Worth Reading'It is not the school's role to 'affirm' perceived personal sexual orientation'
By Bob Unruh
A professional organization for pediatricians has dispatched letters to thousands of school superintendents across the United States with a warning that promoting â€“ or "affirming" â€“ the homosexual lifestyle to young children can damage them.
The letter was sent just days ago by the American College of Pediatricians, a nonprofit organization funded by members and donors, to school superintendents that tells them plainly, "It is not the school's role to diagnose and attempt to treat any student's medical condition, and certainly not a school's role to 'affirm' a student's perceived personal sexual orientation."
Further, schools can create a "life of unnecessary pain and suffering" for a child when they reinforce a behavior chosen out of a child's "confusion."
"Even when motivated by noble intentions, schools can ironically play a detrimental role if they reinforce this disorder," said the letter, signed by Dr. Tom Benton, the organization's president.
The group also has created a website called Facts About Youth as a resource for school officials to obtain the facts from a "non-political, non-religious channel."
Officials with the College of Pediatricians told WND today that the effort is to counter information delivered to the same schools in 2008 in a brochure called "Just the Facts About Youth and Sexual Orientation" that was sponsored in part by the American Psychological Association.
The brochure, the College of Pediatricians said, "omits critical facts and makes recommendations that are refuted by decades of scientific research and extensive clinical experience."
"Most alarmingly," the College of Pediatricians website said, "the recommendations offered will place young people at increased risk of grave psychological, emotional, and physical harm."
The new letter to more than 14,000 superintendents nationwide and the creation of the website presents to educators a message that is in conflict with a long list of other influences, including a move that would create special affirmations to students expressing a gender identity issue that is being considered at the congressional level.
California long has maintained teaching standards that affirm homosexual behavior. According to the Campaign for Children and Families, a new legislative plan in the state, ACR 82, could be used to punish children who violate school-enforced "discrimination-free" zone rules regarding transsexuals, homosexuals and others.
The family organization warned that the pending plan, "by labeling children's support of traditional marriage, natural gender roles, the Bible, etc, as 'hate,' 'intolerance,' and 'discrimination,' ACR 82 would punish students â€“ as well as teachers and parents on campus â€“ who simply support natural family values."
Such policies are rampant in the United Kingdom, where officials confirm that children as young as 5 years old could be labeled "offenders" for their playground comments about family values.
Even further, officials in Maine are considering rules suggested by homosexual advocates that would require all schools to allow students â€“ male or female â€“ access to the restroom and locker room of the gender with which they "identify."
The "Facts" website addresses the science behind the "development of non-heterosexual attractions and gender confusion in youth" as well as the school's proper role with students who has "sexual orientation and gender confusion issues."
"Rigorous studies demonstrate that most adolescents who initially experience same-sex attraction, or are sexually confused, no longer experience such attractions by age 25," the letter to schools said. "In one study, as many as 26 percent of 12-year-olds reported being uncertain of their sexual orientation, yet only 2-3 percent of adults actually identify themselves as homosexual."
Educators should take note, then, that "the majority of sexually questioning youth ultimately adopt a heterosexual identity," the letter explains.
Even children with Gender Identity Disorder, in which a child believes he or she wants to be the opposite sex, most lose that desire after a few years "if the behavior is not reinforced," the website said.
"In dealing with adolescents experiencing same-sex attraction, it is essential to understand there is no scientific evidence that an individual is born 'gay' or 'transgender.' Instead, the best available research points to multiple factors â€“ primarily social and familial â€“ that predispose children and adolescents to homosexual attractions and/or gender confusion," the website said.
For those with such influences, therapy is helpful, the letter said.
"The National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) recently released a landmark survey and analysis of 125 years of scientific studies and clinical experience dealing with homosexuality. This report, 'What Research Shows,' draws three major conclusions: (1) individuals with unwanted same sex attraction often can be successfully treated; (2) there is no undue risk to patients from embarking on such therapy and (3), as a group, homosexuals experience significantly higher levels of mental and physical health problems compared to heterosexuals," the letter said.
Among the dangers facing young children pointed toward and affirmed in a lifestyle of same-sex behavior, are "higher rates of sexually transmitted infections, alcoholism, substance abuse, anxiety , depression and suicide."
"Public schools can harm students by suggesting that same-sex attractions are natural and unchangeable," said Mathew Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel and dean of Liberty University School of Law.
"Research shows that youth who experience sexual confusion often do so only for a temporary period. To suggest to a student that temporary sexual confusion means the person is homosexual can be damaging and harmful," he said.
Den Trumbull, vice president of the pediatricians' organization, said there are too many situations in which "misinformation or incorrect assumptions are guiding well-intentioned educators to adopt policies that are actually harmful to those youth dealing with sexual confusion."