As a public school teacher, I’ve been calling for the reversal of the “open forum” ruling on student backpacks for quite some time, including this little blurb in the 5th paragraph of an XGW article last March. As far as I’m concerned, backpacks should be used to carry materials to and from school which pertain explicitly to the education of the student as outlined in the school’s curriculum and implemented by the student’s teacher.

Instead, we have the once again upheld “open forum” ruling which allows any Tom, Dick, Harry, or PFOX organization to print up flyers and send them home in the interest of free speech for all community groups. The lawyers representing PFOX refer to them as

“a community outreach program to people involved in homosexual behavior”

and says they provide

“support to children and families of children with same sex attraction”.

And this is an appropriate sort of flyer to send home in the backpacks of elementary school children? Long gone are the days when little Suzy and Johnny arrived home with nothing more than a book, a math page, and possibly information about signing up for Karate, Girl/Boy Scouts, or a community sport. Suzy and Johnny can now arrive home with information letting them know it’s possible to “overcome” their unwanted same sex attractions and encouraging their parents to seek “help” for them.

A backpack is a tool to be used for the purposes of the school and it’s curriculum; it is not the place for promoting unproven, unsupervised, and overwhelmingly harmful psychological techniques.

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