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School board meeting tonight: Alameda’s anti-bullying curriculum tonight

By epearlman
Tuesday, May 12th, 2009 at 9:19 am in California, gay rights., Island Life, school board, Schools.

So, once again, an Alameda debate has hit the regional news. And the Christian right has picked up the story and run with it. There’s also a lot of heated rhetoric swirling around (check out the comments on this Blogging Bayport post).

I have to confess that the whole debate about this tiny piece of AUSD curriculum makes me sad and weary. It surprises me that in this day and age, in the Bay Area, that we are still so hostile to difference, so obsessed with other people’s sex lives, so afraid of ourselves and the world and others. What the AUSD curriculum aims to do is teach reality: that all families (the majority of families, in fact) don’t look like the Cleavers. Families have all sorts of configurations, incorporating grandparents and cousins, step-siblings and stepfathers, same gender couples and opposite gender couples. That is reality. We can not like it, but, in reality, families have great variety.

The curriculum also aims to address another reality: that kids can be cruel, and they can torment and tease and poke and prod so severely as to destroy lives (just look at suicide rates for gay and lesbian youth). And it is incumbent on us as a society to protect our children, all our children. Pretending that acceptance and cruelty are not serious school issues helps no one.

With all the fervor, tonight’s school board meeting is sure to be a heated one. But if we can remember the basics, live and let live, do onto others, love thy neighbor, I think we can put this in its proper place and move on, continuing on with our work and household chores and other duties and obligations…We can continue on with the life basics shared by and important to all families regardless of their configuration. Because, despite everything, we are all a whole lot more alike than we are different.

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  • READthe TEXT of the LAWS

    If you are really worried about suicide rates, this proposal should make you furious!

    It does nothing for Middle and High School, nothing for the majority of harassment which by the way does NOT deal with these LGBT issues.

    The proposal which has been supported by a series of un-truths fed to the public by AUSD does not even meet the guidelines of the new anti-harassment laws.

  • Suzy

    Sure, as you say, teaching that “Families have all sorts of configurations, incorporating grandparents and cousins, step-siblings and stepfathers, same gender couples.” However, the curriculm is not about all these family configurations…it is about same sex marriages. The first couple lessons are about ALL families. Great! Love it! But after 1st grade (if you actually read what is going to be taught instead of just writing your party’s line) the lessons are only about teaching that homosexual marriage is good.

    I am not homophobic, I just think all groups shoudl be treated equally…and there are plenty of groups that dont have special curriculm…divorced families, single parent families, mixed race families…everyone is exposed to teasing.

    I feel like this curriculm is the gay community’s attempt to ensure that same sex marriage will be legalized by future generations (duhh right?)…and they are taking their political fight into our schools and burdening our teachers and our school boards with the work of their political agenda.

    Let adults decide what is right and wrong, dont put it on the elementary school kids!

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/jonmspangler Jon Spangler

    I attended the BOE meeting tonight, and was one of the last speakers near midnight before the public hearing was continued until next Monday night, May 18, at 6:30 PM, at Will C. Wood Middle School’s Multipurpose Room.

    Those who submitted speaker slips tonight but did not speak will have first crack at speaking (this time for only TWO minutes, not three) Monday night. Their names will be called in the order that speaker slips were submitted tonight, and approximate time slots and names will be posted on AUSD’s Web site later this week.

    I was saddened by the misinformation evident in many opponent’s comments tonight, as evidenced by READ’s comment above: the LGBT-specific curriculum supplement is to be added to existing curricula on other forms of harassment and discrimination based on gender, race, religion, nationality, etc. Adding the CSC lesson 9 to these existing lessons will simply give LGBT parents and students equal visibility to members of these other “protected classes.”

  • Pingback: Action Alert: Support Safe Schools in Alameda* at Lesbian Dad

  • http://www.property-st-paul-de-vence.info Annie ( Elite Property ) Wagner

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    It’s taken me literally 3 hours and 00 minutes of searching the web to find you (joke) ;) so I shall be very pleased to become a regular visitor

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