By: Anne Newman – wbdaily.com/education – July 13, 2019
When parents enroll their children in a summer literacy program, it’s likely that they don’t expect them to see a film about the shooting death of a middle school student, learn how to be “agents of change” for a political agenda, or to be indoctrinated with “tolerance” curriculum from the disreputable Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).
Children as young as age 11 in Baylor University’s Freedom Schools summer literacy program in Waco, Texas, were shown “Valentine Road: The Murder of Lawrence King,” an HBO documentary about 14-year-old Larry, who began wearing dresses, high heels, and make-up.
After Larry humiliated 15-year-old Brandon in front of his friends by asking him to be his valentine, Brandon shot Larry twice in the back of the head while in class.
The film would be troubling enough without the added controversial issue of transgenderism, especially for children still in the latency period.
Even the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Educators Network (GLSEN) understands the disturbing nature of the film. GLISEN’s viewing guide, created in partnership with HBO, warns that several scenes are “quite graphic” and “may be upsetting to some viewers,” such as “disturbing crime scene and morgue photos, violence and painful testimony.” The film “tells the story in striking terms, reviving painful memories and calling us all to action,” the guide states. It is not known if the Baylor program uses the GLSEN guide, which also advises the presence of a mental health professional and to “provide an ample supply of tissues because some will cry.”
The literacy program purports to use “culturally relevant” books and meetings with community guests so the children can learn “how to be agents of change in their local areas.” One such book, “Give a Boy a Gun,” is a novel about two boys stealing a small arsenal of guns from a neighbor and taking their classmates hostage at a school dance.
Last year, students were used to protest proposed federal budget cuts.
This year, the children will be used for a Day of Social Action, which will focus on gun violence and awareness. I say “used” because young students do not have a very profound understanding of such complex issues.
The Freedom Schools’ program uses “Teaching Tolerance” materials from SPLC, an organization that says it focuses on “social injustice issues,” including “LGBT rights,” and emphasizes “anti-bias education in the areas of identity, diversity, justice and action.” Recently,
SPLC has been under fire due to allegations of bias and discrimination within its own operation.
The program is a project of the leftist Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) in partnership with the Baylor School of Education, Waco ISD, Transformation Waco, Prosper Waco, and the City of Waco.
The program uses pre-service teachers in the Baylor School of Education and is free to students, including field trips and meals. Transformation Waco, a nonprofit in-district partnership, was formed specifically to manage five chronically failing schools. Baylor’s founders must be turning over in the graves.
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