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Washington School District Teachers Asked to Bless Muslim Students

District Supt. Judy Martinson of the Dieringer School District in Lake Tapps, Wash., decided to implement guidelines, which were essentially written by Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a terror-linked group, on how to bless Muslim students in Arabic during Ramadan.

The Freedom of Conscience Legal Defense Fund (FCDF), a religious liberty advocacy group, sent a letter to Martinson reminding her that implementing these guidelines is unconstitutional because it endorses Islam to the exclusion of other religions and threatening a lawsuit if the district doesn’t revoke the so-called “Ramadan Policy.”

Daniel Piedra, executive director of FCDF, said, “A school district would never order teachers to ‘welcome’ Catholic students during Easter with ‘He is risen, alleluia!’ Singling out Muslim students for special treatment is blatantly unconstitutional.”

Ramadan, which celebrates the Muslim God Allah, began on Sunday evening, May 5 and ends Tuesday, June 4.

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California’s LGBT-Laced Sex Education Curriculum Sparks Debate

The California Department of Education approved a sex education curriculum for K-12 that further supports the LGBT sexual agenda.

In an official statement, California’s DOE tried to justify the program on moral grounds by suggesting that it is about “dispelling myths, breaking down stereotypes, and linking students to resources [that] can help prevent bullying, self-harm, feelings of hopelessness, and serious considerations of suicide.”

In reality, however, the curriculum teaches that even kindergarten-age children can identify as transgender, that masturbation is normal for middle-schoolers, and that the biological male-female sex binary should be challenged. Plus, students are not allowed to opt-out of any lessons that explain “gender identity” or cover discrimination against LGBT people.

Fortunately, there has been pushback. In Sacramento, during a public hearing on the curriculum, 200 protesters rallied outside. Patricia Reyes, mother of six, said, “It’s just scary what they are going to be teaching. It’s pornography. If this continues, I’m not sending them to school.” Opposition from parents and several organizations led to the removal of five books, one of which was recommended for transitional kindergarten through third-grade students that showed cartoon illustrations of male and female body parts and described the sex act. Another book for high schoolers on the original list described anal sex and bondage.

In the 12,000-student Rocklin School District, parents protested the sex education component that would incorporate the achievements of LGBT-identifying individuals by keeping some 700 students home from school.

“Not everything under the sun needs to be taught to our kids, with no moral judgment,” said Greg Burt, director of the California Family Council.

The final decision on curriculum choices lies with local school districts.

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Colorado’s Radical Sex Education Bill Moves Through Legislature

In 2013, Colorado enacted a controversial comprehensive sex education policy, but legislation has been proposed that will go even further.

Colorado’s radical, LGBT-friendly sex education bill, HB 1032, specifically prohibits religious, moral, and ethical perspectives on sex from being discussed in the classroom. That means teachers and students are not only prohibited from talking about abstinence, but also prohibited from excluding abortion when discussing crisis pregnancy options. Plus, it teaches children as young as nine years old details about LGBT relationships, including teaching them how to “consent” to sex acts.

There are also no provisions allowing parents to opt their children out of the instruction. In fact, parents don’t need to be notified when schools have lessons on gender expression and the like.

Says Autumn Leva of Family Policy Alliance and Debbie Chaves of Colorado Family Action in an op/ed for the Colorado Springs Gazette, “It’s beginning to look like Planned Parenthood’s fingerprints are all over this bill. It’s the perfect business model for them—develop a curriculum that encourages sexual interaction and experimentation between children, use lobbying and political capital to convince politicians to mandate the curriculum in schools, teach children about sex products at a young age, and ensure repeat customers.”

HB 1032 has already been passed through the Colorado House floor and is working its way through the Senate.

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Catholic High School Fights for First Amendment Rights

The Lyceum, a Catholic classical high school in South Euclid, Ohio, is fighting for its First Amendment rights in a lawsuit challenging a sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) non-discrimination ordinance passed by the South Euclid City Council in 2018 that does not include an exemption for religious or moral convictions.

The ordinance would severely impinge on the school’s faith-based beliefs about sexuality and marriage by potentially forcing the school to hire or enroll those who disagree with the school’s teachings. The school said it would rather close its doors than give in to this governmental meddling.

Administrators at The Lyceum attended several city council meetings trying to understand how the SOGI ordinance might affect the school but got no answers, so Alliance Defending Freedom filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of the school against the city challenging the constitutionality of the ordinance.

On its website, ADF notes, “Tolerance is a two-way street. Government officials are constitutionally bound to protect these freedoms even if their own personal beliefs about marriage and sexuality are different.”

Aaron Baer, president of Citizens for Community Values (CCV), a sister organization to FACT, said, “South Euclid passed one of the most offensive and egregious sexual orientation gender identity laws that I have ever seen, and Christian ministries across the country should take note of what these laws would mean to them.”

Ohio’s state legislature is currently considering state-level SOGI legislation called the Ohio Fairness Act.

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Tennessee Capitol Building

School Protection Act Slated for House Civil Justice Subcommittee Next Week

We expect next week to be quite busy as two bills initiated by Family Action of Tennessee are set to be heard by the House Civil Justice Subcommittee.

The first is HB 194 by Representative Bill Dunn (R-Knoxville). It was originally scheduled to be heard this week, but it was deferred for one week to address questions about how best to word the bill. The bill would require state court judges to let the two Speakers intervene into certain lawsuits to protect the people from de facto lawmaking by activist judges.

The second, HB 1274 by Representative Andy Holt (R-Dresden), will protect local school boards from vexatious and expensive lawsuits over policies regarding the use of locker rooms/restrooms based on biological sex. The bill would allow the school to have the state’s attorney general represent them or, if representation is declined, be reimbursed by the state for its defense costs.

None of the other bills we told you about last week were favorably acted upon. Specifically, HB 1029 by Representative Susan Lynn (R-Mt. Juliet), referred to at the Trigger Bill because it would operate to ban most abortions in Tennessee if Roe v. Wade is overturned, failed in the House Public Health Subcommittee by a vote of three in favor and four against. The Senate companion bill, SB 1257 by Senator Dolores Gresham (R-Somerville), is on the Senate Judiciary Committee calendar next week, although it would be unusual for the Senate to act given the action of the House subcommittee.

Also on the Senate Judiciary Committee calendar for next week is SB 1236 by Senator Mark Pody (R-Lebanon), which is the heartbeat bill prohibiting most abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected.

Finally, after discussing HB 1 by Representative Rick Staples (D-Knoxville) for more than an hour, the House State Committee delayed action on it for at least another week. This is the bill that would authorize sports betting. Meanwhile, the Senate companion bill, SB 16 by Senator Steve Dickerson (R-Nashville), passed out of the Senate Government Operations Committee with a negative recommendation. It is scheduled to be heard in the Senate State and Local Government Committee next week.

Read about all the bills we are tracking


Will Burns is FACT’s Public Policy Director.

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