With the school year set to resume, Focus on the Family is once again encouraging parents to censor any curriculum content that might acknowledge the existence of LGBT people. Focus’s “Empowering Parents” guide teaches families how to navigate all the hurdles they might have to jump in order to remove LGBT-inclusive materials from the classroom. In a conversation with Stuart Shepard set up by the question, “What do you when what your public school is teaching about relationships is out of sync with God’s design for relationships?”, Candi Cushman explained that it’s “Orwellian” to talk to young people about LGBT families:
CUSHMAN: In math class for instance, there is a lesson plan material out there called, “Ready, Set, Respect.” This is created by one of the largest homosexual advocacy groups, called GLSEN, the Gay Lesbian, and Straight Education Network. Let me just give you an example of what they recommend for educators: “Write math problems with contexts that include a variety of family structures and gender expressions.” And so the example they then give is, “Give a math problem about Rosa and her dads going to the grocery store.”
SHEPARD: “Dads,” plural?
CUSHMAN: Yeah, so it’s very Orwellian for very young kids to just start familiarizing with them with the whole idea that a family has a new meaning now: same-sex relationships.
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Cushman believes such curriculum is “Orwellian” because her definition of family does not include same-sex couples and their children. The reality is that for many children — an estimated 2 million — their families do include either same-sex parents or at least one gay parent and possibly a same-sex step parent. Cushman would prefer they not see their families represented in class.
What’s truly Orwellian is erasing those families and attempting to use public schools as a form of propaganda to hide the existence of LGBT people. There may well be LGBT students in the classroom, who deserve to see diverse representations that include their own identities. Focus on the Family calls these efforts “true tolerance,” but the first step to tolerance is acknowledging that a group of people exist and beginning to appreciate their life experiences.