Friday, July 08, 2005

Arkansas Gifted Program Angers Parents With Explicit Homosexual Curriculum

Arkansas Gifted Program Angers Parents With Explicit Homosexual Curriculum

By Jim Brown
July 7, 2005

(AgapePress) - A spokesman for Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee says students should not have been exposed to a sexually explicit play at a summer educational program for the state's gifted high school seniors.

Some parents of students at the Arkansas Governor's School (AGS) in Conway recently expressed outrage that their children were asked to read from the script of a homosexual soap opera called "Angels in America" and discuss it in class. Last month, a student who took offense at the play's frank talk of homosexual sex left AGS after just five days of the six-week summer program.

Chris Pyle, the governor's Family Policy Liaison, says the play violated the Arkansas Governor's School's policy on content standards for minors. He notes that the faculty member who presented the explicit material was evidently a new instructor at AGS who was unaware of these standards.

"He has since been made aware of the policy," Pyle says. "The director of the school has apologized to us that this material was used, and the faculty member will be apologizing to the students and will no longer be using this particular curriculum."

Several parents were angered by the "Angels in America" assignment, and Pyle agrees it was a large waste of state educational funding. "We were disturbed to hear that this was something being used at this school -- particularly in an environment where students may have felt like it was mandatory," the governor's spokesman says.

"And really," Pyle adds, "regardless of whether [the students] felt it was mandatory, we think that this is not something that taxpayer dollars ought to have been used for, and as soon as we heard about it, we immediately checked into it and took some action." He says the school has since expressed "serious regret" for subjecting teens to the homosexual play.

Iris Stevens, an Arkansas parent who removed her son from the AGS program several years ago, believes the state's summer school for academically gifted students was then and is now involved in what she calls "liberal brainwashing." Stevens says she was "appalled at what went on," and she advises parents "Don't -- don't trust that place with your children."

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