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Alabama Education Official Warns Of 'Homosexualist' Common Core Takeover

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 8/11/2015 Mollie Reilly

Betty Peters. © Alabama State Department of Education Betty Peters. © Alabama State Department of Education An Alabama Board of Education member is drawing criticism for making a number of outlandish claims about the Common Core during a recent GOP luncheon.

Betty Peters, the state school board member for District 2, in the southeast part of the state, spoke at a meeting of the Republican Women of Coffee County Oct. 21 during which she espoused views on the Common Core, "transgender values" and the "homosexualist" takeover of education in Southern states.

Peters tore into the Common Core standards as an example of federal overreach and claimed the program allows "homosexualists" to influence schoolchildren, The Southeast Sun, a newspaper based in Enterprise, Alabama, reported this week.

“I understand Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi are the three Southern states targeted by the radical, left, homosexualists to change our students’ perspective,” Peters said, according to the Sun. “We have gone past gay, lesbian and bisexual and we're now into gender fluid spectrum.”

"As I said when I first campaigned and I’ve said it every time since, we need to get back to the basics: Reading, writing and arithmetic from first grade on," Peters continued. “We need to be teaching the ‘c’ part which is Christian values, not Muslim values, not transgender values. We need to be teaching the old Biblical values."

When asked to clarify why she believes Southern states are being targeted by liberals and the LGBT community, Peters said in an email that she did not have time to reply in detail, but sent The Huffington Post a link to this article.

The Republican Women of Coffee County did not immediately return a request for comment.

Alabama's education board approved the Common Core in 2010. The educational standards, aimed at improving math skills and literacy nationwide, are a frequent target of conservatives who have often claimed the program is a liberal scheme to nationalize education.

Peters also made a puzzling critique of the Southern Poverty Law Center, a national hate-group watchdog. According to Peters, the group is distributing coloring sheets featuring different clothing items and asking children to color in which clothes they want to wear in an attempt to "teach tolerance for transgenderism to four to eight year olds."

“The Southern Poverty Law Center is going to be developing your children or grandchild or neighbors’ children into little social activists for social justice, as they define it, or else transgender stuff," she said. "You will notice these are called outfits. I have never asked my son or my husband what 'outfit' they are going to wear. This is just crazy. I think all this stuff is mainly written by whacky feminists." 

Peters' claims have drawn criticism from LGBT activists.

"It read just like an article from The Onion, only it really happened," Equality Alabama spokesman West Honeycutt wrote in an AL.com op-ed

Peters, who has served on the state school board since 2003, previously made headlines for her controversial call to remove a novel by Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison from school reading lists, claiming the book was pornographic.

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