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Elementary School Comes Under Prop. 8 Fire

California
Elementary School Comes Under Prop. 8 Fire

A Hayward, Calif., elementary school has come under fire by Proposition 8 supporters because a kindergarten teacher there asked her students to sign cards pledging not to use antigay slurs.

A Hayward, Calif., elementary school has come under fire by Proposition 8 supporters because a kindergarten teacher there asked her students to sign cards pledging not to use antigay slurs. The cards, provided by the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network as part of its National Ally Week last week, became a flash point in the debate over Prop 8., which would constitutionally ban same-sex marriage in California, on Tuesday when the ProtectMarriage.com coalition challenged the state's schools superintendent to a debate, the Associated Press reports. But the No on 8 campaign, which has used the superintendent, Jack O'Connell, in television ads, declined the opposition's offer.

The cards handed out at the Faith Ringgold Elementary School stated, "I am taking a stand for a safe and harassment-free school for all students, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. As an ally, I pledge to not use anti-LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) language or slurs."

The ProtectMarriage.com campaign linked the pledge-card event to the legalization of marriage equality. "Since the words 'between a man and a woman' have been taken out of the California laws, it has created a can opener for gay activists to take this kind of curriculum into our elementary schools -- not ninth grade, not 12th grade, but kindergarten," campaign spokeswoman Sonya Eddings Brown told the AP.

But the school district stood behind the teacher. "The Faith Ringgold teacher planned to teach students how to become an ally and conflict mediation," read a statement issued by the Hayward Unified School District. "We apologize for any misunderstandings, however, we support curriculum that teaches the diversity of our society and complies with all state laws." (The Advocate)

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