Fox & Friends Criticizes “Topsy-Turvy” Sex Education Program For Including LGBT Issues
February 28, 2012 4:27 pm ET by Carlos Maza
During the February 28 edition of Fox & Friends, Gretchen Carlson hosted a segment to discuss proposed new sex education curriculum for fourth- and fifth-graders in Michigan’s Muskegon Public Schools. The new curriculum -- which includes lessons on sexual intercourse, sexual orientation, and gender identity -- would be incorporated into science classes as well as “diversity and bullying instruction.”
Keeping with its long history of criticizing LGBT-inclusive education policies for “indoctrinating” students, Fox invited Kyle Olson, founder of the right-wing Education Action Group, for a one-sided segment condemning the proposed curriculum change:
CARLSON: All right. So this sounds a little bit more than what I learned in fifth grade. I don't mean to laugh about it but it sounds a little -- a little out there. So what do you make of it?
OLSON: Well, that's just it. It's what's happening is, I think, there's mission creep that's going on within sex ed and so now instead of just talking about not getting pregnant, avoiding STDs and those sorts of things, now they're getting into cultural issues where they're talking about transgender issues, diversity, bullying, those types of things. And so they're expanding the program. And so I would encourage parents to look into this, see if this is appropriate for their children and if it's not, then do what they can to opt out.
OLSON: I think what is happening here is this is part of a broader agenda where activists are pushing their political philosophy on very young kids. You know, you mentioned these are fourth and fifth graders. And in my book "Indoctrination" I talked about how the activists are very intentional about going after kids at younger and younger ages because they're very impressionable. I mean, I have young kids. I know you have young kids. They're like sponges and they will just, you know, accept and believe virtually anything you tell them.
CARLSON: The other argument that I've heard is that they say that there are a lot of kids who don't have responsible parents who might be teaching them these types of things at home. So they feel now that it's the school's responsibility to do that. What do you think about that?
OLSON: Well, there's lots of parents that are being responsible. And what is happening is their power is being usurped by the school district and what I see happening generally in culture is where a school district or any level of government is taking power away from citizens, citizens are basically virtually willingly giving that power to the state. And so we're just seeing this cycle where -- where people are not fighting back and this is where -- this is an opportunity, I think, for parents to stand up and say this is our responsibility. We're going to raise the children as we see fit and you're not going to do anything about it.
CARLSON: All right. Here's the school statement from the school district: “Students are getting the information they need to lead healthy, productive lives and to keep them safe. Some of the changes include a fifth grade unit on healthy relationships, diversity and sexual orientation with a focus on anti-bullying. As always, parents will be given the opportunity to have their child opt out of this curriculum.” So there you have it, the parents can opt out but it seems to be a little topsy-turvy. [emphasis added]
In reality, these “topsy-turvy” curriculum changes are in line with the recommendations of a broad coalition of the national groups specializing in health and sex education. According to a recent report -- which was endorsed by groups including the American Association for Health Education, the American School Health Association, and Advocates for Youth -- teaching students about sexual orientation and gender identity in middle school helps reduce anti-LGBT bullying while fostering healthy understandings of human sexuality.
Contrary to Olson’s suggestion, many parents apparently have not been effective in teaching their children not to bully their LGBT classmates. According to a 2009 report from the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), anti-LGBT bullying is a major problem for Michigan students. A majority of students in GLSEN’s survey reported hearing biased remarks from their peers, and nearly all respondents reported having been the target of anti-LGBT verbal or physical harassment in the previous year:
Moreover, many Michigan students report not having access to vital information about the LGBT community in the classroom:
Despite an obvious problem with anti-LGBT bullying in Michigan schools, Carlson and Olson would prefer that teachers and administrators stay silent on the issue. For them, even a program that allows students to opt out of receiving scientifically accurate information about sexual orientation and gender identity is little more than a left-wing plot to indoctrinate “impressionable” children into embracing the gay “agenda.”