Sunday, December 06, 2009

Details on a GLSEN Lesson Plan in American History

Here's a lesson plan similar to what "Safe Schools czar" Kevin Jennings might have used when he taught American history at Concord Academy. One of his GLSEN disciples, a teacher at the Harvard, Mass. high school, described her lesson plan in great detail at the 2001 GLSEN-Boston conference (maybe after picking up a fisting kit?).  Ed Oliver reported for Massachusetts News:

A ninth-grade social studies teacher at Bromfield School in the town of Harvard, Kathleen Doherty, plans to incorporate “gay rights” into her U.S. History class this spring. It will not be the only school in Massachusetts where children will be taught about “gay rights.” Doherty revealed her plans to other teachers at the Fistgate II conference held by GLSEN at Tufts University on March 24. She wanted to encourage the teachers to do the same in their schools.

Although it is not advertised, this is one of the main objectives of the annual GLSEN conference, to train teachers about how to incorporate homosexuality into various school subjects. Afterwards, teachers fan out across the state better equipped to carry the gay gospel into the local schools.

GLSEN does not like to call attention to that fact, however. For instance, in a recent press release about the Fistgate II conference, GLSEN said over 40 workshops were offered on a wide range of topics, but the press release listed only a few uncontroversial examples that deal with name-calling and bullying. Not mentioned in the press release are the numerous workshops that offer advice on how to push homosexuality in the classroom starting with pre-school.

The title of Doherty’s workshop was “Gay Rights 101: Incorporating the Basics of the Gay Rights Movement Into Your U.S. History Curriculum.”

Doherty told attendees that she is concerned about how the students and the parents at her school in Harvard will respond. She has already taught the subject to the Gay/Straight Alliance, of which she is the advisor. She said they liked it.

In the workshop at Fistgate II, Doherty lectured, showed film clips and provided the following outline of the gay rights lessons that she will be giving to her class.

- The cold war years are portrayed as the dark ages of ignorance and repression. Doherty casts homosexuals as a persecuted minority harassed by President Eisenhower, the federal government, and the military. She explained that homosexuals were once thought to be security risks because they are unstable and susceptible to blackmail. For those reasons, homosexuals were routinely denied and dismissed from federal jobs and discharged from the military. ...

- Doherty recommended using the black civil rights movement of the sixties as a platform to teach about the homosexual movement. She suggested one way to introduce homosexuals into a U.S. history class would be to ask students, “What other groups were energized by the civil rights movement?”

Doherty said there are lots of parallels to the civil rights movement you could draw such as, “Should you try to assimilate and gradually gain respect, or should you demand it?”...

- According to Doherty, the 1969 “Stonewall Riots” were the beginning of the modern gay rights movement. In that incident, the police raided a Greenwich Village gay bar on a charge of selling alcohol without a license. Three nights of rioting ensued. Doherty said you can compare it to Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat on the bus.

Doherty suggested showing to students video clips from “Before Stonewall” and its companion video “After Stonewall.” One clip shows a middle-aged man being interviewed on camera while wearing a blue suit and a woman’s flowery sunbonnet. Doherty, with a straight face, said the kids would probably snicker and giggle at that clip and it might have to be replayed. She suggested using that clip as an opportunity to show how Stonewall emboldened homosexuals to dress and act the way they really are, rather than try to conform to society’s norms. ...  

Doherty said one small way she incorporates the issue of gay rights into her classroom is by using the word “gay” more frequently to prompt discussion. “They will respond, they are interested,” she said.

An advocacy handout from Doherty titled, “What One Teacher Can Do: A Checklist,” categorizes as “Low Risk,” “Some Risk,” and “Greater Risk,” actions a teacher might take to “create a safe and equitable” classroom and school. It does not specify what is meant by “risk.” Risk of angry parents? Risk of being fired? ...

Check out the Massachusetts News report for more detail. Was anyone listening in 2001?