Friday, October 31, 2008

YES on 8!

This is from my grandma, who received it from Dave Benson, who wrote it. The Bensons are in my grandparents ward, and Joel is good friends with their son David. We MUST tell EVERYONE to vote YES on 8 on TUESDAY.

Hi Brethren,
As you know in our High Priest Group I condemned the Commissioner of Education in California for going on TV and actually lying in such an open and notorious fashion that I could not help but to comment. In fact, in general the media is making it appear that ALL teachers and administrators are in opposition to Prop 8 to the extent that the Mormon Church is in favor of Proposition 8. The California Teachers Association donating $1 million of teachers dues to the No on Prop 8 campaign, the Commissioner of Education impugning himself in opposition to Prop 8. It seems as though when reports are given on TV that it is teachers and schools that are driving support for the gay agenda.
Now I know enough teachers and administrators to know that this is not the case individually and even collectively on a local basis, however, the evidence is mounting that there are people in positions of power within the state education system that are working for the pro-gay agenda in an open and notorious fashion. Their boldness could be compared to Giddianhi, who was the Gadianton Robber that asked all of the Nephites to surrender and become part of their society. I expect that even good educators are troubled and scared to oppose these people in positions of power, because to oppose them would expose good people to potential lawsuits and imprisonment due to the state judges and craftiness of the laws in our state.
I want to pass this information on to you as evidence of the gross lies of our Commissioner of Education. This is the exact teaching code for teachers and their responsibility for teaching about families. Allen Jenkins gave this to me and pointed out the wording I have highlighted in yellow below. Not only are teachers required to teach about families and the interworking of families, they are already required to affirm the family structure of each child in an effort to help them not feel “denigrated.” This section reveals the outright lie told on TV by the Commissioner of Education, that there is NO requirement by teachers in California to teach about families. (Please do not even think about wordsmithing his comment, because the intent of his comment was to deceive people into believing that a defeat of Prop 8 will not permit the change of school instruction.)
My point here is not to argue the current state of the law, because when I read this section it upholds what we expect as parents. What is obvious to me is that this statute is not being followed in the state of Massachusetts. I am not sure if the code is written the same way, however, the lawsuits that have been generated to keep children from being taught about alternate lifestyles, with out the parents being able to opt out, leads me to believe that similar statutes did or still exist in Massachusetts. My concern is that if I have a Commissioner of Education in California that will lie about something so obvious, in such an open and notorious fashion, my expectation is that he will also disregard the protections in this portion of the education code and will do whatever he wants. Additionally the Supreme Court of California will not side with a reasonable interpretation of the code, they have proven they will side the Commissioner and his pro-gay agenda.
The code is below for your perusal. Thanks for all you do,


Health Framework for California Public Schools Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve
Family Living
In the teaching of family living, particular attention must be paid to the legislative codes and guidelines that affect curriculum planning and instruction within this content area. Note: See summaries of Education Code sections 51550 and 51555 (parent notification), 51553 (sex education course criteria, emphasizing abstinence), 51554 (parental notification of outside speakers for family life, AIDS, STDs), 51201.5 (HIV/AIDS prevention), and 51513 (personal beliefs) in Appendix A. The requirements of these code sections should be understood prior to the development of curriculum in this content area.
A functional family unit is vital to the well-being of children. Children usually develop best when they live in a stable environment with their mother and father and receive from their parents consistent love, support, and direction. However, children from nontraditional families can also develop success-fully. Given the variety of nontraditional families in contemporary society, it is important that children not reared in two-parent families be convinced that their situation can also be conducive to growth and development.
Further, it is important that children not be denigrated because of their living arrangement or the composition of their family. All students, regardless of their current living arrangement, can benefit from classroom instruction and discussion on family living. They can learn how they can contribute to making the family unit harmonious and successful now as well as in the future—when they will likely become parents.
This content area promotes the development of positive family interactions in all types of families, including those that face unusual challenges. Families that have members with physical or mental disabilities can experience major effects on patterns of family interaction. Ideally, families can adapt to these challenges and in fact may develop stronger, more supportive family relation-ships as a result. Members of these families should feel comfortable participating in classroom discussions of family interactions.
Instruction in family living also focuses on sexuality, the reproductive process, dating relationships, and the selection of a mate. Abstinence from sexual activity is strongly encouraged because it is the healthiest course of action for young people. Statistics based on the latest medical information citing the failure and success rates of condoms and other contraceptives in preventing pregnancy shall be provided to students. In addition, the moral, legal, and economic responsibilities of parenthood are highlighted.
Sexually transmitted diseases and their prevention are discussed. Because parents should be the primary source of sex education and values relating to this subject, they must be notified before lessons in sex education are offered. The Education Code permits parents to withdraw their children from this portion of the health curriculum.
Decisions regarding developing specific instruction in family living within the parameters of legal requirements rest with school districts. The approach of this framework is to encourage districts to work with parents and community members in developing curriculum, especially in the area of family living. The intent of the curriculum in this content area is not to invade the privacy of families and their right to teach values to their children but to assist families in teaching about family living and encourage effective family communication.
Because of the sensitive nature of this content area, school districts may wish to arrange same-sex groupings during presentation of this portion of the curriculum to younger students. Districts should work with parents and community members to decide how controversial issues such as homosexuality, abortion, and masturbation will, or will not, be addressed. Parents should be informed of the district’s position, and teachers should receive clear training in fulfilling the district’s policies.
Family life curricula must include factual, substantiated information that is free of racial, ethnic, and gender bias and, if consistent with district policy, an opportunity for students to explore different aspects of issues within the parameters allowed by law. The school district must determine what constitutes factual, substantiated information3 and ensure that all instructional resources are subject to the district’s review and approval process. If guest speakers are invited to participate in the discussion of those issues, the speakers’ activities must be made to adhere to district policy and state law. Further, districts must ensure that schools comply with all legal requirements concerning family life education, including providing written notification to parents before conducting classes in which the human reproductive organs and their functions are described, illustrated, or discussed.4
3Education Code Section 51553(b): “(1)(A) Factual information presented in course material and instruction shall be medically accurate and objective. (B) For purposes of this section, the following definitions apply: (i) ‘Factual information’ includes, but is not limited to, medical, psychiatric, psychological, empirical, and statistical statements. (ii) ‘Medically accurate’ means verified or supported by research conducted in compliance with scientific methods and published in peer-review journals, where appropriate, and recognized as accurate and objective by professional organizations and agencies with expertise in the relevant fields such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”
4 School district governing boards dealing with policy issues should refer to Appendix A.

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