Members of the Anoka-Hennepin School Board refused to cave to the anti-gay PTA known as the Parents Action League yesterday when they voted to drop the policy that required teachers to take a "neutral" stance on homosexuality. They replaced it with a new policy that encourages acceptance and discussion on differences. So what does the new policy entail, and what’s the backlash?
The unpleasant gist of the former policy of the largest school district in Minnesota is that teachers were required to keep their mouth shut and allow discrimination to the curriculum. This no-child-left-behind-unless-you’re-gay program was blamed for numerous accounts of bullying and suicide. According to Care2.com, the policy stated:
“[H]omosexuality [will] not be taught/addressed as a normal, valid lifestyle and that the district staff and their resources not advocate the homosexual lifestyle.”
That all ended yesterday when it was replaced with a new policy that promotes acceptance of all students as well as encourages teachers to facilitate impartial conversation surrounding topics of diversity.
The goal of the new Respectful Learning Environment-Curriculum is to create a stronger sense of self-worth for students.
Of course, the Parents for the Homophobic Promotion of Bullying or whatever they’re called are fighting back, but the new plan has the full backing of the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Giving our younger GLBT generations more self-love…can there be a better Valentine than that?