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Schools cancel anti-bullying day after evangelical group launches email campaign of lies

If anti-bullying = pro-homosexual propoganda, what exactly are these parents teaching their kids about classmates of other religions, races and living situations?  Will letting your cheerleader eat lunch with a member of the chess club turn them gay?


On Mix It Up at Lunch Day, schoolchildren around the country are encouraged to hang out with someone they normally might not speak to.

The program, started 11 years ago by the Southern Poverty Law Center and now in more than 2,500 schools, was intended as a way to break up cliques and prevent bullying.

But this year, the American Family Association, a conservative evangelical group, has called the project “a nationwide push to promote the homosexual lifestyle in public schools” and is urging parents to keep their children home from school on Oct. 30, the day most of the schools plan to participate this year.

The charges, raised in an email to supporters this month, have caused a handful of schools to cancel this year’s event and have caught organizers off guard.

“I was surprised that they completely lied about what Mix It Up Day is,” said Maureen Costello, the director of the center’s Teaching Tolerance project, which organizes the program. “It was a cynical, fear-mongering tactic.”

The swirl around Mix It Up at Lunch Day reflects a deeper battle between the Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil-rights group founded 41 years ago in Montgomery, Ala., and the American Family Association, a Bible-based cultural watchdog organization in Tupelo, Miss. The association says its mission is to fight what it calls the “increasing ungodliness” in America.

The law center recently added the group to its national list of active hate groups, which also includes neo-Nazis, black separatists and Holocaust deniers.

Association leaders, in return, have gone on the offensive, calling the law center a hate group for oppressing Christian students and saying its aim is to shut down groups that oppose homosexuality.

“The reality is we are not a hate group. We are a truth group,” said Bryan Fischer, director of issue analysis for the association. “We tell the truth about homosexual behavior.”

Although the suggested activities for Mix It Up at Lunch Day do not expressly address gay students, the law center itself promotes equal treatment for gays, and that philosophy informs the school program, he said.

“Anti-bullying legislation is exactly the same,” Fischer said. “It’s just another thinly veiled attempt to promote the homosexual agenda. No one is in favor of anyone getting bullied for any reason, but these anti-bullying policies become a mechanism for punishing Christian students who believe that homosexual behavior is not something that should be normalized.”

The program is not about sexual orientation but rather about breaking up social cliques, which are especially evident in a school cafeteria, Costello said.

Parents who are on the American Family Association email list were encouraged to keep their children home on that day and to call school administrators to tell them why.

By Friday, about 200 schools had canceled, Costello said. But exactly why was unclear. Of 20 schools that had canceled and were contacted by The New York Times, only one chose to comment.

The Chattahoochee County Education Center in Cusseta, Ga., canceled because teachers were too busy trying to meet basic state teaching requirements, Principal Tabatha Walton said.

“The decision had nothing to do with taking a position on gay rights,” she said. “We support diversity.”

Answer Question

Asked by NotPanicking at 11:24 PM on Oct. 17, 2012 in Parenting Debate

Level 51 (421,174 Credits)
Answers (14)
  • Stupidity breeds more stupidity. People seriously need to get a clue and stop clinging to " mans interpretation of the word of God". "Cheerleader girl sitting with a chess club member doesnt mean they're turning gay" nowhere in the bible does it say "if the cheerleader sits with the chess club their going to promote homosexuality" READ THE BIBLE! You've just become submissive to a bully because you've cancelled your organizations plan. Way to go on teaching our children to stand up to bullies. You're an awesome role model! You just got beat down by one! High Five Rock Star way to go! The only people screaming this much about homosexuality are probably the same people hiding in the closet wearing their wife's panties and bra. Dont be afraid to step out of the closet and embrass yourself. You already did in your wifes dress.

    Answer by NotUrKidsBestie at 11:45 PM on Oct. 17, 2012

  • hmm...sounds like another example of how the AFA has nothing but sex on their mind. and they say the rest of us are perverted!

    its one thing to raise your kid to think homosexuality is a sin...its another to teach them to say a single word to another student about their or their parents' homosexuality being evil and then continually belittling them b/c of "religious" beliefs. any religion that can justify bullying is not a religion any sane person should willingly be apart of.

    Answer by okmanders at 12:17 AM on Oct. 18, 2012

  • Mocking Christians for stating their beliefs or FSM forbid! standing up for their 1st amendment rights = tolerance and celebrating diversity. A Christian stating their beliefs = bullying

    If a school can't teach students about any/all gods, no school should be allowed to teach children to ignore any/all gods ~ OR their parents. If you don't want 'your' child taught about Jesus/God's word, but think it's ok to teach someone else's child that the Bible is wrong, 'you' are part of the problem.

    If a gay person can say being gay is ok, a Christian can say it isn't. Both are stating what they believe ~ and BOTH have that right. People in the US have the right to choose their God, no God, or wander about wondering ~ but NO right to tell others to ignore/ disobey their God.

    Bullies of ANY sort should be permanently expelled from public schools. Teach kids that there is a zero tolerance for bullying = problem solved.


    Answer by Farmlady09 at 1:10 AM on Oct. 18, 2012

  • Teach kids that there is a zero tolerance for bullying = problem solved.

    Good idea, how bout you write a letter to the AFA telling them that?

    Comment by NotPanicking (original poster) at 1:42 AM on Oct. 18, 2012

  • "A Christian stating their beliefs = bullying "

    only if the student calls out another student by name and claims they are evil. a person can have all the beliefs they want, but when they start antagonizing another person based on those beliefs it IS bullying. i believe one night stands are wrong and stating so is not being a bully. but if i were to go to a student that participates in this behavior and belittle, laugh at, damn to hell, and encourage others to do so as well that IS bullying. i knew a kid in high school that disliked Jews b/c in his belief "they killed Jesus". he never got in trouble for bullying UNTIL he started tormenting Jewish kids with phrases like "Jesus killer" and "i hope you burn in hell (insert slur here)."

    the belief isnt the problem, the behavior that (for some) goes along with that belief is. i dont see why thats so hard to grasp...

    Answer by okmanders at 2:16 AM on Oct. 18, 2012

  • Yet another group of bods who should be drug-tested before being allowed to say anything in public much less publish it ...

    Answer by winterglow at 3:21 AM on Oct. 18, 2012

  • "Fortunately for serious minds, a bias recognized is a bias sterilized."
    - Benjamin Haydon

    Answer by Dardenella at 4:17 AM on Oct. 18, 2012

  • Yeah,because gay kids are the only ones that are bullied,SMH........

    Answer by butterflyblue19 at 7:53 AM on Oct. 18, 2012

  • I would hope kids of differing interests already sit together at lunch, I would hope all schools create an atmosphere where kids naturally mix-my kids are athletes and good students, they have friends of every type-we have been lucky that our schools have always been inclusive and that they have always been encouraged to be with people they enjoy regardless of what label they wear-
    All of that being said-if these people think their kids can not "mix it up" without having their beliefs challenged they will not be successful adults-its a big world out there, you must be able to hold your own and be who you are regardless of who you come in contact with-

    Answer by soyousay at 11:42 AM on Oct. 18, 2012

  • Good idea, how bout you write a letter to the AFA telling them that?

    Not a problem ~ along with a cc to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Freedom from religion foundation, and every idiotic principal (including that one that left a child bully a teacher). Most schools already have a zero tolerance policy towards weapons (and carry them to the ridiculous heights of including a pointed finger if a child says bang at the same time) ~ they may as well include other words and cartoons, notes, etc. Even the dummies on most school boards should be able to figure it out.

    Are you up for firing any teacher that ignores any sort of bullying as well ... because tenure or no, I'd kick them to the curb right along with the bullies.

    Answer by Farmlady09 at 1:08 PM on Oct. 18, 2012

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