The curriculum is being touted by officials in the Alameda Unified School District as necessary to “create safe schools for all children,” but it focuses almost exclusively on sexual orientation and gender identity. In a recent question and answer memo defending the proposed curriculum, the District lamented that “homophobia is still very much present in many of our schools and communities” and insisted that “students of all ages must be given an opportunity to learn that the words ‘gay’ and ‘lesbian’ are adjectives that should be used with respect to describe people in their community, not words used in a negative way….” The District further claimed that “using anti-gay slurs starts as early as kindergarten,” and therefore all students must be drilled with positive portrayals of gays, lesbians and transgender people.
PJI staff attorneys have written to the Board in opposition to the curriculum and will address the Board meeting to point out that the so-called “Safe Schools” effort does nothing to counter the most significant sources of school bullying and harassment, such as race, religion, gender, physical appearance, and socioeconomic status. Instead, the supplemental curriculum focuses exclusively on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Brad Dacus, president of Pacific Justice Institute, commented, “It is both risky and wrong to ignore the real causes of school bullying in favor of a politically correct propaganda program. If anyone needs a lesson against name-calling, it is those who are labeling our kindergartners as homophobic.”