The Center for Arizona Policy, one of the state’s leading conservative organizations, coming out strongly against legislation in the Arizona State Senate, Senate Bill 1462, in the Arizona State Senate that tackles the problem of school bullying, which is nothing new from right-wing groups. But while Religious Right groups typically claim they oppose anti-bullying policies because they identify “sexual orientation” as a reason that students are bullied, SB 1462 does not mention “sexual orientation” or other enumerated categories. Instead, Center for Arizona Policy says that they oppose the bullying-prevention effort just because groups such as the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network and the Anti-Defamation League support the legislation. There is no doubt about it; the ‘bullying’ theme is agenda-driven propaganda,” the group writes. “The irony is that groups like Equality Arizona and GLSEN have chosen this issue to bully you and me into allowing them access into our schools and to our children.” The group also lashed out at a Teaching Tolerance film, Bullied, which “chronicles one student’s ordeal at the hands of anti-gay bullies and offers an inspiring message of hope to those fighting harassment today.”
The questions arise when one considers which organizations would provide the training and which organizations are behind the legislation. As a leading homosexual magazine in Arizona wrote, Equality Arizona, one n ten, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) were all in attendance at the bill’s committee hearing to support and see the legislation pass.
You see, groups like Equality Arizona and GLSEN have used the bullying issue in order to gain access to our public schools. These are the groups that supporters of the bill will bring into schools to teach the anti-bullying training to our students.
What concerns me is that this is already happening. I received an email from a parent whose 11-year-old daughter was forced to watch a documentary called Bullied during class time without any parental notification or consent. Taken directly off the tolerance.org website, “Bullied is a documentary film that chronicles one student’s ordeal at the hands of anti-gay bullies and offers an inspiring message of hope to those fighting harassment today. It can become a cornerstone of anti-bullying efforts in middle and high schools.” As this dad wrote:
Upon questioning my daughter I was able to determine the video presented was the documentary Bullied. My wife and I spent the next several minutes apologizing to her that she was forced by her school to view the material … I should note the school was diligent in requiring written parental approval for my daughter to view a specific rendition of Star Wars, but the Administration need not trouble the parents over [these] materials. The material was not all that timely for our child either since we had to define for her the terms “homo” and “fag” at our dinner table.
There is no doubt about it; the “bullying” theme is agenda-driven propaganda. [emphasis theirs]. The irony is that groups like Equality Arizona and GLSEN have chosen this issue to bully you and me into allowing them access into our schools and to our children. To express concerns about anti-bullying bills is portrayed in the most unfavorable light.
These bullying bills are not sound public policy. Not only are they a thinly veiled attempt to allow political groups into our schools, they also divert the focus of our school system off the fundamentals. Class time should be for reading, writing, and arithmetic.