It all started when Tammy Schulz received an invitation to a "Welcoming Schools" presentation at her local elementary school. Billed as a way to address bullying, the program was introduced by the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance (ISSA), which has strong ties to the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network — a national homosexual activist group dedicated to promoting homosexuality to public school students, beginning as young as kindergarten.
Schultz was concerned about what she read in the presentation invitation. At a neighborhood Bible study, she discovered two other moms that shared her concerns. The women started asking questions about the program and to their dismay, they found that an ISSA-led teacher training had already taken place at their elementary school and had centered almost entirely on homosexuality. Even more disturbing was the discovery of a document listing "perceived obstacles" to the program, including "family values" and "faith systems."
"It's a political agenda being shoved into my school," Schulz said, "to normalize homosexuality. … I have the right to pass on my faith and my values to my children. … It's as if the school is trying to 'correct' a value that our family holds. What business is it of theirs to try and change my family values?"
The bias Schulz and other parents encountered is increasingly common as homosexual-themed "safe schools" initiatives are introduced in public schools across the country.
Too often, when these programs are pushed by homosexual activist groups, they cross the line from legitimate efforts to protect students from bullying into promotion of homosexuality and gender confusion — and even flat out indoctrination.
In this case, the concerned parents took their case to the school board. Ultimately, school officials implemented parental notification and "opt-out" policies for classroom or library content dealing with these controversial themes.
Tammy Shultz and the other Illinois parents are not alone in protecting their children's innocence. Read "Parents Beware" — orginally appearing in the June/July 2010 issue of Citizen magazine — on how other parents have taken action in their communities.
Be aware. As parents and taxpayers, you have the right — and responsibility— to know what your child is being taught in public school classrooms.
Be proactive. Don't wait until inappropriate material gets into classrooms, or your child's hands, to do something about it. Once bad policies and curricula get in, it's hard to get them out.
Promote the right solution. Recognize that bullying and peer abuse is wrong and should be stopped. But this can and should be done without politicizing classrooms and introducing controversial, sexual topics to children against their parents' wishes.
Counteract deception with facts. Use facts to expose deceptive teaching that may be inappropriate for children or violate parental rights and religious freedoms.
For more tips on approaching school officials with your concerns, see "Do's and Don'ts for Approaching School Officials."
TrueTolerance.org is an online tool that helps parents respond in a winsome, factual way when issues like homosexuality and same-sex marriage are addressed in a one-sided manner in public schools.
Filled with information from legal experts, examples of lesson plans that cross the line and fact-based counterpoints to the one-sided messages homosexual-advocacy groups frequently promote, TrueTolerance.org makes it easier for parents to make their voices heard and respond with truth to the biased information school officials are often receiving on these topics.