Friday, June 03, 2005

County Council of PTAs Resolution Against CRC

The Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum used PTA student directories to send mass-mailings to homes of families with kids in the schools that were going to used in the sex-ed curriculum pilot testing. The Montgomery County Council of PTAs considers that a breach of their regulations, and has written up a resolution, which was passed by the council Executive Board last night.

So far, the CRC's response to these complaints has been to ignore them. It appears that they believe that their mission is so important that it is necessary sometimes to break the rules in order to alert parents to the grave danger their children would suffer if they were to learn about gay people.

Here's the resolution, as it was passed:
Resolution Adopted By The MCCPTA Executive Board June 2, 2005

WHEREAS each school year the local PTA units of the Montgomery County Council of PTAs (MCCPTA) typically compile and publish student directories that include personal and potentially sensitive information such as the names, street addresses and telephone numbers of students whose parents have agreed to have such information included, and

WHEREAS by common knowledge and accepted practice these directories are intended exclusively for the private use of the PTA and the local PTA communities to facilitate communication within their communities, and are not intended to be used for any other purpose, and

WHEREAS the president of an organization calling itself the Citizens for Responsible Curriculum (CRC) has privately to conceded to MCCPTA officers that CRC surreptitiously obtained copies of selected student directories and used the information in these directories to develop a mailing list for a purpose inconsistent with the intended or appropriate use of the directories, and

WHEREAS this misuse of student directories by CRC has caused substantial concern among parents within the affected PTA communities, and

WHEREAS the PTAs in the affected communities are justifiably concerned that fears about potential future misuse of student directories could lead parents to withhold student directory information, thereby impairing a critical PTA asset,

NOW BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that the MCCPTA Executive Board objects in the strongest terms to the misuse of student directories by the CRC, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the MCCPTA Executive Board strongly believes that the CRC should respond promptly and completely to all questions and concerns raised by local PTA units about the sources and intended uses of their student directory information, specifically identifying any instances in which this information may have already been sold or otherwise made available to another individual or entity, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the MCCPTA Executive Board strongly believes that the CRC should agree in writing to cease using information obtained from PTA student directories, and to return to the affected PTAs all copies of their directory information now in the possession of CRC, in whatever form the information may exist, or certify in writing that this information has been destroyed, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the MCCPTA Executive Board strongly believes that CRC should concede in writing that its use of student directory information was inappropriate and agree that it will refrain from any future similar use of PTA student directory information.

In a letter to The Gazette on May 18th, the CRC's secretary wrote:
We make no apologies, and defend our actions as the right thing to do in light of the judge's clear ruling on the pilot.

In other words, the ends justified the means.

Let's watch where this one goes. One senses an impending train-wreck.

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