Christian public school teacher

I live and work in the New Jersey public school system. The trend in our public school is very much anti Christian. This is not so much in an overtly callous way, but trends are coming that make me anxious and seeking some sound advice.

The LGBT+ agenda is soon to be heavily incorporated into public education curriculum. History classes will, starting next year, have mandatory units on LGBT+ history. I teach English. Soon our curriculum will follow suit and we will be encouraged, if not mandated to teach titles that support and promote the LGBT+ agenda. As a Christian who wants to stand firm on biblical values, but as a teacher and educator who wants to show the love of Christ to all students, what am I to do? To resist teaching certain novels or poems would label me as a bigot and not supportive of students and individuals who may identity under certain labels.

Just looking for some counsel.

Thank you.

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I think you can teach on something without agreeing with it. I believe there is a difference. In college my professor had to teach us about how Christianity affected history. Because it’s so big there was no way historically around it. That didn’t mean he agreed with the Christian values but he educated us nonetheless.

Now I would be worried if in history class they were talking about orgies or something of that nature but to talk about a person in history who was homosexual that’s already being done in my opinion when people teach about ancient Greece.

A few questions I have for you to get a better understanding of your situation would be how can English include an LGBT agenda? What exactly crosses the line into forcing a belief? And what parts do you think forces you to affirm those beliefs you disagree with?

I think the line is crossed with things like this when it’s being forced to teach that morally the behavior is okay. It’s very possible to educate on a situation or topic without agreeing morally with it. Personally I think it forces Christian parents to educate themselves and have conversations with their children about Christianity and homosexuality. It forces you to become informed so that you can address something that you can’t hide your children from forever. Eventually when they go out into the world this along with other things will be an obstacle they will face. It’s better they have foundation and safety of home now verses dealing with this issue later without that support.

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@cironed what a question you have asked. I am a school principal and face similar challenges to what you have mentioned. I do not have a clear answer for you. All I can advise is that you do need to determine what you will do now, not when it happens. You are doing the right thing by seeking advice and praying about what to do now.
There are two sides to this coin. Firstly, like Daniel in Babalon or Joseph in Egypt you are in a place where God wants to use you.
Secondly, there is your conscience and your own personal relationship with God. You need to find out what he wants you to do here.
I am praying for you brother as you figure out how to navigate this difficult situation.

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With you Daniel! @cironed
My husband is a high school History teacher- and while his school has not said they are incorporating the LGBT+ agenda into curriculum- it’s already so prevalent in the clubs at school, etc. I’d imagine curriculum would be next. I never thought he’d be asked to teach about it in his History class!
But- makes sense!

This is a hard one- can we teach about it for the sake of historical education? At what point does educating about LGBT+ cross the line into affirming it??

I’m going to share this post with my husband tonight… Jersey is not that far from where we live in PA. (and if it’s happening in some states- the rest are sure to follow).

Prayers for you today, Daniel! Thanks for sharing…

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Thank you all so much for your replies and prayers. For some clarification, we are heading into an environment in education that affirms, for example, characters in stories that are questioning their gender. We as teachers of such literature would be expected to affirm this character’s “search for identity.”

If texts such as this are pushed into the agenda, I wouldn’t feel comfortable teaching it since I believe gender is absolute and comes from God.

This is just one example of the predicament.

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I’ve really enjoyed this thread. Been thinking about it this week and praying for you!

As a product of public schools myself, I’ve struggled with understanding the right time to speak up and not around peers, and how to do so. My church’s stance on homosexuality was honestly a major stumbling block to me in accepting the truth in Christianity. I’d never heard Christian marriage defined in light of pointing us towards Christ’s relationship with the Church – and I “grew up in the church.” A teacher on the other side of the curriculum called out me/all Christians and accused us of cherry-picking the Bible’s commandments and not loving our neighbor as much. I thought his argument held weight–because I fundamentally didn’t understand marriage. If we as Christians seemingly showed less love than non-Christians, then was Jesus actually real and transforming us? I know the majority of my peers have never heard marriage and relationships defined in the way I’ve heard from Sam Allberry and others at RZIM.

Looking back at my high school self, if I had a teacher who just once firmly and confidently shared their stance on the issue – and then loved us like no tomorrow – it at least would have planted a rock in my shoe and turned my head. In fact, watching how several of my Christian professors at school this year take care of/love their students was a major guide in my return to the faith.

Curious how the start of the school year has gone for you?

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Hi, @cironed. I am very glad you brought this up, as my husband is a public high school teacher in California who will be affected by the ideology being introduced.

In this example, do you think you could do something with searching for identity? After all, all people do search for who they are and what it means to be human at some point in their lives in one way or another. The question is in what do our identities lie? Perhaps this could be a door of opportunity to help the students question this idea and think through the implications of placing one’s identity in different things (like gender). What do you think?

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Isn’t it just like the state boards to mandate more content and require teachers to do less with the core materials and critical subjects? As an educator my advice after praying, would be to find the weakest areas of prior standardized test results of the students with the skills that have the need for reinforcement or remediation and only use the materials that support your first mission. Work the hardest on the most important stuff for the kids. If you have the time left, then teach the extra stuff. If the other extra published material comes out that doesn’t fit what your classes need to score better, ask your team what to do. They are already anxious as you are to squeeze as much instructional time into each class that will produce measurable results. Put the burden of class time on student progress. See what happens.

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