Published on Sunday, 28 April 2013 00:00
In a weird, sick and completely irrelevant attempt to promote anti-bullying, college students made 8-grade (14-year-old) girls kiss their fellow female classmates.
Linden Avenue Middle School lies in Red Hook, a small neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. Bard College students recently gave an anti-bullying presentation on sexual orientations and gender identities to the eighth-graders there that sparked outrage among the middle schoolers’ parents.
Paul Finch, superintendent of the Red Hook Central School District, informed The Poughkeepsie Journal that the Linden Avenue Principal Katie Zahedi and guidance counsellors worked with a group of Bard student volunteers to develop the workshop, including role-playing on how to say no to unwanted social pressures.
The middle-school girls were taught terms such as “pansexual” and “genderqueer” during the supposed educational lesson, and in addition to that, the girls were told by the college students to request a kiss from their female counterparts.
Mandy Coon, a mother of an eighth-grade student learned about it from her daughter who told her that the experience was awkward and uncomfortable.
“The whole thing just baffles me,” Coon said. “If they are required to have this course, why are they bringing in other unlicensed, untrained professionals — college kids — to teach this?”
On a Facebook forum for parents, Linden Avenue Middle School’s principal said that the exercise was “not to pretend to be gay” but to practice saying “no” to unwarranted advances.
“In planning the discussion, we made it clear that absolutely no discussion of any sexual acts is appropriate to middle school, and they used the examples of a kiss,” Zahedi wrote. “It was a separate activity for boys and girls and ultimately about respect and safety.”
Finch said that the workshop focused on improving culture, relationships, communication and self-perceptions. He explained that these are issues schools are obligated to address under New York’s Dignity for All Students Act.
The Dignity for All Students Act will only be effective in July and represents the state’s effort to create a safe and supportive environment, free from discrimination, intimidation, taunting, harassment, and bullying.
Finch added that future workshops of a similar nature “may require more notification to parents.”
to view a handout of the lesson conducted by the Bard College students.
In my humble opinion, I think these queers should first learn to tell the difference between “who’s” and “whose” among the many mistakes made in the handout before they decide to teach middle school kids about anything.