A national campaign encouraging kids to befriend other kids who are different from them has come under fire from a conservative family group, which claims a pro-gay agenda is being foisted upon American children.
The American Family Association has taken issue with the annual “Mix It Up” Day organized by Teaching Tolerance, the anti-bullying project of the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Maureen Costello, director of Teaching Tolerance, said the group started the national campaign 11 years ago, organizing it so that schools can participate on their own terms by encouraging students to sit with those they don’t normally hang out with during lunch.
“Hey, the cafeteria is in fact where kids tend to self-segregate,” she said. “We’re trying to get them past the idea that you have to distrust people in another group. So we started Mix It Up Day. For one day, kids will be assigned to randomly sit with other people who they wouldn’t normally sit with.”
Costello said that thousands of schools and millions of children have participated in the program over the past 11 years, and another 2,500 schools have signed up to participate this year.
But schools that had signed up with the SPLC to host Mix It Up Day this year have become the target of a campaign that views SPLC as a “fanatical pro-homosexual group.”
“The Southern Poverty Law Center is using this project to bully-push its gay agenda, and at the same time intimidate and silence students who have a Biblical view of homosexuality,” the AFA wrote on its website on Oct. 1.
Written By: Colleen Curry continue to source article at abcnews.go.com