Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Schools should avoid "program dejour" bullying curricula

Minnesota Bullying Summit warns schools to avoid "program du jour" curricula

One thing is very clear, national research shows that focusing on a "whole school environment" is considered "best practice" to prevent bullying. The Minnesota Bullying Summit also stressed parent education and involvement as an important part of prevention efforts.
Click here to view the Olweus bullying prevention program featured at the Summit.

Conversely, the conference encouraged schools to avoid "simple, short term solutions" and "program du jour approaches."

MFC believes that "Welcoming Schools" developed by the nations largest homosexual lobbying group, the Human Rights Campaign Fund is a perfect example of the kind of "program du jour approach" that the conference said to avoid as it crosses the line from addressing bullying words and behavior to targeting the values and beliefs of students and undermining the authority of parents.

In 2008, MFC examined "Welcoming Schools" when it was introduced in a handful of Minneapolis elementary schools under the guise of anti-bullying. MFC found it had very little to do with stopping bullying and more to do with changing children's behavior to affirm same-sex marriage and homosexual behavior. "Welcoming Schools" immediately ignited enormous controversy, and vicious attacks on a diverse group of parents who peacefully objected to its content and methods.

Lessons included reading controversial books like "The King and King", and "Both of My Moms' Names are Judy", to elementary school children. It included a video, "It's Elementary" that showed an eight-year-old receiving praise from her teacher for saying people who believed what the Bible says about homosexuality are "stupid." This video and others were so clearly geared towards homosexual advocacy that significant portions of the curricula were pulled by the Minneapolis school district because the parental outcry was so great.

Concerned parents told the Minneapolis School Board that "Welcoming Schools" encouraged children to "question the moral authority of their parents and created conflict between child and teacher, child and parent, and parent and teacher." We are concerned that efforts to introduce "program du jour approaches" will do the same while not addressing the concern of bullying.

Instead of forcing one-sided "homophobia" curricula on students and parents, MFC recommends examining more fair and objective alternatives that focus on the "whole educational environment," welcomes parental involvement and is inclusive of all children who are at high risk of being bullied such as children with allergies, disabilities and obesity, etc...

(This post contains excerpts from MFC's editorial in the Star Tribune.)

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