Tuesday, May 10, 2005

They Want More, More, More

Just gotta comment quickly on this article in today's Times: Curriculum foes press sex-ed suit. See, it seems that the guys who won the lawsuit against MCPS are not satisfied with winning the 10-day injunction they asked for. They want more.

And, well, I don't blame them. Last night on the train I read through the judge's remarks. And basically he laughed at most of their arguments. I mean, c'mon, some of it actually was dumb, like that schoolchildren are going to turn gay and die of AIDS because of this curriculum, stuff like that.

He objected to material from three teachers' resources. These resources attempted to give teachers some background on religious perspectives on homosexuality, and though what they said sounded pretty accurate, it is a constitutional issue, I suppose, when public-school teachers read this stuff. Well, I guess they can read it, but the district should not recommend it, that is the consitutional issue.

So here's The Times:
Court proceedings for a lawsuit against Montgomery County public schools' new sex-education course will go forward today even though Superintendent Jerry D. Weast suspended the curriculum last week.

"We're not backing away from this. We're amenable to resolving this with the school district, but we're going to push forward on this issue," said Erik Stanley, chief counsel for Liberty Counsel, a Florida-based Christian law group representing the groups that filed the lawsuit.

U.S. District Court Alexander Williams Jr. today will set a date for an evidentiary hearing in the case, unless the school system requests an extension of the temporary restraining order that he issued against the course last week.

Judith S. Bresler, attorney for the school system, said yesterday she had not decided on a course of action.

Let me express myself as a Montgomery County taxpayer, parent, and guy who has busted his butt trying to see that this curriculum is implemented.

Dear Ms. Bresler,



I'm sure that was effective.
The lawsuit was filed by Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum (CRC) and Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX), who said they filed last week only after the school board refused to meet with them, despite numerous requests.

Look, the school board has no obligation to meet with this wacko group. If they meet with CRC, then TeachTheFacts ought to insist on being there, too. Why should these nuts get a private hearing for their bizarre views, when the majority of non-wacko Montgomery County parents sit home and hear about it on TV?
Mr. Stanley said the judge's temporary restraining order could expire if the lawsuit is dropped, and the school system could then implement the curriculum.

CRC and PFOX have said they will not be content if the school system scraps teachers' resource pamphlets that Judge Williams found fault with and implements the rest of the new curriculum.

Ah, so it's the old monkey-trap, right? Where the monkey sticks his hand in the jar, and grabs a handful of cookies, and he gets trapped because he doesn't want to let go of them. CRC/PFOX like this winnin' stuff. Wooh, they want more ... more ... more...
David Fishback, chairman of the citizens advisory committee that approved the curriculum materials, said all "the materials cited [in Judge Williams' decision] were in background teacher-resource materials, which are not part of the curriculum."

Mr. Stanley, however, said another problem with the curriculum is that it teaches that "homosexuality is innate."

"You cannot pick a side and say ... that is fact because that is scientifically not true. We have gone after that, and we will go after that," he said.
Right, how could anybody choose between what every mental health, counseling, and psychological association in the country says, and Jerry Falwell's lawyers? I mean, what do a bunch of professors and scientists know about science, anyway?
CRC spokesman Steve Fisher said: "Our position all along has been to scrap the whole thing and start over from scratch."

And therein lies the rub. The judge didn't tell them they could start over. He didn't like the religious references in the teachers' resources, thought the rest of their case was ridiculous.

I wait eagerly to see if MCPS' lawyers find a way to lose this one.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ms. Bresler and MCPS would be well advised to use some unilateral action in dropping the 3 teacher resources. I'd like to see the Citizens' Advisory Committee convene a special meeting to consider recommending that the BOE drop those resources. Get them out so that the case is about bigotry vs. education.

May 10, 2005 11:57 AM  
Blogger JimK said...

Thank you Anon, I couldn't agree with you more. But I don't think anybody can do anything until this legal stuff settles down -- they can't know if the whole thing ends after 10 days, or the monkey tries to get the cookies.

May 10, 2005 12:06 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Theresa -- I love this. it is sometimes remarked by our side that the problem is one of binary thinking. If you're not "against abortion," you must be "for it." If you oppose abstinence-only education, you must support sexual experimentation and promiscuity among children ... and so on. We hear this junk all the time.

A consequence is that you see all kinds of incongruities, for instance, people saying they believe in a "culture of life" while they kill hundreds of thousands of civilians in a foreign country and execute record numbers of prisoners. But if they didn't say they believed in a "culture of life," to some weak minds that'd be the same as saying they believe in a "culture of death." So they gotta say it, even though it is nullified by their actions.

The issue has to do with the ambiguity of negation. Somehow, I don't expect to get very far discussing that here ... I'll just say, not all NOT-A's are B's, and not all NOT-NOT-A's are A's. Life is not binary.

But your example is perfect, thank you.

May 10, 2005 3:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone who ever thought this was just about the curriculum is mistaken. This has always been about a larger agenda of the conservative movement. Even if the disputed teacher resources are taken out -- which I agree they should be -- CRC/PFOX & Co. will keep trying to dismantle what's left...or at a minimum derail it as long as possible. Their lawsuit tried poking holes from every angle, from a "separate but equal" argument regarding the opt-out provision, to the curriculum's potential to cause increased rates of homosexuality and STDs. The only complaint that got any traction with the judge was the teacher resource one. But there's plenty more fodder waiting in the wings -- make no mistake.

With that in mind, my advice to you, Jim, and your TTF cohorts is not to get in the mud with the likes of Anons 1,2,3, "Bianca" and the rest. Their unprofessional, finger-pointing, diatribe is blatant evidence that this really is not a discussion about the curriculum. But the end result has been that the end users -- our children -- are denied access to it. If TTF is going to be the voice for those of us who support the curriculum, please take the high road, stay out of the mud, cease the name calling, and keep your eye on the goal so we can move forward collectively and effectively.

May 10, 2005 4:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, the judge only rejected one argument. He accepted the rest.

May 10, 2005 5:22 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Thanks for the advice, Anon, it's something I keep in mind all the time. But remember, this is a blog, not a courtroom or a classroom or even a living room. Some of what gets posted here is satirical or silly, some of what is said is inflammatory, on our side and theirs. There is a lot of information passing through this site, and some craziness -- I like to maintain a little bit of disorder here, so we all have the freedom to try out our ideas. This blog, in other words, is not the vehicle for "official statements" by any group, or anything. It's a place for person expression, wher we can discuss the facts of this situation, and I hope you enjoy it as such. (And I'll try to keep name-calling down to the absolute minimum necessary...)

May 10, 2005 5:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are absolutely right Gleeful -- and that is because the burden of proof is somewhat higher on that one argument. No where in the 22 page opinion did the judge ever imply that he thought our arguments were 'ridiculous'. This is just one more attempt by Jim to blur the line between his fantasy and the reality of the situation.

May 10, 2005 6:08 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Bianca -- when the judge says it would take too many leaps of logic to believe your theory ... that's as close to "that's ridiculous" as you're gonna see in a federal court.

May 10, 2005 9:18 PM  
Blogger andrea said...

Well, Jim.
we knew CRC wasn't really interested in the resources or even the video- it is getting their homophobic message to everyone- that being gay is a choice or a sickness. Let's hope that now their action is clear and as Anon 1. says here- about bigotry vs education(or science/medical based facts).


May 11, 2005 8:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why don't you checkout queerbychoice.com? There is a whole group of people out there that contend that they have CHOSEN homosexuality. This is just one of them. How can you argue it is NOT when there are people who ADMIT they have CHOSEN to be that way?

And saying that does not make us homophobic -- it only illustrates that you cannot tell kids that there is NO CHOICE IN THE MATTER of how they live their lives.

May 11, 2005 8:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just as some people "decide" to be gay, society forces some gay people into heterosexual relationships. Countless people are in unhappy marriages because one of the partners is gay. The existence of one group that says they choose to be gay does NOT outweigh the countless people I know and groups I know of that say they did not choose to be gay.

I urge everyone to read the brief filed by CRC. Their intense hatred of gays is the abomination here. They hate my fellow students, and I cannot allow that hatred to spread into my school. We have instituted a new curriculum to stop the spread of misconceptions and the use of "gay" as a curse word.

The hateful comments on this site should stop immediately. You are the people whose children should hear this revised curriculum. God forbid they should learn from your bigotry.

We shall overcome.

May 11, 2005 9:39 AM  
Blogger JimK said...

Theresa, you're right, it only took one bullseye to win.

Bianca, I have not doubt that a straight person can choose to engage in homosexual sex. Can't say I've been there, but I understand our prisons are full of that sort of thing. That says nothing about people who actually prefer to fall in love with someone of their own sex.

May 11, 2005 9:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

AMB, you have no idea what you are talking about. People are so quick to condemn the CRC -- without trying to understand our arguments. Well, I for one am glad the FEDERAL JUDGE understood exactly what we were talking about and evidently so did Dr Weast -- finally.

On another point Jim, we do not think it would be right, proper or helpful to try to change peoples' orientation against their will. This is not what the ex-gay community is about. It is about people who look for help in dealing with their own UNWANTED desires and if you could look past your own bigotry against ex-gays you might see that there is considerable scientific evidence to support them. Not to mention many ex-gays themselves who DO EXIST. The constant denigration of the ex-gay community shows the lengths the left and the NEA and GLSEN will go to in order to make themselves appear superior, to make their story the only story in town. It is not the case. The CRC's position is that some people can change and that should be acknowledged.

May 11, 2005 6:51 PM  
Blogger andrea said...

Bianca, AMB does know what he is talking about and so do I and we know what you are talking about as well. We understand the CRC is about homophobia and about pretending that not teaching the scientific truth, as proven in reviewed studies and by ethical doctors, will keep things the way you want to see them. People thought segregation was right-and they had lawyers and money and elected officials on their side too. Women didn't have the vote- and the people against suffrage had politicians and money and lawyers on their side. If only people stayed where they belong, acted the way they should, did what some people wanted them to do or say or be- gosh, life could be so good.

I highly doubt Weast sees "your" side- his move is purely politically expedient.
I support the curriculum- not the superintendent.

May 11, 2005 7:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If only people stayed where they belong, acted the way they should, did what some people wanted them to do or say or be- gosh, life could be so good."

That's exactly what you think about people who used to live a gay lifestyle isn't it Andrear? But they are a thorn in your side because you don't want them to exist -- in fact you would rather a teenager live the rest of his or her life unhappily as a homosexual because you would refuse them the voice to say "I do not want to live this way, someone please help me'. You would turn a deaf ear to that teenager, and THAT is deplorable.

I say, give them ALL the facts. And fact is, some people can and do change.

May 11, 2005 8:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You've never heard of 'LUGS' before?

(Lesbians Until Graduation)

May 11, 2005 8:10 PM  

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