Friday, January 20, 2012

GLSEN vs Focus on the Family

GLSEN has released a toolkit for teachers that is extremely well organized, reflects considerable effort and was obviously developed with the help of primary school teachers. The toolkit, Ready, Set, Respect (pdf) is designed to "Prepare Teachers for Teaching About Respect in Elementary Schools."

One of the "tips for teaching more inclusively" is:

Write math problems with contexts that include a variety of family structures and gender-expressions. For example, “Rosa and her dads were at the store and wanted to buy three boxes of pasta. If each costs $.75, how much will all three boxes cost?” or “Darren wants to bake a special cake for his grandmother. The original recipe calls for 2 cups of flour. If he is doubling the recipe, how much flour does he need?”
After several paragraphs of preposterous hyperbole, Focus on the Family (Citizen Link) recasts this as:
Look for “teachable moments” to incorporate promotion of homosexuality into classroom activities. For instance, “Write math problems with contexts that include a variety of family structures and gender-expressions. For example, ‘Rosa and her dads were at the store and wanted to buy three boxes of pasta…’ ”
As you might guess, I have some observations to share:
  1. If Rosa has two dads it is a virtual certainty that Rosa was adopted.
  2. If Rosa was adopted (having no dad), would Focus on the Family presume to isolate her and subject her to ridicule?
  3. If Rosa was adopted by a gay couple, chances are that she was hard to place. Would Focus on the Family prefer that Rosa be "in the system?"
  4. It is a fact that some children go to school with other children who are being raised by same-sex parents. If we pretend that is not the case, will it cease to be a fact?
  5. Why did Focus omit the fact that GLSEN also recommended a "traditional"  family example in the same paragraph?
  6. Can we ever get Focus on the Family to settle on the consequences of "promoting homosexuality?" If children learn that some kids have parents who are the same sex, are they more likely to be gay? How long does this take to occur? It is permanent queerness or just temporary? Do they have some published and peer reviewed research to support their hypotheses? 
There is much more to both the GLSEN program and Focus' bigotry about it. What makes this troublesome is that there are some parents who actually believe this nonsense.

How many children have to murder themselves before Focus on the Family acknowledges that there is a problem in our schools?
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