Deerfield High School: Why Can’t a Parent Observe Freshman Advisory Class?

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From our good friends at Culture Campaign and North Shore Student Advocacy, originally published Feb 19, 2007:

A recent letter to the editor [.PDF] in the Thursday, Feb. 15 issue of Deerfield Review reveals a troubling agenda at Deerfield High School. A parent was denied permission for a one-time visit to observe a class called Freshman Advisory. She had become concerned about the content of the class after her daughter was mocked, called ‘anti-semitic’ and ‘homophobic’ for openly disagreeing with the pro-homosexual message presented. Student members of the Straight and Gay Alliance (SAGA) drew pictures of her with devil horns on her head…

Here is the letter in its entirety:

Parent Denied Class Visit

I have seven children who have either attended or are currently attending Deerfield High School. As a parent, I have the right to know what they are teaching my kids, how they are teaching my kids, and why they are teaching my kids certain information. I recently asked for the first time to visit a class to hear what they are teaching in Freshman Advisory.

I was surprised to receive a letter informing me that I would not be allowed to visit. They told me that they would send me a taped copy of the class.

First, how would I know if the tape had been edited? Second, I am an adult, I pay taxes for my kids to attend this school, and I should be able to sit in on one class to see what they are teaching my fourteen-year-old.

I have instilled morals and values in my kids, and I believe that some at DHS are trying to change my child’s beliefs to conform to theirs.

Tolerance is one of the values that I have instilled in my kids, but it is clear that tolerance is not a value shared by the Straight and Gay Alliance (SAGA) at DHS. I was shocked to learn that when one of my children openly disagreed with SAGA’s position on homosexuality, she was called anti-Semitic and homophobic. In addition, certain individuals in SAGA drew pictures of my daughter with devil horns on her head.

Shockingly, none of this was solved, and no one was punished for these intolerant and distasteful acts. I feel certain that if the tables were turned, my daughter would have been punished. Intolerance is clearly an issue at DHS. Unfortunately it is those with a non-traditional agenda who are the intolerant ones. Some students and certain staff members make it uncomfortable for more conservative students to disagree with the belief that homosexual behavior is moral.

I will do whatever I can to ensure that my children and their beliefs are tolerated. Furthermore, I do not want my children taught anything at school that should be taught only at home. Teachers should teach English, math social studies, science, and foreign languages.

The class I asked to observe is a Freshman Advisory class in which gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, and transgender DHS students discuss their sexual orientation with all freshmen. If they are allowed to share this information with freshmen, parents should be allowed to hear their presentation also.

If they are uncomfortable with a parent sitting quietly in the back of the class, then perhaps the presentation is not appropriate for the public school.

I do not want teachers having some students announce their sexual orientation to my children as part of a classroom presentation, and I do not want teachers even suggesting that my children accept the view that homosexual behavior is right behavior. This is not what I send my kids to school to learn. Something needs to change.

Ellen Waltz

Deerfield High School has some explaining to do…

This article was posted on Friday, March 2nd, 2007 at 7:40 pm and is filed under Books & Required Reading in Public Schools, Diversity & Tolerance Propaganda, Gay Straight Alliance, News, Sex-Ed Curriculum. You can follow any updates to this article through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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