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Friday, March 24, 2017

TEXAN ONLINE article on Welcoming Schools, Austin ISD, and LGBT curriculum

This article by Bonnie Pritchett of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention of Texas provides key details about the curriculum that MassResistance Texas is organizing to combat:

http://texanonline.net/archives/5534/

The article also includes links:

http://sbtexas.com/texas-ethics-religious-liberty-committee/

Here is a passage from Ms. Asmussen's article:


Who gets bullied?

According to stopbullying.gov, a website managed by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, students are most likely bullied because of their looks. The research cited in the AISD “Welcoming Schools” lesson plans corroborated the government statistics: the majority of bullied students are targeted for their “looks” (55 percent), “body shape” (37 percent), or race (16 percent). By comparison other students were targeted for being LGBT (14 percent); for family income (13 percent); for religion (12 percent); and disability (8 percent).
The TEXAN questioned AISD about the curriculum’s content and the need for an additional anti-bullying program that assists only LGBT students. In response, the district stated, “Austin ISD’s philosophy is to educate the whole child. That includes helping students understand and express their emotions in constructive ways. Through a variety of innovative programs such as social and emotional learning, anti-bullying programs and a restorative justice approach to discipline, students are taught to be inclusive of people different from them and to treat them with respect.”
The TEXAN obtained lesson plans used for introducing “Welcoming Schools” to teachers and, ultimately, their students. Module 1, “What is a Family?” begins with the deconstruction of the traditional family as the societal norm. It cites statistics on how many children are raised outside of the two-parent (Mom and Dad) home and features a film narrated by 6-12-year-old children talking about their same-sex parents or their parents’ gay friends.
In module 4, “What is Gender? Examining the Continuum of Gender Identification, Gender Expression, and Stereotypes,” teachers are asked to answer questions about their preconceived ideas about gender (i.e. gender bias). The lesson states, “By embracing the richness of the gender spectrum, teachers and other adults can help broaden children’s understandings of gender in order to help every child feel seen and recognized.”
By Module 5 children are told they can choose their gender identity even if that identity conflicts with biological reality. Questioning the child’s choice of gender is not an option for teachers or students.
The possibility that the lessons might conflict with the consciences and faith convictions of AISD teachers, students and families is never acknowledged in the modules.
Asmussen said “Welcoming Schools” curriculum highlights a bigger problem of progressive educational overreach. Promoted as a means of helping students achieve academic success through character development, an initiative known as social and emotional learning (SEL) is being introduced nationwide.
The Collaborative for Academic, Emotional, and Social Learning (CASEL) is one purveyor of the ideologically driven program and in 2011 tapped Austin ISD to pilot the program. Today the SEL initiative is on all 129 campuses and is being introduced in El Paso, Houston and Dallas school districts.

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