Published September 03, 2009
A lawsuit in California that was filed last month by angry parents who object to a gay-friendly curriculum they say is being foisted on kindergartners could well become a test case for schools around the country.
Parents in the Alameda Unified School District were refused the right to excuse their kids from classes that would teach all kids in the district's elementary schools about gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender alternative families.
The parents say they are concerned about "indoctrination" in the schools, but administrators say the course is needed to protect against sexual discrimination — and that the lessons are protected by laws in California and 10 other states.
Those states, which stretch from Washington to Maine, will now be eyeing the court results in California in a case that warring sides say pits parents' rights against a schools' responsibilities.
To learn more about controversial teachings in school tune in to a FOX News Reporting special, "Do You Know What Textbooks Your Children Are Really Reading?" which premieres Friday, Sept. 4 at 9 p.m. EDT. Click here for a preview.
The contested California curriculum includes an annual 45-minute LGBT lesson taught to kids from kindergarten through the fifth grade. The kindergartners will focus on the harms of teasing, while the fifth graders will study sexual orientation stereotypes.
The move toward the new classes began two years ago, when teachers noticed that even kindergarten students were using derogatory words about sexuality, such as "fag."
The FOX News Reporting unit was present at a debate in the school district in May when angry parents pushed back against the controversial lessons, capturing over 10 hours of heated dispute, which saw parents shouting back and forth across the aisle.
Some parents like Carrie Brash said the curriculum is necessary to combat bigotry that was already rearing its head among even young children, who were bullying her daughter in school.
Brash said her daughter had to endure taunting chants of "Lesbian, lesbian, your mom's a lesbian," from kids in school.
But other parents said the new curriculum ignores other kids who have been targeted for abuse.
"My child has been the product of bullying because she's black," said Dion Evans, who noted that students have "never viewed a single video in the classroom" that deals with racism.
But Evans said he wasn't expecting the district to take care of what he called a parent's duties in educating his daughter, as the school is "already (too) strapped for cash to incorporate these changes."
"I know how to successfully parent, educate, and instill value and self-worth in my child," he said.
"Do You Know What Textbooks Your Children Are Really Reading?" premieres Friday, Sept. 4 at 9 p.m. EDT on FOX News Channel.