I have never heard of Mix It Up at Lunch Day, which is scheduled for Oct. 30th. But it’s in its 11th year, after being started by the Southern Poverty Law Center in Alabama. More than 2,500 schools regularly participate and the originators claim it is intended as a way to break up cliques and prevent bullying by encouraging students to sit with other students who are not in their normal lunch bunch clique.
But apparently a conservative Christian group finds there’s more to it than that. According to the New York Times online, the American Family Association, a Bible-based cultural watchdog organization in Tupelo, Miss. with a mission to fight the “increasing ungodliness” in America, says it’s really an attempt to promote the “homosexual” agenda. And anyone who doesn’t want to participate, is pressured into it.
The group is urging parents to keep their children at home that day, even though the group that invented it says it has nothing to do with promoting any agenda. Gay students are not the only targets of bullying, it claims. There are plenty of reasons kids are bullied that range from their socio-economic status to body shape to ethnicity to religion.
But as usual, there is more to this story. The Law Center and the Association have been in a battle of their own–the former having labeled the American Family Association a “hate group” on par with neo-Nazis. It’s a label it denies, claiming that it really is a “truth” group.
In the crossfire, however, schools that normally participate in the day are cancelling it.