Elementary school teaching cross-dressing and transgenderism in the 3rd grade!!
A mother confronts the radical edge of the homosexual agenda in the schools - is forced to remove her daughter from school.
Which is the worse horror -- an elementary school using a GLSEN homosexual activist to teach third-graders about cross-dressing and transgenderism, and that men can have operations to become women? Or a parent being harassed and hounded by the school and community activists for publicly complaining?
A pastor in Newton, Mass. writes a scathing column in the newspaper declaring that the "mirage of 'traditional family' is simply idolatry" and that "[g]ender configuration of the parents is irrelevant to what makes a family." Is this what the future holds? What madness is this?
Contents (links to articles printed below):
And here is the reaction . . .
Nightmare at Franklin
Emer O'Shea knew something was wrong the minute she picked up her daughter from Franklin Elementary School. The third-grader was normally very perky upon seeing her mother and new baby sister, but this time she glanced at her mother without indicating what was wrong, except to say that the school's social worker had visited the class. But Emer soon heard from another parent about what had happened in her daughter's class that day, and she was both stunned and mortified. The next day her young daughter finally opened up with a question that would baffle most parents of an 8-year-old child, "Mommy, is it possible for a man to have an operation to become a woman?"
Transgenders and transvestites. These were the topics that a staff member at Franklin School in West Newton chose to teach to a class of third-grade children. The school's social worker described to the children that some men like to dress up as women, and yes, some men even have operations to change into women.
The opportunity for this "teachable moment" - the kind that Superintendent Jeff Young likes to portray as merely responding to some child's "random questioning"- occurred when the social worker was describing various families outside of the traditional mommy-and-daddy norm and showed the class a picture of a woman with two children, asking what they saw in the picture. A child then raised his hand to tell her (are you sitting sit down for this?) that he thought the picture was of a man who had a sex change operation and was now a woman. Apparently, the child's own father was undergoing such an operation (which he/she has since completed).
The social worker then elaborated on this "teachable moment." But this wasn't just any social worker employed by the Newton Public Schools. This was Laura Perkins, former board member of GLSEN, the Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network; or rather, "Laura Perkins, MSW, Franklin School and the Newton Early Childhood Program," according to the GLSEN Boston Conference, where she hosted a seminar in which the "Rationale for integrating GLBT (Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender) issues in the early elementary years will be presented" and "classroom lessons demonstrated."
As a result of this particular "classroom lesson," Emer's daughter was petrified. For an 8-year-old accustomed to a child's world of Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny, the little girl had nightmares, and explained to her mother she was scared that her baby sister could turn into a boy.
So Emer did what any normal responsible parent would do - she demanded an explanation from the principal, Cynthia Marchand. She and several other parents from this class met with the principal who, according to Emer, responded defensively and fully backed her staff member.
Emer then went to Superintendent's Young's office with her concerns. She handed Mr. Young a written description of what happened, whereupon the superintendent promised to respond to her soon. He didn't. So after three weeks, she called to make an appointment. As Emer described it, Mr. Young remarked that the Parental Consent Law didn't apply to this situation because, he claimed, the topic of discussion was not planned for. He concluded that it was really just "a teachable moment."(When I asked the superintendent via e-mail if it is the policy of the Newton schools to teach 8-year-old children about sex change operations, he responded "No").
"Arrogant" is how Emer described the superintendent's demeanor towards her. He declined to shake her hand at the meeting's end, and didn't even bother to acknowledge the baby she was holding.
The superintendent wants us to believe that just because the class was taught by a GLSEN activist who has specialized in "integrating GLBT issues in the elementary years" and even though the principal, social worker and probably half the school knew that there was a child in that very class who just happened to have a father who was undergoing a sex change operation, there is no evidence that this was planned, or rather, set up. So, in Mr. Young's convoluted logic, the state law which mandates that parents must be informed whenever anything of a sexual nature occurs in the classroom did not apply here.
It just happened, you see. A mere coincidence. Just like a few years before when a Burr School first-grade teacher chose to out himself to his first-grade class. This was a hide-from-the-media moment for the superintendent, since it was later revealed in Bay Windows, the Boston gay weekly, that the teacher had discussed this probable scenario with his principal well in advance of his proclamation to his class of 6-year-olds.
Predictably, Emer got nowhere with the school administration. She went through the typical phases that any parent who raises these issues is forced to endure. The stalling, ignoring, belittling. The attempts to isolate her, put her on the defensive, make her feel like the aggressor - the intolerant, unsympathetic, backward parent: common tactics to make parents like Emer go away. After all, Mr. Young and his cohorts now have years of experience dealing with such parents.
But Emer would not go away.
Fed up at the lack of response from the school, she raised the issue in front of a large audience of staff and parents at Franklin's curriculum night. "Can we see the social worker's curriculum for this year, as last year there was inappropriate information given to the elementary-age children?" she publicly asked Cynthia Marchand. In other words, could the principal guarantee that staff members would not teach the young children about men having sex change operations? To which the principal responded that she would speak to Emer in private about it (a preferred tactic by Newton administrators). Emer would not back down; after 10 months of being ignored she demanded an answer right then and there. But the principal wouldn't budge.
As Emer described it, afterwards Mrs. Marchand coaxed her into her office, whereupon she loudly chastised Emer for "her inappropriate behavior." She berated Emer because (you'd better sit down again for this) the Franklin School father who had a sex change operation and was now a "woman" had been sitting in the audience with his wife (they're still married) when Emer broached this highly sensitive topic. "Cindy, stop shouting at me!" Emer responded to her child's principal. (My calls to the principal and social worker for comment were not returned, but Mr. Young did respond by e-mail: "No," the social worker and principal would not be suspended or reprimanded, he wrote. He ducked my question as to whether or not he intended to apologize to Mrs. O'Shea, stating that he and other staff had already "spoken with the parent already.")
Emer had enough. She decided to pull her daughter out of the Newton Public Schools and, at great expense, send her to a private school. (Mr. Young again responded "No" when I asked if the school department would be paying for the child's private school tuition). A few days later, she walked into the Franklin office once again, this time with her now fourth-grade daughter and infant baby to inform the principal and secretary that her child would no longer be attending Franklin School. "Good," Mrs. Marchand allegedly responded, in the presence of Emer, the secretary, a teacher and Emer's daughter. The principal then turned and walked away.
Think of that. Think real hard.
Tom Mountain can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New low in narrow-mindedness
Flaunting his biases with characteristic reliance on hearsay information, Tom Mountain accused Franklin School Principal Cindy Marchand of overreacting to an irate parent. As a Franklin parent, I know her to be a competent and knowledgeable principal. She was right to defend her staff, especially such a dedicated and professional social worker as Laura Perkins. Further, Ms. O'Shea should have been reprimanded for humiliating a Franklin family and attempting to derail a school meeting to press her own agenda. Other parents present at Curriculum Night confirm that Ms. Marchand handled an awkward situation calmly and capably. I generally try to ignore Tom Mountain's weekly bitter tirades. They do little to edify, and nothing to enhance the civility of public discourse in Newton. At the risk of responding in kind, I have to say that his column in the Nov. 8 TAB reached a new low in mean-spirited narrow-mindedness.
I have had kids in Franklin School for more than eight years, and had numerous contacts with the family whose presence seems to so outrage Mr. Mountain and Ms. O'Shea. It might surprise them both that my first conversation with the parent who underwent gender reassignment took place at a Little League game. Our sons were on the same team. As we sat in our folding chairs, we had a friendly and stimulating conversation. When I told him I was a minister, the conversation turned to Biblical scholarship. He (then still living as a man) was obviously quite well-read and genuinely interested in the subject. I learned that he is an active lay leader in his own church.
Only after the "teachable moment" Mr. Mountain described did I learn through the Franklin grapevine that this other Little League dad was going through a gender reassignment. I confess that for a while after that, I felt a little awkward - my problem. I regret not being more openly supportive during what must have been a difficult time for their family. I admire the quiet dignity and courage they display through it all. They have not allowed the self-appointed sexuality police to harass them out of full participation in the community. Newton is fortunate to have such solid citizens, active in their congregation, supporting their kids, their school and pursuing happiness in our midst. Their modest refusal to hide makes our city safer for diversity.
I find it interesting that Mr. Mountain, champion of traditional family values, hints at snarky disbelief that this couple remained married after gender reassignment. With divorce rates what they are in our society, he should celebrate a durable commitment and intact family. Mindless devotion to a "Leave It to Beaver" mirage of "traditional family" is simply idolatry. Our fixation on an imagined norm undermines our ability to value real families whatever shape they take. We endanger the actual relationships that sustain us, while damaging our psychic and spiritual well-being. Consider the tragically self-loathing, self-destructive Rev. Ted Haggard. He crusaded against gay marriage in public, and engaged in risky gay sex and drug abuse in secret. This man of deep faith and extraordinary charisma was twisted by intolerant theology that had no room for the man God created him to be.
At our church, we celebrate marriage and we celebrate families. I define a marriage as two adults bonded in sacred loving covenant, creating a home, sharing a life, supporting and nurturing one another, whatever joys and hardships the world may send their way. Gender configuration of the parents is irrelevant to what makes a family. Since gay marriage became legal in Massachusetts, I have officiated at exactly one same-sex wedding. The couple had been members of our church longer than I have been pastor. At their wedding, a large number of the people in the pews were church members. The reception was held in our Fellowship Hall, and much of the food was provided by members of the congregation. Despite the fact that there were two brides, it was easily the most traditional, home-spun church wedding I have ever had the privilege of officiating. It offered refreshing contrast to so many weddings that seem to merely endure the religious significance of the ceremony in order to get some pictures in a pretty church before the real event, an outrageously expensive reception.
I had to laugh at Mr. Mountain's indignation over Superintendent Young's alleged failure to acknowledge Ms. O'Shea's infant during their meeting. Had the superintendent doted over the baby, would Mr. Mountain have accused him of trying to avoid the issue? How many appointments should Dr. Young devote to listening to a one-note complaint from a parent he had already answered, albeit not the answer she wanted? Still, Mr. Mountain suggested that Newton Schools should bear the cost of private education for a student who functions adequately in a standard classroom. Budgets are already stretched to provide necessary services for students with real, diagnosable disabilities. One parent's intolerance is a liability, not a disability.
Richard Malmberg is pastor at The Second Church in Newton, United Church of Christ, and chairman of the Newton Interfaith Clergy Association.
Letter to the Editor I
[Note this "woman" has written letters to the Tab before. He was originally Michael Cooper, and has claimed to have children in the Newton schools. Check him/her out at:
Parenthood 101, Emer and Tom: deliberately withholding from your child mundane facts you happen to despise about the world inevitably exaggerates their significance, perhaps traumatizingly, upon discovery.
Transgenderism typically begins early. Following the usual timetable, I was by age four eager to be a girl. Adults’ admonishing and mocking me, however, taught me to regard this ineradicable, pervasive desire with anxiety, as aberrant, shameful, and above all unspeakable. Not until I covertly acquired a pop-sexology bestseller at age eleven did I learn of others like me, a substantial, constant percentage of the population. And doctors could help us! You can imagine my relief on learning at last I didn’t have to endure a lifetime caged in an excruciating, alien gender box. Why couldn’t I have been informed at age four?
My two children have always known transgenderism. They’ve alwaysknown that male bodies don’t consistently display stereotypically masculine behavior, nor female ones feminine, and that surgery can benefit transgendered people profoundly. To hear at age eight a schoolteacher’s adducing topics so mundane wouldhave bored, not frightened, them.
There are many transgendered children, as well as adults, cherishing the hope of eventual corrective surgery. Banishing from the classroomthis information won’t falsify it. But doing so is likely sadistically to prolong anxiety and shame in such children and in children of transgendered parents.
Also, designating such information unspeakable in school is fairly guaranteed to set up some, like Ms. O’Shea’s daughter, for a confusing, even nightmarish, surprise.
Letter to the Editor II
As a parent of a child in the Franklin school, I wondered what the “Nightmare” was in Tom Mountain’s Nov. 8 column. I was appalled, though as usual more by Mountain’s view of the world than by the story he tells in a very one-sided way. What struck me most was Mountain’s on-going assumption about the danger of facing reality.
He mocks on the idea that “random questioning” led to the discussion; has he actually met any eight year olds? (And has he met any that still believe in Santa Claus?) My five year old asks questions about everything. Mountain goes on to argue that O’Shea’s response of complaining to school officials was what “any normal responsible parent would do.”Well, maybe so, and I’m sure she also did what she could to help her child stop being upset. But it seems to me that explaining that no one ever changes sex without first becoming an adult and then spending years seeing doctors, and that there was no way it could ever happen to a child, would have been the “normal responsible” thing to do. But in Mountain’s world, people shouldn’t talk about things they don’t like, which means everyone else shouldn’t either.Ignorance is bliss.
The Irreverent "Reverend" Malmberg: A New High in Arrogance
Flaunting his biases with intolerant arrogance, Richard Malmberg accused both Tom Mountain and Mrs. O'Shea of narrow-mindedness. He defends the "right" of the principal, superintendent, and a "social worker" to foist their personal views on "sex-change" and "cross-dressing" to young children behind the backs of parents. Let's get this straight. In a "teachable moment" that was clearly planned in advance, a GLSEN-trained social worker tells young impressionable children that men can "change" into women and vice versa, or alternatively, they can just dress-up like each other. Clearly, distraught with the assault on her psyche, a little innocent girl was deeply confused and had nightmares about the incident. Malmberg thinks very little, if at all, about "damaging the psychic and spiritual well-being" of little children. He must believe it's just the price that has to be paid for affirming gender transformation to tender-aged children. Malmberg even confesses that he felt a little awkward after finding out that this man he met was going through "gender reassignment". If such an "open-minded" person such as Malmberg felt awkward, imagine what a helpless child held captive in a classroom feels like. Malmberg further suggests that Ms. O'Shea should have been reprimanded for humiliating a Franklin family. All this I must say, is a new high in irreverent arrogance.
It's déjà vu all over again for me. My wife and I requested notification when adults discuss homosexuality, gay-marriage, and transgenderism with our son in kindergarten. As parents we understand the one-sided views, the propaganda, being force fed to children. After four months of meetings and e-mails to the Lexington school administration, we insisted on accommodation. Their accommodation: handcuffs, an arrest, sending me to jail, and banning me from all schools in Lexington. The charge was criminal trespassing. Parents should not underestimate how forcefully some administrators will be to maintain full control of the social indoctrination process to little impressionable children. School administrators should not underestimate the lengths parents are willing go to protect their children and parental rights. There is now a civil lawsuit pending in Federal district court, filed after the book, "King and King", was read to children by a second grade teacher. The theme of this "lesson" was affirmation of homosexual romantic attraction and marriage. The teacher stated that she wanted to read a book that little boys could identify with. I look forward to meeting with the O'Sheas' to discuss their legal options.
I admire the courage the O'Sheas displayed through it all. They have not allowed the self anointed human secularist zealots to humiliate them into silence. Their fortitude to speak out spreads the truth of what is occurring in our public schools. They have pulled their child out of school, but are still forced to pay taxes to this public den of indoctrination- taxation without representation.
Malmberg talks about "HIS" definition of marriage that everyone should be forced to embrace, even elementary school children. What about God's definition? Perhaps that's too "Leave it to Beaver", so let's "Leave it to Malmberg". After all he knows what's right for our children. Oh, I forgot, there is no right and wrong for the relativists. Malmberg believes there are no absolutes, at least not, when it comes to one's gender, sexual expression, and marriage. And he believes HE is absolutely right. Some, so called, clergy and reverends have no reverence for the parental role or God's Word. Take heed, as the "non-judgmental" crowd judges and condemns loving parents, they are judging and condemning themselves.
I do have some serious questions about this new "progressive and open-minded" ideology. Is the wife of the transgendered man to woman, now a lesbian? Wait that can't be true, she would have to be "born that way". How can she change her sexual orientation to be romantically attracted to her husband's new female form and persona? I've heard that sexual reorientation is absolutely impossible. But, I've also been told there are no absolutes. Oh well, I guess Newton school administrators will save those lessons for next years third grade class and one of those spontaneous "teachable moments". A GLSEN trained social worker's job is just never done.
Newton case highlights promotion of gay culture in public schools
NEWTON — Like most mothers, Emer O’Shea did not expect that her daughter would learn about homosexual lifestyles in her third-grade classroom.
But in her Newton public school last year, she did. What happened is a lesson on the need for more parents to find a voice, according to those fighting against the erosion of parental rights.
More and more Christian parents are grappling with this problem nationwide, and especially in Massachusetts, where lawmakers in July quadrupled the 2007 budget to nearly $2 million for school programs aimed at “outreach to” and “support and safety of gay and lesbian students.” Lawmakers also created a permanent Commission for Gay and Lesbian Youth that will oversee how the money is spent and is not subject to the control of any other department.
Half the Bay State population identifies itself as Catholic. However, three publicized cases here sound an alarm that parental rights — their rights to explain about human sexuality privately and within a moral context — can be superceded by educators promoting the homosexual lifestyle.
These cases represent the tip of the iceberg, said a spokesman for MassResistance, a Waltham-based parents rights group.
The O’Sheas’ story came to light in a Nov. 8 Newton TAB article by Tom Mountain, a father with children in the Newton public schools and a columnist for the weekly paper for four years.
“Cases like this could happen anywhere in the state. Newton has a strong gay lobby, but what happens here today will occur five years down the line elsewhere,” he said in an interview. Mountain predicted that as more states protect marriage by constitutional amendment (there are now 27), homosexual educators will naturally move to Massachusetts, the only state to allow same-sex marriage.
“For every Emer O’Shea who sticks her neck out like this, there’s 100 more who don’t — but want to. She was the first parent in two years who was willing to go on the record,” he said.
What motivated O’Shea were the events that ensued after a Franklin Elementary School social worker, explained about transvestites and transgenders to her daughter’s class. The girl was confused and feared that her baby sister would turn into a boy, according to the article.
A state law mandates that parents must have the chance to opt their children out when discussions of a sexual nature will occur in the classroom. But school officials said that parental consent did not apply in this case, as it was an unplanned “teachable moment.”
Mountain didn’t buy that explanation, as the social worker was a former board member of GLSEN, the Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network, who specialized in “integrating GLBT (Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender) issues” in the elementary years.
For 10 months, O’Shea tried unsuccessfully to get assurances that similar subjects inappropriate for children would not be brought up again. Finally, she raised the issue publicly at a curriculum night for parents.
“That night nobody backed me up, but the next day at the school people thanked me for bringing it up. I got calls and e-mails with the same message,” she said in a Nov. 21 e-mail.
She credits a friend at her church, St. Bernard Parish, for giving her the confidence to go ahead. “After the column came out I got a huge amount of calls again, thanking me for bringing attention to what had happened,” she said.
Meanwhile, however, she removed her daughter from public school and enrolled her in a parochial one.
“I think people don’t talk out openly as they don’t have another schooling option and they are afraid their child would suffer consequences if they speak up.” When they do try and meet resistance, O’Shea said, they “become resigned to the fact that they don’t have a choice or a voice.”
Speaking out is difficult. Both she and the journalist were publicly rebuked in a Nov. 15 Tab guest column submitted by Rev. Richard Malmberg, pastor at The Second Church in Newton, United Church of Christ, and chairman of the Newton Interfaith Clergy Association.
“Gender configuration of the parents is irrelevant to what makes a family,” he wrote. Rev. Malmberg charged O’Shea with “an attempt to derail a school meeting to press her own agenda” and said Mountain had “reached a new low in mean-spirited narrow-mindedness.”
Mountain said that it’s pressure such as Rev. Malmberg’s letter generates that intimidates more parents from defending their values in the public sphere. “Everyone expects everyone else to do it, and there is no one else to do it. It’s just going to take parents saying they’re not going to take it anymore,” he said.
Four other parents who have publicly spoken up against their young children being presented with material by homosexual activists were David and Tonia Parker and Rob and Robin Wirthlin. Both Lexington couples filed a federal civil rights lawsuit in United States District Court in Boston in August against the town and school officials.
Just how high the stakes are in the battle for parental rights became clear in October, when their suit was opposed by the Massachusetts Teachers Union, the ACLU and national homosexual advocacy groups.
Following the TAB article, Parker issued a statement through the MassResistance Web site: “We have arrived at a time in history where school administrators are preaching the gospel of human secularism to their captive audience in the public classroom,” he said in part. “I don’t know what disgusts me more: those who do this to children in our public schools or the parents who watch silently and do nothing.”