Friday, September 20, 2013

Brainwashing Your Kids???

After lessons with bias against Christianity, Capitalism and American Exceptionalism were discovered last year,  Texas parents started asking their school districts the question, “Do you use CSCOPE?”

When told, “No, we don’t use CSCOPE here,” there was a sigh of relief.

But now there is a new question Texas parents need to ask their schools, “Which anti-bullying program do you use?”

Of course, no one wants their child to grow up angry and hateful. No one wants their child labeled a “bully.”

Most have never thought about anti-bullying curriculum  as something a parent should preview BEFORE their child is exposed to the material - so the parent can decide if the lessons teach children to respect  people's differences without having to condone others' opinions or actions, or if the material might sway children's values or opinions.

As an example, the programs produced by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) with titles such as “No Place For Hate”  and "Community of Respect" claim to be an anti-biased resource for schools. But a closer look may cause some parents to want to know exactly how the materials will be used in their child’s school.

For example, a “Calendar of Observances” is included in the ADL’s materials along with suggested activities, as well as aGlossary of Observances” with a description of each special date.

But a parent might question if the religious holidays are treated equally in the materials.

Christian (Western) Islamic Baha'i
Christmas- Commemorates the birth of Jesus. Ashura- A day of fasting observed on the 10th day of the month of Muharram to celebrate Moses’ exodus from Egypt. For Shi’a Muslims, it also marks the climax of the ten-day Remembrance, which mourns the martyrdom of Hussein at the Battle of Kerbala in 680 CE. Ayyam-I-Ha  or Intercalary Days – The Ayyam-i-ha or “Days of Ha” are devoted to spiritual preparation for the fast, celebrating, hospitality, charity and gift giving. They are celebrated the four days, five in leap year, before the last month of the Baha'i year.

They might also question if the descriptions given in the glossary show a liberal bias.

For example, the ADL’s materials include this account of “Wounded Knee Day”:
On December 29, 1890 more than 200 Lakota Sioux were massacred by US troops at Wounded Knee in South Dakota.”

A parent might be concerned with the conclusion their child could draw from this for a few reasons:

  • there is no mention of the fact that the massacre happened because the US Government sent the troops to confiscate the Indian’s guns
  • events in which US troops were slaughtered, such as Pearl Harbor Day, are not included
  • events in which US citizens were slaughtered, such as 9-11,  are not included
  • observances  such as VJ Day and VE Day, when American and Allied Troops liberated the world from tyrants, are not included

Parents might also be concerned that observances listed include LGBT issues such as:

  • “Coming Out Day – Encourages honesty and openness about being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. Commemorates October 11, 1987, when 500,000 people marched on Washington, DC, for gay and lesbian equality.”
  • “Day of Silence – Students take a day-long vow of silence to protest the actual silencing of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students and their straight allies due to bias and harassment.”
  • LGBT History Month – Marks and celebrates the lives and achievements of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the United States.
  • "LGBT Pride Month  - Commemorates the anniversary of the June 28, 1969 Stonewall riot in New York City, the incident that initiated the modern gay rights movement in the United States. LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) Pride Day is the last Sunday in June.”
  • "Transgender Day of Remembrance - Memorializes those who were killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice.

But these are not balanced with five observances that stress Traditional  Marriage or Traditional Family.

Parents may also question that events honoring liberal leaders and organizations are stressed in the ADL's materials such as:

  • "Cesar Chavez Day - Honors Mexican American farm worker, labor leader and activist Cesar Chavez (1927-1993) who was a nationally respected voice for social justice." 
  • "International Worker's Day - Also known as May Day, it celebrates the social and economic achievements of  workers worldwide. The day commemorates the Haymarket Riot in 1886 in Chicago, in which police and protesters clashed following a worker's strike for an eight-hour work day."
  • "United Nations Day - Commemorates the founding of the world organization in 1945." 
  • "World Religion Day - (Baha'i) Observance to proclaim the oneness of religion and the belief that world religion will unify the peoples of the earth."

Yet, no days for conservative leaders,organizations or events such as Gun Appreciation Day,"Boston Tea Party Day," or Ronald Reagan Day.

But parents don’t know what materials are used in their schools unless they ask. All they need to do it contact their child’s teacher and ask to view any anti-bullying or anti-hate curriculum before it is presented to their child, including projects, videos, and/or guest speakers.

Parents want their children to show respect to others who may be different from them, and that is the purpose behind anti-bullying lessons. But parents need to make sure that is all that is being taught, not someone else's political agenda.

Colleen Vera


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