Middle school girls told to 'ask for a lesbian kiss' in anti-bullying workshop
Two girls in a New York state middle school were told to stand in front of class and "pretend they were on a lesbian date," and ask another girl for a kiss. The "exercise" was part of an anti-bullying workshop.
Parents were not informed that such an exercise would take place nor were they given a chance for their children to opt out.
Apparently, school authorities didn't think it was that big of a deal.
The workshop for 13 and 14-year-old girls focused on homosexuality and gender identity. They were also taught words such as "pansexual" and "genderqueer."
Parents say their daughters were told to ask one another for a kiss and they say two girls were told to stand in front of the class and pretend they were lesbians on a date.
"She told me, 'Mom we all get teased and picked on enough. Now I'm going to be called a lesbian because I had to ask another girl if I could kiss her,'" parent, Mandy Coon, told reporters.
Coon says parents were given no warning about the presentation and there was no opportunity to opt-out. Both the school principal and the district superintendent are defending the workshops and advising they will schedule more.
"The school is overstepping its bounds in not notifying parents first and giving us the choice," another parent said. "I thought it was very inappropriate. That kind of instruction is best left up to the parents."
"I was absolutely furious -- really furious," a parent who asked to remain anonymous told reporter Todd Starnes, "These are just kids. I'm dumbfounded that they found this class was appropriate."
Superintendent Paul Finch told The Poughkeepsie Journal the presentation was "focused on improving culture, relationships, communication and self-perceptions."
"We may require more notification to parents in the future," Finch said.
He claimed the sessions are required under the state Dignity for All Students Act, which prohibits harassment and bullying in the classroom.
Principal Katie Zahedi and guidance counselors at the middle school worked with Bard students to organize the workshops.
This is wrong on so many levels it hard to know where to begin. The fact is, this kind of stuff happens all the time, all over the nation. School authorities are unable to discern age-appropriate subject matter and end up trying to impart lessons to students too young to grasp the significance of what they are trying to teach. Asking 13 year old girls to role play lesbians is stupid. Even if kids that age have been exposed to shows like "The L Factor," they don't have a clue about the emotional and psychic makeup of homosexuals and aren't going to learn by kissing someone of the same sex.
I don't know if bullying is a larger problem today than it has been in the past. I suspect not. Rather, it is who is getting "bullied" that is the issue. There is also the confusion over the difference between "teasing" and "bullying." Most bullying statutes are so broadly drawn that calling someone "fat" could get a student written up.
As state legislators try to micro-manage classrooms and mandate all sorts of nonense that children should "learn" (while the kids graduate as functional illiterates and lack critical thinking skills), the purpose of "school" becomes lost and what should be a learning experience shared by teachers and students becomes a place to indoctrinate kids into a culture with different values than many parents want their kids to adopt. There is nothing wrong with workshops that seek to build empathy for others. But any idiot can see that the middle school went far beyond any mandate from the state. That's an excuse given by incompetent school bureaucrats who haven't a clue about age-appropriate lessons and arrogantly don't think parents have a say in their child's cultural assimilation.
School authorities have no right to do this. They are imposing their ideas of "culture" in lieu of the wishes of many parents. No one has given schools this kind of power and influence. They've simply taken it and parents have been fighting a rear guard action in an effort to stem the tide. They are losing.
How many hours a week, a month, a year to children spend on this crap? We are near the bottom of the industrialized world in math and science achievement for students. Our kids read at levels 2 or 3 grades below what they should - and that's with watered down standards. It's worse in the cities.
The bottom line: School authorities don't like the dominant culture and are seeking to supplant it by using schools as an assimilation lab to contradict what most parents are trying to teach their child.They are doing this at the expense of teaching children basic skills.
And the frightening thing is - they are succeeding.