The Erie, Illinois public school system recently banned from its elementary schools all materials stating that same-sex couples raising children exist.
Illinois offers civil unions to same-sex couples.
Conspicuously banned was Todd Parr’s The Family Book, which simply mentions that some families have two dads, and some, two mothers.
Theocratic officials of the Erie Christian Church placed gay-bashing demands on Superintendent Bradley Cox, who caved to the Christofascists’ demands, though he is by law required to uphold the constitutionally-mandated separation of church and state. Cox’s action in banning The Family Book sends the message that he believes that gay-bashing Evangelicals are morally superior to all non-gay-bashers, and that elementary school-aged children being raised by same-sex parents in his district deserve to be stigmatized.
Aaron Sweeney, the Youth Minister for Erie Christian Church, spearheaded the theocratic, anti-gay propaganda attack on the public school, leading “prayer vigils,” praying for Parr’s The Family Book — and all GLSEN related materials — to be banned from the elementary school. One result of the GLSEN ban is the discontinuance of “No Name-Calling Week.” Sweeney has led young persons on proselytizing missions abroad.
Superintendent Cox appeared to be talking out both sides of his mouth when he told his local CBS4QC that tolerance and diversity will still be taught in the school, but that no mention whatsoever will ever be made of gay-parent-led households. In that, Cox appears to be violating the “Goals, Standards and Descriptors” for “Social Emotional Learning” of the Illinois State Board of Education’s Learning Standards. Section 2B of the Standards, for instance, treats of this: “Recognize individual and group similarities and differences.” That Section includes, among other things, descriptions of how Illinois public school educators shall teach students to: “Identify negative depictions of differences among people (e.g., gender or sexual orientation stereotyping, discrimination in readings completed for coursework)” and “Explain how a lack of understanding of social and cultural differences can contribute to intolerance” as well as “Evaluate ways of overcoming a lack of understanding of those who are different.”
The Christofascist theocratic corruption of Illinois’s required teaching of good, strong acceptance values, and Superintendent Cox’s apparently unconstitutional, craven caving-in to the theocrats’ demands, cast into sharp relief the story of Jordan Pisey Windle, a Cambodian orphan adopted at two by a gay American, and now at 13, practicing in Indiana for Olympic diving trials this summer.
Superintendent Cox says that the school board joined in his decision to carry out the theocracy-fueled, anti-gay, books and materials ban. The Erie School Board includes two farmers and a businessman. So two farmers and a businessman think that they know better than legislators and Ph.D. education professionals, which Social Emotional Learning skills should be taught in the schools. Joe Weaver, one of two Board members who voted in favor of continuing to use the GLSEN materials, told CBS4QC “The materials were reviewed and implemented by our educators. To me, they’re the ones that are supposed to be experts of what should be taught in the schools.” Weaver went on to say, apropos of the GLSEN materials, that “there was nothing wrong with them, and they were appropriate.”
This reporter called Erie, Illinois Mayor Marcia Smith, to ask “Are elementary school-aged children being raised by gay parents welcome in Erie?” The line went dead, so I called again, to be sure the disconnection was not inadvertent. Mayor Smith said “I know they had some committee meeting, but I don’t really know anything about that.” The story has been all over Mayor Smith’s local news, so I said, “Then let me report to you about what is going on in your town.” She laughed, as though this were a laughing matter. I again stated my question “Are elementary school-aged children being raised by gay parents welcome in Erie?” and Mayor Smith hung up without responding.
New York City– based novelist and freelance writer Scott Rose’s LGBT– interest by– line has appeared on Advocate .com, PoliticusUSA .com, The New York Blade, Queerty .com, Girlfriends and in numerous additional venues. Among his other interests are the arts, boating and yachting, wine and food, travel, poker and dogs. His “Mr. David Cooper’s Happy Suicide” is about a New York City advertising executive assigned to a condom account.
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