It's that time of year again, when angst-filled children nervously board buses and head back to school. But it's parents who have good reason to worry about sending their children back into the education establishment. A look at some recent education-related news stories is all the explanation needed:
• The ACLU is suing schools that use internet filters to block gay advocacy websites. The organization claims that the right to free speech is at stake, while traditional values groups argue that students would potentially have access to sexually explicit material. More details are available at The Washington Times.
• A school district in New Jersey put two required books on its summer reading list that included graphic descriptions of gay sex. One of the books, Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines, describes a homosexual orgy. The other, Norwegian Wood, contains a story of lesbian sex between a 13-year-old girl and a 31-year-old woman. Just before school was scheduled to start, the books were removed from the list. You can read more at the OneNewsNow website.
• Starting this year, students in California will be required to learn gay and lesbian history, thanks to a law passed in July. Gay rights advocates made their usual argument that it's all in the name of preventing bullying. The New York Times has more on the story.
• Elmhurst College, a small liberal arts school outside of Chicago, boasts that it's the first undergraduate program to ask students if they consider themselves "a member of the LGBT community." The question is optional, but students who answer "yes" might qualify for a scholarship. Slate reported the story.
• If we're lucky, this idea won't find its way across the Atlantic. In Switzerland, one town's elementary schools will start teaching sex ed to kindergarteners using a "sex box," which includes fabric models of human genitalia. Parents have reportedly flooded the school with complaints, but to no avail. They won't even be allowed to pull their children from those classes. LifeSiteNews has more on this story.
• In a bit of good news, the school choice movement is gaining traction as more states offer school voucher programs. Given all the above, it's no wonder parents are clamoring for options. The Catholic News Agency has details.