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Rantings of a Sandmonkey

Be forewarned: The writer of this blog is an extremely cynical, snarky, pro-US, secular, libertarian, disgruntled sandmonkey. If this is your cup of tea, please enjoy your stay here. If not, please sod off

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

The culture War: Gay education?

This is interesting: Police arrested a Lexington father who refused to leave the Joseph Estabrook School yesterday after school officials rejected his demands that his 6-year-old son be shielded from any discussions about gay households. David Parker, 42, confronted officials after his son brought home ``Who's in a Family,'' a storybook that includes characters who are gay parents. Yesterday, Parker refused to leave a meeting after Lexington Superintendent Bill Hurley rejected his demand that he be notified when his son is exposed to any discussion about same-sex households as part of classroom instruction. ``Our parental requests for our own child were flat-out denied,'' Parker said in a statement. Parker also asked that the boy be pulled from similar discussions that arise spontaneously, said Brian Camenker, director of the Article 8 Alliance, which supports the ouster of four pro-gay marriage judges on the state's Supreme Judicial Court. I guess they won't be letting their kids watch the LOGO channel either. Too bad, their kids will probably grow up without knowing which lotion is best for moisturizing and exfoliating their skin, or watch TV shows where guests debate the color yellow. All kidding- and slightly homophobic jokes- aside, i can't help but wonder: is it really necessary to give a 6 year old kid a story that has gay parents? I mean, he is 6 years old, isn't that a little early to expose him to the idea of sexuality to begin with, let alone alternative sexuality? I understand the logic behind it: get the kids when they are young. Let them get used to the idea of gay couples and parents and they will grow up more tolerant and less homophobic. That's all well and good, but it's also brainwashing, especially if it's done at such a young age. If it was done when the children were 12, then it would be a different story, but they are giving them to 6 year olds. Imagine if that school sent the kids home with a religious story promoting a single religion, what would happen? Can you imagine the circus that the ACLU would make of this? Anyway, this goes out to prove what I've been saying all along: Boston isn't that godless commie yankee liberal gay capital the red-staters make it to be. It has a lot of religiously conservative people. I mean they elected Mitt "the stormin Mormen" Romney for God's sake. The culture war is alive and well people, and it's getting bigger by the day!


At 5/03/2005 08:52:00 AM, Blogger Nadz said...

6 years old is a little young, but they say that's when people begin to develop their sexual orientation. but yeah, they can wait a little longer before they get the "sex talk".

that dad is a nutcase, though. does he just want to deny the fact that gay people exist? pure bigotry and fear. he makes a compelling case for why schools need to teach little ones about this stuff.

At 5/03/2005 09:15:00 AM, Blogger afountainstirred said...

Wow, the gay community would argue with you; supposedly they are "born gay"; it's not something we develop when we're six. ;)

The dad isn't a nutcase. If this were about a school promoting Christianity and the father raised cain about it, you would say he was within his rights. It amazes me that the same people who preach tolerance and acceptance are usually the first to condemn someone for wanting to protect their child. It doesn't matter his reasoning behind it; it's his right as a parent to at least be heard.

I don't think bigotry or fear is present here. My dad has gay friends that he is close with, but he probably would've done the same thing when I was six. It's simply too young. Our children grow up too fast as it is.

At 5/03/2005 10:41:00 AM, Blogger egyptiansally said...

the school board that sets the curriculum is usually comprised of parents. so obviously a whole bunch of parents agreed this reading material is appropriate for (their) 6 year olds. however, by the same token, i think the father who protested has every right to decide what his child may or may not be exposed to. all the school had to do was excuse the child from the lesson on the day they were going to talk about the "alternative" family. the man wasn't asking them to remove the book entirely from the curriculum, right?

At 5/03/2005 01:00:00 PM, Blogger Kat said...

I'll tell you my problem with the whole thing isn't even age or homophobia, but wondering why a school should be teaching the subject in the first place?

Maybe I am to old and conservative, but I wonder why they don't stick to the basics? Now we have to have "tolerance" education?

I don't recall any classes about tolerating blacks or hispanics or asians, etc. Yet, we did seem to learn how to associate without someone telling us what was socially normal.

While schools are definitely one of the places that children learn to socialize with each other, I really have to wonder if there is any educational benefit to teaching the subject?

Of course, i am also one of those people that wonder about sex education in schools because I've seen the amount of money we spend and I've seen the rate of STDs and pregnancies among young people increasing which tells me that these programs do not take the place of parental and societal guidance.

It would be nice if it really did what it was supposed to, but it doesn't so it seems we need a different idea and the idea doesn't come from school.

In which case, back to this guy protesting what his six year old is learning, I think that I totally disagree with Nadz. There is a limit to what schools are responsible for and where they start crossing the lines of individual freedom. The government cannot tell people who they should like or dislike. The school telling children that they must accept or like someone is infringing there.

When government institutions begin to take the place of parental guidance, you get a very messed up society, not better. Think of it in the reverse when Nadz complains about the Islamic education taught in middle east schools. If the school stayed neutral and made no reference, but definitely did not accept improper student behavior, but sent the student home if they did, then I wouldn't say anything because the proper responsible people were made aware of their childrens behavior and it was unacceptable.

outside of that, the school has no place to teach either acceptance or hate.

At 5/03/2005 02:25:00 PM, Anonymous Don Cox said...

It is hard to draw the line between education and brain-washing.

At 5/03/2005 02:29:00 PM, Blogger Josie said...

Well I guess I have to say... teaching about "alternative" families isn't the same as teaching religion. But is about morality. Do we want our schools teaching small children that unmarried couples living together is perfectly okay? Or is that something that crosses the line and should be left to the parents at home? I know that I'm conservative, but it seems to me that any teaching regarding controversial issues should be avoided in public elementary school. There are some morals that nobody would object to being taught, and others that are very controversial. In my school district, starting in 5th grade there is a "sex ed" unit taught, but parents have the opportunity to review the materials & have to sign a permission slip for their kids to attend. I wonder if that father was up at the school board when they were talking about the curriculum? He might never have imagined that kind of topic would be covered in his child's class. But anyway, we all know which "moral lessons" are controversial and which ones aren't. I also wonder if the teacher pointed out that two men or two women can't actually make a baby?

At 5/03/2005 04:16:00 PM, Blogger Josie said...

Armyartillerywife has an excellent post about this very topic. She even took the time to read the emails between the father and the school, etc. http://armyfawife.blogspot.com/

At 5/03/2005 05:35:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The culture war sucks. Both sides are wrong and it is dragging the rest of us through the mud with them.

Is it pure bigotry if you don't care if gay people get married or adopt children as long as you never have to hear about them being gay? We should not create second class citizens based on their bedroom behavior but we should not have to hear about their bedroom behavior either. It is gross.


At 5/03/2005 05:48:00 PM, Blogger Josie said...

I'm not interested in "opposing" gay people... but here is the thing: we have what is best for our children, and consequently society overall. Is it just as good for children to have a mother but no father? A father but no mother? Can a man be "mother" just as well as a woman can? Can a woman be "father" just as well as a man can? Yes, I know it's not always possible for a child to grow up living with its birth parents, and sometimes, depending on the people involved, the child's birth parents are not the best people to raise it. But... in general, isn't it usually best? Isn't that the way nature is set up? Are we really saying that single parents, two "fathers" or two "mothers" are just as good for children and society as the "natural" family is? If we are saying that, then I never want to hear another word about kids without fathers, or mothers, or divorce, or unstable households, and what that does to kids, etc. If it really is just as good, then never complain again or express as a "societal concern" anything about the deterioration of the family.

At 5/03/2005 06:50:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes Joise it is usually the best. However, if two gay people want to raise a child that would have ended up in a dumpster behind a
7-11 or tossed out in china because it was not male it is fine with me. As far a growing up to be a well adjusted person how many well adjusted people do you know.

As far as I can tell most people are fucking crazy and have plenty of baggage. Two moms or two dads would probably be better than one mom in prison and a dad who comes home drunk everynight and beats the kid stupid.

At 5/03/2005 07:06:00 PM, Blogger Josie said...


OK then, let's just throw the ideal out the window... even forget what the ideal was in the first place. As I said, the next time you start to say anything about kids who don't know their parents, or young girls who are promiscuous (and all the bad that goes with it) because they never had a the love of a father, or the boys who grow into men who don't know how to relate to women, or how to be a father themselves, because they never had a mother or a father, just remember that you sold the ideal away, gave up on it just because of the rare "worst case" scenario.

At 5/03/2005 08:13:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Josie I am not suggesting that we destroy "the family". My point is that two responsible gay parents who love a child is probably a better situation for a kid then growing up with no family and going to sleep hungry and alone.

It is a cold painful world, gay people should not be so high on the list of things Americans are worried about. Maybe two gay parents cannot parent as well as you, but don't you think it is better than nothing?

At 5/03/2005 09:00:00 PM, Blogger Twosret said...

The father have every right to fight for what he believes is best for his children. I would fight the school in court if they try to teach my child anything against my morals.

This is not about Math or English class this is about culture, religion and traditions. Most Christian or believers families submitted to the decision to take the word GOD out of schools. Now you want to replace that by Gay education?! Where is my rights as a mother to what I believe to be the brainwashing of my children?

Let the schools focus on teaching their students how to spell and improve on their level of education first. My babysitter who claims to be an honor student can't even spell rice!

The teachers are suffering, there is 34 pregnant girls every year in the local school in my area.

I wish this guy luck to fight for his freedom and rights when it comes to the best interest for his children.

At 5/03/2005 09:41:00 PM, Blogger Tina said...

If they spent half as much time teaching children to read and solve math problems, the world would be better off.

6 is way too young to be introduced to sex in any way. They should be playing and having fun. There are plenty of good ways to teach people to be tolerant, there is no need to be teaching this at school.

At 5/04/2005 12:17:00 AM, Blogger jedati said...

Indoctrination. "Heather has Two Mommies" is pretty much required reading anymore. Parents who do not want their children reading this type of books are screamed out of the board rooms as "book banners", even when it is age appropriateness that is their primary concern. How come the ACLU aren't considered "book banners"?

At 5/04/2005 02:06:00 AM, Blogger J. Francis Lehman said...

The culture war sucks.

Parents should be able to raise their kids as they see fit.

Parents should not teach their kids to automatically disdain anyone different from themselves.

Schools should be allowed to present a variety of ideas to their students.

Schools should not use their power to indoctrinate a captive, impressionable audience.

The problem—as is always the case in human society—is a surfeit of stupid, selfish people. The reason we have such screwed up laws in supposedly free countries like America is almost exclusively the result of the problems caused by stupid, selfish people. Shitbag scumbucket lawyers have gold-plated toilet paper because of stupid, selfish people.

And I'm afraid there is no cure for it, either...but the welfare state sure isn't helping matters...

At 5/05/2005 01:50:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I agree with you. Sex ed should be done by the parents. We wouldn't get into these controversies if we stuck to this simple idea. That's how it was done in in the past. Schools can teach them the biology, but leave the behavior and the morality issues to Mom and Dad. As it is, the high STD rates and illigitimate births haven't reflected well on our current school system.

At 5/06/2005 01:21:00 PM, Blogger ArmyArtilleryWife said...

Can't we teach tolerance without teaching a six year old about sexuality? I like Dr. Seuss, myself.

As for this particular book, it was not even part of the classroom curriculum--just part of a number of options in a bag that was sent home. Personally, I think the parents should get together and let the school board know in no uncertain terms that they do not want kindergarteners learning about sexuality in their community... but that is up to the community.

As for this particular parent's demands, I just don't think they are feasible. He also wanted the child to leave everytime even other children mentioned same-sex parents. You can't have a different child leave the classroom everytime a new issue comes up or another child relates a story. Again, curricula should be the domain of the community. If you don't like the values of your community, leave or homeschool.

At 5/27/2005 10:41:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Personally, I think we should just get rid of public schools altogether and go to a voucher system where parents can choose the school they want for their children. Schools that don't respond to parents wants won't get vouchers and will close. It will also get rid of the teachers' unions which are the bain of American education.

Forcing this crap on young children is nothing more than brainwashing. The schools know it and they do it willingly. And as long as the teachers' unions exist, the teachers are part of the problem. School systems today consider parents as a problem, not parents with parental rights. Try talking with a principal sometime and I'll bet you find out their main interest isn't your concern, but how fast they can get rid of you.

"As for this particular parent's demands, I just don't think they are feasible."

Sure they are. I had my children removed from the elementary sex-ed classes in our school when they were young. We taught them what they needed to know and answered their questions at home.

And as for tolerance education, any old whacko idea or perversion is just fine in an amoral society. Why can't we all just get along?


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