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Protest sent to school board for opening classes to homosexuality


HAYWARD, Calif. (BP)–A legal organization has taken a California school district to task over pro-homosexual classroom policies adopted by the board of education in response to the California Student Safety and Violence Prevention Act of 2000.

The Pacific Justice Institute of Citrus Heights, Calif., which specializes in the defense of religious freedom, parental rights and other civil liberties, sent a letter May 22 demanding that the Hayward Unified School District rescind an April 10 resolution establishing a “Safe Schools for All” plan that includes unrestricted classroom discussion of homosexuality without parental consent.

Hayward, Calif., is a San Francisco suburb.

“Hayward Unified School District cannot unilaterally override parental rights guaranteed by the California Education Code and federal law,” said Brad Dacus, president of the Pacific Justice Institute. “The school board mistakenly believes that allowing teachers to flaunt homosexuality to students is required, and they are wrong. In fact, the district is exposing itself to potential costly litigation.”

As described by CNSNews.com May 27, the Hayward resolution allows teachers and school staff “to talk about homosexuality with children and openly discuss their own homosexual lifestyles with students during classroom instructional time.”

The Pacific Justice Institute also noted that Hayward teachers are allowed to include various homosexual figures in their instruction and to read books with homosexual characters such as “Heather has Two Mommies.” Under the board’s resolution, neither schools nor teachers are obligated to provide prior notice to parents, nor are parents given an opportunity to opt out their children.


The Hayward resolution notes that its “Safe Schools For All” initiative is “intended to address the issues of school safety for all students and staff, particularly lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning youth and staff.”

Dacus told CNSNews.com that he anticipates more and more California school districts to adopt similar policies. He rejected the contention that such policies are needed to protect students and teachers from being harassed.

“The fact is, the safety umbrella is what is being used to justify all of these aggressive campaigns that do nothing less than openly promote homosexuality to students who are working through very sensitive gender identity issues in their early adolescence,” Dacus said.

CNSNews.com quoted a concerned Hayward parent, Nancy Moore, as saying, “If they want to socialize the kids as far as family issues or sex education issues are concerned, put it in sex education curriculum, send a note home to the parents letting them know they’re going to have a speaker to discuss this. Let me know what’s going on.”

Instead, Moore said, the attitude of school district officials was that they were going to integrate homosexuality into the normal curriculum, that they were under no obligation to inform her, and if she protested, it was because she was prejudiced.

“And that’s not the truth. What I’m asking is for Hayward Unified School District to stick to the [California] Education Code,” Moore said. “I’m asking for every student and every teacher to be respected. I’m asking for the law to prosecute individuals who harass or commit violence against another individual. But don’t force something down my throat.”

The Pacific Justice Institute quoted an unnamed parent as saying, “While I agree that no individual should be subjected to any form of harassment or violence, I refuse to allow my responsibility as a parent to be violated by covertly dismantling parental authorization required when sensitive family and sex education issues are addressed as stated in the Education Code. District board members have failed to honor parental discretion and the law.”

Kimberly Hammond, the Hayward school district’s chief administration officer, told CNSNews.com that the intent of the resolution is not to “teach about homosexuality.”

“The curriculum and the training for the staff is intended to help them address issues of school safety,” Hammond said. “So there is not per se a curriculum for teaching about gays and lesbians.”

Under the California Student Safety and Violence Prevention Act of 2000, school district employees, “like those of all public entities, are prohibited from discriminating against individuals on the basis of race, gender, ethnicity, age, religious creed, sexual preference and/or orientation, marital status, physical or mental disability, ancestry or national origin.”

The Hayward resolution, meanwhile, states that the school district “has an obligation to provide proper training to comply with applicable laws and board policies to support safe environments for students and staff that are free from discrimination, violence or abuse.”