A religious freedom advocacy group commends a Wisconsin school district for apologizing for showing students what is described as a one-sided video that promotes same-sex marriage and attacks religious views to the contrary.
"Schoolchildren should receive an education that is free from ideological or political bias, and that does not disparage any of their beliefs," said Alliance Defending Freedom senior legal counsel Jeremy Tedesco. "Student indoctrination is inappropriate, especially on an issue as important as marriage. Students and parents deserve better. The district recognized its mistake and deserves to be commended."
Last month, students at Craig High School in the Janesville School District were shown a video that promotes same-sex marriage and condemns supporters of marriage between one man and one woman, according to ADF. The video shows students saying it is "insane" and "outrageous" that "only" 14 states (at the time the video was created) allow same-sex marriage.
According to ADF, the video also shows students responding to Christian objections to same-sex marriage. Responses included, "Cry me a river, build me a bridge and get over it;" "You guys are basic and nobody likes you;" and "No one cares what you think."
The letter from ADF explains that Janesville School District "rightly determined that showing the video contravened its Academic Freedom and Controversial Issues in the Classroom policies," and that the video's "disparagement of religious beliefs opposing same-sex marriage likely violated the Establishment Clause."
The letter also notes that the "Board of Education recognizes students' 'right to receive competent instruction in an atmosphere free from bias and prejudice.'" Moreover, the school's policy "affirms that '[a]lthough teachers have the right to express their own viewpoints and opinions, they do not have the right to indoctrinate students.'"
ADF litigation counsel Jonathan Scruggs added, "Schools are wise to take an unbiased and objective approach when teaching about controversial social issues. We commend the district for recognizing that the one-sided, anti-religious same-sex marriage video shown in class violated its policies and undermined parental authority. We hope more school districts follow their lead."
Alliance Defending Freedom describes itself as an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.