The following comes from a September 24 story in Philanthropy Daily.
Schools, private and government-run, are one of the strongest shapers of civil society — and the ACLU is one of the biggest bullies in school. They recently went into overdrive in their campaign to squash single-sex education, whether it’s just a classroom in a co-ed school, or worse, a whole school building dedicated to this purpose, even though these schools number a few hundred out of 99,000 government-run schools across the country.
For now, they’re targeting government schools, because that’s the easier path through the courthouse battlegrounds, but as a father whose oldest child attends a private boys’ school, I squirm to think how easily the ACLU could march into Henry’s school, bellowing orders and pushing us parents around.
If you read their angry press releases, their bullying letters to principals and school boards, and their legal briefs, you see that the ACLU rarely speaks explicitly of government schools. Its grandiose arguments claim that single-sex schooling violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution, period; so it’s not hard to imagine lawsuits one day attacking private schools for unconstitutional “sex segregation.”
The ACLU insists that educators separate the sexes in school only because they want to teach “outdated gender stereotypes,” based on discredited science, in order to discriminate (against which sex isn’t quite clear, as we’ll see).
The Union’s arguments against single-sex schooling deserve rebuttal, but first let’s recall all the reasons it’s preposterous for the ACLU to thump its chest and claim the mantle of Protector of Children. First, the ACLU has for decades been soft on kiddie porn. Usually the Union can bear the idea of making the actual abuse of children a crime, but it will oppose criminal prohibitions on selling, distributing, and possessing kiddie porn (see William Donohue’s The Politics of the American Civil Liberties Union for the full story).
Similarly, my friend Deroy Murdock, a gay black columnist, reported on the ACLU’s role in the gruesome case of ten-year-old Jeffrey Curley, murdered and then molested by two men who had studied the National Man-Boy Love Association’s instructional literature. Murdock concluded, the ACLU has offered material support to those who openly preach pedophilia and arguably encourage kidnapping, rape, and murder.
If you think children in their mothers’ wombs deserve protection, the ACLU is not your man. In fact, if you think a child almost completely delivered from her mother’s womb deserves protection, don’t look for help to the Union, which has staunchly opposed all regulation of partial-birth abortion. And if you worry that a teenage girl deserves protection from an older man who commits statutory rape, impregnates her, and then tries to take her across state lines for an abortion without her parents’ knowledge or consent — again, the ACLU is not about to protect your daughter; it’s on the man’s side.
There’s much more. Remember Elian Gonzalez, the Cuban boy whose mother and step-father died in a desperate attempt to flee Cuba? The ACLU sided with Attorney General Reno, famous for using a SWAT team to yank the six-year-old lad from his Miami relatives in order to send him back to Cuba’s civil liberty paradise. And before that, in the 1980s the ACLU demanded that the federal government force 12-year-old Walter Polovchak to go back to the Soviet Union, even though the boy pleaded to stay in America, rather than face persecution by the Communist Party for his religious beliefs. Polovchak was staying with fellow Ukrainians in Chicago, and Illinois law said “the best interests of the child” should prevail. So the ACLU fought to have courts throw out that standard as unconstitutional.
Interestingly, soon after Polovchak gained attention, the ACLU took the exact opposite position in a similar case that involved sending a child back to Chile, then under a far-right despot. If you’re surprised by this seeming inconsistency (right-wing tyrannies bad/left-wing tyrannies like Cuba and the USSR good), you haven’t read Aaron Wildavsky’s penetrating Foreword to Donohue’s ACLU book. Wildavsky, for many years a member of the ACLU and a prominent political scientist – he chaired his department at U.C. Berkeley – was no crude right-winger. But eventually he realized
the ACLU was never what I thought it was, an organization standing up for people whose civil liberties were threatened by the passions of the time.
The ACLU has always been what Donohue says it is: an organization committed to a shifting agenda of substantive policy change as dictated by the political perspectives of its most active members.
Those members’ perspectives, of course, are hard left. And so, to continue our litany of anti-child positions held by the ACLU, let’s recall its harassment of the Boy Scouts for alleged sins of anti-atheism and heterosexism (see my CRC colleague Patrick Reilly’s report, “War on the Boy Scouts”).
The Union also fiercely opposes school choice programs, even when no government funds go to private schools (as in Arizona’s tax credits, recently upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court), and when low-income children are proven to benefit (as in D.C.’s voucher program).
Then there are the Union’s attacks on numerous policies that promote discipline in schools. For instance, Newark had a program to deal with its severe truancy problem, and no less liberal an institution than the New York Times applauded it, but the ACLU demanded it be stopped. The Union likewise sees the mailed fist of fascism in dress codes, even though Long Beach, California officials found that fights, assault and battery, sex offenses, and robberies declined after they adopted a dress code, while rates of attendance improved.
Worse, in 1986 Detroit saw one child shot on average every day, and it also saw the ACLU use the courts to force schools to abandon random searches for weapons. It goes without saying the ACLU has also worked to eliminate the use of paddling or restrictions on speech in grade-school student publications.
And that’s not the end of the ACLU’s knocking around of schools. If – thanks in part to the ACLU’s “success” in hindering a school’s ability to maintain decorum – that school then has to suspend or expel unruly students, the Union will sweep down upon it yet again and scrutinize the race and ethnicity of students who are punished, looking for signs of “disparate impact.”
To read entire story, click here.