In direct response to last summer’s Southern Baptist Convention resolution decrying homosexual influences in public schools, the American Family Association, Concerned Women for America, Family Research Council and other conservative groups have endorsed a “Risk Audit” to help parents and groups decide whether school districts are placing students at risk by leading children to view homosexual behavior as normal.
Last year’s SBC resolution warned “homosexual activists and their allies are devoting substantial resources and using political power to promote the acceptance among schoolchildren of homosexuality as a morally legitimate lifestyle.” It urged parents and churches to “exercise their rights to investigate diligently the curricula textbooks and programs in our community schools and to demand discontinuation of offensive material and programs.”<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” />
Finally it urged Christian parents “to fully embrace their responsibility to make prayerful and informed decisions regarding where and how they educate their children, whether they choose public, private or home schooling, to ensure their physical, moral, emotional, and spiritual well-being.”
After the SBC resolution was passed, Linda Harvey of Mission America developed an instrument to rate local schools based on criteria including whether they have policies like anti-bullying or “safe schools” that include sexual orientation and formal relationships with gay-rights groups like the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG).
National and state pro-family organizations endorsed the Risk Audit in time to coincide with this Wednesday’s GLSEN-sponsored “Day of Silence.” According to a Web site, an estimated 500,000 students in 4,000 schools will participate this year in student-led protests against harassment and bullying of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students in public schools.
“Far too few pastors and parents are aware of the extent to which many school districts are collaborating with homosexual activists and the risks that poses for our children and our culture,” Concerned Women for <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />America’s Robert Knight said in a press release. Knight said CWA “strongly recommends that concerned citizens consider undertaking a risk audit project.”
Tony Perkins of Family Research Council said: “The insidious alliance between some school administrations and homosexual activists has been hidden from parents for far too long…. American families need to know about the homosexual indoctrination being forced upon young impressionable minds.”
Linda Harvey, founder of Mission America, has been tracking “homosexual activism” in public schools for a decade. She said “very few parents are aware that the majority of public school districts are selling our children the dangerous and false notion that homosexuality is a normal and acceptable lifestyle.”
According to her Web site, Harvey’s Risk Audit “provides a handy tool for measuring the promotion of homosexuality at any local public school district.”
The plan calls for volunteers to gather information and complete the audit questionnaire and forward them to pro-family groups or churches, which in turn will report results to the media and the schools themselves.
Once the extent of the “homosexual agenda” is determined, the Web site says, “Parents will then clearly understand their responsibility: hold schools accountable for removing pro-homosexual material; and if this is not done, then move children to a different educational environment.”
Bruce Shortt, a co-sponsor of a resolution submitted to a committee that became basis for the official statement adopted in June, called leadership by three national organizations to endorse ideas in the SBC resolution “courageous and timely.”
“Today, by encouraging their affiliates and other organizations to undertake risk audits of local school districts, these pro-family groups are taking an important step to protect our children from a lifestyle that is profoundly dangerous and that far too many school districts are promoting as acceptable,” said Shortt, a state leader in the Exodus Mandate movement and author of a book, The Harsh Truth About Public Schools.
The Mission America tool compiles information on school policies, curriculum and extracurricular activities. Findings that indicate a school is “high risk” for indoctrinating students to accept homosexuality include:
–Anti-harassment or bullying policy that includes sexual orientation.
–Non-discrimination policy for students, teachers and staff that includes sexual orientation.
–Requirement for teacher/staff training on “diversity,” “tolerance” or “sensitivity.”
–Objectionable material in library.
–A formal relationship with gay advocacy group like GSLEN or PFLAG.
–Local or state laws or federal or private funding of programs that may include acceptance of homosexuality.
–Programs on “tolerance,” “hate” or “bias.”
–Learning about “different kinds” of families.
–“Pro-homosexual” stories and novels in suggested reading lists for literature classes.
–HIV/AIDS and “safe sex” education programs.
–A homosexual student club.
–Diversity day, Day of Silence or gay pride celebration.
–Pink triangle or rainbow safety program to designate “safe” areas for students to come with questions about homosexual feelings or to receive sympathy or advice.
“Unfortunately, advocates of homosexuality, including teachers, students, administrators, teachers’ union delegates and school board members, are now permitted to promote homosexuality in a variety of ways in many school districts,” says an article on the Mission America Web site.
“Most of this is flying under the radar of parents and communities, yet this betrayal of trust has become a public health and social stability issue for virtually every community, as the majority of students educated in public or secular schools, even if raised in Christian homes, are now being successfully indoctrinated with the belief that engaging in homosexual behavior is a right and is relatively harmless.”
The site says gay-rights activists have successfully hijacked language of the civil-rights movement, so that any students or staff who object to homosexual behavior are “vilified as ‘homophobes’ and potential threats.”
Bob Allen is managing editor of EthicsDaily.com.