Apr 062003
Authors: the Collegian Editorial Board

Apparently the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Student Services at CSU is trying to push its agenda and indoctrinate high schoolers at Elizabeth High School – or at least that is what the school board in Elizabeth thinks.

On Friday, the school board bent to the whims of community members who thought a student-council-approved event would expose the children to what the parents called a “gay and lesbian agenda.”

The event was going to part of Elizabeth High School’s “Respect Week” and the student council invited GLBTSS speakers to discuss diversity and respect with students. The school board didn’t cancel the event, but it was moved to 7 p.m., which is after school hours.

This move by the school board does nothing but promote hate and intolerance. What is wrong with a GLBTSS group speaking to children 14 years old and above about gay issues? Especially since the student council at the high school wanted the students to come.

It is a twist of irony that it is supposed to be parents who teach their children, but in this incident, the students can teach parents and community members about tolerance.

The grounds on which the parents and community members argued are also disturbing. They argued the GLBTSS’s appearance would undermine traditional family and religious values.

Well, what if a group came to speak about Islam or Judaism? Would they be undermining these values as well? And if these parents and community members would also object to an Islamic or Jewish group, what does that say about that community? Does this community really feel comfortable teaching its near-adult children how to prejudge people based on superficial reasons, like sexual orientation?

The student council could teach parents, the school board, people who live in Elizabeth, and all of us something about being open-minded and willing to listen to a historically oppressed group. Too bad too many of us don’t listen to kids.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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