Tell me what you think about this?
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As an educator, going into my 15th year of teaching, I am all for a curriculum of teaching diversity! The school is not taking away a parent's right in the least bit, IMO. A parent still has a choice to home-school, send to a charter school, or private educational facility. In fact, the curriculum opens up the doors for further communication & discussion about accepting different kind of people who may be different from you & your family. It allows a child to freely discuss Aunt Jenny or Uncle Bill or Grandpa Steve without feeling ashamed or embarassed. I applaud the school district for recognizing the issues of intolerance and addressing them at a young age. It's public school, and has nothing to do with religion. The comment above about discussing prayer & Jesus Christ is a silly point because there is an assumption that everyone follows the same faith, and quite frankly has nothing to do with the proposed curriculum of teaching tolerance. There's a good reason for separation of church & state! Think about how far American history has had to endure with teaching intolerance: accepting black students into the MIXED public school 1954 Brown vs. Topeka Board of Ed., discrimination against those of Asian culture during WWII, anti-bullying and anti-Semitism campaigns. Hell there are still tons of KKK & Aryan Nation groups out there! There is nothing wrong with teaching a child from a young age NOT TO HATE. And that is the bottom line and goal of the curriculum-teaching a child NOT TO HATE.
Brittany - posted on 06/02/2009
I think this is a good idea. I remember there was a big controversy over the penguin book a while back. I think it's important to teach tolerance and acceptance to the children and a lot of parents won't. Just the fact of all those petitions, i think, proves that we need to teach the children this in schools.
Teaching children that homosexuality exists will not make them homosexual. It could never hurt to have a little more tolerance of any subject... except violence.
Amie - posted on 06/02/2009
I agree with Tamara. My own 8 yr old daughter came home from school one day and said.. You know mom not all families are like us. Some are just two mom's, some are just two dad's. I asked her what she thought of this, she looked at me funny and said, Mom their still a family just different.
From the mouths of babes.... everyone could take a lesson from that. We are not teaching our kids to be gay/lesbian, we are teaching them acceptance no matter who it is we're addressing.
Tamara - posted on 06/02/2009
Sounds rather sensible since those of same-sex orientations are our neighbors, friends, family, etc. Taking the time to educate children on the fact there are families that have 2 moms or 2 dads in addition to ones with a mom and a dad is a good thing, IMO. Diversity is a good thing and should be reinforced in schools instead of just sticking our heads in the sand, so to speak.
I think this is great, I agree with Shannon that if we can teach our chilren tolerance now the world will be a more tolerant place in 20 years for our children to grow up in. I don't think this lesson is about teaching 5 year olds sexual preferences (they are not taught the science of sex until they are older so why would people think they would be taught about the science of homosexual sex at 5?) I feel it is about teaching children that some people love people who are the same sex as them, which in turn will give the children tolerance because it removes the 'Look at them' shock attitude. Schools are not removing parental control from children they are simply teaching the children to be better people - parents should not have a problem with tolerance being taught - I feel it is disgusting if they do, how are we supposed to grow and develop as people if you are closed to being taught tolerance - it would never be accepted if people were to petition against being taught about Jewish history for example as this would be racism.
Firebird - posted on 06/03/2010
I would never allow my child to be taught something like that at school. Especially at the age of 5! She's 5 right now, and I can barely get her to understand the difference between girls and boys! She is not capable is understanding sexual preference at this point. A school can teach respect and tolerance for difference and diversity in more ways than one, why should they focus only on homosexuality? I am more than capable of teaching my daughter tolerance, and I think it's so sad that people can be so closed minded that a school has to teach a kid how to be nice. I'm not fully against the program, but I do think that 5 is too young to start and parents should be allowed to choose whether or not their children attend.
Lois - posted on 06/03/2010
wow,I can see a knee-jerk backlash comming."all kids have a Mommy and a Daddy? "With a divorce rate as high as 50% ,that is not true. There are many families headed by a single Mom,or a Grandmother,or other caring adult.Dads head some households all alone also,besides the gay partnerships.It is very sad to me that we have to teach kids that just because someone's familie is differnt that their familie is still a good thing.and should be treated just the same.
Ella - posted on 06/02/2009
No it is not right . What can be done about it. They can't mention our Beloved Savior Jesus Christ name in school anymore. There has to be something we can do. I was in school when was for bidden to pray. What else are we Christain going to let the world
todo us before we stand up for OUR RIGHTS.
Charis - posted on 06/02/2009
I don't agree that parents do not have the opportunity to opt out of the program. Kids this young, being taught this material are not really learning as becoming indoctrinated. Kids this young are, by nature (and probably lack of world experience), very unjudgemental and tolerant. I would probably have to find another school that was more in line with my ideas of what a school is appropriately responsible to teach. In my opinion, there are educational needs and there are social needs...both are not the school's responsibility. Before long, teachers will need to have a psycology degree as well as a teaching license.
Michele - posted on 06/02/2009
I appreicate Julie's perspective, but am personally glad to see such forward thinking in our school districts. My only hope is that these same policies eventually make their way south (texas) to my conservative state. We pump our kids full of anti racism and sensitivity training.... why not expand that to include sexual orientation.
Cathralynn - posted on 06/02/2009
Overall I'm all for it. My daughter is just one, but I love the idea of teaching tolerance. My only concern comes with how sex is brought in. Is a five year old ready for that? But I want my daughter to learn these ideas as soon as she's ready. Sex, drugs, and violence for all types of reasons enter their lives way too early! And I would like her to be open and prepared. I also object to not being able to opt out. I suppose that keeps silly people from forcing their views on their children, but what if I did disagree with a class topic. Isn't it my right to be able to remove my child? This coming from a pretty liberal mom, I guess I worry about the next class I might disagree with and this being a precedent. But again I would leave my daughter in this class. We need to keep childrens innocence and help promote acceptance of everyone.
Jessica - posted on 06/02/2009
I agree with Julie. I don't believe it's a subject for schools to take the reins. I will teach my children about other lifestyles when I find it appropriate. My oldest is 7 and has no prejiduces against any race or religion and he knows he can come to me and ask me about anything.
Julie - posted on 06/02/2009
I disagree that this is subject matter that should be taught in the schools the way it is presented in this article, especially to kids at such a young age. This should be handled by the parents, or they should at least be given the option to opt out.
So no one accuses me of being biased against the LGTB community, my dad lives a homosexual lifestyle. My dad is a wonderful guy, and I am very fond of his partner, too. Because of these circumstances, my son (8 months old) will learn about homosexuality at a very early age, but I want his lessons to come from me and my husband, not from the school system.
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