The Illinois Family Institute, an anti-gay hate group, wants to make sure kids are kept in the most sheltered environments possible, free from any hint that being LGBT might be okay. In a new document called “Challenge, Teachers, Not Books,” IFI’s Laurie Higgins encourages parents to pull their kids from any classroom where either the teacher supports a gay-straight alliance, uses LGBT-inclusive reading materials, or indicates support for LGBT students:
If parents have children who have already gone through the school or have already completed a year or more, they should ask those children and/or their friends or friends’ parents which teachers are known for bringing their politics into the classroom or who displays a “Safe Space” sticker, the inverted pink triangle, the rainbow flag, or the lower case Greek letter “lambda” on their desk, classroom door, or wall. Students usually know who the liberal, activist teachers are. Liberal teachers develop reputations, often as the “cool” teachers.
Then parents should call or email the appropriate department chair and/or their child’s counselor, and politely insist on a schedule change, explaining that they will not permit their child to be in the classroom or under the tutelage of any teacher who has made their liberal politics known in school.
This document offers a clear explanation why the Southern Poverty Law Center designated IFI a hate group. This organization sees LGBT people only as “liberal politics,” not as whole individuals with real identities. “Safe space” stickers make a world of difference to young people who may be struggling to understand a non-heterosexual or non-cisgender identity, because in those classrooms, they know that the teacher has their backs. They might never approach the teacher, but just knowing that they can allows them to focus on their studies instead of worrying how they are perceived and treated in the classroom. Trivializing young people’s lives by trying to hide them from a part of the world they may very well be a part of is not only harmful, but it also defeats the entire point of the educational experience.
(HT: Friendly Atheist.)