Friday, May 19, 2017

Leave the Kids Alone, Progressives

Should elementary school kids be performing plays about "gender identity"? The question should answer itself.

An outburst of sanity occurred Ontario, Canada: The Niagara Catholic District School Board (NCDSB) canceled performances of a play about gender identity booked in five elementary schools — withstanding the inevitable accusations of “transphobia” that followed.

The play, “Boys, Girls and Other Mythological Creatures,” was produced by the St. Catharines-based Carousel Playhouse, an organization that touts its commitment to “inclusive and diverse stories that contribute to a dialogue about how youth interact with their peers, their friends, their families, teachers, education system and society at large.” One of their listed “community partners” is Pride Niagara, which identifies itself as a “celebration of Niagara’s sexual and gender diverse community and its supporters.”

Thus it should surprise no one that the play features an eight-year-old boy who dresses as a girl and questions his gender. And given the progressive appetite for indoctrinating children, it should be even less surprising is that it was scheduled to be shown to students in the first though fourth grades.

In fact, it was shown in one Catholic grade school, and officials there came to the conclusion that the material was not age appropriate. A statement released by the district also explained the play “was not originally presented as a play about gender identity.”

NCDSB education director John Crocco echoed that sentiment, insisting the play was “not age-appropriate for a predominantly primary audience.” But he apparently felt compelled to defend the cancellations with the usual boilerplate bromides. Thus, while he explained the board’s decision to defer showing the play “was to afford time for further discussion and preparation with age-appropriate students and how the message links to curriculum expectations,” he insisted the board was “fully inclusive, accepting and supportive,” and in alignment with recent changes to the Ontario Ministry of Education’s health and physical education curriculum.

It’s a curriculum “based on the principles of inclusive education” in which “all students, parents, caregivers, and other members of the school community — regardless of ancestry, culture, ethnicity, sex, physical or intellectual ability, race, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, or other factors — are welcomed, included, treated fairly, and respected. Diversity is valued, and all members of the school community feel safe, comfortable, and accepted” [emphasis added].

Including gender identity means the school district — taking its directives from openly-gay Premier Kathleen Wynn and her Liberal Party — has completely capitulated to the LGBT community’s transgender agenda. The one where chromosomal reality is irrelevant and self-identification is the only factor determining whether one is male or female.

Furthermore, impatience is part of that agenda. As Crocco reveals, the curriculum that speaks to “cultural values, beliefs, gender identity, sexual orientation, etc,” isn’t supposed to be imposed on students until Grade 3. Nonetheless “students in Grade 1 and 2” attended the play’s performance at Mary Ward Catholic Elementary School.

The subsequent cancellations have drawn the predictable fire from those who believe one either kowtows to the LGBT agenda or one is a bigot for refusing to do so. Carousel Playhouse artistic director Jessica Carmichael and playwright Mark Crawford posted open letters at the theater’s website, replete with the requisite board-bashing epithets. Carmichael was concerned the cancellations “may be based on misinformation, grown out of fear, intolerance, transphobia, homophobia and misogyny,” while Crawford insisted he was apprehensive “when the motivating factor for canceling performances of this play is a few adults' own fear, prejudice, and hatred.”

Campaign Life Coalition member Clinton Somerton, a staunch opponent of the government-imposed curriculum, defended the NCDSB’s decision. “Pope Francis condemned attempts to indoctrinate children into gender ideology, expressing outrage over such sexual propaganda by saying ‘Today children — children! — are taught in school that everyone can choose his or her sex. … And this is terrible!’” Somerton explained, adding that the board “was wisely following the Holy Father’s guidance by protecting its students from the psycho-sexual molestation of this theatre group’s propaganda-in-a-play.”

He also had some sage advice for faint-hearted people like Crocco and others, insisting they “should not to be afraid of the bludgeon-words ‘homophobe,’ ‘transphobe’ and the like, that are too often used to intimidate decent people into silence and acquiescence to the mental and spiritual molestation of their children. On the contrary, he wrote, "NCDSB needs to be bold and outspoken in its commitment to protecting children, and in calling out these pan-sexual ideologues as child abusers.”

By contrast Carmichael, who insists the board knew what the play is about, also insisted the Liberal Party’s curriculum begins in Grade 1, and that “gender nonconformity” and “gender fluidity” are parts of it.

She further asserts Catholic schools cannot resist it. “They are publicly funded, they can’t just make their own decisions, otherwise they shouldn’t be taking public funding, because this is mandated across the board,” she declared. “It’s something they have to uphold in their schools; they can’t pick and choose how they are going to do that.”

Tanya Granic Allen, executive director of the Ontario-based parents' rights group Parents As First Educator, wasn’t buying it. “It’s appalling for any school board, let alone a Catholic one, to use a cutesy play to force gender ideology, and whatever the latest social fad is, on kids who are nowhere near equipped to process this information,” she stated.

Unfortunately, indoctrinating children too young to think for themselves is the agenda. One that begs an essential question: How can the LGBT agenda simply be imposed on entire school systems, turning them into what Fox News columnist Todd Starnes refers to as “playgrounds for the gender and sex revolutionaries?”

“Playgrounds” is a very apropos description of an agenda where puberty blockers for boys as young as 12 and girls as young as 10 are recommended by Boston Children’s Hospital endocrinologist Norman Spack — despite extensive data collated by Dr. James Cantor revealing 60-90% of trans-kids change their minds upon entering adulthood. Administering life-altering hormones to children, knowing a substantial to vast majority will no longer need them, reeks of medical malpractice. And the reality that 41% of transgender individuals attempt suicide at some point in their lives, compared to only 4.6% of the general public, suggests a large degree of mental instability among transgender individuals.

Yet schools should be normalizing transgenderism in the minds of children?

Abiding the LGBT agenda and the authoritarian way it is imposed can only happen when parents would rather surrender their own children to a politically correct worldview than defend traditional family values.

Values for which no apology whatsoever is necessary.

“It is our collective failure to resist the sexual militants that has allowed the situation to deteriorate to the point where such groups can virtually demand access to little children while fearful adults stand gaping and blinking helplessly,” Carmichael warns.

Schools should not be repositories for un-rebuttable progressive ideology, which is every bit as faith-based and proselytizing as any religion. Should it thus require the same court-mandated religious restrictions with regard to schools? When a school nurse can’t give an aspirin to a minor without parental permission — but can direct that same child to an abortion clinic without parental knowledge — perhaps it’s an idea that needs exploring.


Special dress code for blacks?  No equality?

Black students at a Malden charter school who wear their hair in braids are facing detention and suspension by administrators who say the hairstyles violate the school’s dress code. Parents describe the crackdown as racist.

Colleen Cook, whose twin 15-year-old daughters, Deanna and Mya, attend the Mystic Valley Regional Charter School, said Thursday evening that her children have served multiple detentions since last week and could be suspended.

“They teach them at a very high academic level and I appreciate that, and that’s why they go to the school,” Cook said. “But, unfortunately, they don’t have any sensitivity to diversity at all.”

Two other mothers said their black or biracial children had been subjected to discipline or questioning over their hairstyles — braids with extensions — which the parents describe as important expressions of culture.

The school issued a statement defending its actions, saying that Mystic Valley Charter serves a diverse population and that many students go on to attend top colleges and universities.

“One important reason for our students’ success is that we purposefully promote equity by focusing on what unites our students and reducing visible gaps between those of different means,” the statement said.

“Our policies, including those governing student appearance and attire, foster a culture that emphasizes education rather than style, fashion, or materialism,” the statement said. “Our policy on hair extensions, which tend to be very expensive, is consistent with, and a part of, the educational environment that we believe is so important to our students’ success.”

School officials were not available for interviews Thursday evening, a spokesman said.

Cook said the school’s policy against braids that include hair extensions — additional hair that is woven in — disproportionately affects black children. Cook and her husband adopted five black children — all siblings — and four have attended Mystic Valley since kindergarten, she said.

Cook said her two daughters who are facing discipline for their hairstyles are good students: Mya is in the National Honor Society, with a 3.79 grade point average, while Deanna has a 3.3 grade point average.

More than 40 percent of students in the school are people of color, including 17 percent who are black, according to the latest annual ranking from U.S. News & World Report.

The school’s student handbook states that hair extensions are prohibited, as are hair coloring, makeup, nail polish, and tattoos.

Cook said she understands a policy that bans nail polish and hair color, rules that would affect children equally. But she said the policy against hair extensions seems aimed at black children.

Braided hair, Cook said, “gives them pride. They want to partake in their culture.”

Cook said her daughters had worn braids before and never encountered objections from the school. Administrators suddenly cracked down in late April, after students returned from spring break, she said.

“They marched black and biracial children down the hall” to inspect their hair, she said.

Cook said her daughters, who declined to remove their braids, have been forced to serve detention an hour before school starts each day, and nearly an hour afterward. They also have been kicked out of after-school sports and banned from the prom, she said. The actions have been particularly hard on Deanna, a runner on the school’s track team.

Cook said she has called two civil rights groups — the NAACP and the state’s Anti-Defamation League — seeking help. The Anti-Defamation League, a nonprofit organization that fights anti-Semitism and other expressions of hate, has set up a meeting with school administrators on Friday, Cook said. Officials with the Anti-Defamation League could not be reached Thursday evening.

The punishment for some other girls of color at the school has been even more severe.

Annette Namuddu said she received a call from school administrators last week saying her 15-year-old daughter, Lauren Kayondo, initially would have to serve detention. When her daughter refused to remove the braids this week, the detention became a suspension, the mother said.

“It’s discrimination,” Namuddu said. “I see white kids with colored hair and you are not supposed to color your hair, and they walk around like it’s nothing.”

“I don’t get it,” Namuddu said.

Namuddu said her daughter has been coming home from school and crying, saying she feels the school is picking on black children.

“My daughter is a good student. Never gets in trouble,” Namuddu said. “Lauren was having difficulty in mathematics, but they should be helping her out instead of putting her in detention.”

Kathy Granderson said her 14-year-old daughter, Jaden, a freshman at the school, was one of about 20 girls taken down to administrators’ offices last week and asked whether their braids contained any “fake” hair. Granderson said about half of the girls ended up getting detentions, but her daughter, who is biracial, did not.

“This is not right, and you have to take a stand for your children,” she said. “I don’t want my daughter and son [to] think they aren’t good enough.”


Scotland: Students fill teacher gaps as class behaviour worsens

A poor public image, high workloads and low wages are said to be putting people off teaching.  Student indiscipline more likely

A shortage of teachers in Scottish schools is damaging pupils’ behaviour and ability to learn while unqualified trainees are being relied upon to lead classes, MSPs have been warned.

The Scottish parliament’s education committee, which is investigating a staffing shortfall in schools, was told by one local council that children had been sent home because of a lack of staff and that “something has clearly gone drastically wrong”.

It was also warned that parents were increasingly unhappy about the situation, giving rise to complaints about the lack of continuity in their children’s school experience.

Moray council said that six years ago, its schools received up to 200 applications for a teaching post teaching posts and there “seemed to be a limitless availability of supply cover”.


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