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Anti-gay group warns parents to remove kids from classrooms led by LGBT teachers

Wednesday, August 8, 2012
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CAROL STREAM, Ill. — The anti-gay Christian group Illinois Family Institute has launched another campaign against LGBT Americans, telling parents to remove their children from classrooms led by any teacher who is gay or lesbian, or is a faculty sponsor of a gay-straight alliance, or who has utilized LGBT-inclusive textbooks, or offers a “safe” haven for LGBT students in their classrooms.

illustration by Cartoonist Chris Britt, Springfield Journal-Register

The organization, designated as an anti-gay hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, published the advisory Monday in a guidebook for parents Monday entitled: “Challenge Teachers, Not Books.”

A portion of the publication reads:

If parents have children who have already gone through the school or have already completed a year or more, they should ask those children and/or their friends or friends’ parents which teachers are known for bringing their politics into the classroom or who displays a “Safe Space” sticker, the inverted pink triangle, the rainbow flag, or the lower case Greek letter “lambda” on their desk, classroom door, or wall.

Students usually know who the liberal, activist teachers are. Liberal teachers develop reputations, often as the “cool” teachers.

Then parents should call or email the appropriate department chair and/or their child’s counselor, and politely insist on a schedule change, explaining that they will not permit their child to be in the classroom or under the tutelage of any teacher who has made their liberal politics known in school.

Former IFI Executive Director Peter LaBarbera, whose anti-gay tirades earned him the moniker “Porno Pete” by LGBTQ bloggers for his penchant for publishing hard core examples of gay themed pornography on his “Americans For Truth About Homosexuality” blog, has repeatedly called for the repeal of all legislation that prohibits discrimination against gays.

LaBarbera, whose Americans for Truth group has also been labeled a hate group by the SPLC, continues to publicly label homosexuality “disgusting,” and on numerous occasions has expressed the “need to find ways to bring back shame to those practicing homosexual behavior.”

Research conducted by the U. S. Department of Education shows that both Educators and students nationwide tackle challenges surrounding LGBT issues in schools, in many instances in the form of bullying brought about by negative messaging such as that put forth by groups like IFI and individuals like LaBarbera.

A rash of adolescent suicides in the past year in part brought about by incidents of bullying in American schools led Seattle based blogger and columnist Dan Savage to launch the “It Gets Better” video campaign to persuade at risk youth that life does in fact improve and that in which he told his story and encouraged other bullied gay and lesbian teenagers.

A spokesperson for IFI declined to comment when contacted about this story other than to say that the guidelines in the booklet “speak for themselves.”

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