School Choice? its about bullying, evolution, and open mindedness

Across the US, there is a problem with education, its underfunded, lacking in innovation, and failing the next generation of young americans. They can only keep hold of the most dedicated teachers, because rather than treating them as prized assets worth more than any Politican or Manager, they have to survive on a salary that is fundamentally a joke. The Republican party has declared yet another war on teachers and other public servants going after their pay and pensions, while giving tax breaks to corporations and millionaires.

Part of the strategy is cutting funding, transitioning schools from public ownership, to the hands of corporations. This is an effort of moving us towards the McDonalds and Mattel sponsored schools of Jennifer Government. But also theres an equally insidious and evil agenda, which is that of the innocently named “School Choice”.

The stated aim of “School Choice”, is to give children of disadvantaged families, the right to go to private schools, funded by giving subsidies towards private school fees. Thats not the real aim, the aim is to allow fundamentalist christian parents to remove their children from the mind opening and tolerance inducing public school system, and put them in conservative christian schools.

Public schools throughout the USA are helping spread the message of tolerance. California’s SB48 will bring the contributions of LGBTQIA people in history into social studies the same way in the past, they brought in Hispanic and African Americans in, as part of an effort to fight prejudice. More and more public schools have Gay Straight Alliances, even in conservative christians states.

Parents are afraid, and they should be, you want your child to be a good little fundamentalist, when you can control all the information they have access to, it is easier to brainwash them. If you raise them on a diet of bible and other books filled with conservative lies, then its likely they’ll think the world was created in 6 days, that LGBTQIA people are evil, and anyone who disagrees has a little demon on their shoulder.

Bible Tract on Gay People
From a popular Fundamentalist bible tract

This all breaks down, when children find out that evolution makes a lot of sense, that the world is much bigger than the narrow world their parents forced down their throats. Once they get into the public school system, their brains start to get enriched and their hearts and minds open.

School choice vouchers are being used by these fundamentalist parents to send their children to schools that teach the same lies they get at home. Hatemongering leaders in the christian right are terrified because they know that once someone has opened their mind to reality its very difficult to close the mind up with hatred and intolerance.

Bullying in schools is a real hot-button issue, no longer is being bulled for being true to who you are, acceptable. School districts who try to be bigoted, face legal action from students no longer wanting to sit at the back of the bus. Christian students who try to bully, cajole and in other ways spread the hate of their parents, are becoming as unwelcome as the children of white supremacists a generation ago.

The point here, is that school choice is not about helping children, its about helping parents being able to brainwash their children with religious dogma, using federal, state and local tax dollars to fund it. It is child abuse, and religious indoctrination in clear violation of both ethical government and the separation of church and state.

Public schools in the USA, are not perfect but they are better than the schools that will indoctrinate them with Catechism, Creationism, and Lies.

Are Tennessee lawmakers looking at the LGBTQIA suicide rate, and saying its not enough?

Thats what the bill coming from Tennessee senator Stacey Campfield seems to be saying. What the bill says is that teachers upto and including the 8th grade are forbidden from

The man who is calling for more gay suicides

mentioning or acknowledging LGBTQIA issues within school no matter how innocuous. The bill has the label of the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, because effectively thats what it means.

Apparently this law has been the pet project of Senator Campfield for several years, and now its heading towards the state senate floor, and we’ve got ask what motivates him. I’m sure will ascribe misguided motives to him, and maybe thats what’s going on, but this bill seems purpose built to increase the rate of suicide in LGBTQIA youth.

Not only will this prevent teachers from acting to stop LGBTQIA-phobic bullying, it prevents them from offering any support to LGBTQIA youth who are beginning to come to terms with themselves. While California is pushing forward with SB48 in an effort to end LGBTQIA-phobia and intolerance, Tenesse seems to be trying to remove any ability from the schools to help vulnerable youth.

Now I’m sure that this comes from some idea about if you don’t mention “Gay” people wont be gay…  but it comes from bigotry and ignorance.

This bill is going to increase the rate of suicides, not maybe, not possibly, not even probably, this is removing from LGBTQIA youth one of the most important sources of support and help. Senator Campfield even wants teachers investigated just to make sure that teachers do not offer said support.

This is about shoving us back in to the closet and hoping we go away… well we aren’t, and if this bill passes, the legislature of the state of Tennessee will have the blood of vulnerable youth on their hands.

If you are in Tennessee call your state senator, your representative, and the governor’s office, to protest.

Even if you aren’t in Tennessee call  Senator Campfield’s office on (615)-741-1766 and remind him of the lives he is putting at risk.

Even us fabulous queers suffer from the ignorance around us…

Hatred is a strange and terrible beast, alone among all human emotions, it has no positive, no value, and it is born in ignorance. I was brought up in such an environment. Long before I had even come to terms with myself, the world around me treated LGBTQIA people as broken, twisted, and disgusting.

IgnoranceI remember being told the “tragic news” when my cousin came out as gay. I watched as a supposedly happy straight man on Eastenders was “corrupted” by the token gay character. Being gay was synonymous with something negative.

Now I’m a self aware polyamorous queer culture embracing, bisexual transwoman, who looks back in horror at her past viewpoint and tries to understand how I could have been so wrong. My parents didn’t hate gay people, they felt pity for them, but that was indoctrinated into me. Despite going to a christian school, I was fortunate that they were not openly homophobic.

I think this cuts at the root of so many of our problems. I didn’t have the experience, or the knowledge to know better. I was cut off from a world of experience, and a universe of perspectives. Our history is one of filtering out the extraordinary, the interesting, the deep, and the challenging. Society and Geography talked only about 2 parent heterosexual families, and skirted around the fact that the white picket fence was a rarity. No matter how deep I dove into my religious education, i’d never have been allowed to find out about the two-spirited of the first nations, the Galli of rome, or the triangle of Thai myth. The very society that raised me, conspired against my entire generation to limit our ideas, our expressions and our dreams.

We owe a duty to the next generation to not cripple them, the way the previous generation crippled us. Already some allies have stepped up, in California, in Massachusetts, and back here in the UK. Schools are attacking the ignorance head on, but not with truncheons and thought police, instead with stories, histories, and the truth. Change is happening, but you need to help it along. Schools, Education authorities and Governments will listen, if we all speak up.

Mark Leno on LGBTQIA history being taught in schools.

State senator Mark Leno of California is proposing that we teach our children about LGBTQIA history the same way we have Black History, and Women’s History.

He makes it clear and unequivocal that this is a matter of civil rights, and a clear continuum for LGBTQIA rights being the next stage in the civil rights process. It is clear that those who oppose equality are just the same as those who opposed Black History, and Women’s Studies because they were bigots, just the same as this lot.

Department of Education begins to step up to the mark

It may be slow in doing this, but it looks like as a result of the Office of Civil rights realizing the serious problem of lgbtqa-phobic bullying and torment going on in American schools.

The problem is systemic, its not just about incidents where you have isolated bullying against specific victims, its about a problem where these schools do not recognize or deal with the problems, its about a culture of discriminating against people who are different.

From the schoolboard, down to the teacher level, and in the yard, if you are attacked for many things they’ll jump to it, but being criticized for being different, thats allowed. I remember the sheer terror at school of being outed, even though i wasn’t out to myself, the accusation would have been bad enough.

If you are a teacher or school official, you should present an unequivocal message, that being LGBTQA is perfectly natural and healthy, and that religious sensibilities should not be brought into the equation because they come from a time prior to modern understanding of LGBTQA nature.

When someone feels they are being harassed for who they are, then school officials should take action, and treat it as seriously as any other issue of harassment.

Story via Pink News