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‘Gay’ Leader Kevin Jennings Says Dream Is to ‘Promote Homosexuality’ in Schools

GLSEN Speakers Tout ‘Gay’ Lessons for Kindergartners

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Promoting Homosexuality: Kevin Jennings, Obama appointee and founder of the Gay, Lesbian Straight Education Network, said in 1997 that he looked forward to the day when parents would react to reports that schools are “promoting homosexuality” by saying, “Yeah, who cares?”

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GLSEN leaders contend that effective redefinition of the next generation’s attitude toward homosexuality requires the positive portrayals of homosexuality starting in kindergarten.  According to GLSEN activist Jaki Williams, children at that age are “developing their superego,” and “that’s when the saturation process needs to begin.”

Dear Readers,

AFTAH has been exposing the radical agenda of Kevin Jennings and the organization he founded —  the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network (GLSEN) — for a long time. This article on a GLSEN conference in New York City was first published in the Lambda Report [the publication that preceded Americans For Truth About Homosexuality], in early 1998.

Brian Burt’s firsthand report reveals both the frankness of Jennings and fellow homosexual activists in expressing their revolutionary goals, and GLSEN’s agenda of manipulating very young minds to support homosexuality. The “saturation process” quotation above should give pause to even liberal-minded parents who might be wary of GLSEN’s utilitarian strategy of supplanting the parents’ role in guiding their children’s moral upbringing with teacher-activists intent on indoctrinating even kindergartners (!!) in the celebration of homosexuality.

Kevin Jennings has been appointed by President Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Education for the Department of Safe and Drug-Free Schools. We will be loading all Lambda Report articles online, including others about GLSEN and Jennings. — Peter LaBarbera, www.aftah.com
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‘Gay’ Leader Kevin Jennings Says Dream Is to ‘Promote Homosexuality’ in Schools
GLSEN Speakers Tout ‘Gay’ Lessons for Kindergartners

By Brian J. Burt

January/February 1998, Lambda Report, Americans For Truth

NEW YORK CITY—The head of a homosexual teachers group said he looks forward to the day when “promoting homosexuality” in schools will be seen in a positive light, while others at a recent conference sponsored by his organization advocated exposing kindergartners to pro-homosexual lessons.

“I can envision a day when straight people say, ‘So what if you’re promoting homosexuality,’” said Kevin Jennings, cofounder and executive director of the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN), at an October 25 conference here. “Or straight kids [will] say [to a male homosexual friend], ‘Hey, why don’t you and your boyfriend come over before you go to prom and try your tuxes on at my house?’

“[I]f we believe that can happen, we can make it happen,” Jennings said, making his comments at a “Looking to the Future” panel discussion that was part of GLSEN’s 4th Annual Mid-Atlantic Conference. Entitled “From Dirt Road to Cyberspace: LGBT Issues in Education for the 21st Century,” the all-day event featured over 40 separate workshops and a staged “town hall” for the media led by lesbian activist and tennis star Martina Navratilova.

Jennings acknowledged that his organization has vehemently denied the charge that it promote homosexuality in schools. He recalled that when GLSEN board member Ann Simon testified before Congress two years ago [1996], at hearings examining the “promotion of homosexuality in the schools,” GLSEN was “busy putting out press releases, and saying ‘We’re not promoting homosexuality, that’s not what our program’s about.’”

Jennings said that after the congressional hearing, his best friend wrote him asking, “So what if you are?” He said regretfully that he had gotten “wrapped up in…[his] own defensiveness and the day-to-day struggle.” Now, Jennings said he realizes that GLSEN’s work will be done when “most straight people, when they would hear that someone was promoting homosexuality [in our schools], would say, ‘Yeah, who cares?’”

Before passing around collection plates, he submitted a final wish: “Right now, let’s face it. For large swells of people, they think of GLSEN and kids, and they think ‘GLSEN’ is bad for kids…I’d like five years from now for most Americans when they hear the word ‘GLSEN’ to think ‘Ooh, that’s good for kids.’”

Conflicting Messages
Since its founding in Boston three years ago, GLSEN (formerly the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Teachers’ Network, or GLSTN) has publicly billed itself as an organization focused on addressing and ending “the destructive effects of anti-gay bias in schools across the country.” Asked whether its ultimate mission went beyond the “teaching of respect for all”—the title of a GLSEN instructional video featuring Jennings—and into the realm of promoting homosexuality, GLSEN has consistently responded with an emphatic “no.” At the conference, however, GLSEN leaders painted two different portraits of its vision for the coming millennium.

With cameras from ABC’s 20/20, MTV and other national media outlets rolling, lesbian activist Navratilova prompted the eight “town hall” panelists to relate their experiences with antihomosexual harassment in our nation’s schools. Speakers recounted their experiences as observers and victims of violence against “gay” students, and discussed the academic decline and suicidal tendencies allegedly resulting from those attacks. These students and parents cited “physical safety” as their main concern, and voiced shared goal of working with GLSEN to create “safe schools,” where “tolerance” would be universally practiced.

When asked to discuss the best approach for pursuing that objective, the panelists favored a low-key approach of incorporating homosexual issues into general classroom discussions of human diversity.

“[Homo]sexuality shouldn’t be such a dig deal in schools; it shouldn’t be brought up like ‘We’re gonna talk about being gay today,’ because that’s just showing…that like we have an agenda or something…[J]ust incorporate it,” explained panelists Cassandra Lewis, a high school senior from Southern California.

After the “town hall meeting” concluded and the media had left the building, the 210 attendees broke into private workshop groups, where GLSEN presenters expounded a markedly different vision for the future. Denouncing the quest for “tolerance” as a “condescending campaign for the second-class citizenry” —— as one speaker put it —— the presenters spoke frankly about their goal to have homosexuality open “affirmed” and celebrated” in American’s schools.

“I don’t want to be tolerated. I don’t want to be put up with. I want to be…celebrated,” said Stephen Glassman, a GLSEN chapter board member from New Oxford, Pennsylvania, Karen Kalteissen, host of a workshop on “Conversing with the Christian Community,” explained,

“Tolerance is the most minimalist virtue I can think of, and I’m not even sure I want to put it under the category of minimalist.”

Kindergarten “Tolerance” Lesson
Throughout these discussions, GLSEN’s “safe school” tolerance campaign was identified as a “stepping stone” to the goal of complete curriculum revision. Dialoguing about the legal liability that could be linked to incidents of antihomosexual violence was said to be a highly effective way to “get the ear” of administrators and board members. Once school leaders recognize the need for tolerant classrooms, activists can present their homosexual curriculum model as a means of accomplishing that objective.

“We might start with people who…say, ‘Well, I can go as far as tolerance,’ and then we build from there,” Kalteissen said. “And our job, I believe, is to move them down the scale…Tolerance is not enough, let’s keep going.”

During the workshop sessions, activists presented tools for changing curricula at all levels—from kindergarten through high school. Topics ranged from “Inclusive Kindergarten,” “Inclusive Elementary School Curriculum,” and “Re-envisioning High School Literature,” to “Stir Things Up: How to Start a Gay-Straight Alliance,” “Hey Faggot! Hey Dyke!,” and “Very Queer Kids.”

GLSEN leaders contend that effective redefinition of the next generation’s attitude toward homosexuality requires the positive portrayals of homosexuality starting in kindergarten.  According to Jaki Williams, a GLSEN activist and teacher at the Packer Collegiate School (in New York), children at that age are “developing their superego,” and “that’s when the saturation process needs to begin.”

In her “Inclusive Kindergarten” workshop, Williams explained that “five-year-olds really are very interested in the big questions. They’re very interested in sex, death, and love, and they ask those questions, and they talk about them. And we want to help them find the answers…on their level.” To initiate conversation, Williams said, she has her class read a variety of books which endorse homosexuality, including Asha’s Mums, My Two Uncles, Heather Has Two Mommies, Daddy’s Roommate, and One Dad, Two Dads, Brown Dad, Blue Dads. She also hosts a viewing of the video Both of My Moms’ Names are Judy.

While kindergarteners were found to be “open” to discussions about the homosexual model, their limited intellectual developments made full comprehension of these concepts difficult. Group members suggested the solution was a careful reexamination of the language used in the classroom. Speakers advocated repeated use of the words “gay” and “lesbian,” and encouraged more explicit explanations of the homosexual behaviors.

A former teacher relayed her experience, arguing that it is not enough to say, “Oh well I do this umbrella anti-bias thing and therefore I’m talking about diversity.” She explained that children need constant exposure to homosexual words and images. “It’s really a conditioning process.”

Another workshop participant agreed, saying, “I think looking at language is so essential…I think we need to [being by] say[ing] this is the bedroom that Harriet and Susan sleep in.

A kindergarten teacher from Alexandria, Virginia in the audience agreed. She claimed such graphic descriptions force children to develop accurate images to go along with the “gay” vocabulary. She credited her success to the highly progressive paradigm her school district embraced, and the academic freedom which it provided her. Her only complain was that it had not yet acquiesced to classroom demonstrations of contraceptive use.

Addressing Parents
Throughout the conference, only a few participants directly addressed the issue of parental opposition to GLSEN’s vision. In her kindergarten workshop, Williams recounted how she answered the questions of one pupil’s parents who were concerned when their child arrived home with what she admitted was a provocative brochure on bias, produced by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

When the husband expressed concern during a parents’ night about the factual content of her unstructured diversity question-and-answer sessions, Williams said she reassured him by explaining that facts are a product of and vary according to one’s individual perspective. To avoid engaging in fruitless debate about the wisdom of promoting homosexuality, she sent the parents home with other handouts extolling the principles of diversity and equity in education.
Other GLSEN activists were less willing to engage in dialogue with concerned parents.

“There aren’t two sides to working toward ending homophobia,” said Imani Matthews, a teacher at Riverdale Country School in New York. “There isn’t a loving presenter of the other side.”

“[T]he nature of homosexuality [is]…not what we’re talking about…It’s about fighting homophobia and heterosexism,” Matthews said.

Some administrators said the best way to handle problems with parental opposition was simply to avoid them. Instead of sending home a letter alerting parents to the proposed curriculum, activists encourage ed teachers to move forward independently with the incorporation of pro-“gay” materials.

Redefining the Family
To bring together the day’s lessons, GLSEN sponsored a “Looking to the Future” panel discussion. Fielding questions and comments from the audience, the five activists and professionals explained that progress is sometimes “a slow process.” Tactics for change included “coming out” by teachers and school administrators, more effective use of the media, recapturing language necessary to frame the debate, developing better relationships with straight allies, direct confrontation of known anti-gay individuals, and engaging political leaders on the local level.

While “safe” learning environments were cited as a “critical objective,” the discussion echoed the workshops’ emphasis on a curriculum that promoted homosexuality.

“A child has…been screwed by the educational system if they are not actively…helped to see the glory of diversity as part of the classroom experience,” said Terry Boggis, cofounder and director of Center Kids, a lobbying group for “LGB” (lesbian, gay, bisexual) families.

Redefining the concept of family is a central component of the desired curriculum. Panelists explained that progress will only occur when educators recognize that “rigid” familial constructs are no longer viable—and that, instead, in the words of a popular homosexual activist slogan, “love makes a family.”

Panelists underscored the alleged decline of the nuclear family, which, in Boggis’ view, “hardly doesn’t exist anymore.”

She explained, “As we look at curriculum, we are looking for schools that include a more creative and broader definition of family. That people are…allowing children in their classrooms to claim whomever they define as their family members, and have that be OK…good friends, neighbors, or patron saints.”

Earlier, in her “Creating a Safe School Environment from an Administrator’s Point of View” workshop, panelist Elaine Winder, principal at the Little Red School House (in Manhattan), expounded on the changing family structure and the growing population of homosexual parents.

This article was posted on Wednesday, June 10th, 2009 at 9:28 pm and is filed under Boards, Administrators, Teachers, Counselors, Bullying & Victimhood, Diversity & Tolerance Propaganda, GLBTQ Targeting Youth and Schools, GLSEN, Government Promotion, Kevin Jennings, News, Obama. You can follow any updates to this article through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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