Social Question

BBSDTfamily's avatar

What do you think of CA's mandatory gay education in public elementary schools?

Asked by BBSDTfamily (6834points) October 12th, 2009

The people who voted for it say it is promoting safety and acceptance for the gay community. Those who voted against it say it isn’t the school’s place to teach children to accept any lifestyles, that moral beliefs should be left to the parents. Who do you agree with?

I am going to have to say I am with the parents who voted against it… although I am 100% for acceptance of this lifestyle, I also am 100% for parents being in control of what they want their children to learn or believe at that early of an age. If a parent does want their child to know of this lifestyle at that age, let them teach their own children from their own approach. I think elementary school should be about English, Math, etc. and enforce rules against bullying other children.

Anyone in here from CA that can weigh in?

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49 Answers

Samurai's avatar

I agree with what the school decides and what the parents allow and think.
I am against mandatory gay education, and also against mandatory education.
Am in CA here.

ragingloli's avatar

it should be part of regular sex education or even social studies. not sure when that starts across the pond.

jrpowell's avatar

Got a link to an article about it? I remember hearing something about it but your description sounds a lot different from what I remember.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

@johnpowell I watched a clip about it in the news when it was all being voted in… I’ll find an article for you real quick though.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

@Samurai What do you mean?

Samurai's avatar

You should have the answer now. Sorry, was editing it.

If majority the parents don’t agree with mandatory gay education then that’s what should be in my opinion

BBSDTfamily's avatar

@Samurai You mean against the gov’t making children go to school? But wouldn’t almost all children decide it’s not fun to go to school? I am confused!

Samurai's avatar

@BBSDTfamily School should be something you want to do, just like college. If all the children decided not to go to school it would be obvious that the schools would be doing something wrong right? Education leads to bombs.

jrpowell's avatar

That is actually something different than what I was thinking. I found this. It doesn’t seem bad to me. It is teaching tolerance and not promoting a lifestyle.

DarkScribe's avatar

@Samurai Education leads to bombs.

Do you have a huge red nose?

Samurai's avatar

@DarkScribe Not a reindeer here.

DarkScribe's avatar

@Samurai Not a reindeer here.

I was thinking more like this

You seem to be clowning around with some of your responses.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

@johnpowell It is a state-wide ruling for California and individual school systems don’t have a choice in the matter. There are specific things, like reading “And Tango Makes Three” and watching “That’s A Family” (I think that’s what it is called) by certain grades. The school board listened to parents weigh in on both sides and then voted in the mandatory addition to the curriculum.

Samurai's avatar

@DarkScribe Yeah your right, I should take a break from Fluther for a bit, but I have no idea what to do beyond that.

DarkScribe's avatar

@Samurai I should take a break from Fluther for a bit, but I have no idea what to do beyond that.

Have you discovered girls yet? They can certainly offer some interesting alternatives.

DarkScribe's avatar

@BBSDTfamily The school board listened to parents weigh in on both sides and then voted in the mandatory addition to the curriculum.

Do parents have the option of keeping kids at home on those days?

Samurai's avatar

Sex or power huh, I could do with some sleep.

DarkScribe's avatar

@DarkScribe Sex or power huh, I could do with some sleep.

I gather that you have discovered girls then.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

@DarkScribe Yes if they are going to home school them. They also have the option of private schooling which doesn’t fall under the state’s ruling. But if you want to send your child to public school in California, this is the rule. Some families have both parents working or low income or both, and can’t afford either option and are forced into public school.

DarkScribe's avatar

@BBSDTfamily But if you want to send your child to public school in California, this is the rule

I have no problem with teaching tolerance toward all other people – regardless of lifestyle, but I would like to decide when and how when it comes to my children.

Sarcasm's avatar

I hadn’t heard this, but being a person who isn’t an adamant fighter for/against gay rights, and being someone who doesn’t have school aged children (or any children!), I’m not the kind of person who’d actively be seeking out news articles of this type.

To be honest, if I had to vote regarding this, I’d vote for it. I don’t see any harm in it, and it’s good for kids to learn about how other kids see things. To me, it seems like it is obviously to curtail(I hope that’s the right word) discrimination. It doesn’t seem to be something in-your-face about converting all of your bible-loving children into satan-worshipping queers.

Homosexual children really do seem to be at the ass end of harassment these days.

I’m surprised that Fox actually posted something seemingly fair and balanced though. I expected a big right-wing twist on that article you posted.

Samurai's avatar

@Sarcasm Have a great point.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

@DarkScribe I agree completely with teaching tolerance. I also agree with deciding when and how the info comes to my children.

Another thought- there are religions that believe that a gay lifestyle is wrong, so that is another reason not to make this mandatory in schools. We don’t force children to pray in school anymore because some religions don’t allow for it so isn’t this on the same wavelength? If my religion teaches that something is wrong, I don’t want the school system telling my child that it is right.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

@Sarcasm I definitely agree that it was a decision made with the right intentions… but do you see why some parents would want to carefully oversee the way that information comes into their children’s minds?

DominicX's avatar

I’m gay and from California and I think it’s a great idea given the amount of bullying that goes on against gay kids and I think it could really help them. I know I wasn’t openly gay in school and I never experienced that and additionally I live in an extremely liberal part of California, but I have heard plenty of stories to know that gay kids are harassed and bullied and the problem begins with how children are taught (or not taught) to view gay people and this could nip it in the bud—end it before it becomes a problem.

But I do think that like sex education, it should be optional on the grounds of religious freedom. Of course if I continue to live in California (which I probably will) then I will definitely have my kids (which I do plan to have) receive it if given the option. But of course being a gay parent, I would provide adequate information about it to them.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

@DominicX Yay someone in the midst of the situation that can give insider info… Do you think that an alternate to mandatory gay education could be stricter punishment and more enforcement of anti-bullying rules in school? To me, it seems that way nobody’s relgious beliefs/personal beliefs/parental rights etc. are stepped on and also the gay community is given more protection.

DominicX's avatar


I agree that stricter punishment and more enforcement of anti-bullying rules could help. My mom said that back in her day, there was no such thing as an anti-bullying rule. People got harassed and bullied at school; that’s just what happened and you just had to live with it. It is getting a lot better, but there are still many areas to improve on.

However, I also think anti-bullying education can help too. In other words, no one needs to say anything about gay parents or anything, but no religion says it’s okay to bully and harass gay people just because you believe their lifestyle is wrong. That’s the point at which your freedom infringes on another person’s freedom. Kids should be taught not to bully people based on race, gender, sexual orientation, or any reason for that matter.

ratboy's avatar

I prefer to decide when my children are introduced to arithmetic; I think elementary school should focus on exposing children to diversity so that they don’t automatically grow up sharing their parents’ ignorance and bigotry.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

@DominicX I agree completely. I am Christian and plan on raising my children in the same religion, but they will surely be in big trouble if I ever catch them making fun of anyone for any reason, regardless of what our religion says is right or wrong. The most important part of my religion is loving everyone, and that is the #1 rule I’ll teach my children.

drdoombot's avatar

If children have to learn sex education, then they should have to learn about homosexual sex as well. Whether it’s against your religion or not, homosexuality is a fact of modern life. Ignorance helps no one and it certainly doesn’t brainwash kids into pitching for the other team. No matter how much you try to protect your kids from it, they will still learn about it. It is unavoidable; better to have them exposed to it for the first time in a controlled session with factual information than secondhand on the playground.

@BBSDTfamily If my religion doesn’t allow pork, should schools be banned from serving it? If my religion doesn’t allow women to expose skin, should all girls be forced to wear burkas? Education about homosexuality doesn’t force your children to participate in homosexuality, just as studying WWII doesn’t turn kids into Nazis. Knowledge is power and there’s nothing wrong with knowing about the things you don’t believe in addition to the things you do.

El_Cadejo's avatar

i really dont see the big deal. This seems like a no shit moment. Like duh why arent we teaching about this already? why the fuck did there even have to be a vote? We learn tolerance towards all other races/religions in school, why should homosexuals be any different?

augustlan's avatar

I am in complete agreement with @drdoombot.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@drdoombot GA, I agree completely.

OpryLeigh's avatar

I agree with it for the most part. Unfortunately there are still many parents that force their beliefs on their kids and this is not always for the best. If the parents are bringing up the children to be intolerant of homosexuality (as many still are) then, maybe, if the school is teaching acceptance, the child is less likely to grow up to be an intolerant adult.

I don’t believe that parents should always be in complete control of what they learn for this very reason.

I went to school in England and we had a lesson about once a week (so it didn’t really eat into the “important” lessons like Maths, English, Science etc) which basically taught us about other peoples/cultures way of life, religion, disabilities etc. I used to enjoy these lessons and they always made you think. There wouldn’t be much writing involved it was more about open discussion. I think kids need to be made to think about why they believe certain things and offered all the alternatives. They may well hold onto their original belief and quite often that is fine but at least they would have thought why they believe and it won’t be a case of “well that’s what my parents taught me so it mustr be right”.

P.S I hope this makes sense. I feel quite strongly about this and although I know what I want to say I don’t know how to say it!

filmfann's avatar

They are teaching tolerance, not cock-sucking.

EmpressPixie's avatar

@drdoombot: That was a fantastic answer!

At my [public] school we learned about different religions and cultures. I see this as no different—it’s not teaching children that they must be straight or gay, but that there are a number of options available in the world. I would actually go one step further and say that because there are uptight parents who won’t have discussed this with their kids, we absolutely need it in schools. There are children who know from a very early age that they are “different”, but don’t realize they aren’t alone. That can make a big difference in how you grow up. Plus, again, as there are uptight parents who aren’t going to have this conversation on their own with their kids, this give them a way to open that dialogue for them.

aprilsimnel's avatar

Just, I’m sorry, I have to say this.

I hate the word “tolerance”. It means that the group(s) on top with the privilege are deigning to put up with “outliers”. The allowance of something. So condescending to me. Bah! Who really wants to be merely “tolerated”? Full-on acceptance! We need to learn how to accept people as they are, be they gay or a different colour or social class and not simply “tolerate” them. So, yes, I feel someone needs to teach children that everyone in the world isn’t like them and their families and that it goes past being OK; it’s the reality of life on Earth and they’ll have to accept it.

Right. Thank you.
[/rant off]

tinyfaery's avatar

You cannot teach or trick someone into being gay. Being gay isn’t imposed on people, it’s what people are. You are afraid of the younger generation seeing LGBT people for what they really are—just like everybody else.

Are there really still people out there who believe in gay indoctrination? Maybe there needs to be a special class for these people. You know. Something that might teach them how to think.

judochop's avatar

Yeah California taught a lot of tolerance when they shot down Prop 8. Way to be passive aggresive Cali. Sometimes I wish California would just become a string of islands.

purpose's avatar

I think that children are supposed to learn about the actual reality they live in, when they are at school. 10 % of the population is gay and bisexual. If people are against teaching tolerance and acceptance of all minorities, Rosa Parks is just kept in the back of the bus.

Sarcasm's avatar

@judochop Interestingly enough, the pro-Prop 8 folks used children to drive their point home. They were saying that, if Prop 8 fails (and thus gay marriage stays legal), it would be mandatory for kids to learn in Sex Ed how gays and lesbians have sex. Which is false, and even if it were true, who cares?
They also had a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOT of funding from the Mormon Church. Apparently the same religion which is known all around the country for polygamy thought that Marriage is between one man and one woman, too.

alright, I know it’s not a huge portion of the Mormons who do participate in polygamy, but the fact remains that it’s the single thing they’re known for most.

I’m glad to announce that my parents (Who voted for McCain, who watch Fox news nightly, who DVR O’Reilly) voted “no” on 8.

Ivan's avatar

I really don’t mean to hijack this thread, but…

“School should be something you want to do, just like college. If all the children decided not to go to school it would be obvious that the schools would be doing something wrong right? Education leads to bombs.”


RedPowerLady's avatar

I don’t see how promoting tolerance is ever “wrong”. And the truth is that this is such a controversial issue many parents will not take the responsibility of appropriately addressing the issue with their children. Although I’m not a believer that schools should have to take the place of parents it is often the reality. Should they also stop teaching about tolerance towards other cultures?

Disc2021's avatar

I think considering how many ignorant and misguided people there are on GBLT matters, it could only be a good thing.

Noon's avatar

This is not a question of teaching morals to children. The topic of homosexuality will come up in several classes. California history for one. Prop8, Legalized Same Sex marriage, Knight Initiative, and Prop 6 are part of California’s history. If you asked teacher to not teach this, it would be and obvious disservice to the childrens’ education.

Regardless of the morals you want to keep in your home (no matter how ridiculous), those “morals” should not effect the education of other children. And if the lessons you teach your children at home can’t hold up to the facts they are taught in school, maybe you should assess the lessons you teach at home.

There are religions that don’t believe in evolution, the equality of the sexes, the equality of the races. Should we change curriculum to let these groups have their way, thereby censoring our children’s education? I think not.

Talking to children about the fact that there are homosexuals in the world, and that they are oppressed, and that 18,000 same sex couples are currently legally married in California (of which I am part of one), is not teaching them a “lifestyle”, It’s stating facts. Now if a child comes to realize that their parents may take part in this oppression, it is the parents’ responsibility to justify their opinion. If they can’t do so, maybe they should get to thinking.

This is equivalent to a parent wanting their child to never learn algebra. Not only that, but also to demand the teachers to make sure to never mention that algebra ever existed.

DarkScribe's avatar

Good response Noon. I fully agree. School is for preparing children for life as adults – this is a part of that life.

galileogirl's avatar

Jeez, not that old canard! You’ve been listening to too much talk radio or Faux News.

First there is no mandatory gay education in California elementary school any more than there is mandatory heterosexual education. I am assuming you are talking about sexual activity because that is the only difference between gays and straights. We don’t even teach the how-tos to high school students. We leave it to kids to learn that on the street like every other state does.

Secondly, we don’t vote on curriculum. That is set partly by the Department of Education whose leadership is appointed by our Republican Governor and partly by our local school boards elected directly by the people. If the school board does something the people don’t like they run the risk of not being relected as happened recently when they tried to remove JROTC from the schools.

Before you make these kinds of statements you should do YOUR homework. If you can’t be bothered then ask a question like “Does CA have mandatory gay education in elementary school?” Then you won’t have to be schooled.

RedPowerLady's avatar

@galileogirl Hey it prompted a nice discussion anyhow.

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