Our first public meeting was held at 2 pm on Saturday August 12. After a huge social media storm about the meeting due to flyers left on doors, the room was filled nearly to capacity (with people standing and watching from the hallway). Our speakers delivered important, well-sourced information to the audience, many of whom clearly disagreed with our message before even listening to what we had to say. Some of those same people interrupted, laughed inappropriately, jeered, and mocked the speakers at times. Others participated respectfully and were actually there to learn something. We will hopefully be posting video soon! (The slides are linked below)
During the Q&A, the following general points were made by the protesters (paraphrased):
1. "Abstinence education doesn't work. Comprehensive sex ed does."
- When the people making this comment were presented with the 2016 report conducted by HHS showing that only 15% of federally funded comprehensive sex ed programs had a positive effect, there was only silence. Furthermore, we presented evidence from peer-reviewed studies showing that many abstinence-based programs have great results. This was put down as "biased" research because it was compiled by an abstinence education organization (Ascend), but the actual studies were not done by Ascend - they simply reported on the data and showed the positive effects.
2. "You are saying the gay kids don't have a right to exist. They will be bullied and some will commit suicide without these programs"
- We are against bullying and will stand up for any student in such a situation. All people have a right to exist (including the unborn), and deserve respect. However, we disagree that sexuality differences should be taught to children in order to prevent bullying. It should also be pointed out that threatening suicide (as the LGBT activists are doing on behalf of other children) is manipulative and abusive.
3. "Where is the proof that sex ed leads to all this pregnancy and STDs?"
- We had presented a historical introduction, showing how the sex ed movement started with Kinsey's theory that children are sexual from birth - and idea based on experiments using criminal molestation and sexual torture of infants and children. Kinsey's associate, along with Planned Parenthood's Mary Calderone, later started SIECUS (Sex Information and Education Council of the US), which began to create (and still does) the national guidelines for sex education used by school districts. While the nature of cause and effect cannot be clearly delineated, we can ask ourselves a few questions: Has teen pregancy increased since before the 60s? Have STDs increased since before the 60s? Obviously they have, and obviously something isn't working in trying to improve those numbers in recent years. It could be that abstinence-based programs have been unequipped to handle the full assault coming through the media, which sends highly sexualizing images and content to children. Or that comprehensive sex ed programs give children permission to engage in high-risk activity under the guise of "safety". Whatever the case, we need a better way, and with the positive results seen with recent abstinence-based programs, we believe it would be prudent to pursue the avenue that seeks the highest possible outcome for kids: waiting to have sex.
4. During the presentation, one commenter said our statistic about 2 in 100 people being gay was untrue. We were unsure at the time whether we had made a mistake, but re-checked the data, and we were right, according to the CDC.
Some people, however, cannot be convinced by facts and data. We are willing to look at all data, but have yet to be given any that refutes our position. Regardless, in the end it all comes down to interpretation. We hope that open-minded/undecided people will weigh both sides of the debate fairly, and that is why we are presenting our information.
If any church or community groups would like to hear our presentation, please contact us! We would be happy to come talk to you.
According to Pete Price, head of SEL at Austin ISD, the department is planning to replace the Welcoming Schools anti-bullying program with a broader program developed within house, which they will call All Are Welcome. It will be focused on fostering inclusiveness for ALL Austin ISD students. Hopefully, that includes Christians and those with traditional values!
We are happy that the school district will be taking this step, since the Welcoming Schools program, written by the Human Rights Campaign, is focused solely on gaining student acceptance of LGBT lifestyles. We will closely follow this new program to see what content is being included. Bullying should never be accepted for ANY reason and moreover, it is NOT necessary to 'educate' students about alternative lifestyles in order to reduce bullying. We already have the ultimate anti-bullying direction: The Golden Rule. Treat others how you want to be treated. As Christians, we respect and love others, even if we disagree with their choices. We also have compassion for people who, through no choice of their own, have feelings and inclinations that drive them toward LGBT lifestyles. But, as witnesses of love, we must speak the truth - not only about what God says on the issue, but about the negative personal and societal outcomes associated with sex outside a male-female marriage relationship.
Whether Welcoming Schools will continue to be rolled out in new campuses remains to be seen. We have reports from one teacher that another campus will be trained this school year. In any case, moving away from Welcoming Schools is a step in the right direction and we must remain vigilant to see what it is being replaced with.