Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Notes After a School Board Meeting

Just got back from the Board of Education meeting. I'll report more thoroughly tomorrow about the new plan for the citizens committee and how the new curriculum will be developed. In brief, it is clear that the lawsuit by the CRC and PFOX has essentially ripped the guts out of the citizens advisory committee. That committee, which actually developed the previous curriculum, will now review drafts that will be written by the school district. [Note: I am told that I have it a little wrong here. The previous "new" curriculum was prepared by a working group composed of some MCPS staff and some CAC members, and then was reviewed, modified, and recommended by the CAC] Doesn't look like they even review the final version, no authority, no yea or nay. Great Swarmy envisions the future:

MCPS: Here's what we did, folks, you like it?

CAC: No, it doesn't say anything about "ex-gays."

MCPS: OK, thanks, and here's your certificate of appreciation.

Some group, maybe it was CRC but I didn't recognize most of them, seemed to think they were staging a demonstration. I saw seven people holding signs that said stuff about "traditional families." At any given time, as many as five people would be holding their signs up where you could see them, mostly they just sat with them by the sides of their chairs.

I saw one person with a sign that said "Stop the videotaping." It was hard to read, because the "ing" was on a separate line. I don't really know what they meant by it, either, unless maybe they were just re-using a piece of cardboard from their last demonstration. Maybe they also belong to an anti-videotaping group. Maybe they really meant "Stop the videotaping." Because, you know, the board meetings are videotaped.

A number of people gave public comments in support of traditional families. Like, there's an issue for you: families. Ladies and gentlemen, I'm in favor of families and against crime. And sodapop in the drinking fountains. Vote for me. Board member Pat O'Neill made a beautiful statement on the subject, after public comments.

I'd heard ahead of time that the other guys planned to have eleven people speak, maybe they did. We had three, including David Fishback giving a rather important statement. More tomorrow.

One of their guys, again, spent his time attacking TeachTheFacts. The weirdest thing, he tried to make us look bad by connecting us to a group in Seattle that had a "screw abstinence" party. I don't know, we had a little discussion among some of us in email when we heard about that, and most of us thought the "screw abstinence" thing was kind of dumb.

As I recall, the guy's argument went like this:
  • (and more than 140 other groups) signed a petition protesting an HHS website that promoted abstience rather than safety*
  • A NARAL chapter in Seattle had a "screw abstinence" party
  • Is TeachTheFacts the kind of group you want on the citizens committee?

Oh yeah, they crushed us with that one.

I tried to record the meeting, it will be fun (I've got a new toy, a digital recorder) to see how the sound is. Tomorrow. Now, it's after eleven, and this old guy needs his nap.

[Note: edited for accuracy after listening to the recording.]


Blogger andrear said...

Well, Jim, as a TTF member, I certainly felt really bad about myself after that guy spoke-although I have never been to Washington State and had nothng to do with the program on which he was ranting. I'm sure his cogent arguments swayed the BOE. My interest was more on Steina Walter who claimed that Walter Johnson HS had the gall to allow a "homosexual" club to use its web address and when you went to the site, you got ads for hot gay men. So I went to the site(I am a straight,married woman-but I have nothing against gay men- especially hot ones). First, you get to the WJ page, then have to get to Student activities and then the various student activity pages. What comes up on my screen for this GLBT group called Outlook- a rather boring looking mission statement(no offense to the group- but I was looking for the shocking stuff) and some links to the group's activities and a resources page that has links. So WHERE is the hot gay guy stuff on WJ HS website? I gather that Ms. Walter was getting pop-up ads on her computer since I saw nothing. I will not accuse her of outright lying- just small knowledge of computers- but hey, why try to get facts and truth when you want to blast gay students.


July 28, 2005 8:27 AM  
Anonymous Tish said...

The text she was reading sounded like ad text, didn't it?

Those pop-up ads are something. My youngest child wants to respond to every one that says he has won something. My older son has seen a few of the dating service ads. It bothered me at first, because he wanted exact definitions of what was going on, but then I decided to use it to my advantage and I tell him that there are people who spend so much time on the computer that they don't know how to meet real people.

Pop-up ads run on the browser, not the host system. So who knows what Steina saw? Maybe she followed links to links and found the ads. The CRC should know the dangers of association--look at the groups you find when following links from their web site.

July 28, 2005 8:51 AM  
Blogger Kay2898 said...

Steina is referring to the Stop the Hate Link at bottom of front page for seems.

Steina also has way too much time on her hands.

Kay R

July 28, 2005 9:21 AM  
Blogger Kay2898 said...

It appears that the person who talked about TTF and other groups was Ben Patton a CRC officer.

Funny how he leaves off the intolerant statements made by CRC members...such as one CRC officer sending around via email to many others the following:

I did not know this. Did you?

It is said that 86% of Americans believe in God. Therefore, it is very hard to understand why there is such a mess about having the Ten Commandments on display or "In God We Trust" on our money and having God in the Pledge of Allegiance. Why don't we just tell the other 14% to Sit Down and SHUT UP!!!

Now to move on to Steina Walter....

Her testimony stated the following:

"Why is MCPS allowing the Gay/Straight Club at Walter Johnson High School to use the schools' internet web address to?"

"Meet sexy single gay ment for dating, romance, and more. Browse photo profiles of like minded men and particpate in our exciting,
active chat rooms. Have fun online."

Of course Jim blogged yesterday about and that proved to be not exactly what Steina said....

Steina went on to say:

"That the MCPS allows its facilities to be used for these purposes is utterly disgraceful and contrary to the best interest of all the students. Homosexual clubs (IN BOLD) have no place in MCPS. Our schools are not safe."

Safe from what???????????

Kay R

July 29, 2005 12:21 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

I was quoting from a recording, don't know what was on her written statement. She said she had gone to

July 29, 2005 2:25 PM  
Blogger Kay2898 said...

She did talk about that..but what she portrayed was not entirely accurate. Your statements about it was on target. The importance was how the word "gay" was used for her search and apparently that word only. She certainly did not say what else would turn up in word searches or just how one gets there accurately or as easily as she protrayed it to the listening public.

Her testimony apparently was intended to target the Gay/Straignt Club and to invite the crowd to be scared of "homosexual clubs" in that school or any MCPS school.

Afterall she is the one that said:

"Homosexual clubs (IN BOLD) have no place in MCPS. Our schools are not safe."

Kay R

July 29, 2005 3:57 PM  

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