Diversity: Where to Draw the Line
Isobel White wrote a very interesting article on Prop. 8 and schooling. It deals with the idea that for schools to "ensure a basic level of respect and safety" they should "acknowledg[e] that diverse families exist and that some schoolchildren will, in fact, grow up to fall in love with someone of the same sex."
So there are two parts of this diversity argument.
To be respectful and safe, schools should:
1. Acknowledge that diverse families exist
2. Acknowledge that some students will have homosexual tendencies as adults
But by lumping them together, she also infers that anyone who disagrees with either is promoting schools NOT to be respectful or safe. Only a bigot wouldn't accept the beauty of diversity, right?
While I agree with part of what she says, I don't believe that endorsement of the entire idea is necessary for children to respect diversity.
What I Agree With
We should accept each child, regardless of the family from which s/he comes. Children usually don't have a choice about their family make-up. Thus, it should not be held against them. John should not be belittled because his father is an alcoholic, Suzy should not be teased because her father deserted her when she was two, and Amy should not be shunned because she has two mothers and no father.
What I Disagree With
I do not believe that we should endorse all family lifestyles as equally beneficial for individuals or society. Because we acknowledge that children are raised by married parents, single parents, foster parents, grandparents, and same-sex parents, should we promote all of these as the same? No. In teaching children which family lifestyle they should aspire to, they are not all equal. The intact, heterosexual, married family should be held as the gold standard; in a "best-best" comparison, it is vastly superior to any other family style.
What Schools Should Teach
I believe that if the schools follow the teachings outlined above, they will adequately address family diversity.
1. Children should be accepted regardless of their family background.
2. Heterosexual marriage is the gold standard for future behavior.
If, in a high school setting, some parents allow their children to be taught about specific homosexual behaviors, that is their choice. But with the background given above, at least they will know what is best for individuals and society.
So what? What can I do?
If you have children in the schools, I would talk with their teachers to clarify what they teach regarding diversity. Also, talk with your children periodically to determine what they are actually being taught, since "diversity training" doesn't require parental notification or allow an opt-out process (at least in California).
Re-Writing an Article to be Pro-Family
Co-Habitation: A Parable