WASHINGTON (BP)–The National Education Association is expected to take action on a resolution supporting development of school curriculum and programs to meet the needs of gay and lesbian students when the union holds its annual convention in July in Los Angeles, CNSNews.com reported March 21.
A similar resolution in support of Gay and Lesbian history month was removed from the union’s platform in 1996 after pressure from conservative and other groups.
However, Kathleen Lyons, a spokesperson for the NEA told CNSNews.com in a telephone interview that the new resolution being worked on by the union’s resolution committee, while it’s not finalized yet, is similar to the history resolution.
“It’s not about gay and lesbian history month. There is a new resolution that definitely deals with gay and lesbian issues, but it’s not for a gay and lesbian history month celebration,” Lyons said. “There will be a resolution from our resolutions committee that is likely to go to the full assembly. We won’t know that for certain until May.”
Lyons noted that, “The difference is that this one parallels what we have on record for other minority groups, women and people with disability.”
CNSNews.com received a draft of the resolution. Under the title, “Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Education,” the resolution said, “The National Education Association recognizes that the complex and diverse needs of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning students; and gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender families and their children require the development of programs that promote a safe and inclusive environment.”
The resolution also said that the NEA “believes in efforts that provide for”:
— Development of curriculum and instructional materials and programs designed to meet the needs of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students.
— Involvement of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender educators in developing educational materials used in classroom instruction.
— Dissemination of programs that support gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning students and address the high dropout and suicide rates and health risk behaviors.
— Recognition of the importance of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender education employees as role models.
— Accurate portrayal of the roles and contributions of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people throughout history.
— Dissemination of programs and information that include the contributions, heritage, culture and history of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.
— Coordination with gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender organizations and concerned agencies that promote the contributions, heritage, culture, history, health and care of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people.
Concerned Women For America believes that the NEA is trying to reorient children away from their parents’ values, CWA spokesperson Wendy Wright told CNSNews.com.
“The NEA seems to think that public schools are more akin to re-education camps than academic centers,” Wright said. “They seem to be obsessed with reorienting kids away from their parents’ values. They clearly show that they don’t trust parents, and they want to take the job of giving moral direction to kids away from the parents.”
Wright added, “When these kids start acting out in a risky behavior, who is going to be there to pick up the pieces when they get sexually transmitted diseases or when they become suicidal because people in the homosexual lifestyle are at a much higher risk of being suicidal and of substance and drug abuse as well.
“These teachers aren’t going to be the ones around to pick up the pieces when these kids’ lives are destroyed. It’s going to be in the hands of the parents,” Wright said.
Meanwhile, in his national radio broadcast March 20, James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, warned that a “national homosexualization of schools” is coming. He called on parents to take action against what he called a “recent push to integrate pro-gay curriculum in schools” and said he believes it’s a “nationwide effort that will soon put almost every child at risk.”
Two states where Dobson believes pro-gay bills are being pushed are California and Massachusetts.
“I beg you to defend your children,” Dobson said. “If you won’t defend your kids, who will you defend? What are you willing to fight for if not your children? If a child is being ridiculed, and his self-concept is torn apart, of course we must come to his or her aid, but that concern often becomes an excuse for a curriculum that teaches homosexuality and punishes those who don’t agree.”
Burns is a senior staff writer with CNSNews.com. Used by permission.