And if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around his neck. –Mark 9:42
There are numerous problems affecting public education, problems so serious that many families are choosing either to homeschool their children or send them to private schools—options which very few families are able to implement or afford.
The most serious problems affecting public education emerge from the stranglehold that disciples of the “teaching for social justice” movement and the related social and political movement to normalize homosexual practice and Gender Identity Disorder (GID) have on academia.
These subversive ideologies, fallaciously promoted as fact, infect public education at all levels, and contribute to the undermining of biblical truth, the natural family, and love of America.
The efforts to promote these partisan political theories and the simultaneous censorship of conservative resources reveal the hypocrisy of the commitments of public educators to diversity, critical thinking, and intellectual inquiry.
Problems: Homosexuality and Gender Identity Disorder
The problem of the presence of homosexuality-affirming resources is underestimated by far too many parents and other taxpayers. If we do not muster the courage to oppose these resources with the same conviction, vigor, and tenacity that radical activist ideologues use to promote them, we become complicit in the loss of First Amendment speech and religious liberties that will soon follow. Our continued silence will bequeath to our children and grandchildren even greater oppression than we experience today—oppression, that is, for those students who are not deceived by the specious arguments to which they are relentlessly exposed.
The ubiquitous propaganda from activist public educators, and organizations such as Illinois Safe Schools Alliance, the National Education Association, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, the Southern Poverty Law Center’s educational division’s, “Teaching Tolerance”, and the American Library Association compel Illinois Family Institute to spend a considerable amount of time addressing the problem of pro-homosexual advocacy in public education.
Students are exposed to “progressive” views of homosexuality and GID (euphemistically referred to as “gender identity”) and cross-dressing (euphemistically referred to as “gender expression”) in many school contexts. The resources and activities to which students are exposed implicitly or explicitly espouse unproven, non-factual, subjective liberal assumptions on the nature and morality of homosexuality and GID. Some of the numerous contexts in which students are exposed to these ideas include: English, social studies, foreign language, theater/drama, and health/sex ed classes; assemblies; anti-bullying programs, and teacher advocacy in the classroom setting.
In addition, extracurricular clubs such as gay-straight alliances and political action clubs (e.g. AWARE) organize activities in support of the Day of Silence, make announcements, hold fundraisers, and put up posters that promote the normalization of homosexuality during the school day.
The kinds of resources that activist teachers use in their efforts to use public education to change the moral and political views of other people’s children include newspaper and magazine articles, essays, plays (both read and performed), novels, picture books, films, guest speakers, and games.
To make matters worse, public educators engage in pervasive censorship of all resources that espouse conservative views of homosexual practice and GID. In so doing, they undermine the legitimacy of public education and transform education into indoctrination by routinely violating school commitments to diversity, critical thinking, and intellectual inquiry.
Parents should be especially wary of anti-bullying activities, programs, resources, or curricula, no matter where they emerge. “Anti-bullying” resources and policies are the Trojan Horses for secreting affirmative ideas about homosexuality and GID into public schools, including elementary schools.
Teaching for “Social Justice”
The second serious problem in public schools is commonly referred to as “teaching for social justice,” which shares some of the philosophical features of “Critical Theory,” “Critical Education Theory,“ Critical Pedagogy,” “Critical Race Theory,” and, within theological circles, “Black Liberation Theology.”
In the broadest of outlines, “teaching for social justice” is essentially repackaged socialism with its focus on economic redistribution. Social justice theory emphasizes redistribution of wealth and values uniformity of economic and social position over liberty. Social justice advocates seek to use the force of government to establish economic uniformity.
Its other dominant features pertain to race, gender, class, homosexuality, “gender identity” and “gender expression.” Social justice theory encourages people to view the world through the divisive lens of identity politics that demarcates groups according to which group constitutes the “oppressors” and which the “oppressed.” Those who are identified as the “oppressors” need not have committed any acts of actual persecution or oppression, nor feel any sense of superiority toward or dislike of the supposed “oppressed” class. The theory illogically promotes the idea that “institutional racism,” as opposed to actual acts of mistreatment of individuals by other individuals, is the cause of differing lots in life. Social justice theorists cultivate the racist, sexist, heterophobic stereotype that whites, males, and heterosexuals are automatically oppressors.
Former Marxist David Horowitz warns that,
“Today the gravest threat to American public education comes from educators who would use the classroom to indoctrinate students from kindergarten through the 12th grade in radical ideology and political agendas.
Much of this indoctrination takes place under the banner of “social justice,” which is a short-hand for opposition to American traditions of individual justice and free market economics. Proponents of social justice teaching argue that American society is an inherently “oppressive” society that is “systemically” racist, “sexist” and “classist” and thus discriminates institutionally against women, non-whites, working Americans and the poor…. In recent years teaching for social justice has become a powerful movement in American schools of education…”
Some of the influential Critical Theorists are Paulo Freire, Maxine Greene, William (Bill) Ayers, Peter McLaren, Bell Hooks, Henry Giroux, Jonathan Kozol, Lisa Delpit, Peggy McIntosh, Herbert Kohl, James Banks, Cornel West, and Howard Zinn.
The solution begins with us—with a spiritual transformation. Our own self-indulgence—indulging our laziness and fear—has resulted in vulnerable, impressionable young children being exposed to positive views about the sins of homosexuality and cross-dressing. Our passivity has allowed those who hold distorted views of America to cultivate anti-American sentiments in our nation’s children.
Everyone who remains silent in the face of this unconscionable educational travesty bears some measure of guilt.
We must start with the willful cultivation of those character traits required for the task at hand: courage, boldness, perseverance, and a willingness to endure persecution.
Scripture teaches that “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matt. 5: 10, 11). Despite this clear teaching of Christ, many Christians retreat from even the mildest manifestations of persecution.
- Taxpayers need to research the authors whose writing students are reading, and research the organizations that are publishing materials used in class and professional development activities.
- Taxpayers need to request and study the content of professional development opportunities that school districts provide to teachers at taxpayer expense (e.g. Late Arrival and Institute Day activities, conferences, seminars, and summer workshops).
- Taxpayers need to be able to refute the deceptive secular arguments used to normalize homosexuality. To that end, churches should offer classes or workshops that educate their members. If church leaders are themselves ill-equipped, we need to urge them to invite guest speakers to teach such workshops.
- Taxpayers should urge their schools to create policy that requires teachers who present resources that address controversial issues to spend equal time on and present equivalent resources from all perspectives. So, if an English teacher assigns The Laramie Project, he should be required to also assign essays, commentaries, or journal articles written by conservative scholars on the issue of homosexuality.
- Taxpayers should urge their schools to create policy that prohibits ideological litmus tests in hiring. Some school districts are attempting to ensure ideological uniformity among faculty and administrators via the interview process for new hires.
- Taxpayers should urge their schools to create policy that requires “opt-in” options for highly controversial resources, including any that address homosexuality or Gender Identity Disorder.
- Taxpayers should urge their schools to create policy that requires ideological balance in the content of professional development opportunities. For example, if a district offers an Institute Day workshop on “teaching for social justice,” they should be required to offer a workshop in which teachers read and analyze criticism of “teaching for social justice.”
- Taxpayers should oppose the inclusion of the terms “sexual orientation,” “gender identity,” and “gender expression” in anti-discrimination and/or anti-bullying policies.
- Taxpayers should attend school board meetings, and make statements to, ask questions of, and run for election to school boards.
- Taxpayers should write letters to their local newspapers when a curricular or policy problem is discovered.
- Christians need to urge their church leaders to be involved in the schools in the communities in which they live.
- As citizens, they have both a right and an obligation to participate in shaping a godly community, and they have an obligation to set examples for the men and women whom they lead.
Specific Suggestions for Parents:
- Notify K-8 teachers that under no circumstance is your child to be exposed to any resources or activities that mention homosexuality or Gender Identity Disorder. Ask them to agree in writing to your expectation, and if they won’t, ask for a change of teachers.
- Notify high school teachers that your child is not to be exposed to resources that address homosexuality or Gender Identity Disorder unless equal time is spent studying resources that articulate conservative views on the subject.
- Call your children out of school on the Day of Silence if your school is permitting children to remain silent during class.
- Homeschool high school kids for health class.
Books taught in many schools:
The Laramie Project by Moises Kaufman
Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes by Tony Kushner
Athletic Shorts by Chris Crutcher
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
The Misfits by James Howe
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Rainbow Boys, Rainbow High, Rainbow Road, The God Box, all by Alex Sanchez
It’s Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health by Robie H. Harris
Additional books are listed at:
Films recommended by the Safe Schools Coalition: http://www.safeschoolscoalition.org/RG-videos.html
Film recommended by the Southern Poverty Law Center’s educational division’s, “Teaching Tolerance”: Bullied: A Student, a School and a Case that Made History.
We need to insist that our public schools fulfill their commitments to honor diversity, to challenge assumptions and beliefs, to pursue intellectual inquiry, and to cultivate critical thinking skills.
If educators define “safety” as making kids feel comfortable, as many schools do, then they must censor resources that make any students uncomfortable, rather than censoring only those that make homosexual students uncomfortable.
If, on the other hand, schools oppose censorship, then they must not censor the writing of scholars who articulate conservative views of homosexuality and Gender Identity Disorder or those who criticize “social justice” theory.
All concerned taxpayers should be involved in the effort to effect change in public schools. Our taxes are paying the salaries of educators and are used to purchase materials that disseminate destructive ideas to children. We must assume responsibility for the ways in which our money is spent.
Concern for both the temporal and eternal lives of children—for their hearts, and minds, and bodies—should compel us to work tirelessly for truth.
We must remember that the children in public schools today will very shortly be our culture-makers. If we care about the future health of America, we should participate in the effort to restore a proper understanding of the role of public educators and the scope of public education.
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