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COLUMN RIGHT/ SUSAN CARPENTER McMILLAN : Put ‘Rainbow’ Back in the Closet : Teaching first-graders about homosexuality is, to say the least, age-inappropriate.

Susan Carpenter McMillan of San Marino is a spokesperson for the Pro-family Media Coalition and a commentator on KABC-TV.

Last spring, the Supreme Court passed down a ruling on a controversial anti-prayer case, Lee vs. Weisman. The case involved a Rhode Island junior high school that invited a rabbi to give the opening prayer at its graduation. One offended parent sued the school, and later won based on a misrepresented interpretation of the First Amendment argument concerning separation of church and state and the assertion that the rabbi’s prayer could be deemed harmful, offensive and coercive.

Recently, the East Coast has brought us another controversial issue dealing with public schools. New York City’s very liberal chancellor, Joseph Fernandez, a recovered heroin user, has introduced a multicultural curriculum guide titled “Children of the Rainbow.” The guidelines mandate the teaching of homosexuality as a normal and alternative lifestyle. Suggested reading includes “Heather Has Two Mommies,” “Daddy’s Roommate” and “Gloria Goes to Gay Pride.”

I am interested in the New York program because rumor has it that the Los Angeles Unified School District is considering the same or a similar program. It’s ironic that our almost-bankrupt school system, run by a group of special-interest puppets, would dare consider teaching homosexuality when California ranks 29th out of 37 states that administer the U.S. Education Department’s eighth-grade math tests, when violence on campuses is at an all-time high, when the dropout rate is increasing and when more and more of our children are coming out of Los Angeles public schools unable even to read.

Homosexuality is considered by mainline Christian, Jewish and Muslim religions to be wrong. Others feel that this lifestyle is perfectly normal. With science divided on whether homosexuality is genetic or chosen, and the figure arguably ranging from 2% to 10% of the population being homosexual, leaving 90% to 98% heterosexual, I think the classroom is the wrong room to talk about the bedroom.

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We as parents send our children to school to be educated in history, English and math. Our public schools should not be a breeding ground for propaganda. Our legal system has decreed that a simple two-minute prayer by a rabbi may be considered coercive and dangerous. Yet we think nothing of first-graders learning about two men having sex. First-graders don’t even understand heterosexual sex, let alone homosexual.

Let’s keep these issues out of school and return them to the home. As a mother, I want the right to teach my children about sex, religion and politics. I don’t want a teacher with an agenda to force his or her beliefs on my 6-year-old.

If we as parents have learned anything about the Los Angeles school board, it is that members see parents as nothing more than irritants to get around. With one exception, Barbara Boudreaux, the board has become an advocate for radical-left ideology, not an overseer of educators. I find it offensive, to say the least, that the school district uses the so-called failure of parents excuse to promulgate their beliefs on our children.

With Los Angeles’ teachers about to go on strike, classrooms overcrowded and students badly in need of pencils and books, the same school board that has already adopted a condom-distribution program and celebrates Gay Pride Week is now rumored to be ready to follow New York’s mandated sexual-choice program. Whatever happened to good old reading, writing and arithmetic? Why should 6-year-olds, who want nothing more than to play with dolls and toys, be forced to read books about two men in bed?

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With the drastic increase in early sexual activity among our teen-agers, I would say the school system has failed miserably in its sex-education programs. So instead of adding a new one that includes “Daddy Has Two Roommates,” let’s return all sex education to Mom and Dad and demand that the school system return to just the basics. Maybe that way, little Sally and Johnny might learn to read.


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