Students at Oakland, California’s Redwood Heights Elementary School recently participated in a two-day lesson plan about accepting gender differences. Educators relied on toys and animals to teach kids that “not all children will conform to gender norms around areas such as clothing or hair, or the colors they prefer.” “What it does emphasize is that there are differences,” the school’s principle Troy Flint told FoxNews.com. “We should be accepting of these differences in the interest of creating an environment where all children are welcome.”
This afternoon, Fox News invited the Family Research Council’s (FRC) Tony Perkins to opine about the school’s efforts and he quickly shifted the discussion to “same-sex marriage,” accusing the school of participating in a “bigger agenda” to indoctrinate children into homosexuality:
PERKINS: Our children should be able to go into a safe environment. They should be safe from bullying and they should also be safe from indoctrination into homosexuality.… I mean, how far are we willing to go with this? When you consider that only seven percent of the animal kingdom is monogamous in their sexual relationships, is that what we’re saying our kids should aspire to? […]
Schools should be teaching reading, writing and asthmatic, not comparing their sexuality to fishes…This is part of a bigger agenda and this is the problem that Americans are waking up to as this idea about same-sex marriage and all this is working its way through. This is a part of a process of indoctrinating children at very young ages at the expense of actually teaching them what they need to be successful at.
Perkins’ comments are part of a pro-bullying campaign orchestrated by a nexus of so-called “family values” organizations that malign educational programs and policies that seek to teach children about tolerance for others and help LGBT students feel safe in schools as tools of the “homosexual agenda.” For instance, the right-wing Christian media ministry Focus on the Family has been attacking anti-bullying standards on the federal level, insisting that bullying prevention is being “hijacked by activists” who are “politicizing or sexualizing the issue.” Focus on the Family’s Candi Cushman claims that the anti-bullying bill currently before Congress “cater[s] to a narrow political agenda” that “becomes a gateway for homosexuality promotion in school.”
Perkins’s FRC is classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). The group “bills itself as ‘the leading voice for the family in our nation’s halls of power,’ but its real specialty is defaming gays and lesbians,” SPLC has concluded.