STOP the War on Children

July 27, 2011

Why Are Schools Teaching “Gender Identity”?

by Karen Gushta

A California school recently gave students “gender identity” classes featuring “single-sex geckos and transgender clownfish.” An outside group called Gender Spectrum taught the lessons with a grant from the California Teachers Union to teach the 350 children at the Oakland Redwood Heights Elementary School.

Fox News reporters were allowed to observe classes taught to kindergartners and 4th graders by Gender Spectrum director, Joel Baum. The name “Gender Spectrum” reflects the definition of “gender identity” Baum taught the students. “‘Gender identity’ is a spectrum where people can be girls, feel like girls, they feel like boys, they feel like both, or they can feel like neither,” he said. “Gender identity is one’s own sense of themselves. Do they know themselves to be a girl? Do they know themselves to be a boy? Do they know themselves to be a combination?”

As Fox reported, “He suggested that even if someone was born with male ‘private parts’ but identified more with being a girl, that was something to be “accepted” and ‘respected.’” This must have come as a surprise to the 4th graders listening to Mr. Baum.

No doubt these children scratched their heads in puzzlement to hear that they could “know themselves to be a combination” of boy and girl.  However, some of these youngsters might also have started to question their own gender identity.  And that, according to the American College of Pediatricians, is just the problem with introducing the concept of ‘gender identity’ to children and youth.

“We are increasingly concerned that in too many instances, misinformation or incorrect assumptions are guiding well-intentioned educators to adopt policies that are actually harmful to those youth dealing with sexual confusion,” says Dr. Den Trumbull, Vice President of ACOP.

In view of their concern, the College sent an open letter to America’s 14,800 school superintendents in April 2010 “to provide factual information to educators, parents, and students about sexual development.” The College informed superintendents that adolescents commonly experience “transient confusion” over their sexuality, but said “most students will ultimately adopt a heterosexual orientation if not otherwise encouraged.”

So the word is, leave well enough alone. According to ACOP, “well intentioned” educators who implement school policies that “affirm” or even encourage non-heterosexual attractions are doing their students a disservice. Encouraging non-heterosexual behaviors among students who may be merely experimenting or experiencing temporary sexual confusion can “lead some adolescents to engage in homosexual behaviors that carry serious physical and mental health risks,” says the College.

These strong words of caution may have fallen on deaf ears of those school superintendents who have already succumbed to pressure to indoctrinate children into the belief that homosexuality is “normal” and concluded that detailed information about its practice must be dispensed to children starting in kindergarten.

In the Oakland school case, the California Teachers’ Union approval gave the program the appearance of legitimacy. But the state union’s support is not surprising given the National  Education Association’s (NEA) pro-homosexual stance, which is clearly harmful to children.

The fact that the NEA stands behind programs that “affirm” students in homosexual behavior, which may be merely transitory, goes against the best advice of health professionals who are “dedicated to the health and well-being of children.” It also violates an ethical trust, which the College clearly pointed out to the superintendents. “Optimal health and respect for all students can only be achieved within a school by first respecting the right of students and parents to accurate information and to self-determination.”

The Oakland school certainly violated the trust of its parents and students by introducing the inaccurate information presented by Gender Spectrum. As the College stated in a 2010 press release, “There is no scientific evidence that anyone is born gay or transgendered. Therefore, the College further advises that schools should not teach or imply to students that homosexual attraction is innate, always life-long and unchangeable. Research has shown that therapy to restore heterosexual attraction can be effective for many people.”

Telling children that they can be like a transgender clownfish or that their sexuality has nothing to do with their “private parts” has no place in any school curriculum. Giving them accurate information, such as the fact that no one is “born homosexual,” and allowing students the time to develop their sexual identity without pressure or propaganda should be the responsibility of every school. And it is the responsibility of the 14,800 school superintendents who lead America’s schools to see that this is carried out.

Unfortunately, many parents don’t know about the school programs and curricula that promote homosexual identification by elementary and high school students. Many parents at the Oakland Redwood Heights Elementary School were unaware that the “gender identity” program was being taught. Concerned parents have allies, however. The American College of Pediatricians’ website, FactsAboutYouth.com, provides accurate information and research on these issues.

As for the parents in Oakland Unified School District, the Pacific Justice Institute, a legal defense organization specializing in the defense of religious freedom and parental rights, is offering legal counsel to parents concerned about this matter. “This instruction does not represent the values of the majority of families in Oakland,” said PJI attorney Kevin Snider. Parents are being advised to keep their children home on the days when the “gender identity” material is being presented and to contact the Institute with any questions about truancy or absences.

Opposing the homosexual indoctrination of America’s children is not religious bigotry. It is, as the American College of Pediatricians states, for the “health and well-being of children.”

 

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March 1, 2010

Blowing Kisses and Giving Big Smooches!

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Blowing Kisses and Giving Big Smooches!

By Karen L. Gushta, Ph.D.

Last fall President Obama declared that September 28, 2009 should be observed as Family Day. He urged families to celebrate “with appropriate ceremonies and activities to honor and strengthen our Nation’s families.”

The president noted that “families encourage us to do our best and enable us to accomplish great things.” And parents, he said, “bear significant stress and burdens to protect their children from harmful influences.”

What kinds of “harmful influences” did he have in mind? The president’s list included alcohol, tobacco, or prescription and illicit drugs, and other harmful behaviors which, he said, “can destroy the mind, body, and spirit of a child.”

Conspicuously absent were pornography, promiscuous sex and homosexuality–behaviors so devastating to the physical and emotional well-being of adolescents that those who promote them are waging a de facto war on children and youth.

Promiscuity, for example, carries severe consequences. A 2006 study showed that one in every four girls in public high schools in this country is infected with an STD. Approximately 12 million Americans contract STDs every year—nearly three percent of the entire population. What’s more significant, however, is the fact that of this group, 65 percent are younger than 25 years of age. Youth who become infected with STDs are less likely to seek immediate treatment, and therefore more susceptible to the long-term devastating health effects of these diseases, such as sterility, damage to the brain and heart, cervical cancer, and incurable genital warts.

And what is the president doing in the face of this? Rather than promote abstinence, which is the only sure way one can be protected from STDs, the Obama administration’s budget redirected funds from abstinence-only programs, such as Community-Based Abstinence Education and Title V Abstinence Education, to what are termed, “evidence-based and promising teen pregnancy prevention programs.”

But the “evidence” favors abstinence. Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation reports that abstinence programs that include a virginity pledge “dramatically lower rates of teen births.” Abortion rates, teen sex, and out of-wedlock births all decrease among teens who have made such a pledge. Although not all teens keep their pledge, this form of abstinence education results in the “number of sexual partners down a third to a half, compared to kids from a similar socioeconomic background.”

What about pornography? Twenty percent of Internet porn involves children. Ninety percent have viewed it online—most while doing their homework. Homegrown pornography, aka sexting, is the latest moral virus to infect cell phones and young souls. Only 25 percent of 7th to 12th graders have a filter or parental controls on their computers, and only three percent of porn sites require adult verification before entering.

Since the Warren Court opened the floodgates of pornography in the late ’60s by a series of 34 unsigned per curiam decisions, social conservatives have attempted to get legislation passed to reign in the purveyors of porn who now freely post on the Internet.

Where does the Obama administration stand on this threat to children? One might say they are “in bed” with the pornography lobby, having appointed David Ogden as Deputy Attorney General. Ogden’s resume includes service for clients such as Penthouse and Playboy, amicus briefs defending child pornography in Knox v. United States and opposing the Children’s Internet Protection Act of 2000.

Finally, what about strengthening families by protecting the institution of marriage itself? In his Family Day proclamation, the president proclaimed that families of same-sex couples can also “encourage us to do our best and enable us to accomplish great things.” But research has shown that family configuration has significant impact on children’s well-being. And while there is still a limited amount of research on same-sex parenting outcomes, social science research is unequivocal in finding that children do best with a mother and father. An abundance of research also shows that children suffer in manifold ways when their home is fatherless or their parents divorce.

It’s clear who suffers when society tinkers with God’s structure for marriage of one man and one woman for the sake of social experimentation and a socially defined right to marry.

While the president gave one day to recognizing families, he declared the whole month of June “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month, 2009,” and affirmed his administration’s support for ensuring gay adoption rights and civil unions. He also inexplicably appointed Kevin Jennings, founder of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), to be the “safe schools” czar at the Department of Education. When he was a teacher, Jennings failed to report a homosexual statutory rape of a 15-year-old boy. Jennings has praised pro-pedophile gay activist Harry Hay and promoted books detailing seductions of teen boys by older men. What’s more, GLSEN sponsored a forum in which 14-year-olds were told how to perform dangerous homosexual acts.

Unless Mr. Obama’s administration follows through with family friendly social policies that seek the best interests of children, his Family Day Proclamation smacks of little more than lip service. Blowing kisses at the family while giving big smooches to all things gay, shows where the president’s heart really is.

Karen L. Gushta, Ph.D., is a researcher at Coral Ridge Ministries and author of The War on Children (Coral Ridge Ministries, 2009).

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