What You Can Do
Be aware of school policies before inappropriate material gets into classrooms, or your child’s hands. Once bad policies and curricula get in, it's often difficult to get them out.
Be aware of school policies before inappropriate material gets into classrooms, or your child's hands. Once bad policies and curricula get in, it's often difficult to get them out. Educate school personnel and elected officials on the law and your parental rights.
- Stay alert about whether your school has programs with titles like "family diversity," "safe schools" or "tolerance." Often these programs contain intentional plans to promote homosexuality and "alternative" family structures. By categorizing teaching about same-sex marriage within a subject like "family diversity" or "social justice," school officials often try to bypass parental consent and control. They sometimes argue that since this teaching is categorized as a social issue — and not labeled as sex education — they no longer have to give parents prior notice and/or the ability to exempt their children from the class.
- Remember that you have the right to ask to see lesson plans and videos being used with the curriculum. Often schools will bring videos in as "supplemental materials" that may not be listed on the official curriculum. Also be aware of books and videos in your children's school libraries. The school library is actually an important indicator of what's happening in the rest of the school because technically it reflects and supports the larger school curriculum.
- Research in advance what kind of parental notification policies your school has and whether there are state laws that require parental notification or that protect your right to "opt-out" your child from controversial teaching. Your school system should have information on these laws. Cite those laws and polices if you run into controversial materials at your school. You can ask to receive prior notice when controversial sexual topics are brought up during instruction time — and ask that a letter documenting your request be placed in your child's student file.
- If parents have a concern about what their child is being taught on any subject, contact the school principal for more information and to express concerns.
- If parents are unable to receive a satisfactory answer from the school principal, raise the issue with the school board. Organize other concerned parents to go to the school board meeting with you. Present your concerns in a clear and concise manner, emphasizing that attempts to work with school administrators have failed.
- Make calls to the local news media about your concerns. Submit letters to the editor to your local newspapers. Get the issue out in front of the public – make others aware of what your school is doing (or not doing).
- If all else fails, consider removing your children from the school and either home-school or enroll the student in a school that will respect parental authority in issues of sexuality.
How to talk to your child about sex and marriage
Ultimately, you will probably not be able to shield your child completely from the topic of same-sex marriage. Even if your child's school does not implement materials on this topic, homosexuality and other controversial sexual themes are frequently featured on TV and in other facets of popular culture.
However, you can prepare your child through intentional interaction with him or her about these topics. It will be especially important to lay a biblical foundation for their understanding of sexuality - that God's design for human sexuality is for it to be expressed within marriage between a man and a woman. By clearly sharing your family's beliefs ahead of time, your child may be better equipped to process material promoting same-sex marriage (or other sexual messages) – as well as discuss those controversial themes with you when they encounter them.
- Give your child age-appropriate definitions of procreation, sex and marriage based in biological fact and according to a biblical worldview. This would include that male and female are unique, good and created in the image of God.
- Be educated on the value of marriage. Marriage isn't just a Christian tradition; it's practiced all over the world in a variety of cultures, faiths and government systems. It's based in the biological differences of male and female.
- Marriage benefits children. Children who grow up in homes with their married mother and father are less likely to live in poverty, and do better emotionally, physically and scholastically than their peers.
- Focus on the Family resources for talking with your children about sexuality and marriage
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