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NEA and GLSEN Push Schools to Low-Quality Education
In the wave of heated debates about public sector unions, many are evaluating the teaching profession and teachers’ union policies. Are American students being taught to think independently and logically, to evaluate issues critically, to verify and fact-check using multiple and diverse sources?
Or do most schools, pressured by the National Education Association, employ politically biased, emotion-based, left-wing methods and practices that result in censorship and an inability to think critically and logically? Nowhere does this question surface more quickly than on the hot-button issue of homosexuality.
The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network’s (GLSEN) upcoming “Day of Silence” on April 15 is a perfect example of the way instruction has been corrupted by a leftist political agenda. When most teachers have abandoned direct instruction, also known as lecturing, and, instead, employ interactive methodologies like classroom discussion and small group activities, the Day of Silence calls for all students and teachers to refuse to speak during classes for an entire day. Rather than have students read and discuss the best writing from the best scholars on both sides of the debate, GLSEN calls for political protest and silence in schools.
The NEA has adopted numerous resolutions in recent years supporting homosexuality, same sex unions, and even “gender change.” Its bias is well-established, and school curricula now reflect its strong-arm tactics in propagating only one acceptable viewpoint on this issue.
Responsible schools and independent-minded students should refuse any observance of the “Day of Silence” based on its advocacy group ties, exploitative tactics, and non-factual assumptions, which include the following:
1. The “Day of Silence” is based on the unproven and erroneous assumption that some people are “born gay.” In contemporary academia, so little committed to logic, evidence, and intellectual exploration, no one challenges this assumption, researches it, or demands evidence to support it.
2. DOS claims there is a nationwide epidemic of bullying based around “anti-gay” sentiments. Hard facts reflecting trends in school incident or police reports have never, to our knowledge, been used in any school district to support this claim. Instead, DOS cites the badly-constructed and highly-biased internal “research” produced by the DOS-sponsoring group, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), called the National School Climate Survey. This research uses a biased survey instrument laced with emotionally-loaded terminology and collects responses via the Internet. Paid GLSEN staff members amass the data and publish the results. No independent verification exists, and the known volatility of surveys administered to youth as well as web-based research, is never taken into account. GLSEN inflames student emotions by citing the tragic suicides of several students in recent years as proof that traditional moral opinions stimulate violence.
Homosexuality advocacy groups like GLSEN are never called on to prove that the belief that homosexual acts are immoral causes bullying. The fact that a bully may disapprove of homosexuality does not prove that his or her bullying acts were caused by his beliefs or that serious, thoughtful religious convictions cause bullying.
3. DOS believes the only way to reduce bullying is for all students and teachers to affirm homosexuality and “gender change” and for none to be allowed to question it. GLSEN holds that schools cannot be “safe” as long as conservative views on the nature and morality of homosexuality are expressed or studied. The DOS/GLSEN calls for “tolerance” and “diversity” constitute empty rhetoric.
4. Embedded in all homosexuality-affirming activities and resources is the fallacious comparison of homosexuality to race. DOS and pro-homosexual programs in general propagate emotion-based, shallow claims and diminished critical thinking skills by implying or asserting there is only one acceptable viewpoint on this issue, by not encouraging fact-based assessment, and by censoring competing viewpoints.
The National Education Association’s monolithic support for same sex unions, “safe schools” for “GLBT” students, and its “GLBT” teacher member caucus, discredits its claims to professionalism, its commitment to sound pedagogy and diversity and its purported concern for the long-term well-being of students.
Thoughtful parents and school communities will reject the Day of Silence, all pro-homosexual programs and curricula, and hold NEA member teachers to a higher standard of non-partisanship and truthfulness, with child well-being as the number one consideration.