Alameda Unified School District
officials approved a new anti-bullying effort that includes teaching
respect for gay men and lesbians on Wednesday, drawing a rain of
protest from social conservatives who decried the curriculum as
“formal instruction in concert with the gay agenda.”
Officials in the California district
decided in a 3 to 2 vote to add lessons about gay men and lesbians
into an existing anti-bullying curricula. The six 45-minute lessons
will be offered to students as early as kindergarten.
At lower grades, students will be
introduced to the negative impacts of generic teasing, but lessons
for older students would include discussions related to gay and
lesbian families and negative stereotypes based on sexual
Unlike lessons on health and sexual
education offered by the district's public schools, parents won't be
allowed to opt-out their children from the safe school lessons.
Socially conservative parents
vociferously objected to the plan, while influential groups involved
in passing California's gay marriage ban last year quickly released
statements decrying the new curriculum.
“This is exactly what we warned
voters about during the Proposition 8 [anti-gay marriage] campaign,”
said Ron Prentice, chairman of ProtectMarriage.com, in a statement.
“While pro-homosexual activists deny any impact on children, local
school boards and the State Legislature press for formal instruction
in concert with the gay agenda. Opponents of Prop. 8 claim we won
the campaign based on lies and deceit, but just imagine how much
worse these curricula would be if Prop. 8 failed and gay marriage was
Brad Dacus, president of the
Sacramento-based Pacific Justice Institute, called the curriculum a
“cheap attempt at indoctrination.”
“It's not really age appropriate to
be addressing sexual orientation and transgender issues at such a
young age,” he said.
Alameda School Board President Mike
McMahon said a week before the vote that he feared any outcome would
“We don't believe either side is
going to be happy with the outcome,” McMahon told the San
Francisco Chronicle. “We assume we're going to get sued either