Skip Nav
JK Rowling
32 Ways Harry Potter Taught Us the Magic of Love
Spotify
1 of the Hottest New Voices in Country Music, Jackie Lee, Shares His Favorite Breakup Songs
Summer
You Might Break Up After a Romantic Vacation — Which Is Why You Should Take One

Gay-Friendly Curriculum Sparks Lawsuit From Parents

The decision by a California school district to introduce gay-friendly curriculum has been met with a not-so-friendly reaction. Parents are suing the Alameda Unified School district, alleging that inappropriate curriculum is being forced on their children.

Once a year, students in kindergarten through the fifth grade would be taught about LBGT issues. Kindergartners would learn about the harm caused by teasing or using the word "fag," while older students would learn about stereotypes based on sexual orientation. Certain parents are particularly upset because they would not be allowed to opt their children out of the lesson.

Do you agree with teaching students at school to be more tolerant, or should these lessons be learned at home?

Image Source: Getty
Join The Conversation
Run2bfree067 Run2bfree067 7 years
if parents can opt out, whats to loose?? Imagine if Children had just 1 extra class every day of kindergarn-graduation squeezed in that reinforced these important life lessons - Accepting everyone for who they are and not discrimintating race or...gender preferences -How to be healthy and why we its so important I also think that ALL girls should take a class before entering Elementary School about being fit and accepting everyones different shapes and to love them, including your own. If these things were taught at a young age, I KNOW for a fact, and you do too, that Racisim, Obesity, Eating Disorders, and NOT accepting people for who they are, would go down. Not disapeer, but we would see less of it...
PinkNC PinkNC 7 years
It should NEVER be up to the schools to teach this kind of acceptance. I think when you bring up gay people to children the question of religion will always come up. Such as, a child may ask "if God says that it's not right for men to be with other men, then does that men God hates them or will never forgive them for being together." That's why I also think that speaking anything about accepting being gay or any other things relating to that should be left up to the parent. People have different religious beliefs and it is up to the parents to explain what their particular belief wants them to believe. And who knows why gay people are what they are.
Zivanod Zivanod 7 years
To Hazeem ... Apparently you are not reading properly. Many parents are not ok with homosexuality being taught in school. And by the way, no one is teaching homosexuality. They are teaching acceptance of everyone including differences such as being gay. It also has absolutely nothing to do with religion. God didn't decide someone was gay or not, nature did. And the public school system is secular. It'd be nice if they remembered that! As for their president, again only some disapprove (and for a dumb reason too, I might add).
staple-salad staple-salad 7 years
@#2: I've been having "anti-racism" classes for as long as I can remember (though, they almost felt racist with the amount of "political correctness" my teachers had to use). I grew up in a town that had a black population you could count on one hand, and a hispanic population you could count on two, so the "anti-racism" classes were pretty important. Though, back to the topic... I think sexuality is a very personal thing and it would be great if we didn't have to have classes about it (I mean, is it REALLY that obvious if someone's gay or not?), however, in our current culture it is REALLY important. I came pretty close to screaming at one of my best friends when she (in her Church-camp induced hyper-religious-ness) basically told me that all gay and lesbian people should be forced to remain celibate, marry people merely because they are the opposite gender, and have most of their sexual and love-rights taken away because her religion doesn't agree with it (...I got pretty mad, a lot of my really good friends are gay/lesbian/bi/transgender and I joined the LGBTQA club in high school, participate in drag shows, am in a Rocky Horror cast, etc.). And with people being conditioned to think like that, I think it's really important for people to have manditory alternative views on it. And while this IS personal, I don't think that parents should be able to let their kids opt out of it, nor should schools leave it to the parents to teach kids about it. It would be ridiculous to even suggest that someone be able to opt out of a "racial tolerance" class, or a "religious tolerance" class, and I think too many of the parents that wouldn't let their kids take the classes would just teach them things like "homosexuals are sinners and don't deserve rights" and the like. I mean, it's what kids are learning from their parents right now. I come from a pretty liberal and not-religious family and I was rather shocked to hear one of my aunts going on about a trans-gender teacher that is now at her old high school almost as if she was sub-human or it somehow compromised her ability to teach math.
RoaringSilence RoaringSilence 7 years
I'm from Germany, they teach about LGBT issues from second grade on. I don't think it has hurt anyone.
untitled1 untitled1 7 years
This should definitely be taught in schools. Just because parents should teach their children tolerance doesn't mean they do. You can dramatically tell the difference between me and my half sister because I was raised by my mother and she was raised by our father who is an intolerant, homophobic, racist.
dani17731 dani17731 7 years
YES, this should be taught in schools, but I agree with some of the other posters that it should just be brought up in Health or Sex-Ed, and not so much be an entire course or unit. I went to a private Catholic school 2nd-4th grade and my religion teacher was a lesbian. She taught us that being gay was a religion. (true story) This type of twisted misinformation can lead some to become homophobic because all they're taught at home is the same twisted weirdness that I was taught. Thank God my parents taught me better. However, as a future teacher, I would expect an astronomical amount of issues with the curriculum.
richkidblues richkidblues 7 years
I'm all for it as well. I think that it's a good thing to teach children at such a young age. Its teaching children acceptance of others. I'm 100% for gay marriage and equal opportunities for all. I believe the only parents that will have a problem with this curriculum will be the ones who wont teach their children about this sort of acceptance at home (extreme right-wing, homophobes, bigots etc) I live in Canada and it seems we dont have as much of an issue with gay rights as alot of the American population does.
cherryblossom cherryblossom 7 years
Im all for it dont get me wrong, I love gay people, but arent these years a little young for them to grasp the real concept of why there might be hate in the first place, its kind of like white washing over it. you wouldnt teach your kid sex ed at these ages so why bring this up to them at these ages, i think its an awesome idea but i dont think its an awesome idea for this age group honestly.
Autumns_Elegy Autumns_Elegy 7 years
I reckon this should fit into sex education. I mean love is love right? Why is someone falling in love so wrong? I reckon that if this was taught in sex ed then LGBTI people could learn that it's not something thats "strange" or "wierd" and how to indulge in safe sex with a person of the same gender. Keeping it broad is a good idea, and teaching tolerance for all walks of life is even better.
zeze zeze 7 years
Unlike race and diversity classes, there are religious implications here. I agree with hypno, there should be broad tolerance and acceptance classes, without promoting certain beliefs and lifestyles.
michelleyk michelleyk 7 years
I'm a teacher, and I don't consider this a "gay-friendly" curriculum, but a simple statement of the obvious. I don't permit my students to use "that's so gay" or "fag" in my classroom, in the same way that "retard" is unacceptable. If these things come up, its just a teachable moment. The classroom environment is very important to whether and how students learn, and ALL students have to feel safe to learn. Otherwise, by accepting discrimination and derogatory comments, you create a hostile learning environment, which gets THE TEACHER in trouble. This just seems like a more formal structure than what teachers do automatically in their classroom. It probably originated due to a lawsuit that occured because someone was discriminated against in the classroom. LGBT students are protected, and have every legal right to feel safe in the classroom. If they are not protected, the school can (and often is) then sued.
ali321 ali321 7 years
Maybe there should just be a class that teaches tolerance of all people. But I still think its sad or even a bit odd that they would have a class on it. It should just be taught at home. I understand that doesn't always happen. I feel like if the class was a little more general maybe more people would be okay with it. How can anyone be against teaching kids to respect each other? I guess there are some who would be. What's so wrong with saying "Hey kids everybody is different, but that's okay. And at least in school it's our policy to respect everyone as equal." I don't know. Something like that. I'm all for tolerance and I think that should include sexual, racial, religious, personal style, pretty much everything. But not everyone thinks that way. I say it should be done in a way that most people will be okay with.
Kimpossible Kimpossible 7 years
I think it's one of those things that should be incorporated into every day speak, other lessons, subjects etc. It doesn't have to be a separate lesson all on it's own. It could be taught in schools and it should be taught at home. I just don't see how teaching tolerance of any kind is a bad thing.
kulikuli kulikuli 7 years
I think it does need to be taught whether the parents agree or what. This is not an issue about morals. They are not talking to the students about their choice to be gay, but they are teaching them about what is happening in the real world. They need to learn, these issues are all over the media today and guess what, kids hear, they know whats going on, and they need to be taught about whats happening. And while the kids are in school, they are the schools liability legally, so if they are getting into fights because of this or any other prejudicial issue, it needs to be addressed by the school. The kids need to learn this for the real world. It works for the protection of kids both ways too. Have you ever seen the effects of some homeschool kids who were taught with their parents hatred, then entered a public school? Then you have the opposite issue of bullying in school, the kids dont know what's acceptable and and dont know what they are allowed to call people, and fights would constantly break out. We had this happen several times while i was growing up to the point where the previously homeschool child would have to leave the school. Think about the big picture and future for all kids.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 7 years
IMO their problem is spotlighting the LGBT community. If you're going to teach children self respect and respect for others and talk to them about the toxic effects of stereotypes and how they effect a whole community, then discuss the topic as it relates to every one. Don't spotlight the Gay/Transgender community w/young children and leave every one else out. As a Gay man I don't question their intentions because I know their good but their strategy sucks.
Burkina Burkina 7 years
spacekatgal I see that but I don't think schools should interfere with how parents raise their kids. And I don't mean its cool to raise your kids to be homophobic but I understand some parents might not want to bring up things until a bit later on. I like the idea of reaching out to the parents instead.
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 7 years
"The Christian Action League is asking people on its mailing list to tell legislators to oppose it, and the N.C. Family Policy Council has written extensively on its view that homosexual rights groups are using school safety issues to promote a social agenda." http://www.charlotteobserver.com/education/story/80596.html?q=antibullying%20in%20school%20district
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 7 years
This reminds me of when I lived in Charlotte, NC and the school district wanted to change the antibullying rule that was originally created to protect people of different races, sex and religions so that it included the LBGT students. The southern baptists and other religions down there threw such a sh*tfit about them being included in the antibullying rule that they picketed at the city. They were claiming that bullying deters children from becoming LBGT, that the LBGT students are sinning and that it is the other students right to prevent them from sinning (yes this was a public school). They outright said that the LBGT students do not deserve acceptance. (My husband was a reporter there and had the joy of interviewing these ultra-bigots.) The stories these kids told of being bullied was horrific and for parents to say they deserved it was mindblowing. Yes - I do think the school has to step in and teach it. The school has a responsibility to prepare students to enter the real world and I think this can be considered preparation - not everyone comes from the same cookie mold.
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 7 years
I think this is necessary because there are enough parents that aren't teaching tolerance at home. A lot of parents that are racist, bigots, homophobes, etc., get upset if their children do not grow up with the same beliefs and views as them. They purposely teach their children to continue on with the hatred and bigotry. I speak from my own experience - my parents are the most racist, ignorant mofos I have ever met - they hate everyone pretty much. My brother and I fought long and hard with them about it. My brother unfortunately has absorbed some of their attitudes. He's terribly conflicted - he makes racist/homophobic jokes but I know for a fact he has friends of all races and works with some LBGT, and that he is not opposed to same sex marriages or even interracial marriages (yes my parents are that awful). I'm the complete opposite of my parents and they have practically disowned me (I have a cousin who was disowned for this). From my experience, I learned acceptance from school and partly from being so ashamed of my parents. And I grew up in a upper middle class, 97% white community/school district. If the school didn't teach it, I wasn't going to learn it from having interactions with people who were different.
avantgardeology avantgardeology 7 years
I see it as the same thing as teaching your children about MLK and racial problems in the 50's. I think that this is something that should be taught to students early on in life. We are raised to not call someone of color a n*****, so why would we want to call a gay person a fag? I have absolutely no problem with it at all. I think it is a great idea to show kids that calling people of difference races and backgrounds is wrong. If the parents dont like teaching their kids not to be rude, then they can go to another school now cant they??!!!
kurniakasih kurniakasih 7 years
I'm pro for teaching children tolerance (being that I'm pro-gay marriage, etc), I applaud for the existence of these classes. If my son were big enough, I'd sign him up. Growing up being basically racially discriminated and harassed because of it, I wish there was some sort of classes that can teach people to be more sensitive, etc. I didn't get to take courses that encourage racial sensitivity until I was in college though, and it was amazing how many people took the course without being told to by the school. Imagine, they, by their own choice, signed up and paid for it. :) But I don't like the idea that anything to be 'forced' by school district, government, etc. I hate the idea of no other 'option' but this option. As much as I don't like the idea of people being 'bigots' or have completely different beliefs that (imho) borderline racist/homophobic/etc, I believe in people's freedom to choose what they want to believe in without being interfered by government/school district. People should still be able to opt out. Parents are the ones who are responsible to teach their children tolerance. Shame on them, if they're not, and believe it or not, socially, their children will be exposed anyway and will grow up deciding for themselves. Hopefully they will choose well. We're currently living in the era where people start to accept gay unions, etc, but what if the flip side happens in the near future, the government suddenly reverted back to the days where such things to be illegal, and then school district in California decides that there should be a class where EVERY students have to attend (whether they're gay or the child of gay couples), telling them that gay marriage is wrong morally, illegal, and that students have to 'encourage' their gay friends to be heterosexual? That's creepy. For me, the problem is just the principle of school saying, hey, this is what we think it's great/morally right for you to study. So you MUST take it. No other option.
Before and After Photos of California Drought
Transgender Texas Woman Posts About Bathroom Bill
Why You Shouldn't Stop Reading to Big Kids
Should I Send My Kids to Boarding School?
From Our Partners
Latest Love
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds