Friday, September 2, 2011

Reported from California...

On July 14, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law SB 48, which dictates that California schools adopt instructional materials in social science classes that emphasize “the role and contributions of … lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans” in history.

When considering the myriad ways such a law tramples on parental rights and academic legitimacy, it is hard to know where to begin. However, since the law will be celebrated by some as a triumph of inclusivity, perhaps it should be noted it solves no conceivable problem currently plaguing California.

Regarding inclusivity, California law already bans discrimination in instructional materials based on “race, sex, color, creed, handicap, national origin, or ancestry.” Not content with banning discrimination, earlier California legislators already mandated emphases on the contributions of both men and women as well as “Native Americans, African Americans, Mexican Americans, Asian Americans, European Americans” and other ethnic and cultural groups in California textbooks and curriculum.  In other words, it is hard to imagine that historically significant lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans are not already being included.

Once we were told that discrimination is when the things that divide us (race, creed, color, gender, etc.) no longer matter.  Now it seems that when it comes to GLBT, sex is the only thing that matters....


Fallhiker said...

A few years back (in the 80's) I was called a bigot, because I made a stand of not wanting Gay or Lesbian (I thought gay covered both men and women?) teaching my children about their lifestyle (really didn't want them teaching my children about sex) but before I could go past "I don't want gays teaching my children.." I was labeled a bigot. I quickly reemphasized my statement making sure to include the lifestyle part and the sex issue, then I also pointed out, I didn't want married or unmarried Heterosexual teachers, teaching my children about sex and what they do behind (or in front of) closed doors. Other than Biology class (which should only be the mechanics of sex not the act itself) and Health class (which should only focus on the public health issues, such as STD's) Sex does not belong in the classroom (talking about it or otherwise) Sex Education has and should be in the parent's job description.

Rev. Allen Bergstrazer said...

I see a spike in homeschooling and parochial school enrollment in California's future.

Anonymous said...

Homeschooling is strongest in the
Midwest. Families with 2 or more
children can no longer afford the
tuition of parochial schools. In
Midland, Michigan there is a net-work
ing of homeschooling families to
such an extent they even have their
own sport teams. Yet the primary
emphasis is on the teaching of
Christianity to their children.
Many of these parents have Masters
degrees and team teach.

Anonymous said...

Some parochial schools do not charge members tuition if they tithe. Others are pretty low cost, like $200 a month with discounts for siblings. I think that homeschooling is going to end up evolving into something that looks more and more like the tuition free parochial school supported by families of similar religious backgrounds. I mean, that is what people want. They want their kids to be taught by people with the same values and beliefs and live in a community with folks that have their same religious beliefs.

Anonymous said...

LCMS parochial grade schools are on
life support in many areas of our
nation. They can not get by on
$200 tuition fees a month in order
to subsidize their schools. Check
with District Education Executives
and you will find our schools have
been operating on the cheap and
50% of our teachers are not even
Lutheran. Congregations are going
to have to put more money in their
budget for our schools to save them.

Rev. Allen Bergstrazer said...

Yes, I'm aware of how hard the economy has hit schools that are tuition based. My point was that these sort of issues cause parents to re-consider where their children are educated. Probably in California this little bit of news will be treated as one drop decadence.