Private Schools Promoting Homosexuality to Children
By Peter LaBarbera (Reprinted from "Human Events", May 12, 1999)
BALTIMORE, Md. - President Clintons recent announcement of a plan to subject junior high students to gay-inclusive tolerance lessons reminded Americans of the ongoing threat of homosexual promotion in the nations public schools. But few parents realize that the homosexual lobby is also targeting private including religious schools with its message to impressionable children that gay is OK. Six years after the Children of the Rainbow controversy in New York City, homosexual activists are stepping up their campaign to expose grade school students even kindergarteners to pro-homosexual propaganda.
About 150 teachers and administrators from mostly elite private schools in Maryland and D.C. gathered February 2 at the Maritime Institute outside Baltimore for an all-day conference aimed at guiding educators on how to bring homosexual-affirming programs into their schools.
The conference, sponsored by the Association of Independent Maryland Schools (AIMS), featured a workshop on lower schools in which kindergarten and first-grade teachers discussed ways to introduce their young students to homosexual themes.
I have a first grader who is experiencing homosexual tendencies, said Jennifer Barrett, a young teacher at the prestigious Sheridan School in northwest Washington, D.C. (tuition: $12,000 -$14,000). Her reasoning: the boy plays with girls rather than his own gender. Barrett said the child was developing a poor self-image, insisted, I feel its my job as an educator to make sure he feels good about himself, and wanted the other teachers at the workshop to tell her how to achieve her goal.
Not a single participant in that session attended by this reporter objected to the idea that Barrett should encourage the boy to feel comfortable with his supposed latent homosexuality. Not a single person remarked that he might not be a pre-homosexual at all and that there have been plenty of kids who have grown out of such tendencies with the right kind of advice and training. Instead, the focus was on how to help such children feel comfortable about themselves by exposing them to pro-homosexual lessons in an age appropriate way. (One teacher did coach Barrett on the politically correct terminology, advising her to describe the boy in terms of gender nonconformity rather than homosexual tendencies.)
A National Campaign
This was the second AIMS conference dedicated to placing sexual orientation programs in member schools many of which, like St. Pauls School for Girls, near Baltimore, are religious or religiously based. (Sidwell Friends School, the ritzy Quaker school in the District of Columbia that counts Chelsea Clinton among its alumni, is one of the more than 100 schools affiliated with AIMS.)
The second keynote speaker at the conference was Emmy Howe, a lesbian parent and activist from Cambridge, Massachusetts, who participated in the AIMS workshop on lower schools. Massachusetts leads the nation in pro-homosexual school programs spending $1 million annually (and a proposed $1.5 million next year) on its taxpayer-funded campaign to affirm homosexual youth. Homosexual activists from the liberal state are promoting their model to educators in other states with missionary zeal.
Indeed, homosexual advocates are using a plethora of strategies to encourage young schoolchildren to adopt positive notions about homosexuality.
The Pre-Homosexual Child?
- Holding classroom discussions about alternative families, including those with homosexual parents;
- Promoting gay-inclusive and anti-homophobia curricula;
- Encouraging homosexual teachers to be open about their sexual orientation in class;
- Using teachable moments (e.g., correcting a child who uses the word gay as a putdown) to guide young school kids into politically correct attitudes about homosexuality.
The AIMS conference certainly conformed to the activists agenda. The first keynote speaker was Dr. Justin Richardson, a Harvard-educated psychiatrist and director of Columbia Universitys Center for Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Mental Health, and guess what? a homosexual to boot. Did any of the teachers or school administrators present think he might be biased in his advice? No one cared to challenge him on that score.
Richardson said educators need to aid the pre-homosexual child with a supportive school environment, paving the way for his later coming out. He claimed that a childs sexual orientation is determined very early in life around four years of age, he suggested so why not prepare the pre-homosexual child for the inevitable?
Heterosexual children wont be affected by pro-homosexual affirmation in schools, he told the teachers. Richardson said he is often asked by concerned parents, Will this [submitting children to a pro-homosexual environment] make my kid gay? Will sending my kid to this school make my kid more likely to be gay? And you want to be able to lay that one to rest, and I think science has really done that for you.
Two years ago, Richardson sounded the same deterministic theme, addressing parents who were concerned because several eighth-grade students at an elite New York City school their children attended had declared themselves bisexual. He advised them, according to a New York Times story, not to worry: [I]f this is a girl who has a genetic predisposition and early experience to grow up to be a heterosexual, then bisexual experimentation will probably only help her clarify that she is more attracted to males than to females.
However, if she started life on the path to being a lesbian, teenage experimentation might help her to develop her lesbianism in a healthier way than if she were forced to ignore her true desires until adulthood. Translation: lesbian experiences are actually a plus.
Richardsons morality is atrocious, and his science is suspect, at best. (Consider the recent phenomenon of famous lesbians like Holly Near and JoAnn Loulan, author of the advice book Lesbian Sex, who have stunned their comrades by falling in love with men.) He offered no scrap of evidence that homosexuality is determined at four or thereabouts. Indeed, at the AIMS conference, Richardson, while maintaining that genes play a major factor in the development of homosexuality an assertion clearly unproved also acknowledged that environment plays a role. (He cited a study that found that on average, homosexual men report that they had a worse relationship with their father than heterosexual men with their dads.) Well, if environment can help turn someone into a homosexual, why should schools provide that kind of environment?
One reason behind the widening acceptance of gay-positive programs in schools, Richardson said, is the growing recognition ... that theres a genetic basis for homosexuality, which has caused people to begin to conceive of a pre-homosexual child.... But the accelerating acceptance of pro-homosexual programs in schools is traceable more to the growing power of the homosexual lobby than any scientific evidence.
Ironically, a week after Richardsons AIMS speech, the liberal Boston Globe reported that enthusiasm for gay gene research has waned among scientists and homosexual activists. The Globe reported that six years after a widely reported study (by a homosexual researcher) purporting to locate a genetic marker for male homosexuality, the gene has still not been found ... There is growing consensus that sexual orientation is much more complicated than a matter of genes. (Emphasis added) Moreover, the prestigious journal Science recently repudiated its own 1993 study, ballyhooed by the media, by a homosexual researcher purporting to find a genetic basis for homosexuality.
Promoting Homosexuality in the Name of Safety?
The title of the AIMS conference, Making Schools Safe II, suggested its ideological agenda. In recent years, homosexual advocates have implemented homosexual-positive programs in schools by arguing that they are necessary to protect gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered students from getting teased or, worse, committing suicide or being physically attacked by their peers.
While everybody in the pro-family movement supports protecting students from harm, many have voiced dismay at the idea of espousing pro-homosexual school programs in the name of safety since homosexual behavior, especially among males, has been linked to numerous diseases such as Hepatitis A and AIDS. But when a Catholic mother in the audience asked the soft-spoken Richardson about the health risks associated with homosexual behavior, including AIDS, he dismissed the connection.
I think an effective strategy to protect against AIDS is really to encourage people to practice safe sex and not to talk about risk groups, Richardson said. The best thing would be to teach heterosexual and homosexual adolescents and adults to use a condom. Thats a much more effective strategy than telling them not to have sex with certain kinds of people.
Richardsons condescending advice flies in the face of data by the Centers for Disease Control, which has consistently reported a majority of AIDS cases tied to homosexual sex between men (and IV drug use). Moreover, condom failure is exacerbated by the unnatural act of anal sex, one of several dangerous gay sex practices. Even liberal sex advice columnist Dr. Ruth Westheimer discourages anal sex as high risk, recognizing that it causes damage to the body.
The same woman at the AIMS conference asked about Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, the California psychologist who founded the National Association for Reparative Therapy of Homosexuals (NARTH), which counsels men and women who want to abandon their homosexual identity. Richardson tagged NARTH a fringe group thats not respected by their colleagues psychiatrists or psychologists, and noted that the American Psychiatric Association recently condemned reparative therapy.
Richardson said studies show that this sort of treatment not only doesn't change someones actual sexual orientation that is, their attractions though he did admit that it can change their behaviors. But he said that behavior change often comes at great cost, which is significant damage to their self-esteem and their ability to be honest with themselves.
Richardson apparently subscribes to the circular reasoning used by fellow activists: those who claim to be former homosexuals either never were really gay to begin with or they are merely forcing an unnatural change in their behavior and are still suffering.
Richardsons claims aside, there are literally scores of studies, articles and personal testimonies demonstrating that there are plenty of bona fide ex-homosexuals who have turned into happy heterosexuals. Nicolosi pointed to an 860-respondent study commissioned by NARTH which shows that "as clients diminish their homosexuality, their self-esteem rises.
Clients come to us with damaged self-esteem, Nicolosi said. They don't want to be gay and they've been told there's no hope. He said NARTH has brought relief to hundreds of people who wanted to change but had nowhere else to turn due to the strong pro-homosexual bias of the mental health establishment.
But we dont have to rely solely on Nicolosis evidence. Back when the study of change for homosexuals was not politically incorrect as it is today, numerous sexologists and mental health professionals reported success in helping homosexuals overcome their unwanted gay desires. Famed sex researchers Masters and Johnson reported a 71.6 success rate of homosexual-to-heterosexual change in 1979. In 1987, New York psychoanalyst Dr. Rubin Fine wrote, I have recently had occasion to review the results of psychotherapy with homosexuals and been surprised by the findings a considerable percentage of overt homosexuals became heterosexuals.
Moreover, Richardsons dismissal of change for homosexuals ignores the many men and women alive today who have overcome homosexuality through therapy, Christian conversion or both. People like Anthony Falzarano, a former gay male prostitute who had over 400 sex partners but is today happily married to wife Diane and the father of two children and former lesbian Yvette Cantu of the Family Research Council are living proof that the idea that homosexuality is fixed and immutable is just a myth.
Affirming the Pre-Homosexual Child
In the lower schools workshop, Richardsons notion of affirming the pre-homosexual child seemed to embolden the 28 teachers and parents in attendance. The discussion was led by Lina Ayers, a lesbian parent whose child, Lauren, attends the Friends School in Baltimore, a Quaker school. Ayers explained how, in an effort to ensure that other children would understand Laurens two moms, she and her lesbian lover (who also attended the AIMS conference) won permission from the school to read Heather Has Two Mommies, a pro-homosexual childrens book, to all first-grade students. (She whited-out the books biological sections describing artificial insemination.) The school notified parents by letter of Ayers classroom visits only after they occurred, but nobody complained.
Although this belated notification surprised a few teachers at the workshop, even that was too much for Anita Marcus, a kindergarten teacher at Green Acres School in Rockville, Maryland (tuition: $12,200), who asked Ayers, What did they have to send a letter home for? Im wondering what will it take to get to a place where it just is not strange and revolutionary to discuss [homosexuality] I mean, when I had a big conversation in my kindergarten class about gays and lesbians I didnt send a note home that said, Guess what we talked about today? and I didnt hear anything [back from concerned parents]. Marcus school, Green Acres, has a sexual orientation program that includes talking about alternative (gay-led) families to elementary-age children.
Ayers classroom visits highlight another factor behind the pro-gay education push: homosexual parents with school-age kids are seeking to reduce the social stigma they face from classmates by pressuring school administrators to adopt pro-homosexual tolerance and diversity programs. The model for this parenting strategy was Emmy Howe, the closing keynote speaker who became the Cambridge, Massachusetts school districts first-ever liaison to homosexual parents. Howe urged homosexual parents to get as involved as much as possible in volunteering at their childs school to win friends for the homosexual cause.
In the Q & A period after his speech, Dr. Richardson recommended that the educators use the film lesbian-produced film Its Elementary (financed in part by James Hormel, President Clinton's ambassadorial nominee to Luxembourg) for teacher training. The film shows elementary school teachers giving pro-homosexual lessons to young children, and includes a clip from a gay pride pep rally of sorts at a Quaker elementary school in Howes hometown of Cambridge, Mass.
Once you have the vocabulary to talk with young children about homosexuality, it becomes very easy, said, Richardson, who received enthusiastic applause following his speech.
Such comments and the multi-faceted gay campaign to expose impressionable young students to homosexual propaganda demonstrate that parents can no longer assume teachers will guard their childrens innocence even in kindergarten and even in some of our nations finest private and religiously-based schools
Peter LaBarbera is president of Americans for Truth about Homosexuality (703-491-7975, www.americansfortruth.org), which publishes the Lambda Report. He is a contributing editor to Human Events and is working on a book about the homosexual agenda in Americas schools. LaBarbera is also editor of CultureFacts, a newsletter of the Family Research Council.
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I am against homosexuality but I must make it clear that this does not imply I am supportive, in any remote way, of violent attacks against homosexuals or harrassment of homosexuals. I do not in any way support those responsible for the murder, physical assault and abuse of homosexuals.
I am supportive of intellectual debates but not of taking the law of God into our hands.
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From: Kevin Johnson <email@example.com>
What upsets me most about the above report is the fact American Schools will spend this much time an effort on gay awareness when it has yet to begin to spend this much time on cultural and racial awareness. If I were a betting man, I would be willing to wager that these school systems involved in these homosexual awareness programs have yet to include studies on the history and culture of various Asian, African, Middle Eastern, and Latino groups around the world.
Much of the reason for the racial tension which is prevalent in American society is ignorance. A child can go through nine years of historical studies in grade-school, however; that same child will have never learned of the history or culture of peoples out side of Europe and post-Colombian America. For example, I attended school in Oakland, California in my first years of elementary school. There we learned of the civil rights movement and a small part of African history before the advent of slavery; this curriculum started with the first and second grade.
Shortly afterwards, my family and I moved to Sacramento, California for the sake of better education and opportunity. I the nine years of historical study to follow, all that was thought of Asia, Africa, and the Middle East was World War II, slavery, and the Crusades; respectively. Each account of the event painted the non-European regions in a negative light. Asians where Communists and supporters of Hitler's, Africans where poor primitive slaves, and the whole of the Middle East was the scourge of Europe. This is what we where taught. And to this very day, America can't seem figure out how to ease its racial tension.
What these homosexual groups are achieving, is exactly what minorities in America have been trying to achieve for decades. It all starts with the child, if the child learns nothing about a group of people but the stereo types, and has no contact with those people, then it stands to reason that they will carry that ignorance and, in some cases, hatred into their adult life. When they taught us about the "Dark Ages" they should have taught us that while Europe was wallowing in the stagnation of it's own dark ages, the rest of the world, particularly Asia and the Muslim Empires, was at its apex of social, economical, and scientific achievement. When they taught us about the Renaissance, they should have told us that it was a direct result of the Muslims of Northern Africa who liberated Spain and Italy by defeating the various Gothic tribes. When they taught us of Columbus, and celebrated his birthday, and of Vasco da Gama, they should have taught us of the atrocities which followed each of there achievements. And when they taught us about the Egyptians and the Amazons they should not have portrayed them as being white. They couldn't separate them from African history, so they decided to simply incorporate them into European history.
The homosexual groups that are doing this, are trying to eliminate a vein of persecution which exist in American society. A minor persecution that many of them may have felt while attending grade school. However; this should not take precedence over eliminating the artery of ignorance and hatred in American society by using the tactics which gays are proposing to seal the racial and cultural divide. If we do not do this, then the grade school atmosphere will be such that a boy who plays with girls rather than boys will not be teased for doing so, while those girls he's playing with harass and alienate the young Muslim girl because she wears a hijab. For the sake of future generations we must seek this goal more fervently than the gays are seeking theirs.
And finally, to everyone I ask this question, Why would we want sexual orientation of any type to be taught to our young children? Isn't that something that is personal and should be dealt with at home by the parents when ever they see fit? After all, the school system's job is to educate children, not to raise them, that's the job of the parent.