Monday, October 13, 2008

Government-run School Sponsors Field Trip for 1st Graders to Gay "Wedding"

I haven't really talked much about Proposition 8, the California Marriage Protection Amendment. which would restore the traditional definition of marriage in the state as that of one man and one woman. Not because I don't think it's important but because it's one of those issues where you either hold traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs or you don't. Supporters and opponents can talk each other blue in the face and nobody's going to convince the other side of anything.

The whole argument about legal rights is a smokescreen because homosexual domestic partners in California already had the SAME rights as married couples under state law BEFORE four activist judges overturned the will of the people back in June. Nothing in Prop. 8 would change that!

Where Prop. 8 IS important is how marriage is presented in the state's government-run schools. The CA Ed Code requires teachers to instruct children as young as kindergarteners about marriage- and if Prop. 8 does not pass, that would include gay "marriage". Teachers in government-run schools would have to treat gay "marriage" as NO DIFFERENT FROM traditional marriage regardless of how parents feel about the issue. Obviously this is an issue about which there is tremendous controversy, which is why PARENTS ought to be the ones making the decision about how they want it presented to their own children in accordance with their own family's values.

What prompted me to bring up the subject of Prop. 8 today is a story that is shocking but sadly not surprising. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, a government-run school in San Francisco sponsored a field trip Friday by a FIRST GRADE class to a GAY "WEDDING" officiated by mayor (and notorious adulterer) Gavin Newsom.

The interim director of the Creative Arts Charter School, Liz Jaroslow, justified the trip on "educational" grounds thus:
"It really is what we call a teachable moment....I think I'm well within the parameters....As far as I'm concerned, it's not controversial for me."
If the teacher in question had chosen to invite her students to attend her "wedding" outside of class time, then I wouldn't really have a huge problem with it. That would've been a non-school event and no taxpayer dollars would've been spent funding it. I might still question its appropriateness for such young kids, but that's a judgment call for the students' parents. But this trip was done during time that the state is paying this school to educate the children.

I looked up the data on the Creative Arts Charter to see if the school is doing such a wonderful job that it can afford to waste time on non-academic pursuits such as this field trip. Here's what I found:

Percent of students scoring Proficient or Above in Math: 28.6%
Percent of students scoring Proficient or Above in Language Arts: 56.8%
Ranking of this school compared to others in the state with similar demographics: bottom 10%

Seems to me the administration needs to spend a bit more time teaching its students academic basics and a bit less time on indoctrination...


Patrick Meighan said...

"Seems to me the administration needs to spend a bit more time teaching its students academic basics and a bit less time on indoctrination..."

That's up to the parents of the children attending the school to decide, wouldn't you agree?

And the parents of the children who went to this wedding actually signed permission slips to let their kids attend... so evidently they disagree with you.

Also, for what it's worth, the trip to the wedding was conceived of (and planned by) one of the parents, not by the teacher herself (for whom the visit by the schoolchildren was a wonderful surprise).

Patrick Meighan
Culver City, CA

Crimson Wife said...

Did the majority of the parents really think this trip was a good idea? Or was it just that they were afraid to speak out against it for fear of being seen as "intolerant"? How many of the parents signed the permission slips because they felt pressured into it?

Even if all the parents in fact truly DID agree with the trip, it still is an inappropriate use of taxpayer money. The school receives a certain amount of funding per student per day from the state, and that needs to be used to actually educate these kids.

ms. lee of the lemon drops said...

Defining marriage as between one man and one woman is not taking away anyone's rights. The definition simply distinguishes a union that is biologically capable of producing its own children. Whether a married couple has children or not, I feel like this deserves a separate name--even the potential is kind of a miracle.

Actually this definition can be seen as the ultimate expression of equality our society has to offer: it takes one man and one woman. One could see a lesbian union as a marginalization of men, or a homosexual union as a marginalization of women.

Equality is especially important when it comes to raising children. Children deserve/need a father and a mother. Neither parent should be marginalized.

Yes, many children are already growing up in single-parent homes. Prop 8 should be a reminder to everyone that as a society we need to assist and strengthen families as much as possible. Really, as a society we should be most concerned with the success and health of our families.

peace out.

Kirsten said...

I think the more productive issue is --why is the state requiring teachers to instruct about marriage from the 1rst grade?

I can see it from both sides, my daughter is highly interested in marriage and it comes up all the time in princess stories. Her school has a social studies curriculum for kindy, which is learning about yourself, your family and your community (your school).

On the other hand, marriage is a controversial issue (that's why that measure is on the ballot). And a lot of children (not necessarily in that school, but in general) live in families where marriage is an problematic issue for someone, due to divorce or having children out of wedlock. Marriage is highly culture-dependent and that is likely to be a problem.

Take marriage out of the curriculum until the children are fully instructed by their parents in the culturally appropriate way.

Barbara Frank said...

Oh, good grief. If I had a child in that class, I'd be so ticked. You're right, this school is into indoctrination, not education. Can you imagine the outrage if the school sponsored the field trip to the wedding of a man and a woman in a Christian or Catholic church? Geez.

Henry Cate said...

Janine and I have been kicking around doing a Pro-Prop 8 post. I enjoyed yours.

I agree there will be a big problem in public schools if Prop 8 doesn't pass. Teachers with religious convictions will be required to teach contrary to their beliefs.

There are also several other problems. One of the biggest for me is that just eight years ago Californians overwhelming said that the legal term "marriage" was only to refer to a union between a man and a woman. Prop 22 passed by over 60%. Yet four out of seven judges ignored the will of the people and decided to pass their own law.

The next three weeks will be interesting.

Momma said...

I agree with you 100%. If the teacher had married a man no one would have thought to go to the wedding or make a field trip out of it. Schools are for academics, not teaching children what they think is right and wrong.

And I do think that signing permission slips puts the parents in a difficult position. They may have only signed it to keep peace between themselves and the teacher. I know I would have trouble deciding whether to sign it or not. I wouldn't have wanted my first grader to go, but I also wouldn't want the child to get made fun of or the teacher to treat him differently.

That kind of stuff needs to stay out of the schools. Period.