Our first-grader astonished her father at the end of the past school year as he dropped her off at her D.C. public school, Horace Mann Elementary, where he had attended school in the early 1960s. She told him that her teacher announced her impending marriage — to another woman — to the class. Following her revelation, this teacher encouraged questions from the children.
Our daughter also mentioned a book the teacher read aloud, "Uncle Bobby’s Wedding,” about two male “gay” guinea pigs, promoted by the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Transgender Lobby for children. Since homosexual activists cannot reproduce their own children, recruitment to their cause (especially at a young age, before parents have raised such sensitive and controversial topics with their children) is essential to the political agenda of promoting homosexuality and “gay” marriage.
Senator Obama’s friend, William Ayers, better known for being unapologetic about his past terrorist activity, endorsed a book, “Queering Elementary Education," which attacks "Heterosexism,” defined as "belief in the superiority of heterosexuality or heterosexuals." The book describes childhood innocence as a “Fictive Absolute” and demands early childhood pro-homosexual indoctrination in schools: "Queering elementary education demands that we confront our prejudices inculcated through decades of heterosocialization." The Ayers’ agenda appears to be gaining traction in D.C.’s elementary school system.
Most parents would not consider a Q&A session with first-graders about homosexual marriage as an "age-appropriate" discussion. After our daughter’s revelation, we lodged a complaint with Chancellor Rhee’s office, requesting an investigation, and asking what department in the D.C. government we can appeal to for restoration of our child’s sense of innocence? We are still awaiting feedback from the school on whether there is a teacher’s “Code of Conduct” and what D.C. policy is on “age appropriate” sexuality education. The only piece of information a D.C. official provided was an admission that the principal approved this lesson plan and failed to warn parents in advance. Obviously, the teacher knew this would provoke controversy and sought top cover from her supervisor.
There are sound reasons that sexuality topics are not generally introduced in school until fifth grade, at an age when some children begin to ask how babies are made. Even then, parents often enjoy the right of an opt-out for their children, depending on the maturity of their child, religious beliefs, or their preference that they themselves explain “the birds and bees.” This first-grade teacher was asked by one child whether she and her girlfriend could have children; another asked why they couldn’t just be friends.
I never expected to have to explain, at my child’s tender young age of seven, the meaning of lesbianism, but this is not the first assault at D.C. Horace Mann on parental rights or religious faith. The principal hosted a Ramadan table at the school in 2007 (even though Muslim children are not encouraged to fast until they reach the age of puberty), but rejected our request for a Lent table with a curt and dismissive email that said the Ramadan table was just about “multiculturalism.”
After the Rutherford Institute contacted the principal to explain the Establishment Clause and the principle of neutrality, she was forced to reverse her position. Does this Ivy-League-educated principal know that a likely sentence under sharia law for homosexuals caught by Islamic religious authorities is death — usually by a barbaric punishment of beheading or stoning?
Gay marriage is being defeated handily at polls when put to the judgment of adult voters, which is why gay marriage advocates are turning to liberal courts AND to classrooms (and apparently the younger, the better). Congress enacted the Defense of Marriage Act overwhelmingly during the Clinton Administration, and President Clinton signed it into law. Gay marriage is illegal in D.C., although the teacher failed to raise this as part of the discussion. Should teachers be allowed to advocate for other types of illegal activity in the classrooms in D.C. — for example, legalizing marijuana?
As Thomas Jefferson said, "to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinion which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical." This is, after all, a public school. It is astonishing how a principal who issues platitudes about "inclusiveness" and dispenses flyers in praise of "Parents Day" deliberately chose NOT to disclose to parents that this lesson plan — where is her "tolerance" for parents like us who do not wish for a lesbian teacher to introduce the topic of homosexuality and gay marriage to our daughter in contravention of our religious beliefs?
When we raised a red flag over another sexuality discussion — "Good Touch, Bad Touch" — in my son’s class at Mann two years ago, this principal pledged that parents would be given notice “way in advance.” Part of the controversy over the program in the Arlington Diocese (which the Archbishop terminated after parental objections) was parents received a flyer which didn’t provide actual instructional materials used in class, and there was a graphic depiction of a man groping a child. This is a principal who does not keep her word, has a callous disregard for parental rights and religion, and has lost our trust and confidence.
Some liberals were outraged that the tobacco lobby used a cartoon character, Joe Camel, to promote smoking among our youth, since smoking is bad for your health. Using cartoon guinea pigs to promote gay marriage should be equally condemned — since homosexuality is fundamentally unhealthy. Consider how many gays continue to die in D.C. from AIDS, a contagious, preventable disease. Should we tell first-graders that you can die from engaging in homosexual acts and that promiscuity common among male homosexuals dramatically increases risks of contracting AIDS and other STDs? At least that would constitute an honest discussion about health risks stemming from the practice of homosexuality.
In a 1999 survey, only one-third of seniors from top-rated colleges and universities could name George Washington as the American general at Yorktown. Only 22 percent could identify the Gettysburg Address as the source of the phrase "government of the people, by the people, for the people."
If public schools would strive for academic excellence rather than politically correct indoctrination and introducing sexual topics at an age where children lack the intellectual capacity or maturity to understand them, maybe schools would graduate students with mastery of traditional subjects — math, science, and great literature, instruction upon which a broad consensus exists with parents.
"Uncle Bobby’s Wedding" aside, our child is not a guinea pig for a teacher and a principal waging an indoctrination campaign to six and seven-year-old children. Mann typically demands that parents contribute additional money ($1500) for school security and teaching assistants — but funds were used to send this first-grade teacher to a “multi-cultural/diversity” seminar at Georgetown University that cost thousands of dollars. Parents should insist that voluntary donations go for genuine educational needs, not to the furtherance of a radical agenda that is counter to the beliefs of most parents and in clear contravention of D.C. law. Sen. Obama should be asked whether he agrees with Bill Ayers on introducing these controversial issues in the capital’s elementary schools, starting in the first grade.