Alameda push poll on gay and lesbian school curriculum

A neighbor reports that she just got a phone call in which she was asked to answer a series of automated survey questions. Below is her best recollection of what she was asked:

Do you care about education in Alameda schools?

Do you believe that a curriculum explaining lesbian, gay and transgender issues should be allowed in the Alameda school district?

Do you think gay, lesbian and transgender are appropriate vocabulary to be teaching at the elementary school level?

Do you that marriage only between one man and one woman should be allowed in California?

(This last one is really confusing.)

She says she thinks there was one more substantive question and then the recorded voice asked two bits of demographic info. One, if she was 50 or older and, two, if she was male. The call came from a Washington, D.C. area code and was conducted by a survey company (she didn’t catch the name). Perhaps you too have received such a call? Perhaps you too will receive such a call?


  • Steph

    I got this call about an hour ago. Caller ID said “CAMPRES09″ so I answered it, thinking it might be about our summer plans. When I heard the robot voice, I hung up. Google CAMPRES09, they do a lot of these.

  • J.A. Boyer

    Me too! About 7:15PM with same caller ID. When will I learn not to answer caller ID’s I can’t ID?

  • Sue T.

    Ditto — got it yesterday at 6 PM, hung up when I heard it was a robocall. Phone number on Caller ID was 202-461-3460.

  • Jan

    I just got the call. I answered the questions, which were clearly slanted against the curriculum. The last one is indeed tricky, as you have to think quickly about the wording and know how the anti-gay marriage initiatives have been written. The recorded voice says it’s sponsored by Capital Resource Institute, which is the conservative group that organized against the curriculum from Sacramento. If you’re in favor of the curriculum, answer the questions so their survey doesn’t come out utterly skewed (which it likely will anyway).

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

    I received my right-wing robocall this afternoon, and rather enjoyed yelling the “Gay agenda” answers into the phone. Especially saying “NO!” to the question asking if I supported marriage between a man and a woman in CA.

    (We’ve been married 20 years, and Linda was grinning as I answered that last one, knowing precisely how poorly done this pushy, small-minded survey was…)

  • Terry

    There is one big issue here that these officials fail to think about.

    Parents have a right to protect their children from what they deem inappropriate, by any means necessary. That means taking their children OUT of school and home schooling them, or eliminating the source of the problem.

  • Terry

    and by eliminating the source of the problem, I mean by not reelecting the school official that is thinking backwards.

  • jessica

    the last question was, “are you male?”

    this poll really upset me. it definitely felt anti-gay….

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

    Terry, what IS it that you feel is so threatening to your kids?

    Is it the actual presence of two-mom and two-dad families in your children’s school community and in the PTA? Is it the possibility that your kids might see a “different” family than your own ideal, one that functions as well as your own?

    What is wrong with accepting as equals the very real people who are our neighbors, fellow PTA members and class parents? In case you did not know, our Constitution and the Bill of Rights are intended to cover all people equally.

    Inclusion and tolerance of minorities, including those of different creeds, nationalities, and orientations, is a matter of civil rights and demographics, not proselytizing or making one class of parents and students ‘superior.” I certainly applied anti-bullying and anti-harassment standards equally to all of the 40 kindergartners in my care at Franklin School when I was a volunteer, but not all of those kids had learned tolerance and mutual respect equally well. Our kids need better ways to learn to get along with each other, especially those who (even in K-1) were abusive of others with words or their bodies.

    The supplemental curriculum for inclusion and anti-bullying teaches mutual respect, not sex, and it brings the AUSD into line with existing state laws that protect everyone’s civil rights, including the right to practice one’s religion.

    If you think that the Board of Education and AUSD officials are ‘thinking backwards,” remember: if the AUSD FAILS to adopt adequate and equal protection for all students against bullying and verbal abuse, and a student is physically harmed or traumatized by bullying based on a perceived or real difference (sexual orientation, race, creed, etc.), the district could lose millions of dollars in a lawsuit, just like Morgan Hill and Vallejo districts already have. This could ruin our already perilous school finances. These “backwards” officials have a legal responsibility to the district to prevent such unnecessary legal exposure.

    Do you really want only SOME kids and SOME families to be included in classroom discussions, and only SOME kids (yours?) protected from bullying?

    I hope you feel otherwise, but your words seem to say that protecting your own children from harm is good, but that you are unwilling to protect every child from serious physical and emotional harm. I pray that is not what you intended, but it looks that way…

    Are you afraid that your kids will be “bullied” because they look or act or believe something different from what their peers believe?

  • Carrie

    Well said Jon, not adopting this curriculum would be sending the school district backwards. If people have a problem with their children learning not to bully other children, then by all means, they should take them out of school. The sad reality is that if parents were doing a better job teaching their kids that it’s not okay to pick on ANYONE, EVER, we wouldn’t even be having this discussion.

  • Martha

    I agree with what Carrie said, “If parents were doing a better job teaching their kids that it’s not okay to pick on ANYONE, EVER, we wouldn’t even be having this discussion”.

    Bullying across the board is wrong – I will never tolerate bullying in my home or from my kids at school. This training begins at home from parents.

    I am concerned, however, that the GLBT community is receiving special protection against bullying (more than for race, obesity, awkwardness, red hair, bad breath – whatever)and that children who are raised with religious values that do not embrace the homosexual lifestyle will then be targeted for abuse. REGARDLESS of the abuse source, it should be addressed. A new curriculum teaching children that any lifestyle choice is open for them to choose, is NOT the answer to the bullying issue. It is simply a way to indoctrinate unassuming children and families.

  • Carrie

    But the thing is, there are already things in place for dealing with other kinds of discrimination. You don’t need special vocabulary to deal with addressing everyday kinds of bullying that we have all been dealing with forever. It’s not like we’re going to stop celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day or Chinese New Year and replace it with Pride day or anything. I also don’t think that there is going to be any more targeting of kids with strong religious beliefs now than before. My kids have been dealing with kids who had strong religious beliefs for a long time. It’s been my experience that it’s often the kids with strong religious backgrounds that tend to try to push their beliefs on other kids. That’s certainly only been my experience though. I think that the whole curriculum issue has been a bit misunderstood. Like our kindergarten teacher said, it’s 45 minute lesson for heaven’s sake. All that said, we should all teach our kids that everyone is different and even though some kids believe different things, we can all get along and we should all treat eachother with respect.

  • Carla Lopez

    I would like to read the actual curriculum program so as to know what it consist of, rather than getting third hand information about it. Is there any link to the actual program?

  • Susan Davis


    The curriculum can be found at: http://www.mikemcmahon.info/.

  • Anna Kang

    I’m an eighth grader at Lincoln Middle School and honestly i believe that this curriculum is simply wrong. Yes I am the daughter of a rather conservative set of parents and my dad also happens to be the senior pastor of a church, but i truly believe this, rather than just having this belief shoved down my throats by my parents. I think that according to the first Amendment that parents who don’t want their children to learn about this in school shouldn’t have to. I mean isn’t that what our country was, and i hope still is, all about? And, John, meaning no disrespect, asking Terry what is wrong with accepting as equals the people who are our neighbors and saying the bill of rights was intended to cover all people equally is slightly hypocritical as you refuse to accept that people with different beliefs may not want this curriculum. By all means have your children taught what you believe but let other parents choose not to. Simple as that. I realize that having students not be taught this class may result in their bullying of the lesbians, gays, or transgenders in their school, and i see that this is wrong. I also would like to mention that i as a more conservative christian than many of my non-like minded peers have faced teasing or ridicule but i believe in what i believe in, and i am willing to face ridicule for that. Sure, it isn’t fun but the world isn’t a fun place and trying to shelter these kids who will eventually have to face the big bad world can only lead to a harder and more painful fall. YOU all know you can’t force change or make easy the world for any one group with out making another group upset. Especially in this case. So as i learn more about the founding of our Free country i have come to more strongly believe that the fact that this curriculum is being forced down our throats is unconstitutional, not to say that it is wrong. Wrong on a higher level then laws and politics, wrong in the highest most important standard.