Right Wing Rages Over Reports a School Forced Same-Sex Kiss
An anti-bullying campaign at Upstate New York middle school have some parents upset after learning their daughters were instructed to ask each other for a kiss, the Poughkeepsie (New York) Journal reports.
A group of students from Bard College, a private liberal arts school in Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y., 37 miles north of Poughkeepsie and two hours from New York City, led an anti-bullying campaign at Linden Avenue Middle School in Red Hook, N.Y. Red Hook is a town in the mid-Hudson Valley, which shares the same name as a Brooklyn, N.Y., neighborhood.
Paul Finch, superintendent of the Red Hook Central School District, told the Journal that the intent of the presentation was to improve culture, relationships, communication and self-perceptions. He added that these are issues schools must discuss under New York’s Dignity for All Students Act.
The act mandates local school districts to work on creating a safe and supportive environment, free from discrimination, intimidation, taunting, harassment and bullying.
Students from Bard created the workshop in tandem with Linden Avenue Middle School Principal Katie Zahedi and guidance councilors. The lesson plan included role-playing on how to say no peer pressure and education on gender identity and sexual orientation.
The college students led two groups with the students separated by gender. During the workshops, middle-school students learned LGBT-friendly vocabulary such as "pansexual" and "genderqueer." Parents were angered that they were not notified about the workshop.
Some were extremely upset after learning instructors told female students to ask each other for a kiss. Mary Coon, a parent of an eight-grade student, said that her daughter was uncomfortable during the lesson.
The Christian News Network reported that she told had her mother, "Mom, we all get teased and picked on enough; now I’m going to be called a lesbian because I had to ask another girl if I could kiss her."