Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Californians: LGBT issues do not belong in the K-5 curriculum

According to KCBS News in San Francisco, elementary school teachers in Alameda, CA, plan to add lesson plans that will address gay and lesbian issues. The goal of the plan is to introduce students to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transsexual (LGBT) issues in hopes to mitigate bullying and teasing of LGBT children. The classes will be offered to K-5 students. Parents who oppose the addition complain their children are too young to be exposed to the material.

Elementary school is not the proper place to discuss the complex topic of LGBT issues. Since the Alameda school district’s legal team deemed the curriculum not health or sex education prevents parents from allowing their children to opt-out which is something California schools require for all health or sex educational classes. Requiring all students to participate in LGBT issues is not core to the elementary curriculum.

The LGBT issues, at least at this age, ought to be left to the parents. Understandably there will be a set of parents, for various reasons, oppose the LGBT lifestyle and will not educate their children as others may. American schools already see their budgets stretched thin and face new threats as budget cuts loom. The public school system needs to get back to the basics and re-think the system.

Public schools, especially K-5, need to focus on math, reading, writing, and science in order to create a solid foundation. Once the foundation is established complex classes, like LGBT issues, can be understood. For K-5 a shift away from the tradition classroom setting needs to take place. Too many kids are restless in class then ultimately get labeled. Part of the reason for the restlessness is boredom.

Bring back the one room school house. Having a single teacher responsible for K-5 studies that concentrate on the basics will allow students to progress at their own pace. For instance, a 6 year old entering Kindergarten may already be at a 2nd grade reading level. Why not allow that child to learn what the 2nd graders are learning while participating with in math, writing, and science at the Kindergarten level? It is time for teachers to become educators.

Classes dealing with LGBT issues have no business being taught to K-5 students; rather the proper place is during normal sex/health education classes. Educators are required for our K-5 students that have the ability to move the child along based on their abilities.