According to the Twin Cities Daily Planet, a group of conservative parents in Minnesota’s suicide-riddled Anoka-Hennepin school district 11 has presented a deeply homophobic resolution to the school board.
Calling itself the Parents [sic] Action League (PAL), the group demands that ex-gay therapy be offered in schools and that “gay-related immune deficiency” be discussed, presumably as a scare tactic.
The school district, home of Michelle Bachmann, has been in the spotlight for years, in part for its DADT-esque policy of declining to include information about sexual orientation in the curriculum (it calls for staff to “remain neutral” if the topic should arise, whatever that means). It is being sued by the Southern Poverty Law Center, though the school district’s superintendent Denny Carlson has struggled to vindicate the district’s decisions on LGBT issues, stating that “[we at the school district] do not see gay students as living an abnormal lifestyle or as sinners.” PAL members, though their website states that they support the neutrality policy, evidently do not feel it adequately shields their children from information about sexual orientation, and they’re going on the offensive.
Their demands include:
1. A new division within the student support services and a special section on the District 11 website devoted to student of faith, moral conviction, ex-homosexuals and ex-transgenders.
2. A listening tour by Superintendent Denny Carlson and district prevention coordinator Barry Scanlon with students of faith, moral conviction, ex-homosexuals, and ex-transgenders.
3. That District 11 administrators and staff work closely with pro-family and ex-homosexual and ex-transgender organizations to provide ongoing training to school counselors, school nurses, social workers, school psychologists, prevention specialists, student learning advocates and a number of secondary principals and principals.
7. Provide the history of gay-related immune deficiencies and acquired immune deficiencies and the medical consequences of homosexual acts.
9. Provide the following pro-family, ex-homosexual, ex-transgender information and websites to all counselors, school psychologists, classroom teachers [the list was submitted to the board and not spoken at the meeting]
10. Provide pro-family, ex-homosexual and ex-transgender videos to secondary media centers.
Ironically, it would seem that if the district were to adopt PAL’s demands, sexual orientation would then become part of the curriculum, thus violating the neutrality policy PAL purports to approve of. It seems that it’s OK to be non-neutral as long as you’re on the side of misinformation.
The Daily Planet points out that the term “gay-related immune deficiencies” is obsolete, having been used to denote the early cluster of AIDS cases in the early 80s before anyone knew what caused it, and that its resurrection in this context is a clear slur.