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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)
  • 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... ~ okmanders

    I agree. It isn't hard to grasp, the problem is that the concept isn't applied equally, or even considered by a lot of teachers, aides, and principals. People like that should stick to trying to grow chia pets or collecting pet rocks instead of getting paid to allow abuse. Kids are inherently cruel. They always have been, and likely always will be. A lot grow up to be cruel adults if they aren't taught better. The problem starts with the adults who are supposed to be teaching. Too many allow their own bias to make the judgement calls.

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

  • I was sickend by this when I read it. I'm angry that these schools caved in to the demands of a bigoted hate group.

    Answer by Nos4 at 9:57 AM on Oct. 19, 2012

  • Wow the term "Gay agenda" Never ceases to amaze me. What exactly is their agenda? To be accepted as human beings with human emotions and feelings. To not be forced to live in secrecy and lies. To not be bullied. People need to get a grip on reality. The Only thing this day is set out to do is to teach that deep down every one is more or less the same and should be treated equally and with respect. However this day is not only for homosexuals it is for outcasts, geeks, jocks, etc to learn a valuable lesson in life and this day harms none nor does impose any thing on any one. As well this is not s forced activity only encouraged. Thankfully many school where I am from have this day and will not be forced into canceling it even though it has been tried every year. Guess people who run our schools havem more backbone, individual thinkiing and intelligence then some. Thank god for that

    Answer by hot-mama86 at 3:50 PM on Oct. 19, 2012

  • Ok. I am not familiar with this group. As a Christian, I will completely stand up for my beliefs. However, I don't see that this mix it up day has anything to do with promoting homosexuality. This group is obviously using Christ as a way of promoting anti-Christian behavior. It's like someone in the NAACP promoting white supremacy. It makes no sense but, I am sure that it has happened somewhere in some weird universe. It saddens me to see that this group calls themselves Christians when they teach just the opposite of what Christ taught. Christ didn't have dinner with the ones who already believed. He sat down with people who needed to be loved and understood. He was the author of "mix it up day". How dare this group shame Christ in this way. Christ taught love not hate.

    Answer by blondie805 at 9:28 PM on Nov. 5, 2012

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