The large high school I teach at is planning on having the students sign the Anti-defamation League’s “No Place for Hate” pledge, which is a promise to take no part in, and to act against, forms of prejudicial hatred. The pledge as worded is not explicitly objectionable (I’ve pasted it below). It is a rewording of a previous ADL pledge which included views disagreeing with homosexuality as “hatred” (naturally terming this “homophobia”). Homosexual rights has long been part of their mission.
Long story short: I wrote to the principal that to have the kids sign ANY sort of oath “gives me the creeps.” I said that the ADL’s well-established view of what they consider “hatred” makes this the kind of thing that should be presented to parents first. It’s “parents’ territory.”
Few colleagues see any issue here, understandably. The utter lack of affirmation by anyone I’ve talked to makes me question my position more than I otherwise would.
Perspectives and comments, please? (Thank God for this forum).
[FONT=Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif]Resolution of Respect
I pledge from this day forward to do my best to combat prejudice and to stop those who, because of hate or ignorance, would hurt anyone or violate their civil rights. I will try at all times to be aware of my own biases and seek to gain understanding of those who I perceive as being different from myself. I will speak out against all forms of prejudice and discrimination. I will reach out to support those who are targets of hate. I will think about specific ways my community members can promote respect for people and create a prejudice-free zone. I firmly believe that one person can make a difference and that no person can be an “innocent” bystander when it comes to opposing hate. I recognize that respecting individual dignity, achieving equality and promoting intergroup harmony are the responsibilities of all people. By signing this pledge, I commit myself to creating a community that is No Place for HateTM.