Educator Defends Guidelines for Dealing with Homosexuality in Schools
by Jim Brown
April 10, 2006
(AgapePress) - - A psychology professor and anti-bullying expert is rejecting claims that the Christian Educators Association International (CEAI) caved in to pressure from homosexual activists by reaching an agreement with the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) on how to deal with the issue of sexual orientation in public schools.
Division remains among conservative Christians over the First Amendment guidelines endorsed by GLSEN and CEAI. Pro-family activist Linda Harvey of Mission America has condemned the "Common Ground Guidelines," saying homosexuality is not a viewpoint, but rather "an array of high-risk abnormal behaviors" -- and Christians have no business dialoguing with GLSEN, she adds.
But noted mental health counselor and sexual orientation researcher Dr. Warren Throckmorton contends there are a variety of viewpoints Christians disagree with that are constitutionally protected.
"There are people who are attracted to the same sex, but don't act on it," the Grove City College educator offers. "There are young men and women who are gender non-conforming in their preferences, and they're teased and harassed at school because they look gay. That's not a behavior. They're not doing anything."
In a recent column for Townhall.com, Throckmorton and author Chad Thompson argued Harvey and other critics are missing the central aim of the guidelines. "All kids deserve respect," he says. "Likewise, all viewpoints on matters of education deserve a hearing -- and that's all that the guidelines really express."
Throckmorton believes conservative Christians often downplay the harassment and discrimination of homosexual students. "Our principal concern is that the real problem of harassment in schools not be overlooked," he explains. "We believe that there is a problem. It may be overstated by those in the gay activist community, but we [also] believe it may be understated by those on the conservative side of this issue."
Throckmorton says one of the risks of understating the problem is that there is very little done from a conservative perspective to address the real needs of children who are "gay"-identified and treated poorly in school.
Part 2 (to be posted on Tuesday, April 11) addresses why some Christians are denouncing the guidelines endorsed by GLSEN and the Christian Educators Association International. It features comments by Linda Harvey of Mission America.
Jim Brown, a regular contributor to AgapePress, is a reporter for American Family Radio News, which can be heard online.