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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Due to threats of a lawsuit by social conservatives, the anti-gay bullying curriculum, Lesson 9, to be replaced by generic anti-bullying message

Under the duress of a lawsuit and threats of recall, the Alameda Board of Education has voted to phase out an elementary school curriculum it adopted in May to prevent anti-gay bullying. The so-called Lesson 9, which had become an opposition centerpiece in a national anti-gay marriage campaign, will be replaced by a more generic anti-bullying message.

CBS reports:
(Alameda , California) The new anti-bullying lessons approved by the board, at the recommendation of School Superintendent Kirsten Vital, will be supplemented by children's books that explicitly address six specific forms of bias, including against gays.

But the board's action Tuesday night did little to ease the tension between gay parents, who want their children protected, and parents who who think elementary school is too early to talk to students about gay people. Kathy Passmore, a lesbian mother of two, said she hears students using anti-gay language in her job as a sixth grade teacher in Alameda. She urged the school board to retain the spirit of Lesson 9. "The children of gay families exist and are attending ASUD schools every single day," she said. "They are here."

The 45-minute Lesson 9, which was to be taught once a year in each grade starting with kindergarten, sparked a lawsuit, accusations that religious families were being discriminated against and threats of a recall election against the three board members who approved it. READ MORE

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