Commentary on the SHAC meeting Nov. 1, 2017
The SHAC meetings begin at 6 PM every first Wednesday of the month except for the month of July at the main office downtown.
Members give monthly reports and unless you are member you are NOT (and will be told so) allowed to speak except for 2 minutes at the very end of the meeting - and that's only if it hasn't reached 8 o’clock, when the meeting officially ends. I’ve only been attending for a few months, but the meetings I have attended have all finished within 10 minutes or so to 8 PM. The chair has been giving time to a few people to make comments. So, if any of you are planning to attend and want to express your thoughts, plan your remarks by writing them down and make sure you don’t go past 2 minutes. Also, be aware that only a few people are allowed to speak, so turn in your comment early.
So, here’s a quick rundown of some of tonight’s topics and questions that crossed my mind.
Mindfulness – a program modeled after YOGA and meditation, 8 schools have classrooms.
What’s happening in those classrooms? Do they have a pulsating ball on a screen that speaks to kids, like the CALM app teachers can use on their phones?
Why would a school promote the religious practice of Buddhism and Hinduism? Christians pray too, but I am not aware of any chapels or prayer rooms on any campuses. Is my child allowed to pray during lunch, before a test, for a friend, etc? And why is the moment of silence now called a moment of mindfulness?
There are 14 Mental Health Clinics on campuses around Austin. A few of the campuses include LBJ, Akins, and Lanier. Students are assessed and prescribed therapies.
Are parents given reports of topics discussed? Do any of these sessions include sexual topics, and if so, do therapists demonstrate condom usage and does Planned Parenthood or any of their affiliates participate? Are parents notified before therapy sessions are conducted?
Red Ribbon Week – This emphasis teaches children to refrain from smoking, drinking, and taking illicit drugs. Anti-bullying is also emphasized. Before Welcoming Schools, and its special emphasis on LGBTQ families, anti-bullying meant everyone, no exceptions.
Adolescent sex can be just as dangerous, even with condoms. Why not refrain from that?
Will my child now be bullied because he or she does not participate in celebrating LGBTQ lifestyles and behaviors? On the Day of Silence in middle and high school, will my child be bullied if they speak?
Nurses on campuses – It turns out that parents are very distressed about their children with special health concerns and the lack of professional care. Some the campuses are north of a 1,000 students and have been using student health aides and virtual care via a Seton program instead of nurses or even LVNs.
Parents have questions, too:
"When will my child’s campus get a nurse to help with his intravenous treatments? Why is AISD saying they are in compliance when I have consulted with an attorney and he clearly says AISD is not? Why won’t anyone talk to me?"
In no way do I want to minimize the hard work that any of the SHAC members have done or are doing. Education can be a thankless job. I know because I taught school for many years.
For the kids,
Please join us for a parent information meeting on Sunday November 5, 2017 at 6:00 pm at Oak Meadow Baptist Church in Austin, TX. We will be covering current and planned sex ed/LGBT programs and content at AISD. The presentation will be bilingual English/Spanish. Childcare will be available. Hope to see you there!
Oak Meadow Baptist Church
6905 S I-35 Frontage Rd
Austin, TX 78744
Some AISD campuses will be hosting their Pride Week in the coming weeks. The purpose of Pride Week is to "highlight LGBTQ students, staff and families with the district's commitment to create a safe, supportive and inclusive environment for all." The stated purpose is because "LGBTQ students need to know that you accept them -- there are still too many people who don't." Therein lies the fallacy. The non-acceptance of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer sexual activity has nothing to do with accepting the person because a person is not defined by his or her sexual preferences! And in fact, sexual activity should not be accepted in any children (straight or otherwise), or outside of the bonds of marriage, due to the serious health and emotional risks alone. So why is AISD taking an entire week to celebrate sexuality choices when the truly healthy approach would be to discourage all sexual activity during youth and outside marriage?
The week includes events, activities, lesson plans, artwork, and school displays, as documented here, supported by the AISD SEL department. One teacher reported that her middle school campus has the students cross-dress in different themes throughout the week. For families for whom the promotion of LGBT sexuality conflicts with their morals or religious values, Texas education code 26.010 (a) states that "a parent is entitled to remove the parent's child temporarily from a class or other school activity that conflicts with the parent's religious or moral beliefs if the parent presents or delivers to the teacher of the parent's child a written statement authorizing the removal of the child from the class or other school activity." We have provided a sample exemption letter for Pride Week here, and a more general letter here.
It will be important for parents to contact their principal directly to see what, if anything, their child's campus is doing for Pride Week. Some schools will do nothing, while others will go all out with displays and events. Some are having their activities after school or on the the weekend, as would be more appropriate so as not to obligate all children to participate. Other schools will by tying Pride Week celebrations into other events, like Red Ribbon Week. Usually, the only way to know is to ask, and we've had reports that some principals have been evasive in answering questions, so persistence is key.
The following letter was presented to the members of the AISD School Health Advisory Council (SHAC) during their October 4th meeting. It's an amazing letter and we're grateful that Austin parents are attending the SHAC and making their voices heard!
First of all, I believe that all of us who take the time to be here, do so because we share a common ground: a genuine concern for our children to be healthy educationally, emotionally and physically. And that the way to do that given our great diversity of backgrounds in this great city of Austin is by treating others the way we want to be treated. Or as I was taught growing up, by loving our neighbors as ourselves.
As a mom of two kids attending a school that has implemented Welcoming Schools, I want to thank you for giving the opportunity to express my deep distress and concern as to how AISD adopted such an obviously biased, one-sided, so called anti-bullying program under the deceiving name of Welcoming Schools. When I searched their website, all I found was an LGBTQ agenda!
This minority group is one among many that needs to be defended against bullying behaviors. Everybody needs to be treated like a human being: from the confused child who suffers from gender dysphoria to the fat kid, to the special needs kid, to the colored-skinned child, to the Muslim child. I would be the first one to defend any transgender child being bullied since all humans need to be treated with dignity. But when I do so, I am by no means endorsing transgenderism nor am I accepting the way their parents are choosing to train their child. Additionally, my children do not need to see pictures in books of two same-sex people loving each other nor do they need to be told it is ok if a boy wants to become a girl nor does he need to accept these views as good or else he will himself be rejected and bullied. Respect for another human and acceptance of any and all behaviors are two separate issues and they need to be treated as such.
A fair anti-bullying program will cover and focus on all minority groups "equally" (that should be a relevant word). Let's make anti-bullying about just that ... no hidden agendas heavily sponsored by "biased" groups (another familiar word). Respect for all people of all colors, shapes and ideologies, yes! Acceptance of what is morally good, that is up to each family to decide. Freedom to use public schools to push certain agendas, No! There are support groups, churches, clubs out there that each family can join to find like-minded people and gain support from that. That's not the role of a public school.
As AISD gets ready to roll out the "All are Welcome" program and works hard at implementing the new anti-bullying program, please remember this petition. We, parents at AISD, want a fair, non-biased anti-bullying program. AISD does not need to lose more students. Thank you for your time and efforts to make our schools a safe and trust-worthy place.
Bravo to this Austin mom!
Based on planning documents obtained through an Austin ISD open records request (see documents here - scroll to bottom of page), the "All Are Welcome" teacher training that the District is developing to replace Welcoming Schools will still be placing a heavy focus on LGBT and gender variance. The differences with Welcoming Schools are that it will be written for teachers at all grade levels (K-12), it will include training on other groups (like refugees and disabled), and it may be made mandatory for all campuses (most likely because Welcoming Schools was not universally accepted). The stated focus is on gaining "acceptance" of differences rather than "advocacy" for them. It is not clear what the difference between those will be.
There seems to be a belief that some teachers and staff have biases against certain groups of students that affect their teaching. Reading between the lines a little, it is probable that the "biases" they are referring to are religious and conservative beliefs. However, they have not provided evidence that holding such beliefs negatively affects teachers' conduct toward students and teaching ability. In my estimation, they will probably be hard pressed to find any such evidence. SEL will be conducting a survey to collect data on teachers' biases.
Many thanks to Mass Resistance for making the following videos of our August 12 meeting and presentation!
Our first public meeting was held at 2 pm on Saturday August 12. After a huge social media storm about the meeting due to flyers left on doors, the room was filled nearly to capacity (with people standing and watching from the hallway). Our speakers delivered important, well-sourced information to the audience, many of whom clearly disagreed with our message before even listening to what we had to say. Some of those same people interrupted, laughed inappropriately, jeered, and mocked the speakers at times. Others participated respectfully and were actually there to learn something. We will hopefully be posting video soon! (The slides are linked below)
During the Q&A, the following general points were made by the protesters (paraphrased):
1. "Abstinence education doesn't work. Comprehensive sex ed does."
- When the people making this comment were presented with the 2016 report conducted by HHS showing that only 15% of federally funded comprehensive sex ed programs had a positive effect, there was only silence. Furthermore, we presented evidence from peer-reviewed studies showing that many abstinence-based programs have great results. This was put down as "biased" research because it was compiled by an abstinence education organization (Ascend), but the actual studies were not done by Ascend - they simply reported on the data and showed the positive effects.
2. "You are saying the gay kids don't have a right to exist. They will be bullied and some will commit suicide without these programs"
- We are against bullying and will stand up for any student in such a situation. All people have a right to exist (including the unborn), and deserve respect. However, we disagree that sexuality differences should be taught to children in order to prevent bullying. It should also be pointed out that threatening suicide (as the LGBT activists are doing on behalf of other children) is manipulative and abusive.
3. "Where is the proof that sex ed leads to all this pregnancy and STDs?"
- We had presented a historical introduction, showing how the sex ed movement started with Kinsey's theory that children are sexual from birth - and idea based on experiments using criminal molestation and sexual torture of infants and children. Kinsey's associate, along with Planned Parenthood's Mary Calderone, later started SIECUS (Sex Information and Education Council of the US), which began to create (and still does) the national guidelines for sex education used by school districts. While the nature of cause and effect cannot be clearly delineated, we can ask ourselves a few questions: Has teen pregancy increased since before the 60s? Have STDs increased since before the 60s? Obviously they have, and obviously something isn't working in trying to improve those numbers in recent years. It could be that abstinence-based programs have been unequipped to handle the full assault coming through the media, which sends highly sexualizing images and content to children. Or that comprehensive sex ed programs give children permission to engage in high-risk activity under the guise of "safety". Whatever the case, we need a better way, and with the positive results seen with recent abstinence-based programs, we believe it would be prudent to pursue the avenue that seeks the highest possible outcome for kids: waiting to have sex.
4. During the presentation, one commenter said our statistic about 2 in 100 people being gay was untrue. We were unsure at the time whether we had made a mistake, but re-checked the data, and we were right, according to the CDC.
Some people, however, cannot be convinced by facts and data. We are willing to look at all data, but have yet to be given any that refutes our position. Regardless, in the end it all comes down to interpretation. We hope that open-minded/undecided people will weigh both sides of the debate fairly, and that is why we are presenting our information.
If any church or community groups would like to hear our presentation, please contact us! We would be happy to come talk to you.
According to Pete Price, head of SEL at Austin ISD, the department is planning to replace the Welcoming Schools anti-bullying program with a broader program developed within house, which they will call All Are Welcome. It will be focused on fostering inclusiveness for ALL Austin ISD students. Hopefully, that includes Christians and those with traditional values!
We are happy that the school district will be taking this step, since the Welcoming Schools program, written by the Human Rights Campaign, is focused solely on gaining student acceptance of LGBT lifestyles. We will closely follow this new program to see what content is being included. Bullying should never be accepted for ANY reason and moreover, it is NOT necessary to 'educate' students about alternative lifestyles in order to reduce bullying. We already have the ultimate anti-bullying direction: The Golden Rule. Treat others how you want to be treated. As Christians, we respect and love others, even if we disagree with their choices. We also have compassion for people who, through no choice of their own, have feelings and inclinations that drive them toward LGBT lifestyles. But, as witnesses of love, we must speak the truth - not only about what God says on the issue, but about the negative personal and societal outcomes associated with sex outside a male-female marriage relationship.
Whether Welcoming Schools will continue to be rolled out in new campuses remains to be seen. We have reports from one teacher that another campus will be trained this school year. In any case, moving away from Welcoming Schools is a step in the right direction and we must remain vigilant to see what it is being replaced with.
Excerpt from an the article by Jennifer Hartline at The Stream: "Transgender Toolkit Demolishes Girls and Boys"
July 30, 2017
For your children, for our nation. This is not a battle against flesh and blood, but against powers and principalities. Keep your moral house in order. If we don’t live and model for our children the virtues of chastity, purity, faithfulness, temperance, prudence, and charity, they won’t live it either. Teach your children the natural law. Read What We Can’t Not Know. Learn how to explain to them the ontology (the “is-ness”), the nature of things which reveals to us the purpose of things. Why can’t you sew a dress with a fork? Why would you not eat your dinner with a needle? Is your heart supposed to digest your food? Why not? The natural law is also revealed to us in our bodies, created male and female by God, in His image. Our bodies are not independent of who we are. Our bodies tell us who we are. Teach your children logic. Get back to rational thinking based on objective reality, not feelings. Feelings are not facts. Teach your children the fact that biological sex cannot be changed. It is not merely “assigned” at birth. Sex and gender are not independent of one another. “Sex is a physical reality and gender is the social expression of that reality.”* There simply is no such thing as a male woman or a female man. Biology isn’t bigotry. When (not if, when) the tyrannical sexual agenda shows itself in your district, do not passively accept it. We cannot leave our children to shoulder the burden of dealing with this madness. It is unacceptable for teachers or counselors to suggest to a young child that he can reject his physical body and “transition” into being a girl. Our daughters should not have to just shut up and accept having to share bathrooms and showers with boys.
* Ryan Anderson, author of When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment
This new site has just been launched! Here, we hope to provide the parents of Austin with all the information and resources they need in order to understand what is going on in schools, what their children are being taught, and how we can take charge of the message our children are receiving about important issues of sex, health and morality. Our group started as part of the activities of Mass Resistance Texas and our particular subgroup was formed specifically to address what is happening in Austin Independent School District.
The radical sex education agenda that has come into Texas started in the late 2000s, when the LGBT/Abortion/sex advocacy group Texas Freedom Network (founded by Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards) concocted a plan to get on local school health advisory councils (SHACs), which are mandated by Texas law to review and approve sex education curricula to make sure they align with community values. TFN's first target conquest was the Austin ISD SHAC, and they succeeded in getting seats at the table in what is supposed to be a council made up of parents and community members. Planned Parenthood still has one employee sitting on the SHAC, as well as a past employee who is now employed by the District.
With the infiltration successful, the sex ed curricula was slowly shifted away from an abstinence-only curriculum, in which students are taught to AVOID risk (sexual risk avoidance - SRA), to an abstinence-plus curriculum, which is supposed to teach abstinence + contraception/protection, to comprehensive sex ed (CSE), in which students are taught that since they'll be having sex anyway, they should REDUCE their risks. Not only is the latter (CSE/ sexual risk reduction - SRR) against the law in Texas (which stipulates a predominant focus on abstinence), but it doesn't work! Well, actually it does work ... in getting more customers for Planned Parenthood!
Unfortunately, and especially today, sex is an increasingly dangerous business. Statistics show that 40% of young women will contract an STD the FIRST TIME they have sex. In fact, in the current explosion of STD cases, the great majority are in young people (14-24 year-olds). Add to that the risk of teen pregnancy through contraception failure and the psychological effects of having sex outside of a committed long term relatioship, and we realize that teaching children how to have 'safer' sex is sending them into the lion's den. Think about it ... would we teach children: "IF you are going to use heroin, make sure not to use a dirty needle" ?? No, for all other major risks, even alcohol use, the message is clear: "DON'T DO IT." When it comes to sex, we need to add: "Here is why, and this is what can you do to achieve this goal." Protection methods should be presented along with significant risks that still accompany their use. Let's give kids a real picture of what's at stake.
For the Planned Parenthoods of the world, however, teaching children the real dangers of sexual activity is "judgemental" and believing that they can abstain is "unrealistic."
Another area of focus is the LGBT agenda coming into schools through programs such as Welcoming Schools, an anti-bullying program by the Human Righs Campaign that is currently in 27 AISD elementary schools. Putting the question of morality aside, the LGBT lifestyle is fraught with the same dangers of heterosexual activity (save pregnancy) but the consequences are drastically more severe. A recent CDC report projects that 50% of black men who have sex with men will contract HIV in their lifetime! Mass Resistance published a book detailing the horrendous and very real health risks involved with a homosexual lifestyle. And yet, spurred on by LGBT advocacy groups, schools are encouraging children as young as elementary school to experiment to see what 'feels right', nevermind the risks.
Furthermore, children are being taught that gender is fluid and not innately connected with biological sex. At a time when children are forming their own identities, confusing messages such as this are NOT what they need. According to the American College of Pediatricians, teaching children they can identify with a gender different from their biological sex is unscientific, is child abuse, and leads to chemical castration and body mutilation in children experiencing this psychological issue. At the same time, transgender people living in the most LGBT-affirming societies still end up with significantly higher suicide rates, so lack of social acceptance is not the issue.
And as far as religion goes, it is no secret that Bible-believing Christians and other people of faith seek to uphold God's laws regarding human sexuality. However, the schools are actively undermining such beliefs through anti-bullying programs that teach the 'beauty and goodness' of homosexual love, and that everyone has the right and duty to express themselves sexually however, whenever, and with whomever they please. Children from religious families are ostracized from the group unless they agree with these ideas, and are forced to participate in campus-wide LGBT pride events. All of this has the peer pressure effect of breaking down religious convictions.
As you might be able to tell, this is ideology being foisted on children with one purpose: INDOCTRINATION. The sexual revolution activists have known that in order to completely remake society, they have to reach the youngest minds and form them. Well, that plan is being played out now, folks. They are teaching preschoolers about gay marriage, how to discuss their genitalia with peers and adults (not parents), and how to give or deny consent to being touched (later turns into consent for sex). They are reading "My Princess Boy" in class to first graders. They are teaching 5th graders how to determine their sexual orientation and how to know if they're ready for sex. The future is now, and unless parents take control, it could get pretty bleak.
In the coming weeks, we will be posting much information on all of the above, with links to resources and data that will help you get informed. And we will give ways to get involved, push back against this agenda, and protect our kids, including resrouces for how to teach kids about sex. Hope y'all will join us because together the parents of Austin can make a difference!