Category archives: Education

The Slippery Slopes Of “Brokeback Mountain”

by Tony Perkins

May 16, 2007

Here’s today’s Washington Watch Daily commentary from FRC Radio:

To what extent will the public schools go to indoctrinate our children? They apparently will ford every stream and climb every mountain, including Brokeback Mountain. That is why one family is suing the Chicago Board of Education. Twelve year-old Jessica Turner was forced to watch the movie about illicit homosexual behavior during class. Her grandfather said, This was the last straw. [T]he lawsuit was necessary because… [this] was against our faith. According to reports, a substitute teacher showed Brokeback Mountain at Ashburn Community Elementary School without parents knowledge or consent. The lawsuit claims the woman shut the classroom door and told students, What happens in Ms. Bufords class stays in Ms. Bufords class. The film, which follows two gay cowboys, is rated R for nudity and sexuality. In other words, the movies hardly appropriate for adultslet alone children. But unfortunately, these are the drastic measures teachers are willing to take to indoctrinate our kids with the homosexual agenda. And unless more families tell the school to take a hike, these attacks on childrens innocence will continue to climb.

To download this commentary as an MP3, follow this link. For an e-mail subscription to the Washington Watch Daily radio commentary, go here.

School Punishment A Bitter Pill To Swallow

by Tony Perkins

May 15, 2007

Here’s today’s Washington Watch Daily commentary from FRC Radio:

Tylenol is supposed to relieve headachesnot cause them. But for the parents of Gabriella Nieves, one little pill led to a world of pain. Gabriella, an eighth grader at Northside Middle School in Norfolk, Virginia, took a Tylenol from her friend during history class, but she never had a chance to swallow it. When her teacher saw the exchange, she sent Gabriella to the office and called security. Apparently, Gabriella violated the schools policy that says only a nurse or administrator can dispense medication. Later that day, she was suspended and ordered to complete a drug and alcohol program. Whats worse, the incident will show up on Gabriellas permanent record. Obviously, teachers want kids to get over-the-counter medicine from a school official to make sure its legitimate. But, if safety is the first priority, how can schools justify handing out everything from free birth control to abortion pills without a parents consent? Encouraging promiscuity poses a far greater risk to childrens health than pain relievers. If these schools honestly believe that Tylenols more dangerous than promoting safe sex, then they need a good, strong dose of reality!

To download this commentary as an MP3, follow this link. For an e-mail subscription to the Washington Watch Daily radio commentary, go here.

In Germany, Home Schoolers Under House Arrest

by Tony Perkins

April 5, 2007

Here’s today’s Washington Watch Daily commentary from FRC Radio:

For German parents, teaching kids about faith is as tough today as it was under the Nazis. Since Hitlers time, home schooling has been illegal in the country. Parents who ignore the law are usually jailed or fined. In February, the world watched as a 15 year-old home-schooler was taken from her house by force and put in German custody. According to the court, her parents can only get their daughter back by enrolling her in a public school. As one German official said, As long as you practice your faith in a church building you have no problems, but as soon as you act in accordance with your faith… in the education of your children, the freedom [quickly] ends. What has reportedly prompted even greater government aggression against home-schoolers in Germany is the governments growing fear of radical Islam. As Europe becomes Islamized, democratic governments are clamping down on the good and the bad. The tragedy is that the only defense against the spread of Islam is a vibrant Christian church. But increasingly, Christians will find themselves at odds with governments that see tolerance, rather than truth, as a cultural virtue.

To download this commentary as an MP3, follow this link. To subscribe to the Washington Watch Daily radio commentary, go here.

Term-inator: Elementary School Bans Use Of Gay

by Tony Perkins

March 27, 2007

Here’s today’s Washington Watch Daily commentary from FRC Radio:

When it comes to teaching kids about political correctness, one school is taking the words right out of their mouths. Last month, Gibson Elementary in California started a new policy that punishes kids for using the word gay in a negative way. Just recently, the school suspended a fourth-grader for saying thats gay! at a soccer gameeven though it had nothing to do with homosexuality. The Pacific Justice Institute is suing the school for violating the students free speech rights. After all, its one thing to teach respect. But its another thing to create an atmosphere where only positive views of homosexuality are allowed. This school isnt fighting harassmentits normalizing a dangerous lifestyle. And whats worse, the rule is entirely one-sided. When a child says that something is stupid, the school isnt suspending them for being intolerant toward the mentally handicapped. Putting children on good terms with homosexuality just puts us on the path to policing peoples thoughts. And until this case is resolved, I think the school should let the First Amendment speak for itself.

To download this commentary as an MP3, follow this link. To subscribe to the Washington Watch Daily radio commentary, go here.

TIME for God

by Tony Perkins

March 24, 2007

It’s not just ‘The Good Book’,” said Georgia State Sen. Tommie Williams. “It’s a good book.” Williams was referring to the Bible in an interview about the state’s decision to introduce Bible literary classes in the public schools. The movement to bring the world’s best-selling book back into the classroom is gaining ground across the U.S., demonstrated, in large part, by a thoughtful Time magazine cover story on the subject. The article, “The Case for Teaching the Bible,” argues that the social and cultural benefits of secular Bible classes outweigh any hypersensitivity about Church and State.

Drawing on polls that show over 60% of Americans favor teaching about Scripture in a secular setting like public schools, writer David van Beima discusses the consequences of our nation’s Biblical illiteracy. Among them, he notes the lack of knowledge and understanding about Western civilization at large. Van Beima writes, “[In the end], what is required in teaching the Bible in our public schools is patriotism: a belief that we live in a nation that understands the wisdom of its Constitution clearly enough to allow the most important book in its history to remain vibrantly accessible for everyone.”

What was lost in the sweeping 1963 Supreme Court case that removed prayer from public schools is the reality that the Constitution does not bar an objective treatment of the Bible and religion in schools. It encourages it. Yet the case triggered a mass exodus of any reference to Christianity in education. The time has come for our nation to experience a true revelation on the Bible’s relevance—not only to our personal lives but to our identity as Americans.

Homeschooling and Socialization

by Family Research Council

March 8, 2007

Stuart Buck found an interesting quote in psychology professor Richard G. Medlin’s article, “Home Schooling and the Question of Socialization,” Peabody Journal of Education, Vol. 75 (2000): 107-23:

Shyers (1992a, 1992b), in the most thorough study of home-schooled children’s social behavior to date, tested 70 children who had been entirely home-schooled and 70 children who had always attended traditional schools. The two groups were matched in age (all were 8-10 years old), race, gender, family size, socioeconomic status, and number and frequency of extracurricular activities. Shyers measured self-concept and assertiveness and found no significant differences between the two groups.

The most intriguing part of the study, however, involved observing the children as they played and worked together. Small groups of children who all had the same school background were videotaped while playing in a large room equipped with toys such as puzzles, puppets, and dolls. The children were then videotaped again in a structured activity: working in teams putting puzzles together for prizes.

Each child’s behavior was rated by two observers who did not know whether the children they were rating were home-schooled or traditionally schooled. The observers used the Direct Observation Form of the Child Behavior Checklist … , a checklist of 97 problem behaviors such as argues, brags or boasts, doesn’t pay attention long, cries, disturbs other children, isolates self from others, shy or timid, and shows off. The results were striking — the mean problem behavior score for children attending conventional schools was more than eight times higher than that of the home-schooled group. Shyers (1992a) described the traditionally schooled children as “aggressive, loud, and competitive” (p. 6). In contrast, the home-schooled children acted in friendly, positive ways.

To Have And To Hold Fake Wedding Ceremonies

by Tony Perkins

March 8, 2007

Here’s today’s Washington Watch Daily commentary from FRC Radio:

Ive heard a lot of stories about indoctrinating kids, but this one doesnt just take the cakeit cuts it. At Glendale High School in California, gay teachers got permission to hold fake weddings for students in the cafeteria. As part of the Freedom to Marry project, sponsored by the school, teens could participate in same-sex ceremonies. The event was approved by the principal and hosted by an openly gay teacher who said, The goal was to mock marriage. Unfortunately, Glendales making an even bigger mockery of education. As part of the lesson, everyone took part in a petition drive that called on the government to end its discrimination against gays. But in the eyes of angry parents, the honeymoons over for promoting a political agenda during school hours. To encourage this lifestyle with kids that are 13, 14 and on up, it just totally… disturbs me. In the end, the only thing this schools testing is parents patience.

To download this commentary as an MP3, follow this link. To subscribe to the Washington Watch Daily radio commentary, go here.

Pro-Homosexual Sex Ed: New But Not Improved

by Tony Perkins

March 8, 2007

Montgomery County, Maryland, which had its last sex education curriculum thrown out by a federal judge in 2005, has started implementing a new version. In the new curriculum, condoms are demonstrated on a piece of wood (not a cucumber as before) and lessons on homosexuality no longer bad-mouth the long list of historic world religions that disapprove of it. But the lessons still fail to explain the high health risks of certain sexual acts favored by homosexuals and still stigmatize those who disapprove of homosexual behavior by using the loaded term “homophobia.”

Two citizens’ groups that oppose the curriculum, Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum (CRC) and Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX), appealed the curriculum to the State Board of Education—but the county rushed the pilot program into use without even waiting for a ruling on whether it complies with state laws and regulations. FRC’s Peter Sprigg, a Montgomery County resident who served on a committee that reviewed the curriculum, will speak on its flaws at a town hall meeting tonight in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Order his pamphlet, “Homosexuality in Your Child’s School,” to learn how you can fight the homosexual agenda that is affecting schools across the country.

South Carolina: Learning Their Lesson on School Choice

by Tony Perkins

March 7, 2007

Despite the sagging test scores in South Carolina and disappointing graduation results, The Wall Street Journal tells an inspiring story about one school that is raising the grades—and hopes—of low-income kids. In Charleston, Capers Preparatory Christian Academy has gotten by on a measly $160,000 budget, holding school in rented office space with a total of 42 students. As the WSJ tells it, teachers are either volunteers or work for a humble $8 an hour. “Only five students come from two-parent homes, and most of the students are African-American. Each year, [the principal] is forced to dip into her retirement account to keep the school running.”

As the state debates whether or not to spend a small amount of government money on school choice, the Capers school makes a good case for why it should. Despite Capers’ modest budget, the students’ SAT scores are 164 points above the state average. Each graduate is expected to go on to college.

As the South Carolina lawmakers debate whether to create a tax credit for middle-class parents and a “scholarship” for poor students in failing schools, we urge them to look no further than Capers, where a small investment is paying dividends in the future of our next generation.

Federal Judge: No Room for Parents in the Classroom

by Tony Perkins

February 27, 2007

According to a federal judge, public schools—not parents—have the right to control the curriculum to which children are exposed. Joseph and Robin Wirthlin sued Lexington, Massachusetts schools for allowing their son’s second-grade teacher to read the homosexual fairy tale, King and King, to the class without prior notice to the Wirthlins. A couple FRC interviewed for Liberty Sunday, Tonia and David Parker, joined the suit when their son brought home a book about families that included two gay adults. Judge Mark Wolf sided with the school, saying, “…Under the Constitution public schools are entitled to teach anything that is reasonably related to the goals of preparing students to become productive citizens in our democracy.” Wolf continued by saying that if parents don’t agree with the curriculum, they are welcome to send their kids to a private school. “It is increasingly evident that our diversity includes differences in sexual orientation.”

Clearly, this is not about diversity but a political agenda. Massachusetts law on homosexual marriages was imposed by judicial decree and is far from settled. The government seems bent on overpowering parents and dictating what’s in the best interest of children. At the very least, the Parkers, Wirthlins and others deserved to be informed about the content of the curriculum and to have their kids exempted from lessons that violate their moral beliefs. School administrators argued that the books did not focus on human sexuality but family structures. If they truly believe that, Lexington officials must be living in the very fairy tales their schools are promoting.

It’s no wonder America is failing miserably to keep up with international test scores. Public schools are consumed with teaching not the basics reading and writing but the chic and the radical. Both couples will appeal the case to the U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals, where we can only hope that the inherent authority of parents will fare better.

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