Thursday, January 17, 2019

Worth Standing Up

I’m about a third of the way through a book that I expect to write more about. But I just read a chapter that was kind of overwhelming. So I’m not waiting.

cover image from here
The book is Standing Up to Goliath, by Rebecca Friedrichs. She’s the one from the US Supreme Court case Friedrichs v California Teachers Association. She, along with other plaintiffs, was trying to prevent the teacher’s union from forcing teachers to pay money to the unions that would be used for political purposes against their beliefs.

After oral arguments, it was clear her side was prevailing. The Court was likely to vote 5-4 in her favor. On the verge of their celebrations, however, Justice Scalia suddenly passed away. So the case went 4-4, which left the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision in place. The CTA won by default.

Much of the book talks about tactics used by the teachers’ unions—not just the California state one, but national ones as well. Friedrichs says,

I’d like to point out four psychological manipulations used by those who force power and control over others: fear, intimidation, isolation, and ignorance.
Teachers unions aren’t the only places we see those things. They show up wherever there are power mongers seeking power. It’s one of the evils of mankind.

The challenge is standing up to those power mongers despite the fear, intimidation, isolation, and ignorance they use against us.

The chapter I’m covering today is Chapter 8: “SeXXX Education—Teachers’ Union Style.” I’ve mentioned before that things are worse than we had imagined. (See also here.) But I continue to be shocked.

Friedrichs begins with a friend’s story, from 2013. This young mother had an eleven-year-old daughter in a California fifth grade public school. She had just learned about the school’s sex education program and wanted to spread a warning. She sent a link to an eight-week Planned Parenthood-designed curriculum called Making Proud Choices!

Warning: Please use discretion if you’re reading this around children, since this blog is usually guaranteed safe.

Here’s one of the “fun” “age-appropriate” activities for fifth graders: In the classroom, set up two anatomically correct, fully erect adult penis models. Separate the pre-teens into two lines of boys and girls. Have the two teams of children race to put a condom onto the penis the proper way while verbalizing the steps involved.

That one, while not age-appropriate, is at least about a type of sex the students are likely to encounter in their lifetimes. But they’re taught not to be limited. Friedrichs says,

Vaginal, Anal, and Oral sex (referred to casually as VAO) come up and was normalized in every single lesson, and in one lesson, in which they discuss a thirteen-minute “Hawaii Video,” kids are taught to protect themselves during anal and oral sex by using a “dental dam.” I had no idea what this meant, so I had to look it up. I was so shocked by what I saw in the search results, I couldn’t bring myself to open any of the links, but I was able to understand enough to know dental dams (originally created to help dentists during oral surgery), are now being used between the mouth and anus or vagina during oral sex, and our school leaders feel this is appropriate information for eleven-year-olds.
I don’t have the imagination to make up such a thing.

Another teacher friend, referred to only as Stella, contacted her from Massachusetts, with links to a similar program used there called Teen Talk. This included sixteen birth control methods, “including an ‘insertive condom’ that can be used in the vagina or anus, government approved birth control methods we’d never even heard of or seen, and a large erect penis model.” And she described the “dental dam” as “a big, pink rectangle of vinyl—maybe ten inches long.”

I’ve been in a dentist’s chair when this was used—particularly for removing hazardous mercury-containing fillings. But how is a fifth grader supposed to come by one, after being told it’s the “responsible” thing to do?

Stella said, at this point,

“We were all floored by the content in Teen Talk. It had really extreme and explicit sexual content and graphics, a lot of detailed discussion about intercourse, anal sex, oral sex, and really immature handling of it with games and activities that demonstrated sexual practices. You’re using these inappropriate childish games to teach something that is far beyond age appropriate. This was not family life or teaching kids how to their bodies were changing or what to expect with hormones. This was straight up training them to partake in various sexual acts.”
Friedrichs’ reaction was probably similar to yours:

This is child abuse, and I would resign my position before being forced to teach this deplorable lesson to children. It’s more suitable to a drunken fraternity party than a classroom full of vulnerable kids. I remember vividly what it was like to be eleven years old, and I’ve worked with eleven-year-old children for three decades. I can assert with authority that most eleven-year-olds forced to touch fully erect man-sized penis models and discuss condoms, penises, and sex would be profoundly traumatized.
If you have a teacher who would not resign before teaching such lessons, do you want that either pervert or spineless drone teaching anything to your child? And yet the lessons are being taught by teachers who do give in simply because the union is coercing them to.

Parents were not being warned that this new curriculum was different from what the schools had been teaching. And if the parents didn’t want their child to receive it, they had to “opt out.” Also, the district was sneakily calling it a “pilot program,” to avoid public review, but teachers were told at the training that it was being implemented district-wide for all middle schools that year (2017).

If you think this was about providing the children with needed information to prevent teenage pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases and even AIDS, you would be wrong. That is not the agenda. The agenda is to indoctrinate children to accept any and every form of sexual activity.
Another teacher in California, referred to only as Priscilla, looked further into the Teen Talk curriculum.

Using data from the CDC, Red Cross, FDA, and, Priscilla has been challenging these curriculums because while teaching risky sexual behaviors, they are withholding vital information that would protect students from contracting or transmitting HIV. She told [Friedrichs], “The law says its purpose is to provide pupils with the knowledge and skills necessary to protect their sexual and reproductive health from HIV. However, given the critical knowledge they are withholding from students, it seems the real purpose is to promote various sexual orientations.”
The unions’ idea of “age-appropriate” and “medically accurate” information isn’t going to have the same definitions you, as a sane parent, would have. Why are school unions doing this? I’m expecting that the unions have long been seen as an avenue for forcing ideologies onto the public, because of their power. So anyone with an ideology that can’t win on its merits infiltrates the unions in order to propagandize through the schools.

The bullying tactics specifically target people who believe in traditional sexual mores. Priscilla gives this example, which hit home for me, as a Latter-day Saint:

“I used to teach high school. I had a transgender student, gay students, and students of faith in my classes. In the context of a class discussion a Mormon student expressed his personal beliefs about marriage being between a man and woman. He shared his views respectfully.” She then asked the presenter [at a CTA conference] the following question: “As a teacher, how do you think I should have handled that situation in order to respect the diversity of all of my students?”
The CTA lobbyist replied, “You should treat that student as though he said, ‘Black people should be burned at the stake.’”
At first Priscilla thought this might be an aberrant opinion of a particular union representative. So she asked again, at a conference the following year, in a workshop ironically titled, “Creating a Safe Place—Legal Obligation,” led by the LGBT CTA caucus chairman. This person “affirmed that his colleague was right to say the Mormon student should have been treated as though he had said, ‘Black people should be burned at the stake.’” Creating a safe space does not mean for everyone, but only for the ones who agree with the union’s ideology.

Friedrichs added that her son was bullied for his Christian beliefs, from middle school through college. She says, “One of Ben’s teachers even harassed him in front of the class because his political science tests revealed his conservative values.” Teachers who attack students with these ideas are protected. But Friedrichs gives many examples in her book of teachers being bullied for doing what is actually in the best interest of students, their education, and their wellbeing.

Dr. Linda Gonzales verified the experiences of Friedrichs and people like Priscilla. She told Friedrichs,

I believe we can practice tolerance and debate issues and beliefs without mocking, insulting, disparaging, or offending one another. What I found difficult about the CTA position is that it disparages and disrespects divergent ideas by mocking, insulting, and dismissing the speakers of different persuasions, especially Christians, with labels such as “Hate Speech.” My takeaway is that the First Amendment, in their view, applies only to sanitized ideas and beliefs. In my view, this is anti-American and not aligned to the Constitution. I value open debate and religious freedom.”
Is there a way out? There has to be. If we don’t find a way out, we have savagery replacing our civilization.

I haven’t left room to cover the possible ways out today. But, for future review, here are some:

·       Homeschool. The best option, if you can do it.
·       Be vigilant. Be the parent who reviews the curriculum, brings it before the school board, warns the other parents, and pulls your child out of that dangerous pornographic harm that’s being labeled as education.
·       Work toward legislation that prevents pornographic materials from being presented in schools; this idea is to remove the “obscenity exemption,” which has been used to allow certain images and words to be used in schools that would otherwise be prosecutable as pornography. It’s in the Texas Republican Party Platform this year (Plank 93), so I’m hoping we can get this protection passed in the legislature. There’s also a plank (plank 121) to prevent schools from contracting with any third party, such as Planned Parenthood, for sex education or health curriculum.
·       Work toward doing away with the power of the teachers’ unions—who are using teacher pay and tax-free money to lobby for political positions that have nothing to do with a good education and everything to do with propagandizing their versions of savagery.
Painting called "Captain Moroni and
the Title of Liberty" by Arnold Friberg
found here
The only way to win against a bully that uses fear, intimidation, isolation, and ignorance to enforce ideas that are absolutely unacceptable is to stand up to them, regardless of the power differential. If you value freedom and civilization, this is a battle you have to fight. Here we are about to celebrate the contributions of Martin Luther King, Jr. He stood up. Spoke up. And brought about needed change.

There’s a story in the Book of Mormon, during a time of war, when a leader, Captain Moroni, reminds the people what they’re fighting for (Alma 46:12). He writes this on a cloak, to use as a battle flag, which is called the “Title of Liberty”:

In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children

That would be a good battle flag for us now.

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