Sat | Sep 23, 2017

Take stand against all bullying

Published:Saturday | July 25, 2015 | 7:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

Further to recent discussions surrounding bullying in our schools, the Love March Movement (LMM) registers its support of the implementation of policies crafted to teach young people that young lives matter. We stand firmly against any kind of mistreatment of human beings who were created in the image of God, be they male or female, adult or child.

Notwithstanding, there is a need to educate relevant stakeholders and the wider public about the implications of implementing an anti-bullying policy that specifically categorises children by sexual orientation and highlights the need to protect a child on that basis.

The implementation of anti-bullying policies that isolate sexual orientation as one category for protection has taken place in some American states such as Iowa, Illinois, California, Massachusetts and New Jersey under the name of 'Safe Schools'.

We have found that material was used in the schools as a method of teaching students that homosexuality is a norm, all in an effort to 'sensitise them' to different sexual orientations, the logical progression being normalisation of homosexual behaviour. Brokeback Mountain, a film promoting homosexuality, as well as a book titled And Tango Makes Three, promoting same-sex couples, was used in Iowa as part of the sensitisation strategy under the Safe Schools programme.

Additionally, a 'diversity photo puzzle' was used in Minnesota where students as young as the kindergarten level were required to assemble photo puzzles portraying seven types of families, including same-sex couples, where they are required to label two women as two mothers.

Minister of Education Ronald Thwaites has explained that "concerns that the guidelines [of the policy] were the outcome of pressure from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in Jamaica" are "unnecessary", according to an article published in The Gleaner on Wednesday, July 22, 2015.

However, based on the case studies presented above, there is ample evidence that the deliberate emphasis on sexual orientation in schools leads naturally to indoctrinating our children. The statement that the anti-bullying policy is not a result of pressure by the LGBT lobby does not preclude it from becoming a tool used by LGBT advocates to pressure unknowing students and parents into endorsing and promoting lifestyles contrary to healthy, timeless family values.

We continue to applaud Minister Thwaites for the removal of the harmful HFLE manual in 2012 and his contributions to the Sectoral Debate in 2013 to abstain from the sexual grooming of our children of any kind. In light of the sound principles and informed positions he has taken before, we humbly invite the minister to take heed of the warnings provided by the experiences of American Safe Schools that implemented anti-gay bullying policies and have seen them gone awry.

The best way for schools to address the issue of bullying is with a strong prohibition against any form of bullying - against any child for any reason. May we as a society continue to work together to keep protecting our children.

LOVE MARCH MOVEMENT

lovemarchmovement@gmail.com