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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
 
NotPanicking

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

Level 50 (406,202 Credits)
Answers (14)
  • 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.
    blondie805

    Answer by blondie805 at 9:28 PM on Nov. 5, 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
    hot-mama86

    Answer by hot-mama86 at 3:50 PM on Oct. 19, 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.
    Nos4

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

  • 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.
    Farmlady09

    Answer by Farmlady09 at 1:18 PM 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.
    Farmlady09

    Answer by Farmlady09 at 1:08 PM 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-
    soyousay

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

  • Yeah,because gay kids are the only ones that are bullied,SMH........
    butterflyblue19

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

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

    Answer by Dardenella at 4:17 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 ...
    winterglow

    Answer by winterglow at 3:21 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...
    okmanders

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

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