Tags: California | School | Board | Rejects | 'Gay-Friendly' | Policies

California School Board Rejects 'Gay-Friendly' Policies

Friday, 25 May 2001 12:00 AM

The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), a homosexual advocacy group, tried to use a new California law (AB537) to compel the San Ramon Unified School District to adopt new policies that would grant special "safety" protections to homosexual and transsexual students and teachers.

The law, also known as the California Student Safety and Violence Prevention Act of 2000, changed California's Education Code by adding sexual orientation and gender to its nondiscrimination provisions. That means homosexual students who are verbally or physically harassed or abused may - as a final resort - turn to the California Department of Education for intervention.

According to one homosexual advocacy group, the very existence of the law is the most important thing, because it's something homosexual students can use as a "tool" to "educate" people about tolerance.

Conservative groups say homosexuals are using the law as a way to force their agenda into schools under the guise of "policy recommendations."

Those policy recommendations include providing homosexual students with "peer" support groups (Gay-Straight Alliance clubs) and with politically correct presentations (school assemblies and textbooks featuring "alternative" lifestyles).

'Nothing to do with safety'

Conservative groups say the law has nothing to do with "safety" and everything to do with forcing people to accept a lifestyle they may find morally objectionable.

Brad Dacus, president of the Pacific Justice Institute, commended the San Ramon Unified School District for rejecting GLSEN's recommendations. "While it's great to deal with harassment and have harassment policies, it's unproductive to elevate one group with special protection while not giving the same protection to other students," he said.

PJI is a non-profit legal defense organization specializing in the defense of religious freedom, parental rights, and other civil liberties.

"I think the school board looked at their two priorities and came to the right decision," Dacus said.

The school board's first priority, he said is to make sure all students get the best possible education that it can provide.

"And in view of that goal, I can see why they did not decide to veer off into some new social agenda which is very controversial and would probably create a material disruption in the learning of many of the students who didn't agree with those social values and opinions being pushed by GLSEN," Dacus said.

"The school board recognized who they're representing, which are the parents in the community," Dacus said. "And they had a tolerance and sensitivity to the diversity of parents with different beliefs, different values and convictions..."

Many parents, he said, were concerned that the policy changes advocated by homosexual advocacy groups would undermine their parental rights, as well as undermine the educational goals of other students.

Dacus believes the school board acted responsibly "not to allow the public school to be taken over by any one particular faction or particular agenda and risk losing the trust of the community as a whole."


The Gay-Straight Alliance Network, founded in 1998 to fight homophobia in schools, offers following explanation of AB537 on its Website:

"Imagine a school where anti-lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender slurs and harassment are considered really stupid and unacceptable, and where teachers, students, and administrators respond to them strongly and make sure they intervene whenever they hear them...

"Imagine a school where two girls or two guys can hold hands, dance together, or even make out, and nobody even notices...

"Imagine a school where a boy can be feminine, a girl can be masculine, and where what matters about a person is not how much they fit into the predetermined boxes of masculinity or femininity, but their individuality and talent and humanity...

"Imagine a school where everyone feels safe...

"Imagine a school without hate...

"Imagine it, then make it real."

In recent years, a growing number of schools have seen Gay-Straight Alliance clubs spring up on campus, and in the post-Columbine era, schools have become less tolerant of students who bully or threaten others, regardless of the reason.


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The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), a homosexual advocacy group, tried to use a new California law (AB537) to compel the San Ramon Unified School District to adopt new policies that would grant special safety protections to homosexual and transsexual...
Friday, 25 May 2001 12:00 AM
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