Jul 13, 2019 by

“Baylor University’s Literacy Program — or Indoctrination? Parents Beware!”

By Anne Newman

WB Daily


When parents enroll their children in a summer literacy program, it’s likely that they don’t expect them to see a film about the shooting death of a middle school student, to learn how to be “agents of change” for a political agenda, or to be indoctrinated with “tolerance” curriculum from the disreputable Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

In June 2019, children as young as age 11 in Baylor University’s Freedom Schools summer literacy program in Waco, Texas, were shown the film “Valentine Road: The Murder of Lawrence King,” an HBO documentary about 14-year-old Larry, who began wearing dresses, high heels, and make-up.

After Larry humiliated 15-year-old Brandon in front of his friends by asking him to be his valentine, Brandon shot Larry twice in the back of the head while in class.

[COMMENTS FROM DONNA GARNER:  Since the incident occurred 11 years ago on 2.12.08, this makes this film irrelevant for today’s youth and certainly should not have been used to scare adolescent children who attended the Baylor University Freedom Schools’ literacy program.  Over the last 10 years and the emergence of the ever-more aggressive LGBTQ agenda, students in today’s classrooms at every grade level and in almost every subject area are deluged with diversity education, gender discrimination, the dangers of bullying, and curriculum units on treating each other with respect.  Laws have been passed that require disciplinary mechanisms to be set in place for students/parents to report bullying and/or sexual discrimination that occurs during the school day or even online.  

Here are the details of what actually happened in the Murder of Larry King (a.k.a., Latisha King) who “outed” himself when he was 10 years old.  For years, “Latisha” King had been flamboyant about his sexuality at school by wearing female accessories such as high-heeled boots and women’s makeup.  He walked onto the basketball court in the middle of a game and publicly asked heterosexual Brandon “to be his valentine.”   Brandon, who came from a dysfunctional family, was humiliated terribly in front of his teammates, felt no support from the school authorities, and made the unfortunate choice of taking the situation into his own hands by shooting “Latisha.”  Brandon is serving 21 years behind bars. ]

The film would be troubling enough without the added controversial issue of transgenderism, especially for children still in the pre-adolescent period.  Even the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Educators Network (GLSEN) understand the disturbing nature of the film.  GLSEN’s viewing guide, created in partnership with HBO, warns that several scenes are “quite graphic” and “may be upsetting to some viewers,” such as “disturbing crime scene and morgue photos, violence and painful testimony.” The film “tells the story in striking terms, reviving painful memories and calling us all to action,” the guide states. It is not known if the Baylor program uses the GLSEN guide, which also advises the presence of a mental health professional and to “provide an ample supply of tissues because some will cry.”

The literacy program purports to use “culturally relevant” books and meetings with community guests so the children can learn “how to be agents of change in their local areas.” One such book, “Give a Boy a Gun,” is a novel about two boys stealing a small arsenal of guns from a neighbor and taking their classmates hostage at a school dance.

Last year, students were used to protest proposed federal budget cuts. This year, the children will be used for a Day of Social Action, which will focus on gun violence and awareness. I say “used” because young students do not have a very profound understanding of such complex issues.

The Freedom Schools’ program uses “Teaching Tolerance” materials from SPLC, an organization that says it focuses on “social injustice issues,” including “LGBT rights,” and emphasizes “anti-bias education in the areas of identity, diversity, justice and action.” Recently, SPLC has been under fire due to allegations of bias and discrimination within its own operation.

The Freedom School’s literacy program is a project of the leftist Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) in partnership with the Baylor School of Education, Waco ISD, Transformation Waco, Prosper Waco, and the City of Waco. The program uses pre-service teachers in the Baylor School of Education and is free to students, including field trips and meals. Transformation Waco, a nonprofit in-district partnership, was formed specifically to manage five chronically failing schools.

The executive director of Baylor’s Freedom Schools, Lakia M. Scott, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of curriculum and instruction in the Baylor School of Education. According to Baylor’s website, her work focuses on social issues in education like equity, social justice, race, gender, and social class.

Taxpayers are footing part of the bill for the “free” program held at J. H. Hines Elementary and Indian Springs Middle School for students who have completed 5th and 6th grades:  $285 of the actual $1,500 cost ($62,700 total), plus transportation costs for 7  field trips.

The latest data available from the National Assessment of Educational Progress shows that only 18% of 8th grade students are at or above proficiency in U.S. History. Surely, Baylor could find more inspirational and uplifting curriculum that would result in students becoming more literate about our nation’s history  and literary works instead of dark, inappropriate, and leftist-driven propaganda that is meant to prepare future activists for the social justice political agenda.

Baylor’s conservative founders must be turning over in their graves.


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