Subtle Violations Of The First Amendment May Still Be Found In Public Schools

image of a young girl praying from

Obvious violations of the first amendment in public schools can include a sign with an obvious religious message, a teacher proselytizing, or a school promoted event sponsored by a religious group that includes a sermon or prayer. There are, however, many smaller violations going on all the time that might be harder to see or stop. It takes all of us, checking into our local schools, to police these minor violations and to educate people about the 1st amendment.

Zack Kopplin wrote in ThinkProgress about the efforts of Focus on the Family to infiltrate public schools under the radar:

For the most part, when schools share Focus on the Family materials, it appears to be the work of random staff members, who may not know much about the organization they are promoting. But some schools are actively teaching class using Focus on the Family’s materials.

No matter which Focus on the Family message these materials are spreading, whether it’s anti-gay or just religious parenting and discipline, they’re not resources that should be promoted by public schools or the government.

Focus on the Family’s agenda when it comes to public schools is less innocuous than Batura implied. According to an “Empowering Parents” guide by Focus on the Family’s “True Tolerance” project, the organization is concerned with monitoring things like “sexually explicit instruction [in health class] or the promotion of concepts like same-sex relationships being taught to children at school.” They warn parents to check school websites for buzzwords like “tolerance,” “anti-bullying,” and “family diversity,” which could signify that the school is tolerant of LGBTQ students. They also suggest providing school administrators with their “model school policies provided on” — a Focus on the Family website — like an anti-transgender “model student physical privacy policy” which if passed by a school district would dictate “in all public schools in this district, restrooms, locker rooms, and showers that are designated for one sex shall be used only by members of that sex.”

Public Schools Across The Country Are Violating The Separation Of Church And State

Groups like Focus on the Family and their anti-gay agenda helps create the environment where someone thinks it’s okay to kill LGBT people like we saw in the recent Orlando murders.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center:

No one has spread the anti-gay gospel as widely, or with as much political impact, as James Dobson, the former child development professor and spanking enthusiast who founded Focus on the Family (FOF) in 1977.

On Focus’ 47-acre campus in Colorado Springs, some 1,300 employees battle against gay rights, sex education and women’s rights with an enormous annual budget of $130 million. Dobson’s radio show, dispensing homespun parenting advice along with jabs at “the militant homosexual agenda,” is heard daily on more than 9,000 radio stations worldwide, giving him an estimated listening audience of more than 200 million.

A Dozen Major Groups Help Drive the Religious Right’s Anti-Gay Crusade

We all need to check our local schools to see what classroom materials they are using and where those materials came from.

Focus on the Family or their materials shouldn’t be used or promoted in the public schools.


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