According to the logic employed by proponents of Proposition 8
October 6th, 2008
Schools will now be required to teach students that gay marriage is the same as traditional marriage, starting with kindergarteners.
Or so say the supporters of Proposition 8 on their official website, Protectmarriage.com. It’s right there in the education code, they tell you.
This is one of Yes on 8’s three central themes (along with individuals being sued and churches losing tax preferences for not celebrating homosexuality) and is included in all their outreach. It is referenced in their television ad and repeated in letters to the editor. Consider this press release quoting Dr. Jim Garlow, senior pastor of Skyline Church in La Mesa
Our California Education Code (#51890) will permit children as young as kindergartners to be indoctrinated about homosexuality.
Or this bold claim repeated twice on their youth oriented website iProtectMarriage
If Prop. 8 loses, children as young as kindergarteners must be taught same-sex marriage.
They even sought to include this in their ballot initiative argument in the state’s voter pamphlet until a judge threw it out as being untruthful.
In health education classes, state law requires teachers to instruct children as young as kindergarteners about marriage … If the gay marriage ruling is not overturned, teachers will be required to teach young children there is no difference between gay marriage and traditional marriage.
But amidst all the fear and terror about kindergarten children, there’s one thing they carefully do not provide: the education code which they claim forces “indoctrination into homosexuality” and moral claims to kindergardeners about same-sex marriage. That code section (51890 and the accompanying 50891) is simply never provided for review by those who want to see for theirselves.
But Box Turtle Bulletin isn’t afraid of the education code. We took a look and, by golly, there IS a provision for teaching about marriage:
…kindergarten…Pupils will receive instruction …in matters of… marriage…
Well right there it says it. See?
Unless, of course, you read the rest of the words. We’ve included the entire code section below the break. And as it turns out, there are a few other things here which “kindergarteners must be taught”.
- Mental and emotional health and development.
- Drug use and misuse, including the misuse of tobacco and alcohol.
- Diseases and disorders, including sickle cell anemia and related genetic diseases and disorders.
- Environmental health and safety.
Who knew that the curriculum in the California kindergarten classroom included the use of Paxil or how to shoot up heroin? Who knew that genetic disease and toxic waste shared the floor with “A is for apple” and “the sky is blue”?
Well it doesn’t and they don’t. These (and marriage) are not mandates for the education of “children as young as kindergarteners”. They are part of “all educational programs offered in kindergarten and grades 1 to 12, inclusive” and reflect a goal of providing health information over a child’s entire school experience.
Do those in the Yes on 8 campaign really believe that Kindergardeners will be taugh the mechanics of gay sex or that same-sex marriages have equivalent moral weight with heterosexual marriages? I very much doubt it.
But it’s such a convenient scare tactic that they can’t resist making the claim.
There will be, at an age-appropriate time, a discussion about “Family health and child development, including the legal and financial aspects and responsibilities of marriage and parenthood”. And that discussion will, no doubt, include the fact that same-sex couples can legally marry.
But the decision as to when and how this will be taught is not to be feared. The “planning, implementation, and evaluation of comprehensive health education” must include active participation by parents and, in California, any parent can remove their child from such discussions.
Don’t you wish that the supporters of Proposition 8 were more honest? Wouldn’t it be nice if those who are so concerned about my morality cared more about their own?
(code section after the break)
California Education Code
51890. (a) For the purposes of this chapter, “comprehensive health education programs” are defined as all educational programs offered in kindergarten and grades 1 to 12, inclusive, in the public school
system, including in-class and out-of-class activities designed to ensure that:
(1) Pupils will receive instruction to aid them in making decisions in matters of personal, family, and community health, to include the following subjects:
(A) The use of health care services and products.
(B) Mental and emotional health and development.
(C) Drug use and misuse, including the misuse of tobacco and alcohol.
(D) Family health and child development, including the legal and financial aspects and responsibilities of marriage and parenthood.
(E) Oral health, vision, and hearing.
(F) Nutrition, which may include related topics such as obesity and diabetes.
(G) Exercise, rest, and posture.
(H) Diseases and disorders, including sickle cell anemia and related genetic diseases and disorders.
(I) Environmental health and safety.
(J) Community health.
(2) To the maximum extent possible, the instruction in health is structured to provide comprehensive education in health that includes all the subjects in paragraph (1).
(3) The community actively participates in the teaching of health including classroom participation by practicing professional health and safety personnel in the community.
(4) Pupils gain appreciation for the importance and value of lifelong health and the need for each individual to take responsibility for his or her own health.
(5) School districts may voluntarily provide pupils with instruction on preventative health care, including obesity and diabetes prevention through nutrition education.
(b) Health care professionals, health care service plans, health care providers, and other entities participating in a voluntary initiative with a school district may not market their services when undertaking activities related to the initiative. For purposes of this subdivision, “marketing” is defined as making a communication about a product or service that is intended to encourage recipients of the communication to purchase or use the product or service. Health care or health education information provided in a brochure or pamphlet that contains the logo or name of a health care service plan or health care organization is not considered marketing if provided in coordination with the voluntary initiative. The marketing prohibitions contained in this subdivision do not apply to outreach, application assistance, and enrollment activities relating to federal, state, or county sponsored health care insurance programs that are conducted by health care professionals, health care service plans, health care providers, and other entities if the activities are conducted in compliance with the statutory, regulatory, and programmatic guidelines applicable to those programs.
51891. As used in this chapter, “community participation” means the active participation in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of comprehensive health education by parents, professional
practicing health care and public safety personnel, and public and private health care and service agencies.
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