Two California Christian-Right organizations — the Capitol Resource Institute and Pacific Justice Institute — say that if antigay parents want to teach their children to bully gay classmates, the schools shouldn’t stand in their way.
The two organizations further contend that their own “religious freedom” trumps the religious and personal freedom of the bullied students and their parents.
According to Edge, parents suing the Alameda Unified School District near Oakland claimed the schools’ anti-bullying lessons are “being foisted on kindergartners” and that they saw the curriculum as a form of “indoctrination” in antiviolence and civility — traits which to them, apparently, are effeminate and sissyish. Edge continues:
But other parents who support the curriculum argue that the lessons are vital for countering school bullying.
The lessons consist of 45-minute videos shown once during the course of the school year. Kindergartners learn about teasing and how it can be hurtful; issues of sexual orientation are included in the presentation shown to fifth-graders, which is the last year that the anti-bullying presentations are required in the Alameda Unified School District.
The lessons commenced after kindergartners repeatedly hurled antigay epithets at classmates. Antigay parents want that behavior to continue.
It’ that sort of bullying among the very youngest children that the curriculum is intended to address, say supporters of the program like Carrie Brash, a mother quoted in the article as saying that her daughter had to endure harassment from schoolmates who would strike up a chorus of, “Lesbian, lesbian, your mom’ a lesbian,” in order to torment her.
Antigay parents teach their children to insult not only their classmates, but those classmates’ parents. The objective: Drive people they don’t like out of the public-school system and out of their neighborhoods.
The lawsuit seeks to recall the school board and replace the members with Christian Rightists.
Alameda resident Allan Mann commented,
“If homophobia is allowed to flourish under the protection of religious freedom, then any form of bigotry can be justified.”
It appears that the Christian Right will not rest until they are the only people in California, Michigan, and other states who are permitted to enjoy religious freedom and protection from angry, violent mobs.