Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Alameda CA School Board Adopts Plan To Halt Anti-Gay Bullying
Alameda School district leaders have approved lesson plans for kindergartners through fifth graders that aim to curb anti-gay bullying.
Trustees voted 3-2 on Tuesday to adopt the Safe Schools curriculum, which supporters say will help children of gay parents feel welcome at school and help end anti-gay teasing and bullying on the playground.
The lessons also aim to provide a safe environment for children to learn, as well as to offer a framework for teachers to break down stereotypes and teach kids about different types of families.
"The need for this is real," said Beth Kromer, a fourth-grade teacher at Ruby Bridges Elementary School.
Brian Harris, a 16-year-old student at the Alameda Community Learning Center, told trustees that he has been called anti-gay epithets on campus.
"I have been harassed by other students in the classroom and I have even begun to consider just stopping and giving up on life," Harris said.
Opponents of the curriculum said it would undercut parents' rights to teach their children about relationships and sexual orientation, and that it pushed a political agenda without addressing ways to help other groups who may be singled out at school.