Group wants parents to boycott Harvey Milk Day

May 21, 2013 5:24:32 PM PDT
A statewide campaign is under way to keep kids home from California's public schools on May 22, a day designated to teach students about the contributions of openly gay San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk who was assassinated in 1978 at City Hall. Wednesday would have been Milk's 83rd birthday.

Public schools are encouraged to commemorate Milk on Harvey Milk Day, but a family values group called SaveCalifornia.com is running radio ads in certain cities, calling on parents to boycott the day by keeping their children home from school.

"They'll be taught an agenda that attacks our family values," one of the ads says.

"Children belong to their parents, not to the government. And so, if government schools are sexually indoctrinating children, it's up to the parents to number one, protect their children and two, protest and tell these schools don't do it again," says Randy Thomasson with SaveCalifornia.com.

Harvey Milk Day became state law in 2009 under Governor Schwarzenegger. Lawmakers wanted Californians to be more aware of the slain gay rights leader's accomplishments.

"Gay and lesbian people are not defined by their sexual orientation. We are defined by who we are and what we do and what we contribute to society," says Assemblyman Rich Gordon, chairman of the LGBT caucus.

It's hard to say how many parents will participate in the boycott, but schools lose funding when kids are absent, no matter the reason.

Heather Conley, an elementary school from conservative Yuba City, says all four of her kids are going to school on Harvey Milk Day. "Gay rights is going to be more accepted, and so I thikn it's just best they learn about it now, as they grow up,' she says.

On the other hand, Thomasson says, "That's traumatic for children, to be forced into this, to be made sexually uncomfortable by their own teachers and their own principal."

Another California law mandates that the next time textbooks are updated, gay history must be included.


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