Welcoming Schools—coming to a school near you!
By Barb Anderson
What is Welcoming Schools?
Welcoming Schools is a bullying prevention program for elementary children that is designed to force approval of homosexual behavior and reject parental authority. According to their website, www.welcomingschools.org, the three main themes of the program are: name-calling and bullying, gender stereotyping, and family diversity. Welcoming Schools claims to be the only resource of its kind that is “LGBT-inclusive” for grades K-5.
Welcoming Schools subjects elementary children to mental and emotional manipulation through pro-homosexual classroom activities that confuse children and set up conflict in innocent minds over family, sexuality, gender roles and family moral values. It was launched in several elementary schools around the country, including Minnesota. In 2008 it was piloted at Hale Elementary School in Minneapolis much to the dismay and disapproval of the parents.
Welcoming Schools was not developed at the request of parents and teachers, but at the urging of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) of Greater Boston who partnered with the national LGBT advocacy group, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). HRC takes credit for creating the Welcoming Schools Guide. The Human Rights Campaign is a powerful Washington, D.C.-based organization that advocates for legislation to advance LGBT issues including same-sex marriage. HRC partnered with the National Education Association to promote the Welcoming Schools program as a way to create “safe and supportive” school climates across the country. According to HRC, “Welcoming Schools includes very specific and explicit attention to family diversity, including LGBT families, and it addresses anti-gay bias within discussions of bullying.”
The Bullying Law and Welcoming Schools—A Dangerous Combination
OutFront Minnesota and the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) are the driving forces behind bullying legislation in Minnesota. Behind their safe and welcoming façade lurks a radical pro-homosexual agenda with heavy social engineering. Their target is elementary children. The Welcoming Schools curriculum is now the centerpiece of the Safe and Supportive Minnesota Schools Act that was signed into law by Governor Dayton on April 9, 2014. Welcoming Schools is being hailed by Minnesota Senator Scott Dibble and other homosexual activists as the model for other schools to follow and implement.
Welcoming Schools Seal of Excellence Award Ceremony:
On Friday, May 2, 2014, the inaugural “Welcoming Schools Seal of Excellence Award Ceremony” was held at the J.J. Hill Montessori magnet School in Saint Paul, Minnesota. St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman was the opening speaker. He stated that schools that celebrate diversity and welcome all students are the “most successful and safe” environments. On the other hand, schools that do not celebrate diversity, “suffer, exclude, and hate.”
At this event, Senator Dibble (author of the bullying bill and openly-gay activist) was introduced as a “champion for schools and students.” He spoke about his work on the Safe and Supportive MN Schools Act. He stated that his desire is for all schools to “aspire to be Welcoming Schools” with its LGBT inclusive curriculum. It was made clear that schools that don’t conform and advocate for this model are not welcoming.
Senator Dibble said the anti-bullying policy, prescribed in the newly-passed legislation, fulfills the vision of the Governor’s Task Force against bullying. He stated that the anti-bullying/safe schools movement will be led by young people.
Mayor Coleman spoke of being pleased that the passage of this legislation came on the heels of the “marriage equality legislation.” He said that St. Paul received “global recognition” when, as mayor, he transformed the Wabasha Bridge into the ‘Freedom to Marry Bridge’ for a night. He stated that he was very proud of those two events.
Midway through the evening, students shared their Welcoming Schools projects. A fifth grade boy shared his report for the upcoming Peace Day. He wrote about Harvey Milk and credited him with “paving the way for equal rights” as the first openly gay politician in San Francisco.
In Welcoming Schools, young children learn that Harvey Milk was a hero and a martyr. What they do not learn is that Harvey Milk was a sexual predator of teenage boys. That fact would dismantle the advocacy of what Milk sought: the entire homosexual, bisexual and cross-dressing agenda.
Fifth grade girls from the Racial Equality Committee (REC) shared their report on racism and sexism. They said they were “shocked” to discover very little racism among their 180 classmates.
They were, however, equally shocked by the high levels of ‘sexism’ in their school after learning that some students have been subjected to “rude remarks, excluded, or left out” in the lunchroom. The REC girls, carefully referring to the respondents in a gender-neutral fashion, concluded that these sorts of experiences “make you feel bad because of how you’ve been born.”
Why isn’t it OK for boys to sit together in the lunch room or gather on the playground without the girls? Must playground responses be labeled sexist? If boys like to sit with boys in the lunchroom, is that sexism? Could it be that boys and girls at this age naturally bond with their same gender and self-segregate?
Why should fifth graders be looking for evidence of sexism in the first place? Could this be a process of reshaping and reinterpreting their natural bents, as well as training them to be advocates and agitators for these issues? It appears that Welcoming Schools encourages students to look for a conflict where none exists.
Another speaker–Cheryl Greene—is the Midwest Regional Director for Welcoming Schools. The notes in her bio state that she lives in the Twin Cities with her wife and children. She explained the standard that was used for the schools that received the Welcoming Schools Seal of Excellence award. The standard is based on the successful implementation of four key measures:
- Leadership Development—including an active leadership team working with individual schools
- Professional Development—including full faculty workshops
- Family Engagement—including community events
- Classroom Strategies—including use of “inclusive” lesson plans and a level of on-going evaluation
Ms. Greene stated that partnering with Welcoming Schools helps teachers and leaders “unpack their own biases before talking with kids,” and that Welcoming Schools utilizes the Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity (S.E.E.D.) teacher-training seminars to “go deeper” with adults. Each school must have a Welcoming Schools committee that uses resources from Welcoming Schools.
At the end of the evening, ten schools and two school districts received the Seal of Excellence Award: Acorn Woodland Elementary School in Oakland, CA, Berkeley Arts Magnet in Berkeley, Malcom X Elementary in Berkeley, CA, Berkeley Unified School District in Berkeley, CA, Brouillet Elementary School in Puyallup, WA, Puyallup School District in Puyallup, WA, Garden Oaks Montessori Magnet in Houston, TX, and Mirror Lake Elementary School in Plantation, FL, and four Minnesota schools.
The Minnesota schools that received the award are:
- Carver Elementary School in Maplewood, MN—for their two-year pilot program and “gender expansive” classrooms.
- Castle Elementary School in Oakdale, MN—started two years ago and has “diversity inclusion everywhere.”
- Hiawatha Leadership Academy in Minneapolis, MN
- J.J. Hill Montessori in St. Paul, MN—recognized specifically for their training of faculty and non-faculty, anti-racism efforts, and content-specific gender and LGBT training.
The evening ended with a group of fifth grade students singing “True Colors.”
A concerned parent who attended the event concluded: “Clearly Welcoming Schools has an agenda. They are aggressively working to normalize and affirm LGBTQ lifestyles, and to erase the traditional understanding of gender and gender roles in our elementary-aged children. There is a high level of emphasis geared toward changing their values and attitudes and creating in them the belief that gender is not biological but psychological in nature…it’s whatever or whomever they think or feel they are at the moment. Evidently mirrors lie and it is no longer natural for boys to gravitate toward ‘boy things’ or for girls to gravitate toward more feminine interests. Apparently their natural bents are no longer ‘natural’ and must be reshaped and reinterpreted.”
Teaching Methods Employed By Welcoming Schools:
Utilizes children’s books, films, etc. that promote homosexuality and gender confusion.
Under the guise of bullying prevention, sexual diversity-themed books and films are introduced to young children. A look at the resource list makes it clear that the Welcoming Schools materials are overwhelmingly pro-LGBT. The Welcoming Schools Guide lists the lesson plans by suggested grade level. Note: The page numbers included in this report refer to this guide.
The recommended books and films question gender stereotyping in traditional fairy tales and “expand their notions of gender-appropriate behavior” through pro-homosexual tales. The Welcoming Schools website has a link to the AMAZE website www.amazeworks.org and their Families All Matter Book Project that includes 60 recommended classroom books for elementary children. Some of the books challenge traditional families and parenting such as: Who’s in a Family? All Families are Special, Heather Has Two Mommies, Daddy’s Roommate, King and King, Asha’s Mums, and Gloria Goes to Gay Pride, to name a few. AMAZE works with Welcoming Schools to encourage teachers to make a “conscious, intentional effort” to teach children an acceptance of homosexuality and same-sex parenting.
Manipulative pro-homosexual films include: That’s a Family, Both of My Moms’ Names are Judy, Postcards from Buster, and It’s Elementary.
It’s Elementary is the centerpiece of the Welcoming Schools program. The movie, shot in six public and private schools, shows actual lessons directed at young elementary students.
This movie gives us a window into the elementary classroom to see how mind manipulation techniques and indoctrination are used on innocent and malleable young minds to advance homosexuality-positive attitudes among elementary children. How many children over the years assimilate the pro-homosexual values of their teachers, their parents none the wiser?
Uses teachable moments to indoctrinate children.
Students’ innocent comments are to be used to “educate on the spot.” For example: If a child says “That’s so gay,” the teacher is instructed to use those words as a teachable moment to explain what it means to be “gay” and normalize homosexuality in the mind of the child. Homosexual teachers often talk about their “partners” and share their own personal relationships with the children in the classroom.
Imagine a room packed with five-year-olds sitting cross-legged on the floor. These young children have an uncritical acceptance of what their teacher tells them. Welcoming Schools teachers use this position of power to manipulate the thoughts of the children as they read books like King and King, in which a young prince passes up the lovely princesses and falls in love with another prince. The story includes a picture of their wedding kiss. (Page G-11) This is a blatant attempt to sexually engineer children.
Undermines the traditional family model.
Parents with a traditional-values view of human sexuality and marriage will find their children subjected to mental and emotional manipulation through pro-homosexual classroom activities. Many lessons undermine parental authority, confuse children and set up conflict in innocent minds regarding family structure, gender roles and parental authority—resulting in “guilt which can cause resistance and immobilization.” (Pages G-2, F-50).
Children in grades three to five learn how parents can have the same gender. Classroom activities help them to identify and describe families headed by gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender people and role play being a part of a nontraditional family. Guest speakers who are gay parents are brought into the classroom to speak to the children (Pages F-26, 44).
Children are told “there are no ‘wrong’ families” and that their parents just might be influencing them about wrong kinds of family stereotypes (Pages F-4, 26, 48).
Elevates homosexual relationships.
Lesson plans include ways to celebrate sexual relationship differences and family diversity. By using a wide range of pro-homosexual materials and role plays, children are indoctrinated to approve of homosexuality and transgenderism before they are even old enough to know what sexuality is or understand the unhealthy implications of homosexual behavior.
It’s Elementary give impressionable children the view that homosexuality is exciting, wonderful, and healthy. In one scene, first and second-graders are led to enthusiastically sing This Little Light of Mine at an assembly where a soccer coach from Cambridge Friends School (CFS) comes out to them. He tells them how great it is that at their school he doesn’t have to hide the fact that he is a gay man. He states: “At CFS, I can tell the truth that I’m a gay man. And that give me so much more energy to be a better teacher, to be a better co-worker, to be a better friend.” He walks off kicking a soccer ball to the loud applause of the children. A homosexual teacher and soccer coach now becomes a hero and role model for little boys. This is coercion. The children are not told that there are extreme health risks with homosexual behavior.
Confuses children regarding gender.
Welcoming Schools advises teachers not to call students “boys and girls” because this just might create “internal dissonance” in some children (Page G-5). Children learn to be allies for boys who wear pink T-shirts or nail polish (Pages H-31, 42)
GLSEN’s distorted view of human sexuality is taught to the children. They learn that gender is fluid and that one’s sex is not based on biology but is a mental decision based on how one feels at the moment. GLSEN believes that the early sexualization of children is beneficial for kids—the younger the better. This curriculum confuses children about gender. It puts at risk the futures of these elementary kids who might experiment with anal sex or later seek dangerous sex- change hormones or body-altering surgery. There is no acknowledgement of the epidemic of HIV/AIDS and other sexual diseases among young males who have sex with males.
Contradicts many religious beliefs.
One Minneapolis parent called it a “biased curriculum [that] omits the needs of families of faith.” The assumptions in Welcoming Schools include the belief that homosexuality is equivalent to heterosexuality and that homosexual acts are moral. These are unproven assumptions that contradict the moral and religious teachings of many faiths including Roman Catholicism, many Protestant denominations, Orthodox Judaism, and Islam. These lessons—delivered with the authority of the teacher—send a clear message to the child: Forget what your mom and dad taught you at home and trust your teacher.
In the movie It’s Elementary, we see young children listening to other children talk about homosexuality. In one scene, a fifth grader says, “Some Christians believe that if you’re gay, you’ll go to hell, so they want to torture them and stuff.” In another scene, an eight-year-old girl says that she thinks that those who believe what the Bible says about homosexuality “think stupidly.” Instead of a reprimand, the girl receives praise from her teacher.
Evaluates the success of transforming the values of children in the program.
Welcoming Schools evaluates the effectiveness of changing each child’s attitudes, thoughts, and beliefs. At the end of each lesson, children are assessed on how well they have rejected family and parental values. During evaluation, kids are required to complete a fill-in-the-blank phrase that states: “I used to think, but now I know….” (Pages F-45, 50).
Note: There is no measurable evaluation to see if this program reduces bullying.
Makes opting out next to impossible.
The goal of Welcoming Schools is to integrate the curriculum into every classroom subject so parents will find it extremely difficult to opt their children out of the program. By connecting the lessons to history, English, social studies and health, the normal curriculum review for individual subjects is bypassed.
In 2008, when a mom in the Minneapolis School District complained about Welcoming Schools being used in her child’s school, an administrator bullied her by calling her names and threatening her in the presence of several witnesses—including 4th grade children. Safe and welcoming? This mother didn’t think so. As another mom said, “When I hear the words ‘safe’ and ‘welcoming,’ I feel neither!”
Writer Linda Harvey alerted parents about the Welcoming Schools program: “Parents, be forewarned. Kids will learn to hate traditional values; some will develop tremendous insecurity and anxiety over just being a girl or boy. The more vulnerable kids will go on to adopt homosexual identities and enter that lifestyle and high-risk behavior….It’s an intensive indoctrination plan that leaves the sweetness and sanity of authentic boy/girl identities out in the cold. The HRC version of civility is a chilling denial of biological reality, divine design and the genuine well-being of children….We will have truly civil schools, only when they are based on truth and virtue.”
Currently the Minneapolis School District has a graduation rate of 54% and a reading proficiency rate of 42%. Their schools are having enough difficulty teaching reading, writing and arithmetic. We shouldn’t be adding confusion to this equation by taking valuable instruction time to teach about homosexuality.
A true bullying prevention program should never expose elementary children to homosexuality and Gender Identity Disorder. In doing so, Welcoming Schools undermines parental rights and harms the emotional and physical safety of school-age children. Parents must continue to stand firm against this dangerous program erroneously billed as bullying prevention.