The Alliance Defense Fund, a conservative Christian nonprofit based in Arizona that receives funding from Focus on the Family, sent a legal memo to the Minneapolis Public Schools urging them to drop the “Welcoming Schools” curriculum that they are currently considering for implementation at Hale, a K-5 school, and Jefferson, a K-8 school.
“Welcoming Schools” is an initiative of the Human Rights Campaign, and Minnesota is one of three states serving in a pilot project for the larger program. The curriculum addresses three main topics: family diversity, gender stereotyping and name-calling.
The curriculum is an anti-bullying tool kit for schools to use to confront violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students. While the curriculum has been met with suspicion by some parents based on religious objections, school officials have noted that they have likewise had requests from parents to implement the program.
The Alliance Defense Fund letter (PDF) says, “The indoctrination of children with HRC’s anti-religion political agenda will present serious practical and legal problems, especially adults are charged with the safety and security of other people’s children. You are urged to please refrain from allowing your schools to be utilized as a pilot program for HRC.”
While the ADF letter claims that religious freedom is an issue for MPS, their own representatives make it clear that it instead is a reaction to the religious right’s favorite catch-phrase: the “homosexual agenda.”
“The government should promote and encourage strong families,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Austin R. Nimocks in a press statement Monday. “When school officials have to choose between protecting children in those families or furthering the homosexual agenda, the choice is obvious: protecting our children comes first.”
Curiously, the ADF opened the Center for Academic Freedom in Nashville, Tenn. That freedom appears to only work in one direction as ADF’s attempts to quash the “Welcoming Schools” curriculum would restrict rather than expand the breadth of discussion.