ChildCare Action Project:
Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP)
The Courage of a Daughter
This is an incredible report which speaks of the great courage of the daughter of Joel and Felicity Backman, written by the Backmans themselves. The Backmans' daughter took a step against school 'orders' and informed her parents of the inappropriate sex education at her school. Oh, what a wonderful young woman to step forward and stand against the invasion of the liberals and pansexualists into public education. This accounting clearly exposes the attrocity their daughter (and many other public school students) was made to suffer for the hunger of radical liberalists to have their way with school kids.
This report also speaks of the courage of Joel and Felicity to fight for that which they know is right and to combat that which they know is wrong: to stand against the power of a school board and tell them exactly where they stand against the convictions of a family who loves Jesus and His Law. Let us praise God for the Backmans.
Take heart from this report and use it as a template to launch your own campaign against the creeping crud of increasing sexual content in public education.
Thomas A. Carder
ChildCare Action Project: Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP)
The Courage of a Daughter
Just before the end of the 1997 school year, our daughter, a senior, asked us to look at her classroom materials from a sociology course she was taking. It was a unit called "Human Sexuality" and we were totally astonished at the sexual explicitness of the material. In 14 pages on "Human Sexuality" there were over 50 direct encouragements to experiment sexually, including via group masturbation, (instructions of some masturbation techniques included) heterosexual intercourse, oral intercourse (with extremely detailed description of how to do this, male or female), and homosexual intercourse, which would include sodomy, and with the advice that those too young or shy to approach those of the opposite sex yet, just explore learning how to give and receive sexual pleasure with others of their own gender.
The book used in this section (photocopied from the book) was The Teenage Body Book,which was just recently reprinted. Information on the new edition is available from TCAN. There were also over 30 pages devoted to the topic of homosexuality, with every effort made to promote this lifestyle as a healthy, viable choice. The message was mixed; at some points the assertion was that people are born "gay"; (no conclusive data provided); at other points, it's just a choice, and you can't tell if it's for you until you try it....more than once, of course.
There was even literature that stated that two lesbians make for a more nurturing relationship that a heterosexual one, as women have been found to be more nurturing in general (no data provided). Needless to say, we were astonished, sickened, and outraged. Our daughter had made a pledge, along with 20,000 other teens at a Washington for Jesus rally in 1994, to abstain from sex until marriage. She's gone steady with the same boy since age 16, and he shares the same values. She had made a point of not exposing herself to lewdness, vulgarity, or overly explicit sexual information, aside from what's constantly forced on us all if we own a TV or ever attend a movie.
We also found that the class had been given, as 25% of the total grade for the course, a journal assignment, in which they were to write about their feelings, opinions, questions, etc., concerning any of the class material, or any other matter they might want to discuss. They were warned in writing not to share their writings with anyone, and not to show the teacher's written responses to anyone.
Our daughter showed us a page from her journal in which she had been responding to questions about alcohol habits in her extended family. She had mentioned that she had some relatives who had been heavy social drinkers. To our shock, the teacher had replied, "Unless your parents have had or are receiving counseling, you are living in a dry family." We were already aware that this teacher considered herself the confidante and counselor of many students. We did not think she would go so far as to make diagnoses and prescribe treatment for students, and without parental notice or input. We had never even actually met the woman!
On June 18, 1997, we went before the school board to read a statement detailing some of the course content. Most of the board members were absolutely embarrassed, and publicly apologized for what our daughter had been exposed to.
The local newspaper referred to our written statement in terms of "the Backman's claim" that such and such happened, and ignored the fact that we were referring to specific, written, required reading material. Various officials of the schools were quoted as making vague comments such as "some things (our comments) were taken out of context", and "some things were not factual." We asked for a written list of what those things might be, and have, to date received no reply.
Over the next several weeks the paper, always supportive of the liberal outlook, ran many letters to the editor expressing outrage that we would dare to assault the wonderful teacher that had been such a special friend to so many students, and anger that the school board would have expressed disapproval of any of her teaching methods or materials. We read that we had raised our children in the dark and prevented them from knowing the realities of life and were trying to force our twisted religious views on everyone else's children. A few writers were supportive of us.
How did we feel about this? We were basically untouched, as the Lord had clearly told us to proceed with making our concerns public. When being obedient to God, one takes whatever flack might come one's way, and trusts God to protect and defend His own.
Meanwhile, the school board was refreshingly ready to do something to avoid such a calamity in the future, and appointed a committee to investigate the course and our concerns. We realized that it was a glaring conflict of interest for them to appoint the Director of Curriculum to investigate curriculum abuses, but decided to let the committee do its work and see what they found.
Unsurprisingly, they stated in a twenty-two page report to the board that they had not really found anything wrong. At the same time, they wrote twelve recommendations to the board that clearly showed they found plenty wrong, and wanted to do what they could to prevent such abuses in the future. We were told by one teacher on the committee that no one in the administration would ever admit to having allowed anything wrong to happen. (They must be aware of the legal implications of doing so). But at the same time, she agreed, as did the rest of the committee, that some changes must be made, and she thanked us for bringing these things to the attention of everyone.
To make a long story short, the school board has to-date accepted the report of the committee and has publicly stated that they intend to use the recommendations therein to write their own policies. One board member amended the motion to accept the report by adding that "We also want to include the input and suggestions of the Backman's and their supporters in writing our policies." The Chairman of the Board stated (this is all on videotape) publicly at this meeting (August 20) and in the local paper, that the school system was extremely grateful to the Backman's and their supporters for bringing these serious problems to their attention; that it took a lot of courage to stand up and challenge an entire institution, and we had clearly paid a price and devoted our entire summer to dealing with it.
At the end of the meeting, several board members came to shake our hands and thank us personally for bringing these things out into the open. "It's high time someone did this" was one comment. "We're completely behind you in this" was another.
A short time later, two high school boys died in a tragic, single-car drunk driving accident; one of them was the older brother of the driver, who survived, and faces serious charges. The entire community was brought together as students organized a candlelight vigil on the statehouse steps that evening, and at the funerals for the boys. In both cases, some students were heard to remark that being in a church was a first-time experience for them. The presence of God was very real at these funerals, and we prayed that He would draw many of these kids into His Kingdom. These events took precedence in all of our lives; we have a son in the same grade as the boys in the accident.
At this point in time, we and a few close friends and supporters are quietly meeting with various board members, clarifying our concerns and what we hope to see happen at the policy level. We've written a statement of purpose that we intend to keep in mind as we become involved with the school board, basically stating that we want to "assist the schools in their efforts to provide a quality academic education while respecting the moral and ethical values of every student and his or her family". We hope that by encouraging the board and the administration to recognize that they really must operate by these guidelines, they will become more adept at developing courses and teaching methods that do not undermine the individual beliefs and lifestyles of any student. In the process of doing that, they will come face-to-face with the questions, "Why are we teaching this?" "How does it support the academic growth of the student?" and "Are we teaching this in a manner that promotes one moral or ethical belief over another, or undermines any known moral or ethical value system?"
We recognize that this all sounds too passive, too pie-in-the-sky for many of the people that are so concerned over what's happening in public education. And that may be true. However, we have set out to do the things that God shows us to do, at the level He's given us to do them, which is to act in love and sincerity too as we work with the school board to examine areas of our school that need clarification through written policy. We do live in the capital city of Vermont, and there is hope that we can make a difference here, in the local children's lives, and that other towns in Vermont will learn from our experience.
We remain interested in the various approaches being undertaken by so many, and supportive of much of them. But we have learned, over the past twenty-four years as followers of Christ, that He is very serious about calling us to do ALL things in love, and that His perfect love, operating through us, is the greatest weapon of all against evil. We, personally, fail miserably at portraying His love so much of the time. Yet, with people all over the country and in our town praying for us at the last board meeting, we felt His amazing presence there, and we found much favor with those that had at first seemed like enemies. One board member even tried to explain the feeling to us...."I've never felt this at any other board meeting....it's such a positive feeling....so peaceful....wow....it's great!" We didn't tell him right then that it was the presence of Christ. But perhaps in the ensuing days of talks with him and others, we'll have the chance to do just that.
We deeply appreciate the prayers and support of so many that we've met on the Internet. We also have been touched by the many people who thanked us for being so "courageous" and so willing to "take all that heat." We recognize the reasons people fear to do so, and have been in those shoes much of our lives. But God has "grown" us to the point that we want only to live for Him, and care not what others may think except that they smell the sweet fragrance of the Lord when we pass by.
We need continued prayer to stay with the on-going process of being truly involved in the school; we had previously paid very little attention to anything school-related except "Do you have any homework, sweetie?" We are in a sense guilty for what has been allowed to happen.
One final note: regardless of what the public schools have tried to do to our children (and they've had many wonderful, good teachers as well), our three children have all turned out to be beautifully humble, sincere, pure, Christian teens and adults (16, 18 and 26). We've always tried to let love be our guide, our purpose and our method, and they are now embracing the love of God in Christ as their own truth. We have committed ourselves to praying for the woman who taught this course; God has revealed the spiritual poverty of her soul to us, and we consider it an honor to pray for her. We encourage everyone else to do so with us.
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In the blessed name of Jesus:
Lord, Master, Teacher, Savior, God.
Thomas A. Carder
ChildCare Action Project: Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP)
©1997 ChildCare Action Project: Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP)