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Middle school cancels “gender-switch” day after parents object

.- A Bay Area Middle School has canceled a scheduled cross-dressing or “gender-switch” day after parents complained, according to an Oct. 30 Pacific Justice Institute news release. The Sacramento-based institute is a legal organization that defends parental rights, religious freedom, and other civil liberties.

Adams Middle School in Brentwood encouraged students to cross-dress – boys wearing girls clothing, girls wearing boys’ clothing – on the last day of “Spirit Week,” Friday, Nov. 2. Parents were given little notice of the event, said the Pacific Justice Institute, and only found out about it after flyers were posted at the school.

A parent of a seventh-grader met with the principal, Adam Clark, to voice her concerns about the event, and was told that it would go ahead as planned. Clark told the parent she could keep her son home if he did not want to be part of the event. The parent contacted Pacific Justice Institute, which told her she needed to enlist other parents to contact the school with their concerns. The Institute itself prepared to intervene, if necessary.

On Oct. 30, the school removed the flyers advertising the event and confirmed it had been canceled. Instead, the school encourages students to wear school colors. Clark told Institute attorney Matthew McReynolds, “We want to encourage our students to be free thinkers, [but] we felt that the overall message wasn’t coming across clear to some members of the community.”

Encouraging student cross-dressing to invite “free thinking” is not unique to Adams Middle School. A 2002 article by the Culture and Family Institute of Concerned Women for America reported how the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) encourages cross-dressing through a curriculum developed for Kindergarten through third grade.

The curriculum guide, produced by the Lesbian and Gay Parents Association and the Buena Vista Lesbian and Gay Parents group in San Francisco, Preventing Prejudice: Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender Lesson Plan Guide for Elementary Schools, features a book, Jesse’s Dream Skirt, by Bruce Mark, about a boy who enjoys wearing his mother’s dresses and wants a skirt for himself. The lesson plan accompanying the book says the book’s key message is “respect means keeping our minds open. Having open minds means giving people freedom to be who they want to be.”

The GLSEN web site still offers the plan as a resource. According to the Network, “Preventing Prejudice is an instructional tool for educators at the K-5 level. It consists of sixteen field-tested lesson plans developed by elementary school teachers, including such topics as: What is a Boy/Girl?; What Makes a Family?; Freedom to Marry; and Coming Out.”

The Brentwood School District’s web site offers an “East Contra Costa Quick Resource Guide,” which lists under “Gay and Lesbian,” the Gay and Lesbian National Hotline, the Empowerment Program (which helps women in “disadvantaged positions”), and Rainbow Community Center of Contra Costa County. The center, according to its web site, “envisions a society that embraces acceptance, safety and equality for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.”

The original story can be found at California Catholic Daily.


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