Activist Group Pushes Video to ‘Train’ Educators How to Teach 6-12 Year-Olds About Gays and Lesbians

January 18, 2012 - 4:41 PM

(CNSNews.com) – The Human Rights Campaign, a homosexual advocacy group, has produced a “professional development film” through its Welcoming Schools project for school staff and parents that features 6- to 12-year-olds talking about gays and lesbians.

The film is called “What Do You Know? Six to Twelve Year Olds Talk about Gays and Lesbians," and it "features students from Massachusetts and Alabama discussing what they know about gay men and lesbians, what they hear at school, and what they’d like teachers to do,” states the Welcoming Schools Web site.

The Web site has a two-minute trailer of the film and the description states that it “is currently being used in Welcoming Schools trainings across the country and playing in film festivals in Mobile, Alabama; Spokane, Washington; and Barcelona, Spain.”

On its home page, Welcoming Schools states that it “is an LGBT-inclusive approach to addressing family diversity, gender stereotyping and bullying and name-calling in K-5 learning environments. … Additionally, it offers a wide range of resources for school administrators and educators to support students who don’t conform to gender norms.”

Questions from CNSNews.com to the Human Rights Campaign -- including inquires about whether the training sessions are taking place in schools, how many schools are participating, and whether or not the video will be viewed by children -- were not answered before this story was posted.

gay, rainbow

(AP Photo)

“It was in second grade and we had like a big meeting,” the first girl featured in the video says, followed by the remarks of another girl:  “The teacher said stuff like, ‘Do you know what it means to be gay?’ and ‘Is it a bad thing to be gay?’”

“And then he just laid down this huge thing that was like, ‘No teasing about who your parents love,” says the next child in the video, who is wearing a shirt with the slogan ‘Tough Guys Wear Pink.’”

“Love is love and you shouldn’t turn love into hate’ is basically what he said,” the child says.

“A lot of kids in our school know the word gay, even kindergartners know it,” says another girl, who appears to be not much older than a kindergartner.

“This guy came up and said, ‘Ah man, you’re gay,’ and I’m like, ‘What does that mean?’” a boy says.

“Okay, so there’s these two people,” says a boy wearing a t-shirt with the slogan “Got Moms?” “A boy and a boy and a girl and a girl and they love each other.”

“I wish more teachers could elaborate on it and talk about it more instead of like two sentences and then dismiss the subject,” a girl says.

“Yes,” the final child featured in the trailer says. “Elementary school kids know the word ‘gay.’”

The Welcoming Schools Web site states that “Teachers Respond,” a four-minute video “featuring four teachers sharing classroom stories,” also is being produced and promises a study guide to go with the entire “What Do You Know?” film that will be available online “soon.”

The Web site includes “experts” praising the film, including one from the Southern Poverty Law Center.

“In just 13 minutes, the children featured in the film ‘What Do You Know,’ give us a wealth of insight, information and advice about how to include all children and families in our schools,” Lecia J. Brooks, director of outreach at the center, is quoted as saying.

“They let us know that we can’t stop anti-gay name-calling and harassment unless we are willing to have dialogue and educate. I recommend this film for all school personnel and parents.”