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Parents file lawsuit against school district

This announcement about a lawsuit against the school district regarding an opt-out option for parents who don’t want their children to take the anti-bullying curriculum for LGBT families’ students was released today. A full story will appear in next week’s edition of the Alameda Journal.

Alameda Parents File Suit Over Denial of Opt-out Requests

Alameda, CA – A group of parents filed a lawsuit today against Alameda Unified School District after the District denied their requests to excuse their young children from controversial lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) instruction.

In late May, despite strong opposition by parents at school board meetings, AUSD approved a supplemental curriculum that will promote LGBT alternative families to kindergarten and elementary-age students.  Since AUSD adopted the curriculum, numerous parents have sent letters to Superintendent Kristen Vital, requesting that their young students be opted out of the controversial instruction.  The District recently sent form letters denying all of the parents’ requests.

While the District has claimed that a LGBT curriculum was necessary to address bullying and harassment in elementary schools, documentation from the District obtained by Pacific Justice Institute through a public records request shows that the vast majority of reported incidents on AUSD campuses involve racial tension and opposite-sex sexual harassment, not sexual orientation. In fact, school incident reports show that there were no complaints of harassment due to sexual orientation in AUSD elementary grades.

Today, staff attorneys for Pacific Justice Institute filed suit in Alameda Superior Court, seeking enforcement of opt-out provisions in the California Education Code.  Kevin Snider, PJI Chief Counsel, commented, “Alameda parents believe all children deserve safe schools.  Parents do not support LGBT indoctrination that fails to address the main causes of bullying and harassment in the District and intentionally omits children belonging to the other five protected classes,” Snider stated, referring to race and ethnicity, gender, disability, nationality and religion.  “It is their right to remove their children from this highly controversial program, and we intend to vigorously defend that right,” he continued.

For information on the Pacific Justice Institute go to www.PacificJustice.Org.

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Alameda schools, the anti-bullying curriculum

It would have been hard not to notice that there’s been a lot of heated discussion in Alameda about a proposed addition to the Alameda Unified School District’s anti-bullying curriculum. The Alameda Journal last week ran comments in support and against it.

Local Blogger Lauren Do has been tracing what specifically the curriculum will look like. And, for those of you interested, you can always find heated discussion in the comments on Do’s blog. Sometimes commentors make sense, sometimes they don’t. Sometimes they’re nasty and contradictory, sometimes they’re not.

Opposition to the proposed curriculum runs the gamut. From those who believe that homosexuality is a sin, to those who fear that sexual terms will be introduced at too young an age. You can see all the lessons here. The Rev. Laura Rose, pastor of Alameda’s First Congregational Church, wrote this in a letter to the editor:

For those who object to this sort of curriculum on the basis that it is against a specific set of religious or moral beliefs, I would simply say that respect and tolerance for all people as children of God is the unifying and core principle of every world religion.

But more importantly, equality is the core principle of our Constitution and I believe a curriculum that enables children to see all people (and themselves) in a positive light is critical to AUSD’s mission of making Alameda a safe and welcoming place for all children and all families.

You can read Rose’s whole letter here (though you must scroll down). Happy Monday.