and high school students.
    Asked last week if the district planned to take action against Miller, Joyner said she would have to look into the incident. On Thursday she told that she did not have an answer for the question and that she would no longer be doing any media interviews.
    Joyner said in an e-mail that Miller, the teacher, "planned to teach students how to become an ally and conflict-mediation through various activities." She added that the district doesn't advocate for a specific cause and/or lifestyle, and it has "no curriculum for gay, lesbian and transgender lifestyles."
    The district employs a "Professional Learning Specialist: Equity," who is in charge of gathering material and helping teachers decide what should be taught on the subject matter.
    Brad Dacus, president of Pacific Justice Institute, the group representing Voelker, said parents at the Faith Ringgold School weren't notified of what was going to take place in the classroom.
    He said that teaching students as young as pre-school about gay, lesbian and transgender issues is common in California, but that there are "all kinds of material the average parent could find highly objectionable or potentially harmful" to their children.
    When asked if the school district did anything wrong, he said, "possibly," but he declined to go into detail or say whether Voelker would sue the district.
    Dacus would not comment specifically on whether children who signed the pledge could be held responsible if the school determined that they were not honoring it. He said they are minors and there are certain degrees of limited liability, but from a psychological and emotional perspective, it's a whole different ballgame.
    "[There is] tremendous peer pressure put on children to accept a pro-homosexual philosophy and attitude," Dacus said.
    Meanwhile, opponents of gay marriage are up in arms over the incident, which occurred as California voters prepare to vote Tuesday on Proposition 8, which would overturn the state Supreme Court's ruling legalizing gay marriage.
    "How do you teach a 5-year-old to sign a pledge card for lesbian, gay and transgender issues without explaining what transgender and bisexual is?" asked Sonja Eddings Brown, a spokeswoman for Protect Marriage California.

    I don't think any single group has contributed more to the moral decay of "civilized" modern society than liberals. I mean just WTF are these people thinking trying to bring the politics of this to KINDERGARTNERS. However someone wants to live their life, hey that's their decision. However someone else lives there life is none of my business. I'm not posting this because I'm a homo-phobe or anything. Though to introduce the subject of sexuality in ANY fashion to kids of this age is morally corrupt IMO. Let kids live what little childhood there is left in this society. I think there is just some subjects children don't need to be aware of until they are older. These days, with all of the negative influences prevalent in our society through various forms of media, children are quickly having their "innocence" stolen from them at younger and younger ages. Wow, the more I see, the more I realize that if I ever have kids they will have to be home schooled.
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    Aug 8, 2008
    The Manor Middle School had a related incident last year. A faculty member had added to the morning intercom message without approval. The addition asked students, if they were in support of gay/lesbian rights, to take a vow of silence for the whole day. Yes, that's right, students all over the school (if they supported gays/lesbians or not) took advantage of that announcement and refused to speak the rest of the day. You can imagine the trouble that caused with students not communicating with teachers.

    I have not checked further to see if the faculty member was fired or at least punished, but I did give the principal a piece of my mind about the situation. Needless to say, he was very apologetic and assured me it was NOT part of the approved announcement that day.
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