Op-Ed: Reaping the consequences of California's S.B. 48
Under the guise of anti-bullying, the recent signing of Senate Bill 48 into law, in my opinion, is a significant threat to the health of our educational system (K-12) in California. S.B. 48 mandated that at beginning of 2012, California schools must include LGBT (lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender) persons' role in the social sciences and related subjects. SB 48 was sponsored by Equality California, a lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender organization representing less than 5 percent of California's population.
This LGBT "indoctrination" is directed at the K-12 educational level, and thus can start even in kindergarten. Teachers must include such history in their curriculum presentations or be disciplined. There are several concerns I will express:
• Who decides what LGBT contributions are used? Are these inclusions actually significant to our curriculum needs or are they fabricated? What will be left out and what will be included? For example, Oscar Wilde was imprisoned for his homosexual activities. On his death bed he became a Catholic (Google "The Long Conversion of Oscar Wilde"). He died at age 46 of cerebral meningitis. Will his struggles to conversion be included, or merely the fact that he was "gay?"
• S.B. 48, in my opinion, opens a Pandora's Box of LGBT lifestyle intrusions into the minds of our youth. Under the guise of no bullying, S.B. 48 is a step toward the complete normalization of transgenderism, homosexuality and bisexuality lifestyles of the 1 to 3 percent of the population. For example, the Redwood Heights Elementary School in Oakland already has taught kindergarten through fifth-grade students that there are more than two genders. In documents released by that school, students will be taught that "gender is not inherently nor solely connected to one's physical anatomy." Imagine middle school students' reaction to being told they might not be the gender they thought they were. Such teaching is not teaching, but indoctrination.
• When California education is at risk, both financially and qualitatively, why must such a divisive threat be enacted? As one local middle-school teacher related to me, "Our students are great at expressing feelings, but poor on core knowledge." As part of S.B. 48 mandates, California textbooks must include LGBT contributions, and thus must be rewritten. When our schools are financially strapped, we must now pay for a rewriting of textbooks. What will this cost California education?
• S.B. 48 is a real threat to our public school students, teachers and parents. It very likely will tear many families and students apart. Many teachers must teach what goes against their personal beliefs. Certainly many California families are not in favor of SB 48's teachings and will act to counter SB 48 by removing their kids from California public schools. Students who take a stand against LGBT teachings are in danger of being bullied and called bigots. Is it not a severe act of bullying to attempt to deride a student's beliefs about their sexuality no matter if they are Christian, Muslim, Jewish or Sikh, or any other such people group?
Art Fruhling is a Yuba City resident and former educator..