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FIRST-PERSON: Don’t make students gay

DALLAS (BP)–On April 1, an association of pediatricians mailed a letter to school superintendents across the country. Its message: Don’t make kids gay. Don’t encourage them in homosexual behavior or to act on homosexual attractions.

The American College of Pediatricians cautions schools to stop promoting homosexual identity to children. Educators are encouraged to check out the organization’s new website, FactsAboutYouth.com. The site has been created to provide educators, parents and young people factual information about sexual development.

A student who reports some same-sex attraction, or has acted on such an attraction, is not necessarily a permanent homosexual. Many young people report what the American College of Pediatricians (ACP) describes as “transient confusion” about their sexual orientation. Dr. Thomas Benton, President of the ACP, and author of this letter to superintendents, argues that most students who exhibit these tendencies ultimately adopt a heterosexual orientation if the homosexual behavior is not affirmed.

He writes, “[W]hen well-intentioned but misinformed school personnel encourage students to ‘come out as gay’ or be ‘affirmed,’ there is a serious risk of erroneously labeling students.” Dr. Benton continues, “Rigorous studies demonstrate that most adolescents who initially experience same-sex attraction or are sexually confused no longer experience such attractions by age 25.”

Not every school treats gender-confused kids the same. But, for years, homosexual groups like GLSEN (the Gay Lesbian, and Straight Education Network) have bombarded schools with the message that students who show signs of having same-sex attraction should be encouraged in this homosexual identity. They have created an atmosphere in which school officials feel they must tread very carefully around the thought that it might be a good idea to try to steer youngsters away from homosexuality. Often when signs of homosexual orientation are noticed, they are locked in through counseling, participation in Gay Straight Clubs, and this hands-off attitude that deprives students of the expertise that might allow them to avoid a life of sin and heartbreak. The legislative climate in some states is such that not to affirm gayness is seen as fostering an unsafe atmosphere ripe for bullying.

GLSEN has designated April 16 of this month the annual Day of Silence, another attempt to encourage students in their homosexuality and to advance this so-called “safe schools” agenda. Thousands of participating public high schools across the nation allow homosexual students — and those who wish to express their solidarity with these students — to remain silent throughout the school day, even during instructional time. It’s a statement: We’re here. You must accept our lifestyle. (Conservatives held a Day of Truth — DayofTruth.org — on April 15.)

Accepting kids’ early decisions to live as homosexuals is not doing them any favors. The American College of Pediatricians is providing its expert opinion that everyone who has a homosexual urge once in awhile is not homosexual for life. And to the increasingly loud cultural message that being gay is actually cool, FactsAboutYouth.com provides the ammunition to help kids understand: it’s not cool at all. That’s how we get safer schools.
Penna Dexter is a conservative activist and frequent panelist on the “Point of View” syndicated radio program. Her weekly commentaries air on the Bott and Moody Radio Networks.

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