The ultra-leftist Southern Poverty Law Center, described by critics as a radical anti-Christian hate group, was recently implicated in a federal terrorism case after a deranged homosexual activist, citing SPLC hate propaganda, tried to massacre employees at a pro-family group's headquarters. Now, the self-styled “civil rights” outfit is stepping up its campaign to indoctrinate your children. The controversial Alabama-based group, widely ridiculed and criticized even by left-wing leaders for shady practices and deception, recently unveiled a new Common Core-aligned “educational” campaign. It is designed to inject even more pro-homosexual, pro-transgender propaganda into school classrooms across America, along with identity politics, collectivism, “white privilege,” “social justice,” and more.
However, the “Teaching Tolerance” materials, which the SPLC claims are used by schools and educators reaching “millions of students,” are attracting scrutiny and outrage. Indeed, the propaganda would likely upset just about any parent, regardless of their political views. Under the guise of promoting what the intolerant SPLC calls “tolerance,” for example, students in kindergarten through second grade subjected to the SPLC “anti-bias” propaganda will learn, among other things, to ignore their parents and become cross-dressers if they feel like they were born in the wrong body. That lesson comes from the book 10,000 Dresses by Marcus Ewert, one of several SPLC-recommended texts for K-2 “teaching tolerance” lessons on “gender” highlighted by activists and media reports.
The book's description on retailer Amazon's website reads: “Every night, Bailey dreams about magical dresses: dresses made of crystals and rainbows, dresses made of flowers, dresses made of windows.… Unfortunately, when Bailey’s awake, no one wants to hear about these beautiful dreams. Quite the contrary. 'You’re a BOY!' Mother and Father tell Bailey. 'You shouldn’t be thinking about dresses at all.' Then Bailey meets Laurel, an older girl who is touched and inspired by Bailey’s imagination and courage. In friendship, the two of them begin making dresses together. And Bailey’s dreams come true! This gorgeous picture book — a modern fairy tale about becoming the person you feel you are inside — will delight people of all ages.”
Not everybody is delighted, however. Theresa Lucas-Hubbard, a board member of both Alabamians United for Excellence in Education (AUEE) and the Alabama Eagle Forum, commenting in Breitbart, noted that to find the book, she simply chose the most popular reading as listed on the SPLC project's website. “Once a teacher asks a question and finds a relevant book or story, she can build a learning plan based on what she wants to get across to the class,” Lucas-Hubbard said. “It can be anything from a classroom discussion asking questions such as: 'How did it make Bailey feel when his family did not support his wish to wear a dress? What could you do to help support Bailey?'” Classroom activities might include a game of “dress up” where students would choose what kind of dress they would like to wear, she added after reviewing the materials.
Such extreme indoctrination tactics deployed against young children's minds, of course, could come with devastating consequences. Especially troubling is the long-term mental and spiritual damage that could be unleashed on children. A recent study tracking children who imagined themselves to be the wrong gender, for instance, found that, absent medical or surgical intervention, between 70 percent and 80 percent of those confused children stopped being confused all on their own. Subjecting them to SPLC propaganda designed to convince children that they really are the wrong gender, though, and that their parents just do not understand, could push many over the edge. And the effects can be deadly: Another study on transgender people who had “sex reassignment surgery” found their suicide levels were 20 times higher than for non-transgenders.
Experts have long warned of such dangers. “Policy makers and the media are doing no favors either to the public or the transgendered by treating their confusions as a right in need of defending rather than as a mental disorder that deserves understanding, treatment and prevention,” explained Dr. Paul McHugh, former psychiatrist-in-chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital, in a piece for the Wall Street Journal. “This intensely felt sense of being transgendered constitutes a mental disorder in two respects. The first is that the idea of sex misalignment is simply mistaken — it does not correspond with physical reality. The second is that it can lead to grim psychological outcomes.”
He pointed to individuals suffering from anorexia and bulimia as other examples of disorders in which assumptions by the individual about themselves do not correspond to physical reality. Neither of those is something to be encouraged. Would you tell a skin-and-bones-thin anorexic that they looked fat just to validate their false beliefs? Of course not. Why the SPLC believes schools should encourage confused students to believe something that is objectively and demonstrably false, and something that could raise their risk of suicide 20 fold, was not immediately clear. What is clear, though, is that under the SPLC's vision outlined in its propaganda materials, there is no objective truth, objective morality, objective gender, or anything else.
In its “K-2 Grade Level Outcomes and Scenarios,” one “anti-bias” scenario involves a girl with “two moms.” “I call them Mamma Kendra and Mamma Sam,” the girl says. Another scenario features a boy playing with dolls, and another student intervening when the boy's friend informs him that dolls are actually for girls. “It’s OK that he likes different things than you or the other boys,” the other student says. The teacher then comes along and agrees. Plenty of other scenarios involving illegal immigrants, homosexuality, Islam, and more are covered.
There are also “outcomes” which students are expected to meet. In grades 6 through 8, for example, we read: “I will work with friends, family and community members to make our world fairer for everyone, and we will plan and coordinate our actions in order to achieve our goals.” By 9th grade, students should be able to “describe how my own identity is informed and shaped by my membership in multiple identity groups.” They also need to “understand that diversity includes the impact of unequal power relations on the development of group identities and cultures.” Plenty of white, male, heterosexual “privilege” propaganda is also included, with students expected to be made “aware of the advantages and disadvantages I have in society because of my membership in different identity groups, and I know how this has affected my life.” Identifying “strategies and philosophies relevant to the history of social justice around the world” is also key.
In its “anchor standards,” the framework says children should learn to think of themselves as typical collectivists, based on their “identity” in various “groups” — race, class, gender, sexuality, and so on. “Students will develop positive social identities based on their membership in multiple groups in society,” says the first anchor standard in the “identity” section. In the “action” section it adds: “Students will plan and carry out collective action against bias and injustice in the world and will evaluate what strategies are most effective.” In other words, schools should produce legions of radical leftist social justice warriors to go out and demand wealth redistribution, Big Government, “tolerance” at gunpoint, and more.
Indeed, the “teaching tolerance” project makes absolutely clear that it is about more than just indoctrinating students — it is also about spawning little activists who will go out into the world and spread the SPLC's radical views in their schools, communities, and beyond. The program, founded in 1991, is described by the SPLC as an “online K-12 literacy-based anti-bias curriculum designed to help teachers deliver culturally responsive instruction while meeting the requirements of the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts/Literacy.” It also has a magazine that it sends out to half-a-million “educators” across America. But it is much more than that.
“This Framework is the first road map for anti-bias education at every grade level and is organized into four domains: Identity, Diversity, Justice and Action,” says the latest “teaching tolerance” scheme, dubbed “Critical Practices for Anti-bias Education.” “Together, these domains represent a continuum of engagement in anti-bias, multicultural and social justice education.” And the document does not disappoint.
One section of that framework, for instance, is entitled “Values-Based Assessment, Evaluation and Grading.” As the title suggests, it is about how a system of “classroom evaluation, assessment and grading” can be used to “instill values such as equity, collaboration, justice and respect for diversity.” Under its “grading” strategies, the document makes clear that students must not be permitted to hold fast to any one view — say, Christianity and biblical values, for example — but must be coerced into treating all opinions as equally valid. Again, there is no truth, only "feelings," which are correct and must be respected even if they are flatly and objectively incorrect.
Another section of the framework tells teachers how to set up their classrooms. First, it compares two classroom arrangements. The first one, implicitly identified as the bad one, features desks facing the teacher, a copy of the Declaration of Independence on the wall, posters of U.S. presidents, quotes from leading Western figures, and students working independently on an assignment. The second features desks arranged “in clusters of four with students facing one another,” along with wall displays featuring the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, anti-Semitic pro-Castro apparatchik Maya Angelou, the socialist daughter of the founder of the Communist Party of Burma, and radical union organizer Cesar Chávez. In the second class setup, students are “working with their table-mates on a group project.”
The “gender” lunacy features prominently in the same section on classroom setup. “Many teachers, especially at the elementary level, seat or group students along gender lines,” the framework explains. “However, not everyone fits traditional gender categories. Some students may feel they are truly a different gender than their physical bodies suggest; others might not fit neatly into either the male or female identity category. Using gender-neutral categories or allowing students to choose the group with which they identify affirms the experiences of all students.”
The document also calls on teachers to serve as “a social justice leader” in the classroom and beyond. And if parents disagree with all the propaganda and values-shaping, the school and the teacher must fight back. “In the context of school-family relationships, addressing bias may involve (gently) challenging the negative assumptions or comments made by parents, guardians and other family members,” it says. “It also requires finding respectful ways of standing strong if families resist curriculum topics such as race, immigration, economic disparities, LGBT experience and religion.”
The framework goes on to push building “alliances” with others to “forward the agenda” and face down “resistance” to “diversity and social justice topics such as race, immigration and LGBT issues” in the classroom. Teachers are also instructed to attend conferences put on by outfits such as the National Association for Multicultural Education, Teachers 4 Social Justice, White Privilege Conference, Creating Change, Facing Race, and others. The purpose is to “learn new strategies” and “build allies outside their immediate school community.”
Aside from the latest LGBT campaign, the SPLC's “Teaching Tolerance” campaign offers a wide variety of other resources to indoctrinate students into the group's radical views. Among them is a lesson dubbed “Using Photographs to Teach Social Justice: Confronting Unjust Laws.” In the lesson, “students will analyze a photograph of people protesting what they see as an unjust law: A law prohibiting marriage equality in California.” In other words, children will learn that their Christian parents and the majority of California voters who voted to preserve traditional marriage are bigots and that “social justice” demands purporting to redefine marriage. Similar examples are almost endless.
Rather than allowing the SPLC, the UN, and the creators of Common Core to brazenly indoctrinate American children, parents, teachers, lawmakers, and taxpayers should put their foot down. Schools are supposed to be for teaching reading, writing, arithmetic, and other academic essentials — not for trying to reshape children's values to conform with the increasingly unhinged radical Left. Yet, the government education system is failing miserably at teaching the basics (by design) as it focuses incessantly on indoctrination and extremist activism. If liberty and common sense are going to survive in the United States over the long term, Americans need to take a long, hard look at what is happening in government schools — and put a stop to it.