Christian Parents Uncomfortable With School’s “Diversity Training”

How should we respond to pro-gay curriculum in the public schools? The administrators of our child's elementary school have announced that they will soon be implementing a course of study in "tolerance" and "diversity training" for students in the lower grades. While we expect and have always encouraged our children to respect everyoneincluding gay and lesbian individualswe resent the school's attempt to undermine the biblical values we teach at home. This is difficult because our family is deeply involved in school sports, student council, PTA, and other extra-curricular programs. We don't want to make waves or to be labeled as "bigoted" or "hateful." What should we do?

We appreciate and understand the difficulty of your position. As your first course of action, we suggest that you meet with the school administrators. State your concerns respectfully and firmly. Make it clear that, from your perspective, this is a question of the school respecting your rights as a parent. Remind them that it’s up to you to determine how you will raise your child. Point out that the step they’re taking will impact the religious freedom of families. If they’re unwilling to reconsider their plan, request that your child be allowed to opt out of the program.

Remember that it’s important to do your homework before meeting with school officials. Does your school district have policies allowing parents to exempt their children from controversial instruction? Are there any state laws providing opt-out rights for parents with strong religious convictions? A little research will help you find the answers. The Family Policy Alliance has
Family Policy Councils in many states that can come alongside you in your efforts to gain a better understanding of your state laws.

If none of this works, you may want to consider getting involved in school board elections, as well as taking a serious look at other educational options. Homeschooling and private Christian schools are excellent alternatives. We understand why you might be nervous about “making waves,” but your first priority in this instance is to protect your child from influences he may not be old enough to handle on his own. While it’s always important to maintain a reasonable, loving and factual approach when meeting with school officials, this isn’t the time to allow yourself to be intimidated by those who label you unfairly.

For the record, let it be said that Focus on the Family is deeply concerned about elements of the radical homosexual agenda which activists seek to impose on our society. Those elements include: (1) early educational programs promoting homosexuality in our public schools, often against the will of parents; (2) laws redefining marriage; (3) legislation requiring churches, religious for-profit organizations and businesses to hire homosexuals; (4) laws which allow adoption of children by homosexuals; and (5) the redefinition of the family. If we care about our families, our children, and the moral state of our society, we should speak out against these proposals.

That said, it’s crucial to add that we should be careful to conduct ourselves as ambassadors of Christ. We may not be able to avoid coming across as an “aroma of death leading to death” in the nostrils of some people (II Corinthians 2:16). But that shouldn’t happen because we’re intentionally offending others with our responses and behavior. When you meet with the school administrators, then, make a point of staying calm. Show respect and appeal to reason and logic. At the same time, stick to your guns and don’t back down from your convictions.

If you feel it would be helpful to discuss these recommendations at greater length, give our counselors a call. They’d be more than happy to discuss your situation with you over the phone.

Reliable Resources for Teaching Children About Marriage, Sexuality and Homosexuality

Understanding Homosexuality


What You Can Do About LGBT Curriculum in Your Kid’s Public School

Public School Rights

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