Friday, July 15, 2005

Three Letters

People email us here at TeachTheFacts.org rather regularly. There are times, for instance after the NPR story aired, when we are inundated with people who just love us and want to send us money. Then there are times, when the rightwing sites pick up the story and present us as demons, when we get a lot of hate mail, usually religious in nature, and usually not very well spelled. We get notified when someone signs our online petitions, and lately those have been ticking along like clockwork, every day there are new signatures.

Recently we received three letters I thought I'd write about.

RSS
The first letter was from a guy who complained that he couldn't get the RSS feed for this site. If you don't know what that is, don't worry. I use an RSS aggregator (SharpReader), and it helps me get through hundreds of web sites in a few minutes, to see what's new, what people are talking about, to keep track of changes in the culture wars. Anyway, it has bothered me since we started this site, that we couldn't make the RSS feed work right.

Now you will notice on the top right side of this page, a link that says "Syndicate this site (XML)." Yes, I am proud to say, with some help from a stranger out there on the Internet (here's his web page: Welcome to America), I was able to get it working. Now I'm happy.

CRC Plotting
The second thing. A guy with an email address that looks like random letters writes us and says:
Hi,

I don't even live in your state but I found your site through a series of links while researching. With reference to the CRC, I thought you might be interested in another page I found in Google's cache during my search. It appears to be from a now removed forum from January 2005. If you are already aware of this content, then please disregard.

Good luck in your efforts.

And he posts a link.

Wow. What a gold mine. He gives us a whole online discussion among the CRC's inner circle, hundreds of messages from January and February. I haven't read it all -- there's just too much, but you can see them plotting their lawsuit -- this is way back in January, remember how it was a "last resort?" You can see them complaining about me and this blog: as our Spanish-speaking friend writes: "jejeje."

Why, looky here. On January 18th, you have John Garza writing:
The lawfirm that just whipped the BOE due to its unconstitutional conduct against the young men of the "Good News Club" has agreed to help us in our case. We a putting together quite a team of lawyers. If you know of any kids who have been discriminated against for their viewpoint, or religious beliefs please let me know. The BOE has a poor batting record in Court trying to defend its actions...

A quick Google search reveals that Liberty Counsel represented the Good News Club in some lawsuits. So here we are, all the way back in the middle of January, conspiring with those out-of-town lawyers to sue the school district. The suit was filed in May, and they were s-o-o-o sorry it had to come to this, they really didn't want to, it was simply a last resort.

Liars.

Ooh, it's fun to search for mentions of teachthefacts -- isn't that terrible? It's like Googling your own name. But, man, it does appear that we were getting under their skin -- jejeje.

We will have many hours of entertainment reading this stuff. I'll report to you occasionally, I'm sure, some of the nuggets that can be found on the Internet.

Thanks, whoever-you-are, for sending us that link.

Are We Too Hard on People?
The third letter we got was from a nice lady who agrees with our position and wishes that we (I) were nicer about it. She said she is concerned about the tone of our blog postings. I replied to her, but I think a public statement is in order. This is a fairly difficult concept to convey, and I will probably be misunderstood, but let me give it a try.

Here in Montgomery County, Maryland, the school district proposed a new sex-ed curriculum. It talked about sexual orientation, and some people -- very, very few -- decided to pretend it was an affront to their values. The Presidential elections were being interpreted as a mandate for the religious right, and some of them made a move to capture the MCPS sex-ed curriculum.

These people started whining that it promoted homosexuality. They made up stuff about how it forced children to "declare their sexual identity at an early age." They said it discriminated against "ex-gays." They said it encouraged sexual behavior in young people. It undermined their religious values. Blah blah blah.

The people who started TeachTheFacts.org were not looking for an activist cause, we were just some parents who started seeing postings on the high-school message board and grew concerned. Myself, I would rather goof around with the computer or play catch with the kids than do this. But somebody had to stop these lunatics.

Here's the tough part. Look, the problem was not that the curriculum encouraged kids to turn gay, or that it instructed them in anal sex, or that it taught students that Baptists were intolerant. Those allegations were absurd, and anybody could see they were absurd -- the 8th and 10th grade curriculum outlines are linked on the righthand side of this page, you can see for yourself. Nobody in their right mind would really believe any of that stuff.

The problem was that a bunch of nuts were trying to gain control of what the school district would teach our kids.

This web site is not here just to make sure that kids in our county learn about sexual orientation in class. It's not really here to defend the curriculum, which was just fine, a health class, nothing you'd drop everything to go defend. I mean, of course, we address the issues that come up. This is all interesting, this stuff about gay people and condoms and everything, the culture wars and all that. But we wouldn't be here if there was just a new curriculum, any more than web sites spring up when there's a new math curriculum, or a new textbook in a biology class, or a new teacher is hired.

We are here to stand up for common sense, which is under attack in an otherwise sensible county. The MCPS school board is not promoting any "gay agenda." The MCPS school board does not want teenagers to become sexually promiscuous. The school board does not want to cause an epidemic of sexually-transmitted diseases. The school board has no intention of discriminating against "ex-gays" or any other kind of ex-people. These are silly accusations, and nobody believes them. They are a distraction, and are not "the issue" at all.

And the only way that I can think of to fight this is to take it head-on. Sometimes here at the blog we post research results and statistics showing that the curriculum was in fact correct about things. But sometimes we have to take the crazy things that the anti-curriculum squeaky-wheels are saying, and deconstruct them a little bit. Take 'em apart. Show exactly how the reasoning fails. It's not a personal thing, really, members of our group are friends with members of theirs. Parents from both side work together on extracurricular school activities (in those few cases where CRC members have kids in the public schools), and everybody gets along. I know, it gets a little ugly sometimes when you have to show how somebody's logic is simply wishful thinking. But it has to be done. You cannot treat this sort of thing with the same respect you would give to someone who is at least trying to make sense.

I'm sorry if it gets harsh sometimes, but we are going to stand up for common sense here, and that means refuting the irrationality, and you can't do that without mentioning the person who made the statement. It's nothing personal.

Thanks to all of you who write us and sign our petitions.

3 Comments:

Blogger andrear said...

I think what Johnny Garza meant when he told the BOE "we love you" was "We love your money".

It would be interesting if the CRC petitions actually showed how many parents of MCPS students signed them. Not that taxpayers don't have a right to sign or state their views but as they claim this is all about protecting their kids' education- I'd love to know how many supporters of their nonsense actually have kids who have taken even the current health class(of course opting out of human sexuality and family life first).

Andrea
Whose kids both took MCPS health - all of it!

July 15, 2005 12:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NOTIFICATIONS - MEETINGS Top
[38 Posts ] [LastPost: 02-09-2005 2:34 PM]

Msg Topic [1 Reply Last Reply:02-09-2005 - 2:34 PM ]
Upcoming Town Hall Meeting
Could we put this info on the CRC website to advise other parents of this event?

Council to Host Quince Orchard/Darnestown Town Hall Meeting
A Town Hall Meeting for Quince Orchard and Darnestown will be hosted by the Montgomery County Council on Wednesday, February 16, at 8:00 p.m. with a reception preceding it at 7:30 p.m., at Thurgood Marshall Elementary School, 12260 McDonald Chapel Drive, Gaithersburg. According to County Council President Tom Perez, "This will be an excellent opportunity for people to have their say and put their questions directly to members of the County Council. We'll be discussing the county budget and taxes, education and transportation, development and public safety-and whatever else residents want to talk about." For more information call 240-777-7900 or visit the County's website at www.montgomerycountymd.gov.
[Date=02-09-2005] Name:S. Mendoza incite_emc@yahoo.com, [Msgid=778461]

Town Hall
Yes, we can let folks know about this. Tom Perez is a "down county, Takoma Park liberal" and it would be nice to hear how he responds, especially with the media there!!

Michelle

[Date=02-09-2005] Name:michelle turner mnturner@comcast.net, [Msgid=778632]


Msg Topic [No Replies]
tomorrow's meeting
Hello All,
The exec bd and all group leaders are invited to the second exec bd meeting, Thursday, Feb. 10 at 7:30 p.m.. Same location as last week.

If there is an item you would like discussed, please email it to me today so that I can get an agenda together and posted.

Michelle

[Date=02-09-2005] Name:michelle turner mnturner@comcast.net, [Msgid=778416]


Msg Topic [No Replies]
Leafleting at Metro
I would like the board to vote on starting a team to leaflet at the metro stops during rush hour. I think Metro must allow us to do this and it could also be an event for our friends at NPR (which they dearly desire). Would could hand out a one page leaflet with information, etc. A little shoe leather goes a long way. I volunteer to lead a group at Rockville, Shady Grove or Wheaton.
[Date=02-08-2005] Name:Johnny Garza jgarza@garzanet.com, [Msgid=777759]


Msg Topic [2 Replies Last Reply:01-28-2005 - 3:52 PM ]
FLHD meeting
I plan to attend the meeting, I have been there for the last 2. It would be great is someone else could come, so the committee will see some new faces. I will be leaving for Iceland to visit my mother for a few days, but will be back Wed. night so I can observe the really, really risky Fishback in action.

Steina

[Date=01-27-2005] Name:Steina Walter swalter86@verizon.net, [Msgid=771812]

`Thank you
I think parents are needed there. I would not be a threat since I was on the committee but maybe they would feel like they could be 'cocky' if I was there!!
[Date=01-28-2005] Name:retta rettab20@verizon.net, [Msgid=772222]

Need more CRC observers here
When is this FLHD CAC meeting and where?

Thanks...
[Date=01-27-2005] Name:Steve stfisher21@cs.com, [Msgid=771830]


Msg Topic [No Replies]
directions to Garza office
Go to our website www.garzanet.com and click on directions. On Rt 28 in Rockville, accross the street from Courthouse. 17 W. Jefferson St. Rockville, MD.
[Date=01-26-2005] Name:John Garza jgarza@garzanet.com, [Msgid=770718]


Msg Topic [1 Reply Last Reply:01-27-2005 - 6:46 PM ]
Meeting time-Feb. 3
Exec. Bd and group leaders only will meet at 7:30 p.m. on February 3

Michelle Turner

[Date=01-25-2005] Name:michelle turner mnturner@comcast.net, [Msgid=770371]

Meeting
Will there be a parent at the Citizens Advisory Committee meeting Feb 3 at 7:30? I think having a parent there keeps "David" civil.
[Date=01-27-2005] Name:Retta rettab20@verizon.net, [Msgid=771740]


Msg Topic [3 Replies Last Reply:01-25-2005 - 9:31 PM ]
Feb. 3rd Exec bd meeting
Hello All,
Our meeting next week will be in John Garza's office.

17 W. Jefferson Street, Rockville. What I need now is to hear which time is best for most of you. 7 or 7:30 p.m.?

Michelle

[Date=01-25-2005] Name:Michelle Turner mnturner@comcast.net, [Msgid=770093]

It good for me
I'll be enroute back from a business meeting in Willamsburg, but should be in the area in plenty of time.

Steve
[Date=01-25-2005] Name:Steve stfisher21@cs.com, [Msgid=770564]

7:30 works best (nm)
No Message
[Date=01-25-2005] Name:Al Jackson abjackson@comcast.net, [Msgid=770325]

7:30 is better
Ellen and Tony Castellano
[Date=01-25-2005] Name:Ellen ellenmc7@juno.com, [Msgid=770138]


Msg Topic [No Replies]
Email to BOE
To all:

Tonight I sent an email blast on behalf of the CRC to each BOE member stressing our rational, responsible and moderate approach, outreach and goals. This email is intended to allay fears about the BOE meeting officially with the CRC and to voice our dismay at the false and malicious descriptions being communicated by some in the community about us and our goals.

I am also sending personal letters via mail to several individual BOE members with whom Michelle is trying to arrange one on one meetings.

Next up for the Media campaign is another press release mailing which goes into some of the erroneous facts and controversial content found in the new curriculum.

I also want to send out a press release on our petiton drive next week, so pass along updates to me and espeically any specific stories about how folks are responding to our petition. It would be good to get an approximate count of signatures after this weekend if possible.


[Date=01-20-2005] Name:Steve stfisher21@cs.com, [Msgid=767742]


Msg Topic [8 Replies Last Reply:01-23-2005 - 3:29 PM ]
Exec bd meeting
John, Steve, Ben, group leaders,

We need to have an exec bd meeting, soon. Are you available the evening of February 3.

Michelle

[Date=01-20-2005] Name:michelle turner mnturner@comcast.net, [Msgid=767303]

I Can Attend
Please advise on the time and place. Should you need assistance with finding a meeting place, I am here to help.

[Date=01-23-2005] Name:Samara Mendoza incite_emc@yahoo.com, [Msgid=769052]

Meetings
Michelle, isn't that the same night as the Citizens Advisory Meeting? Do you really want to miss that?
Retta
[Date=01-22-2005] Name:Retta rettab20@verizon.net, [Msgid=768633]

meeting
Hi. I am not really member of the executive board, so tell me if I can/should attend this meeting. I don't think you could have a more motivated individual,I have been in email contact with Whitman Principle re. the family planning, and he basicially told me he found out about the new curriculum same time the parents did. He did not think it unusual. The teacher who did not like the new curriculum did not want to sign my petition, and was a bit worried about his job, I asked him to contact CRC, gave web address in addition to my personal email, but so far I haven't heard, he said he was going to talk with a teacher name Sheila, did not know her last name, so this is unfortunately very vague, I plan to go back next Tue. to the soccerplex he might be there.
Steina Walter

[Date=01-21-2005] Name:Steina Walter swalter86@verizon.net, [Msgid=767863]

Yes on meeting
Yes, I can attend... details?


[Date=01-20-2005] Name:Steve stfisher21@cs.com, [Msgid=767730]

Yes
I will keep the date open.

Laura
[Date=01-20-2005] Name:Laura quigley5@msn.com, [Msgid=767439]

Meeting
I am avilable and offer my conf room in Rockville as a place. What time? I could order pizza or something like that.
[Date=01-20-2005] Name:John Garza jgarza@garzanet.com, [Msgid=767341]

Yes, we can come
Ellen and Tony Castellano
[Date=01-20-2005] Name:Ellen ellenmc7@juno.com, [Msgid=767329]

Yes
Michelle,

I am available on the 3rd.

Ben Patton
[Date=01-20-2005] Name:Ben Patton Ben@Patton.com, [Msgid=767324]


Msg Topic [No Replies]
Thank You for your input
We have recently received several very supportive messages and recommendations for the CRC to consider. These are great and we truly appreciate the input and insight.

In order to help catch everyone up who may have just now come onboard, I offer the following summary of what our primary focus and strategy is in the coming weeks. There was some concern about our being too involved in philosophy, moral and religious concerns. While these are indeed important elements that are present in our overall approach, they are by no means driving the CRC's actions.

As some have recommended, we are indeed concentrating our immeidiate focus on stopping the proposed changes to the curriculum. If you read the various documents on the web site, you will see that over the past several weeks we have highlighted the fundemental flaws in the process, the lack of bonefide factual data and the blatant discrimination demonstrated by the BOE and the CAC in trying to railroad this through without any genuine public review or comment. Our major attacks are targeted on the failed process and partisan politics used in shaping this change. Our first radio interview and call-in show on WAVA prmarily focused on this failed process and abuse of parential involvement and communication. We will continue to echo this in our upcoming broadcasts on WMAL, too.

Our 6 point objectives are aimed at a multi-facet campaign that will:
* define our desire to stop the implementation of the changes
* abolish the current CAC and reform a more representative and balanced group
* put the BOE on notice that the CRC is a force and voice that will continue to monitor BOE activities and drive for increased parental involvement in the sex edcuation process and related policies.

While the meeting last Saturday provided a voice for some who have just now joined in the fight, there have been many of us who toiled over the holidays to focus our enegery, decide what actions would provide maximum effect to achieve these goals and coordinate our collective actions to be sure we stay on target. This may not have been readily apparent in our brief opportunity to meet with newer members and interested parties. We have come a long way and are working to further our outreach and strengthen our base to accomplish these goals.

In addition, we have developed a set of follow on actions reflecting a long term strategy to keep the heat on the BOE and make sure that this type of partisan and politically motivated activity will not exist in our MCPS. Included in this are alternative tactics to be used, for example, should the BOE continue to move forward with the planned testing above our objections and focused energy to rally against that.

We greatly appreciate the energy and insight generated on recommended strategy and tactics. Please help us by applying some of that in working the petition and writing letters to the BOE, County and the media. Remember, though, if you are going to identify yourself as a CRC member, you letter or email should be in keeping with our mission and ethics. We are becoming successful in identifying ourselves as the truer reflection of the parents and the voice for moderation and respect in this county... firebrand comments, threats or ultimatums to any on the BOE will only hurt our cause in the end. This is not what the CRC is all about nor reflect our goals or mission statements.
[Date=01-20-2005] Name:Steve stfisher21@cs.com, [Msgid=767251]


Msg Topic [1 Reply Last Reply:01-19-2005 - 3:41 PM ]
The Next Step
Although I'm not really a member of CRC (though I sympathize greatly with the cause), I did attend last Saturday's meeting to get a feel for the direction of the group and see if I might be able to assist in terms of input. So please take this for what it's worth...

In my opinion, this group should shift the short-term strategy to focus at least 80% of its energies to getting the Board of Ed to immediately cease and desist implementation - ONLY ON THE BASIS OF THE PROCEDURAL ARGUMENT (i.e., the BOE violated its own regulation(s) in rushing this through without the proper public, or school-community hearings).

This is already a done-deal. You're playing catch-up here and the most efficient way to get this issue back on the table is to demand that the BOE follow its own procedures.

That means specifically laying aside the other philosophical arguments - which we all love to make - until later.

Here's how it might work:
1. 80% of CRC energy: Through the group, the PTA's, the religious orgs, legal channels, and the media, demand that the BOE follow their own rules and put this back on the table.

2. 20% of CRC energy: Continue to recruit


3. After it's back on the table, then it's time to bring in the troops and the philosophical arguments. Any sort of public hearings will work in CRC's favor as the true opposition are really fringe groups and will marginalize themselves. While many in the county may be truly ambivalent or complacent, the sort of folks who are motivated enough to testify in favor of the curriculum will not paint a good contrast to the very reasonable, well-behaved, and tolerant members of the group.

4. If and when the curriculum is eliminated or changed for the better, that's when you move to change the composition of the Citizens Advisory Committee and begin to work on the other long-term goals of the group.

Bottom line for now: CRC's message = BOE needs to cease implementation, follow it's rules, and put this back on the table. Period.

That's a rough sketch of the idea. It's going to take a real focused and disciplined effort to get the BOE to put the issue back on the table. At this time other arguments will serve to distract from and sometimes hinder this effort.

Respectfully yours,
Jud Ashman
[Date=01-19-2005] Name:Jud Ashman judashman@aol.com, [Msgid=766701]

Good Observation
Thanks Jud... your recommendations have merit and we'll definitely consider these as we move forward.

If you have a specific game plan of any actions, activities or plans for this increased focus on stopping the BOE roll out of the new curriculum, please note these and pass back to us. I'll be glad to coordinate yours and others ideas related to this approach.

We'll keep this mind as we draft additional letters to the BOE and the media.

[Date=01-19-2005] Name:Steve stfisher21@cs.com, [Msgid=766793]


Msg Topic [4 Replies Last Reply:01-19-2005 - 7:49 PM ]
Meeting Idea
Visitors to mcpscurriculum are checking the meetings page frequently. Should we start talking about hosting a "Town Hall Meeting" where we invite the public and school officials (BOE members/Russ Henke) to meet and discuss the curriculum? I have no idea if they would even consider it, but it would be a media event, no doubt......
[Date=01-18-2005] Name:Ellen ellenmc7@juno.com, [Msgid=766433]

Reflections on my idea
Steve is right, we don't have the resources now, and we've got our petition drive to focus on in the next couple weeks. The public meeting is something we can talk about further down the road.
I do want to encourage everyone to actively participate in the petition drive. At this point I only have collections happening for sure at 15 churches this weekend. Is anyone else planning to collect signatures this weekend? Please email me asap so I can include you on the list serve message.
[Date=01-19-2005] Name:Ellen ellenmc7@juno.com, [Msgid=766942]

Concur... Caution
I agree with caution here... we need to proceed deliberately in this. We do not yet have a solid feel for who and how strongly any allies may be on our cause. We have not completed our petition and do not know what our numbers may be nor if we have as strong a backing as we may think we do. No politician is going to attend a town hall meeting that has the potential to be an embarrasment or poorly attended.

Also, our opposition is still entrenched more favorably with the media and the county establishment. We need to weaken if not break these ties before we can mount a head to head confrontation in the public.

Let's not dilute our resources just now with an additional requirement that will further tax our leadership and shift focus. (It appears that just about a half dozen or so of the CRC members are doing approximately 80% of the work... this needs to change and will I hope with new blood coming in with increasing the media attention and contacts along with a solid petition drive.) I think the town hall or some appropriate public rally will be in the offering for the future, but we need to gather more volunteers and gain allies in the county and on the BOE before we try this.

If we are successful in stopping the test and eval of the video and curriculum change, we would have cause to celebrate (modestly but not to gloat, though) at that time. This would be the time then to consider a public rally.

We do not yet have an official strategic plan that would include such activities. First things first... every public action must be linked to an end game objective for maximum effect.

Right now we need to expand and get out the word and check to see if the numbers and responses are supportive of grander schemes and actions.
[Date=01-19-2005] Name:Steve stfisher21@cs.com, [Msgid=766789]

town hall meeting
I very much would like to have a town hall meeting. I am talking with the Governor's office to see if he will come and speak, if not we need a celebrity or politician, even from the national scene. A keynote speaker will help us attract people and it becomes a media event. If the opposition shows up, we ignore them. By using microphones, upbeat music we can ignore them. They look like fools in the media. Perhaps we ask for police protection from them. (Hey there are a lot of Christians in the NFL maybe we can get some of those guys to be our security). If anyone has any contact with a media personality (Chris Core) we should try and get she/he on board to speak and appear.
[Date=01-19-2005] Name:John Garza jgarza@garzanet.com, [Msgid=766549]

good idea, but let's be cautious...
Ellen, I like your idea however I would caution that we would attract all of our opponents who would love an opportunity to engage us in a public argument. Perhaps if we could find a group to sponsor and run the town hall meeting (like a church or community group), it might be easier to maintain order and decorum.
[Date=01-19-2005] Name:Laura quigley5@msn.com, [Msgid=766498]


Msg Topic [5 Replies Last Reply:01-18-2005 - 6:35 AM ]
Call the Gazette today!
***Note: I also posted this under General Comments but was afraid it would not be noticed in that category.

I just left a message with Lloyd Batzler, editor of the Gazette - (301) 948-3120 - and suggest you do the same.

Background:
The Gazette absolutely trashed the CRC in last Wednesday's print edition with the story, "Cox avoids Germantown meeting after receiving threats." link: http://www.gazette.net/200502/poolesville/news/254334-1.html

They since revised the story, but ONLY on the online Gazette... not (yet) in print. See link: http://www.gazette.net/200502/germantown/news/254275-1.html

By trashing CRC, the Gazette owes you guys free space. This is an opportunity to:
a. Correct the record on the Cox incident
b. To get your POSITIVE message out

But you need to call and demand it. Monday is usually the filing deadline, so I'd suggest flooding their phone lines ASAP.

Good luck,
Jud Ashman

[Date=01-17-2005] Name:Jud Ashman judashman@aol.com, [Msgid=765390]

Gazette Article
I also heard from the writer working this article who asked officially for my input from the CRC. I had already talked with Ellen and told her to submit to the Gazette for us as I was not going to be back to my PC until late Monday evening. Ellen has the facts about the misrepresentation and was familiar with Jud's actions. (Thanks Jud for forcing the issue, too, and Jeannie for weighing in with them.)

Late last night I also sent an email to the writer along with some information on our real positions (which Ellen supplied as well) and statements on our true motives, characterizations and diversity. I think this will help us with the rest of BOE. I will also be sending letters to each member along the same lines to further emphasize this point.

Let's see what they do with the real facts this time.
[Date=01-18-2005] Name:Steve stfisher21@cs.com, [Msgid=765896]

I also spoke to the writer
When I called the Gazette, I reached the writer, who asked if I was from CRC. I said I hoped for a thorough explanation, since our name was dragged through the mud with the previous article. She defended it somewhat, saying that there were denials printed in last week's article. (But she put us on the defensive for a lie, and denials are usually not that convincing to the uninformed, anyway.) She asked what I'd like to say, so I said something like, 'CRC does not wish ill to anyone. We only want to protect the children from information they are not yet ready to manage, and from misinformation, and we want the BOE to follow its own procedures, and allow us to participate in them.'

[Date=01-17-2005] Name:Jeanne G. Tondo jgtondo@comcast.net, [Msgid=765682]

I spoke to the writer
Jim Eppard, who is Jackie Mah's editor called me and wanted to wrap this up today, and since Steve didn't have time to call her back, he asked me to. I explained to her that we were upset that speculations on the part of the GCA board member, Sheila Myers on Sharon Cox feeling threatened by posts on the recall, turned into a very damaging headline for us. And though she (Jackie) doesn't write the headlines, she needed to try to do some damage control in her article this week correcting last week's aritcle that was in 4 editions. I reiterated to her our committment to keep this discussion civil and avoid name calling or accusations. I also explained the nature of the posts that were misinterpreted and divulged the fact that the archived messages have been removed to prevent further misinterpretations. We'll see what actually hits the paper on Wed.
I tried to keep it friendly and didn't blast her for her obvious mistake in not checking on resources.
[Date=01-17-2005] Name:Ellen ellenmc7@juno.com, [Msgid=765582]

I just spoke with the Gazette
The editor in charge of the story (whose name I unfortunately forgot - sorry!) just called me back. He blamed the mistake on the quoted source from the GCA. "Did you guys not bother to corroborate that statement?" I demanded, "Is it the policy of the Gazette not to fact check public accusations?"

He said that there would be a corrective story running in the same place in Wednesday's Gazette. I suggested that the Gazette owes the CRC some space. "What do you think they would say?" he asked, clearly implying that it wouldn't be newsworthy.

"You guys just trashed them," I replied, "and you need to give them a chance to set the record straight and, furthermore, to explain what it is that they do stand for."

It ended up that he said they would do a story that gave both sides a chance to say their piece. I asked to name the sides and he replied; Ms. Cox and the CRC.

So hopefully he's going to contact CRC for a statement. I certainly suggest crafting a statement that, in a very positive manner, both dismisses that threat allegations while explaining what CRC really is.

But I wouldn't leave it in his court. Everyone should give a call today to the main desk - which is the number I provided before - and just ask for the editor in charge of the 'Cox threat' story.

Good luck,
Jud Ashman
[Date=01-17-2005] Name:Jud Ashman judashman@aol.com, [Msgid=765557]

I called Georgia MacDonald
Since I've spoken to her before about our group, I called and left a message indicating that the damage done by the article on pg 4 of last week's Gazette might begin to be repaired by a printed correction like the the that appeared online. If I hear back, I'll post.
[Date=01-17-2005] Name:Ellen ellenmc7@juno.com, [Msgid=765462]


MINUTES Top (0 Posts)

MEDIA Top
[30 Posts ] [LastPost: 02-09-2005 9:30 AM]

Msg Topic [No Replies]
Michael Graham WMAL
He will cover the CAC student member later this morning, and has already launched a full scale assult on mcps about it.
[Date=02-09-2005] Name:Ellen ellenmc7@juno.com, [Msgid=778402]


Msg Topic [No Replies]
Rebroadcasts of BOE Mtng
The schedule for the rebroadcasts are today, Wed 2/9 at 10am and 9pm, and then this Sat/Sun at 1pm


[Date=02-09-2005] Name:Ellen ellenmc7@juno.com, [Msgid=778382]


Msg Topic [No Replies]
When speaking with the media
Just a reminder if you find yourself speaking with press. Please do not identify Tony and I as webmasters. Thanks. (I need to think of a job description in case I'm asked!!)
[Date=02-07-2005] Name:Ellen ellenmc7@juno.com, [Msgid=777555]


Msg Topic [No Replies]
WTimes to Publish Letter in the next few Days!
The Washington Times will publish our letter to the Editor with re: to J. Wards 1/26 column and signed by 2 former and 2 present members of the Citizens Advisory Comm. Look for it.
Retta
[Date=02-07-2005] Name:Retta rettab20@verizon.net, [Msgid=777320]


Msg Topic [No Replies]
Reply to FRC on Fairfax County
I sent the following message from the CRC to the FRC showing our solidarity with our neighbors across the Potomac as they face a similar battle with the secular homosexual activists:

"RE: Other Issues
Subject: The CRC Supports Fairfax County Parents
Inquiry: Tony,
Thanks for the excellent post on the furor unleased by Mr. Hunt in neighboring Fairfax County. As you know, parents here in Montgomery County are fighting the same battle caused by one of our citizens' advisory committees persuading our BOE to likewise endorse a pro-homosexual agenda in the sex ed and family health curriculum. We deplore the ensuing pain caused by the angry attacks on Mr. Hunt. We too have been the victims of similar hateful and demonizing attacks that are now being leveled at Mr. Hunt. Unfortunately, this type of response is the current mode of operations by the liberal advocacy groups whenever concerned parents and taxpayers take exception to our tax dollars being used to promote blatantly biased information and opinions masked as "scientific facts" in attempts to advance a political or social agenda.

Discrimination does not have to be of intentional design to exist in reality. We should have learned this from the Civil Rights struggle. Parents of faith and religious conviction are being discriminated against by these actions and positions being taken by the BOE.

We stand in solidarity with our next door neighbors in Fairfax County and encourage them to not give up the fight.

Steve Fisher CRC Media and PR Group Leader"


The FRC link and article is found at: http://www.frc.org/get.cfm?i=WU05B04
[Date=02-04-2005] Name:Steve stfisher21@cs.com, [Msgid=776084]


Msg Topic [No Replies]
interesting op-ed columns Sunday
There were 2 op-ed columns I thought were very thought provoking in yesterday's papers:

In the Washington Post, Ruth Marcus writes a column entitled "Ready to throw in the Sponge?". Despite a few zingers she throws at religious conservatives, she attempts to understand what people are concerned about with the 'culture war' (specifically the homosexual agenda). Here is the link:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A45992-2005Jan28.html

Also on Sunday in the Washington Times, an editorial by Thomas Sowell was excellent:

http://washtimes.com/commentary/20050129-095132-9621r.htm

Laura

[Date=01-31-2005] Name:Laura quigley5@msn.com, [Msgid=773423]


Msg Topic [No Replies]
How to Become a Blogger/Blogging Guidelines

Blog Information

Our CRC blog is www.mcpscurriculum.com/blog/

To become a CRC Blogger:

Email Jamie McDonald (jamiedmcdonald@earthlink.net). He will email you an invitation to Blog that you will need to respond to. You will need a blogger.com account to post. The email message you will receive provides a link to accept the invitation and also provides the following options:

“If you already have a Blogger account, you will be asked to either accept or decline this invitation.

If you do not have a Blogger account, you can create one for free in less than a minute. Just click the invite link and press the ‘Create an Account’ button.”

So if you don’t have a Blogger account, you can create one.

Each time you want to post, you go to blogger.com and login. After you log in you will be taken to the CRC blog page and can start creating posts. There is a ‘help’ option in the top right corner of the page. You can save your posts as a draft, and after posting you can edit and delete your posts latter.

Blog Posting Guidelines

Any related subject matter is relevant. It could be a comment or synopsis of all our documents, or current (or not so current) events of similar circumstances in other communities, or your worldview of what’s happening, etc.

Clearly we do not want to appear harsh, rude, insulting, etc. So no name calling and the like. However ‘technical descriptions’ of the opposition are OK, like, “they’re more phobic about the truth than they we are”, etc.

If you think something is questionable, just post it on our CRC Staff site first, and your sure to receive comments!

Honestly, I really don’t think any of this guideline information is necessary to say. But we need to keep in mind that whatever is posted will be replicated many times all over the place and if it’s interpretable in a way that can even remotely possibly hurt our cause rather than help, well, we want to prevent that.


[Date=01-28-2005] Name:TonyC ajcnet100@yahoo.com, [Msgid=772341]


Msg Topic [No Replies]
WAVA broadcast tonight 1/28
WAVA rebroadcast Steve and Retta's interview with Don Kroah tonight from 6-7pm. It was great to hear it again. I got the impression that Don might add new info, but he didn't. Does anyone know if they are using the 30 sec radio spot about the petition drive?
[Date=01-28-2005] Name:Ellen ellenmc7@juno.com, [Msgid=772320]


Msg Topic [No Replies]
It's wonderful!
Jamie, excellent, just fabulous. This is going to be a great way to get our message out!

--Laura
[Date=01-28-2005] Name:Laura quigley5@msn.com, [Msgid=772291]


Msg Topic [No Replies]
Blog is UP for your review!
Jamie has created the CRC blog for our review (Thanks Jamie!). It can be viewed at
www.mcpscurriculum.com/blog/

Once we have commented on it we will place links to it on the CRC homepage, Google, Yahoo, etc., to drive traffic there. Also we are looking for some dedicated bloggers to regularly post to it so at a minimum it has a new post every day (this is really important). I have asked Jamie to consider some alternate layout templates as well, there are many choices with that.

If you want to be a blogger indicate your interest and Jamie will need to send you an invitation.

NOTE: we will be developing guidelines for posts so it's not a free for all. Not that anyone would do anything odd, etc. But I for one have been up late at night and felt like saying #$%@)$%^@$)~!@@%! So we think guidelines might be a good idea.

THANKS TO ALL YOU ARE DOING A GREAT JOB!!!!


[Date=01-28-2005] Name:TonyC ajcnet100@yahoo.com, [Msgid=772272]


Msg Topic [1 Reply Last Reply:01-20-2005 - 7:06 PM ]
WAVA is ready to pitch in
Had a great lunch with Tom Moyer of WAVA. They are ready to feature us on their station (Don Kroah, etc.) and do the PSA Tony produced. Tom also gave me a personal check for our fundraising. He wants Steve to attend a staff meeting or conf call as their people have a lot of contact with the community, pastors, etc. We can use their people at grassroots level as well as on air. He feels Roscoe Bartlett, (Congressman N. Montg. County and Fred. Co.) will get involved and I can get his private number to reach out. He said there was a table at this Church on Sunday with the petition and people were signing, etc.
[Date=01-20-2005] Name:John Garza jgarza@garzanet.com, [Msgid=767517]

This is great John!
Thanks John, this is a good word of encouragement for us all. When did WAVA say they would air the radio spot?
[Date=01-20-2005] Name:TonyC ajcnet100@yahoo.com, [Msgid=767597]


Msg Topic [No Replies]
Letter to the editor of the Times
Here is my letter to the Times editor. He said he'll publish it. I spoke with 2 editors down there, and there haven't been any recent letters from anyone on this topic. If we write letters, we should reference a recent article even if it's not directly linked to mcps, eg - abstinence education, homosexuality, etc that shows up and can be used as a platform to launch our letter. This gives a letter the best chance to get published. Of course if there is an article about mcps curriculum in the paper, of course they'd like some letters. Thank you Jamie for helping me write this. Can someone who reads the Post work on a letter?

Montgomery County Board of Education: Trying to Pull One Over on Parents?

The Montgomery County Board of Education has bypassed several of its own policies (which explicitly require the Board to inform parents of changes to the sex-ed curriculum and solicit public reaction to those changes) and rolled out the new curriculum and approved it for piloting on the same day, November 9, 2004. Parents are still reeling from this brazen decision and are wondering how to insert themselves into a tightly controlled and manipulated process that has left them out of the loop.
The Board also plans to exclude parents from evaluation of the pilot program, relying solely on teacher and student feedback before final approval for county-wide use. Keep in mind that this new curriculum includes a highly controversial presentation of homosexuality and sexual variations. We parents pay a large portion of the taxes that fund the schools and their $1.7 billion budget and, according to the Board’s policy on Citizen Review of Curricular and Instructional Materials, have the right to voice our “reaction to curriculum documents dealing with sensitive topics.” Parents are justly furious over this new curriculum that the Board is forcing on the schools with no regard for their own procedures.
Ellen Castellano
Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum

[Date=01-18-2005] Name:Ellen ellenmc7@juno.com, [Msgid=766113]


Msg Topic [No Replies]
Someone should be concentrating on a Steve Abrams strategy
Steve Abrams has said publicly that he will watch the piloting of the new curriculum to see how it goes and that he does not want there to be "advocacy" for homosexuality. The pro-curriculum folks will say that nothing in the curriculum revisions "advocates" homosexuality. And they will say that the revisions simply lay out the facts, as understood by the mainstream scientific/medical community (BUNK!). And that MCPS has capable Health Ed teachers, and they will surely handle the revisions as they are 'intended'.

Once the piloting is completed, Steve Abrams said he would decide. But he is politically astute, and would want to get a sense of whether the Board's decision was out of the County mainstream (which it is).

Someone, or a group, needs to be strategizing an effort to win him over.
[Date=01-16-2005] Name:TonyC ajcnet100@yahoo.com, [Msgid=765210]


Msg Topic [2 Replies Last Reply:01-25-2005 - 2:04 PM ]
He can help write/edit
Jamie McDonald has offered to help us by reviewing/editing documents or letters. Here is his email address: jamiedmcdonald@earthlink.net
He will probably come to Saturday's meeting, but has already begun to help - take advantage of him, he's quick with turnaround.
[Date=01-14-2005] Name:Ellen ellenmc7@juno.com, [Msgid=764171]

All better
The bandage has come off, so send me your editing requests.
[Date=01-25-2005] Name:Jamie McDonald jamiedmcdonald@earthlink.net, [Msgid=770292]

Happy to help
I'm glad to help (and it was good to meet several of you Saturday), but I've injured my hand and can't do much typing. (I;m wearing out my backspace key even now.) I should be up to speed by Thursday.

FYI, if you need me to edit something ASAP between Thursday COB and Monday morning, call me at 301-253-0068. My lovely wife, Jeannine, is an accomplished editor as well (totustuus3@earthlink.net) although she does not have as much media experience.
[Date=01-18-2005] Name:Jamie McDonald jamiedmcdonald@earthlink.net, [Msgid=766002]


Msg Topic [No Replies]
Response to Gazette
You know, from my reading of the article, it was so very vague that these "threats" could have been anything from anyone. I wouldn't jump to assume it was truly someone opposed to the curriculum --
maybe someone supporting the curriculum threatened that Cox would lose their support! (ha, ha)

Certainly, that suggestion of a phone call from Michelle to Sharon Cox is a good one. And I would be prepared with a very short statement to the effect that CRC opposes intimidation or violence in any form. Period. You know, "CRC is very sorry to hear that Ms. Cox received threats and that this prohibited her from participating in a community forum to discuss the divisive curriculum revisions. We support open and free discussion and completely condemn the use of threats, intimidation and violence in any form."

A little documentation of the truly nasty and incorrect things being blogged about CRC is valuable to have on hand (for anyone who has the stomach to compile it), although I'd be reticent about bringing it out. Still, it is nice to have a few pithy quotes to let slip when necessary. Not just now, maybe later.

Stacie

[Date=01-14-2005] Name:Stacie Giles fsgiles@cavtel.net, [Msgid=764087]


Msg Topic [1 Reply Last Reply:01-13-2005 - 1:48 PM ]
Comments on Press Release 3
Here is my email to Steve about Press Release 3

Steve,

My sense about Press Release 3 is that it is much too conciliatory and apologetic in tone. It seems to justify the false characterizations and slander that has been directed against us. To some degree anger has been an appropriate response given the situation, and none of those in leadership in this effort have been irrationally angry or disrespectful. It is natural to expect that on an open web forum some bloggers would be, but that doesn't reflect on us. Also we don't want to seem to blame or accuse those who are rightly furious about the whole thing.

I would recommend a major rewrite, where we don't sound like we're backpedaling. If we mention any change in approach, I think it should be only that we recognized that trying to recall the School Board was not the most effective strategy. I do think we should tout CRC as a model of civil discourse, but not by contrasting it with our earlier approach - instead contrast it with our opponents.

Mary

[Date=01-13-2005] Name:Mary Healy maryhealy@ix.netcom.com, [Msgid=763493]

CIVIL - NOT CONCILLIATORY
I agree Mary. There is a place for focused anger here. Lets not forget that this "quasi" elected board, immediately after the nationwide election which trounced the homosexual agenda, instituted a profoundly pro-gay curriculum. What they did was, and still is, outrageous.

This board is NOT going to recant anything because of "supplicant" appeals to listen to our position. The only thing that is going to get their complete attention is:

1. Continuing outrage streaming in to their castle headquarters
2. John Garza proceeding immediatley with his lawsuit. (Lawsuits tend to get peoples attention - merit or no merit because it forces them to deal with their legal team on a continuing basis)
3. 50,000 plus signatures between the paper petition and the on-line petition.
4. Tabulation of all the outrageous things said about us and this issue, and posted on both web sites.
5. Massive email campaign to inform and INFLAME.

In other words, aggressive tactics.

[Date=01-13-2005] Name:ADMINISTRATOR support@recallmontgomeryschoolboard.com, [Msgid=763679]


Msg Topic [No Replies]
Gazette article 1/12/05 Gaithersburg edition
Here's the full story from the online paper, but if you REALLY want to enjoy it you must go the the teach the facts.org website and see how they twist everything. It is there that you will read what we are really up against.

--Laura




School board
member was going to discuss sex ed curriculum

Members of the Board of Education canceled their appearance at Monday's Germantown Citizens Association meeting on the proposed sex education curriculum after receiving threats and slanderous comments on an anti-curriculum Web site.

"The postings started having some direct threats to school board members," GCA board member Sheila Myers said. "Evidently Sharon [Cox] got some very specific ones. ... She became concerned about coming into a public meeting" where someone might threaten her physically.

"Prior to [the postings] she had said 'yes' on coming," Myers said. "She seemed very open minded about having that discussion on a community forum."

Cox and fellow school board member Patricia O'Neill were originally invited to attend. Cox and O'Neill could not be reached Tuesday for comment.

The site on which the comments were posted, www.recallmontgomeryschoolboard.com, is monitored by a Damascus-based group called Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum. CRC members who attended the meeting denied that anyone from their group posted the comments or threats.

"We're just moms," member Michelle Turner of Kensington said. Other members speculated that someone outside their group posted the comments on their site adding to CRC's already negative image, they said.

Group members have been called "hateful, fearful and homophobic," none of which are true, Gaithersburg resident Laura Quigley said.

The group is not a bunch of "religious zealots," Quigley said. And she fears that more name-calling and misunderstanding will "make a tear in the fabric of our school community," she said.

The curriculum includes an eight-minute video that features a young woman discussing how condoms can reduce the risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases or becoming pregnant. She also demonstrates the proper way to put on a condom, using a cucumber. It also discusses "sexual variations," including homosexuality, which up until now teachers were not allowed to bring up as a topic for discussion -- only address specific questions from students.

In addition to their belief that the school's proposed curriculum veers away from "traditional values," CRC members also believe the Board of Education did not follow the proper procedures for submitting a new curriculum.

Members compared the treatment of the sex ed curriculum to the school board's treatment of the grading and reporting policy, which has received a lot of public exposure, they said.

"[The curriculum] has not been given the time and attention it should have been, even compared to their own policy," CRC member Tom Reinheimer said.

CRC members said they are asking that the school board delay the pilot of the curriculum until a public hearing has been held and enough community input has been gathered.

The GCA will draft a letter to the board vocalizing Germantown residents' opposition to the curriculum, board member Alice Gordon said.

However, because the GCA must remain impartial, she said the letter would present both sides of the issue.

"There's no way that we can choose sides, we have to remain open-minded," Gordon said.

[Date=01-12-2005] Name:Laura quigley5@msn.com, [Msgid=763129]


Msg Topic [No Replies]
Good luck Steve!
Steve, good luck and God bless you as you go on the radio tonight. We're couting on you! (no pressure!)

--Laura
[Date=01-12-2005] Name:Laura quigley5@msn.com, [Msgid=763124]


Msg Topic [No Replies]
FYI - teach the facts
FYI -- the Yahoo message board that the infamous 'teachthefacts' people have set up at groups.yahoo.com/group/teachthefacts/ has 37 members as of this morning with 15 of those members added in the past week. This is a "closed" message board in that you must apply to the administrator for membership. (I have not done this yet -- but frankly, I do not think they would accept me.)

Laura

[Date=01-09-2005] Name:Laura quigley5@msn.com, [Msgid=761510]


Msg Topic [1 Reply Last Reply:01-20-2005 - 1:16 PM ]
First Media Press Released
We sent out our first media press release tonight to 10 different organizations and media outlets. More to follow tomorrow. The press release will be posted on the web site soon.

The folks getting this tonight and encouraging them to go to our web site (mcpscurriculum.com) for more info, etc:

George Will at the Washington Post
Charles Krauthhammer at the Washington Post
Jon Ward at the Washington Times
Georgia MacDonald at the Gazette
Susan Gibbs at the ADW
Chris Core at WMAL
Don Krough at WAVA
Michael Graham at WMAL
Bob Knight at CWA
Peter Frigg at FRC

Steve
[Date=01-06-2005] Name:Steve stfisher21@cs.com, [Msgid=760323]

News releases
Thanks, Steve, for sending out the news releases.
BTW, it's Peter Sprigg of FRC.
EStella
[Date=01-20-2005] Name:Estella pfox_exgays@hotmail.com, [Msgid=767405]


Msg Topic [4 Replies Last Reply:01-20-2005 - 9:49 PM ]
Sample 30 sec Radio Spot
Attached is a demo 30 sec radio spot as sample of what can be produced.
[Date=01-06-2005] Name:TonyC ajcnet100@yahoo.com, [Msgid=760265]
Attached File "30_sec_radio_spot_demo_1a~mp3.zip" - size 467696 Click Here To Download

I say go ahead
Of course I'm biased about the spot since it's Tony work, but if there's no reason not to air it, give them the OK. Does anyone have a reason not to utilize this radio message?
[Date=01-20-2005] Name:Ellen ellenmc7@juno.com, [Msgid=767700]

radio spot
All I need is to give him the go ahead. Should we use this resource now? Unless I hear different by Friday evening I will ask him to let em go. I will try and find out when they will run. Don K also wants SF back on when we are ready. WAVA is very much on board. BTW many of my friends call me Johnny. My beautiful daughter just came in the room so I am off for the night.
[Date=01-20-2005] Name:John (Johnny) Garza jgarza@garznet.com, [Msgid=767653]

Radio Spot Posted
FYI - This spot has been posted at mcpscurriculum.com
[Date=01-11-2005] Name:TonyC ajcnet100@yahoo.com, [Msgid=762698]

Good Radio Spot
Tony,

This is very good. How would one go about getting this aired? I will mention it to WAVA and WMAL to see if they will air it. Who would I talk with about getting this on the air elsewhere? Are there certain requirements or protocols?

Thanks...
[Date=01-11-2005] Name:Steve stfisher21@cs.com, [Msgid=762354]


LEGISLATIVE-POLITICAL Top
[2 Posts ] [LastPost: 02-02-2005 1:25 PM]

Msg Topic [1 Reply Last Reply:02-02-2005 - 1:25 PM ]
Legislative meeting recap
Pam Wong organized an excellent meeting for the leg. team this past Monday. We met w/experts in the area we are all embarking upon. We met w/reps. from Concerned Woman for America, Assn. of MD Families and another MD activist on these issues. The two major action items that resulted from the meeting: 1) effectiveness of filing a stay/injunction; and 2) following the lead of our friends in Cinn. OH, CCV by writing a "liability" letter to the School Board and Superintendent. The liability letter is something we can do right now. Please see http://www.ccv.org/Legal Liability of Homosexuality Education.htm.

The Liability Letter would question the school board/educators responsiblity to protect our children. Leaving information out of the curriculum that deal directly w/the health consequences associated w/the activity they are advocating. This letter is not only sent to the "powers that be" but it's also leaked to the press. The effect of the letter, which must be answered, highlights the fact the school board is not protecting their students.

At stay or injunction would be filed to go right at the heart of the School Board's violation of it's own "due process" policy.

Additionally, we were encouraged to ask a MD House of Delegate Member or a Member of the MD state senate to ask State Legislative Counsel to do some research in the area of parental rights w/regard to school board actions related to what's being taught to our children. We need a more thorough look at the code to better understand what rights we have as parents.

I hope this information helps.
[Date=01-23-2005] Name:Al Jackson abjackson@comcast.net, [Msgid=769255]

Wow, an excellent idea
Imagine the impact if we could only get the curriculum to acknowledge the devastating impacts of anal "sex" on the body. Now if we could get that AND the rate of HIV/AIDS, domestic abuse, suicide, etc.
[Date=02-02-2005] Name:Jamie shralp@mindspring.com, [Msgid=774864]


BIOs Top
[11 Posts ] [LastPost: 01-11-2005 2:57 PM]

Msg Topic [3 Replies Last Reply:01-11-2005 - 2:57 PM ]
PLACE BIOS HERE!
PLEASE POST, IN THE BODY OF THE POST, A SHORT BIOGRAPHY.
Name:john obrien support@recallmontgomeryschoolboard.com, [Msgid=752581] *

Laura Quigley
I am married to my husband Daniel and we have three children. Our oldest daughter is a freshman at Loyola College, our son is a junior at GHS and our youngest daughter is in 6th grade at GMS. We have lived in Gaithersburg for 11 years, having moved here from Moorestown, NJ. I was born and raised in South Jersey and graduated in 1981 from Glassboro State College (now Rowan Univ.) with a business degree. Daniel is originally from Long Island, and graduated from Allentown College of St Francis DeSales (now DeSales University) in 1980. We are both life-long and devoted Catholics and are members of St Rose of Lima in Gaithersburg. Every member of our family is active in the parish in one way or another. Dan has been a home builder all of his life. After being a stay at home mom for many years and then a manager at Borders Books and Music, for 8 years now I have been running my own business from home, a building permit service that serves builders here in Montgomery County. This past election season was the first time I became actively involved in politics, working for the re-election of George W. Bush. My self-made “Catholics for Bush” window sticker could be seen tooling all around Montgomery County. However, I will never take another BOE election lightly as long as I live.
[Date=01-11-2005] Name:Laura Quigley quigley5@msn.com, [Msgid=762506]

Steve Fisher Bio
Pattie and I have lived in Montgomery County since 1977 when I moved here after 5 years active duty in the Marine Corps. Pattie has lived in Montgomery County since 1954 and with our two children, bought the house in which she grew up from her father, who now lives with us as well here in Bethesda. Our children attended MCPS each K through 5 --- so we have had over 12 years experience as MCPS parents and volunteers. Collectively, our family has been paying taxes to Montgomery County for over 50 years.

I was a Marine helicopter pilot and senior Pentagon staff officer with over 30 years active and Reserve duty experience. I am a survivor of the Pentagon attack on 9-11, having been in the Pentagon that day on Reserve duty orders. I was recalled to full time active duty the next day. During the ensuing Operation Noble Eagle and Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan invasion) I was a senior briefing officer to the Secretary and other top civilian executives, generals and admirals --- providing daily briefings on the Global War on Terrorism. Prior to my mandatory retirement in July 2002, I was part of a team working on details for the upcoming Iraqi Freedom invasion plans.

I am a Southern Baptist native of Atlanta Georgia and my wife is Catholic. We have raised our children as Catholic and they have attended Catholic middle and high schools (Mater Dei and Gonzaga for my son; Holy Child for my daughter.) My son is a freshman at Villanova. My family is a member of Little Flower Parish and active in Catholic charities as well as First Baptist Church of Alexandria, where I also taught Sunday School for over six years. I, my wife and father-in-law are very active volunteers at Holy Child. Needless to say, we truly are a very ecumenical family!

I attended Georgia Tech and then received an appointment to the Naval Academy, graduating with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. I was a lay student minister at the Naval Academy and an active member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes there. I played varsity football at Annapois and was All-Met Scholastic as a high school football player in Atlanta. I also have a Masters degree from the University of Maryland. I am of Native American ancestry being a Cherokee and Osage descendant. My mother and five brothers and sisters all live in the Atlanta metro area.

Considering the issues ahead, I also have a personal involvement in this challenge to dispell the stereotype of the religious when it comes to homosexuality. I have a homosexual aunt and uncle. They are cherished members of our family, espcially my uncle whose life long partner recently passed away. My bother then opened up his home to my uncle (who is now 70) so that he would not have to live by himself. I and my family are very strong Southern Baptists, but epitomize our faith's creed in that we truly do love the sinner, but despise the sin.

I retired from the FAA in 2000 and am currently employed by Northrop Grumman Corp. (the largest employer in Maryland) as an executive account manager.
[Date=12-19-2004] Name:Steve stfisher21@cs.com, [Msgid=753689]

Mary Healy bio
I grew up in New York and Connecticut, attended both public and parochial schools, graduated from Notre Dame in 1986 and received a doctorate in biblical theology at the Gregorian University in Rome in 2000. I've taught 5th grade, junior high, high school and graduate school, and often work with kids in our youth group. I'm currently serving as the Council Chair of Mother of God Community in Gaithersburg and adjunct professor of Scripture at the Notre Dame Graduate School in Alexandria. My book Men and Women Are from Eden: A Study Guide to Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body is scheduled to come out next summer.
[Date=12-17-2004] Name:Mary Healy maryhealy@ix.netcom.com, [Msgid=753166]


Msg Topic [No Replies]
Bio - Theresa Rickman
I am married with three children, one at Holy Cross and two at North Chevy Chase (I transferred them out of Holy Redeemer last year after a comparison of the curriculums which clearly indicated NCC was educationally superior). I was raised Catholic, I am parishoner of and contribute to Holy Redeemer Church, however I have to admit that my family attends church sporadically. My husband is an atheist and he is also strongly opposed to the new curriculum.

I have always been a full-time working mom, and of that dual income, the government helps itself to 65% of the second professional salary. My employment has been with Lynuxwork for the past 7 years, where I am a Federal Business Manager. I was a Girl Scout troop leader for 3 years at Holy Redeemer School.

I graduated from Vanderbilt University in 1985 with a double major in Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science.
[Date=01-08-2005] Name:Theresa Rickman theresa.rickman@recallmontgomeryschoolboard.com, [Msgid=761235]


Msg Topic [1 Reply Last Reply:12-19-2004 - 9:09 AM ]
Jeannie Tondo Bio
Full-time homemaker for four young people: son, 10th grader at Watkins Mill High School; daughter, Freshman at Villa Julie College in Baltimore; daughter, Junior at the Shady Grove campus of UMES, and son, Senior at Catholic University. Happily married to Dominic Tondo, of the CRC member Media group.
Teach Spanish part-time to K-8 at a Catholic school (MOG), and 7th grade religious education at St. John Neumann Church, Gaithersurg.
Worked 13 years at World Bank in economic forecasting, contributing to field missions and economic publications, esp for Middle East, Africa, & Central America. Fairly fluent Spanish.
Education: MA Economics, GWU 1986; BA Int'l Rel & Econ, AU 1977. Fall 1976 Univ of the Andes, Bogota, Colombia.
[Date=12-17-2004] Name:Jeanne G. Tondo jgtondo@comcast.net, [Msgid=753144]

Help with our Hispanic Outreach
Jeannie,

Great Bio! Can you and Dominic help in our Hispanic outreach and letters, translating them into Spanish? Also, any other cultural awareness/hints you can offer me in my spokesperson role would be greatly appreciated, too. Mucho Gracias!
[Date=12-19-2004] Name:Steve stfisher21@cs.com, [Msgid=753691]


Msg Topic [No Replies]
Ellen and Tony Castellano
Tony and I have been married 16 years and have 7 kids, 2 - 9th graders at Watkins Mill HS, 2- 8th graders, a 7th, 4th and 2nd grader. (Yes, that's 2 sets of twins; they're 11 months apart!) I am from Hagerstown, and attended Catholic schools there and have my BSN from Catholic Univ. My nursing experience has been in hospitals in DC, VA and MD, and currently am a full-time mom. I coach basketball for CYO, and will be coaching the WMHS girls volleyball team in a rec league this winter with the City of Gaithersburg. Tony is from Long Island originally and attended mcps and graduated from U of MD. He works for the Dept of Energy and does voice-over work on the side (www.tonycastellano.com). We're both Catholic and attend St. John Neumann Church in Gaithersburg.
[Date=12-18-2004] Name:Ellen Castellano, [Msgid=753081]


Msg Topic [No Replies]
Bio-Michelle Turner
My husband, Grant, and I were both raised here in Montgomery County and have lived in Wheaton/Silver Spring area for 18 years. We have six children ranging in age from 9 years to 23 years. Our two oldest(daughters) are in college. Our 17 year old son(senior) and 15 year old daughter(sophomore) are students at Einstein HS in Kensington. We have a 13 year old son at Sligo MS and our youngest daughter is a 4th grader at Oakland Terrace ES.
I have had the privilege of being a "full time" mom while my husband has worked in the field of Real Estate as a consultant for primarily commercial construction and leasing.
Grant is a lifelong member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints(Mormom). I joined the Church in 1984 and currently teach Sunday School to the 3 & 4 year olds. My husband is the secretary in the High Priest group.
[Date=12-17-2004] Name:michelle turner mnturner@comcast.net, [Msgid=753056]


Msg Topic [No Replies]
Ben Patton - Bio
Born (1957) and raised in Montgomery County. Fourth of ten children. Attended public schools through high school and graduated from University of Maryland in 1979. Married to Trish in 1983. Seven children (six girls and one boy in the middle) ages 18, 16, 15, 14, 10, 7 and 5. One in college (MC), three in high school at Damascus and three in elementary school (home school). Partner in CPA firm (Patton, Erskine & Braucht, P.C.) in Tysons Corner. (Virginia, long commute!) Have been attending church at Rock Creek Church in Derwood (Evangelical Free) since 1985. Currently serving on the Board for Rockville Pregnancy Center (a great pro-life, Christ centered organization).

Non-too happy about the MCPS BOE changes to the sex-ed curriculum.
[Date=12-16-2004] Name:Ben Patton Ben@Patton.Com, [Msgid=752689]


Msg Topic [No Replies]
John Garza Bio
Married to Robyn Garza, 3 children, Gabrielle age 7; Courtlyn age 5; Lucas age 4. The girls attend St. John's Episcopal School in Olney and Lucas attends Millan Methodists Pre School. Lucas suffers from autism and is home school most of the time. I attend Covenant Life Church and teach Sunday School one time per month. My wife is Jewish and does not attend Church regularly. I am a lawyer and parnter with Garza Regan & Assoc. My office is accross the street from the Courthouse in Rockville. I have been in practice for 23 years. I recently sued the BOE in connection with discrimination against Christian students. I am the current leader of the Legal Team.
[Date=12-16-2004] Name:John Garza jgarza@garzanet.com, [Msgid=752663]


VIDEO-LEGAL Top
[25 Posts ] [LastPost: 02-09-2005 2:25 PM]

Msg Topic [3 Replies Last Reply:02-09-2005 - 2:20 PM ]
2nd draft
here is the next draft. I would love to make a 14 page long letter but I want this to go out today.

Re: Legal Liability of the Board of Education and MCPS


Dear Members of the Board and Dr. Weast:

I represent the Citizens for Responsible Curriculum, Inc. (CRC), a rapidly growing and
dynamic group of concerned parents, taxpayers and citizens in Montgomery County. The CRC
Board has authorized me to transmit this letter to you in an effort to sound the alarm felt by many
in the County about the future health effects sure to follow the implementation of the new sex ed.
curriculum.

By separate letter CRC and individual parents and teachers will make demand on the
Board to stop implementation of the new sex ed curriculum. This request will be made to avert
several lawsuits already in preparation to be filed in Federal Court and with the State Board of
Education. These lawsuits will outline the Board’s failure to follow its own procedures, the
gross factual inaccuracies in the new curriculum and the unconstitutionality of setting up a
“separate but equal” curriculum that offends children and teachers with deeply held religious
faith so as to promote the gay lifestyle. (Not that I need to remind you, but religious
discrimination is actually in the Constitution). A request will be made to establish a new,
unbiased, Citizens Advisory Board which will submit a curriculum that does not offend anyone,
is implemented following the established procedures, contains accurate information, and is
constitutional. In addition to this future request, I write this letter to alert you to the future
litigation you are seeding with the new curriculum.

Attached is a copy of The Legal Liability Associated with Homosexuality Education in
Public Schools. This paper provides an assessment of the risks and liabilities associated with
policies and programs that normalize homosexual behavior in public schools. I urge each of you
to read it carefully and consider your legal responsibility to our children.

As a trial lawyer I see the following happening about 5 to 7 years from now. Many
young people having graduated from the County School System find themselves infected with
HIV, suffering from many STDs, dispite condom use, including the new extremely virulent
strains now coming from Europe, having other serious medical ailments as of result of long term
anal sex, including cancer. The empirical data from institutions such as the Center for Disease
Control now show that those who choose the gay lifestyle significantly shorten their lifespan.
For example, Oxford University found that gay and bisexual men shorten their life expectancy by
8 to 20 years. (This recourse is banned under your curriculum) (smoking only shortens ones
lifespan by 5 years). These young people find that they are not “gay” but had chosen that
lifestyle as a result of the indoctrination which began early in their school life. They will point to
this School Board as the group who started the slide with the new sex ed. curriculum. They will
point to the “safety” Trojan horse injected into the public schools by the gay community and
swallowed by the Board. They will go to trial lawyers and ask what they can do. And the
lawsuits will follow. By this time the accurate facts will be known and the juries will be
unsympathetic to the those who closed their eyes and ears to anything except the radical gay
agenda.

Attached is a copy of The Legal Liability Associated with Homosexuality Education in
Public Schools. This paper provides an assessment of the risks and liabilities associated with
policies and programs that normalize homosexual behavior in public schools. I urge each of you
to read it carefully and consider your legal responsibility to our children.

No one at CRC wants to hurt or damage self identified gay children. However, we
request the studies done by the BOE to determine the amount of “gay bashing” going on in the
schools. You have consistently failed to produce the evidence you must have. Exactly how big
a problem is this? Our kids are taught often to respect and love their neighbors. If more need be
done please share the information quickly. We were very concerned about the young gay man
beaten to death in Montana, but were likewise concerned when the truth came out that he was
killed by one of his own former bisexual lovers who foolishly tired to use what he thought was
anti-gay bias to his advantage.

Our studies show that gays have higher incomes, better jobs, better education and live in
nicer neighborhoods than do non-gays. We would appreciate the BOE information on gay
safety.

So far the BOE has refused to meet with us or even acknowledge us. Please reconsider
this approach. It never works. As a result you now receive a letter from me, a lawyer.

I look forward to hearing from you.
[Date=02-09-2005] Name:Johnny Garza jgarza@garzanet.com, [Msgid=778497]

duplication
John,

Paragraph three and five are the same. Looks like you copied the paragraph instead of moving it.
[Date=02-09-2005] Name:Ben Ben@Patton.com, [Msgid=778618]

add a few words
Another -3rd paragraph from bottom- "However, we request THAT YOU PROVIDE the studies"
[Date=02-09-2005] Name:Jiim rettab20@verizon, [Msgid=778592]

Looks good
typo- 4th paragraph, 8th line down in parenthesis should be resource, not recourse.

Jim


[Date=02-09-2005] Name:Jiim rettab20@verizon, [Msgid=778588]


Msg Topic [4 Replies Last Reply:02-09-2005 - 2:25 PM ]
draft liab. letter
attached is the draft liab. letter. please pick it apart.

Re: Legal Liability of the Board of Education and MCPS


Dear Members of the Board and Dr. Weast:

I represent the Citizens for Responsible Curriculum, Inc. (CRC), a rapidly growing and
dynamic group of concerned parents, taxpayers and citizens in Montgomery County. The CRC
Board has authorized me to transmit this letter to you in an effort to sound the alarm felt by many
in the County about the future health effects sure to follow the implementation of the new sex ed.
curriculum.

By separate letter CRC and individual parents and teachers will make demand on the
Board to stop implementation of the new sex ed curriculum. A request will be made to establish
a new, unbiased, Citizens Advisory Board which will submit a curriculum that does not offend
anyone, is implemented following the established procedures, contains accurate information, and
is constitutional. In addition to this future request, I write this letter to alert you to the future
litigation you are seeding with the new curriculum.

As a trial lawyer I see the following happening about 5 to 7 years from now. Many
young people having graduated from the County School System find themselves infected with
HIV, suffering from HPV (Hard to Prevent Virus) or many other STDs including the new
extremely virulent strains now coming from Europe, having other serious medical ailments as of
result of long term anal sex including cancer. The empirical data from institution such as the
Center for Disease Control now show that those who chose the gay lifestyle significantly shorten
their lifespan. For example, Oxford University found that gay and bisexual men shorten their life
expectancy by 8 to 20 years. (This recourse is banned under your curriculum). These young
people find that they are not “gay” but had chosen that lifestyle as a result of the indoctrination
which began early in their school life. They will point to this School Board as the group who
started the slide with the new sex ed. curriculum. They will point to the “safety” Trojan horse
injected into the public schools by the gay community and swallowed by the Board. They will
go to trial lawyers and ask what they can do. And the lawsuits will follow. By this time the
accurate facts will be known and the juries will be unsympathetic to the those who closed their
eyes and ears to anything except the radical gay agenda.

Attached is a copy of The Legal Liability Associated with Homosexuality Education in
Public Schools. This paper provides an assessment of the risks and liabilities associated with
policies and programs that normalize homosexual behavior in public schools. I urge each of you
to read it carefully and consider your legal responsibility to our children.

No one at CRC wants to hurt or damage self identified gay children. However, we
request the studies done by the BOE to determine the amount of “gay bashing” going on in the
schools. Exactly how big a problem is this? Our kids are taught often to respect and love their
neighbors. If more need be done please share in information quickly. We were very concerned
about the young gay man beaten to death in Montana, but were likewise concerned when the
truth came out that he was killed by one of his own former bisexual lovers who foolishly tired to
what he thought was anti-gay bias to his advantage.

Our studies show that gays have higher incomes, better jobs, better education and live in
nicer neighborhoods than do non-gays. We would appreciate the BOE information on this.

So far the BOE has refused to meet with us or even acknowledge us. Please reconsider
this approach. It almost always never works. As a result you now receive a letter from me, a
lawyer.

I look forward to hearing from you.
[Date=02-09-2005] Name:Johnny Garza jgarza@garzanet.com, [Msgid=778452]

letter to BoE
John,
There needs to be a little editing done. Before we move forward with this, let's talk about where we are with the "stay".

If everyone would familiarize themselves with this letter and be prepared to discuss tomorrow evening that would be helpful.

Also, Steve and I are meeting Friday morning with Valerie Ervin.

Michelle


[Date=02-09-2005] Name:michelle turner mnturner@comcast.net, [Msgid=778625]

Minor suggestion to letter
John,

Consider switching paragraphs three and four so that the Liability Letter gets a little more emphasis.
[Date=02-09-2005] Name:Ben Ben@Patton.com, [Msgid=778468]

Liability Letter
John,

Your letter is good. I still think we should still do the impactful liability letter from us directly to the Board instead of referencing the CCV's, as previously stated in my earlier email.

If our exec. board agrees to your attachement option, I suggest that you change the meaning you have in your letter of the accronym for HPV. Actually this accronym has a real medical meaning "Human Papyloma Virus (HPV). You may want to use the real medical definition, instead of the one you listed. By the way, this is considered an STD virus as well.


[Date=02-09-2005] Name:S. Mendoza incite_emc@yahoo.com, [Msgid=778467]

draft liab. letter
I know there are typos, etc. and I have already added some stuff, just want thoughts and then I will submit a final draft.
[Date=02-09-2005] Name:Johnny Garza jgarza@garzanet.com, [Msgid=778462]


Msg Topic [3 Replies Last Reply:02-08-2005 - 7:11 PM ]
Legal Liability Letter
I was getting started on the Legal Liability letter and found that the CCV letter is so compelling I thought I would write a short letter and attach the CCV position paper as an attachment. Doesa this sound ok to the BOD? The CCV paper is 14 pages long and I probably would not improve on it much. It will also speed up the process. I would like to let the letter go out this week.
[Date=02-08-2005] Name:Johnny Garza jgarza@garzanet.com, [Msgid=778036]

Legal Liability Letter
John,

I see your point about re-writing the letter... you don't want to change a good thing... I guess my immediate concern is that we are using the CVC's letter as a model and sending their letter to the school board as an attachment to our "short letter" may water down the impact of what we are trying to do.

I vote on changing whatever wording necessary and sending the same 14 page letter from the CRC to the school board. I think this would have a greater impact than as an attachment. After all, they are another group, located in another state... they may decide to take the attachment serious. I just want the board to know that we mean business. Sending the letter out from our organization is a better strategy.

Just giving my two cents... :O)
[Date=02-08-2005] Name:S. Mendoza incite_emc@yahoo.com, [Msgid=778165]

I gave Russ this document in July, 2003
During the writing committee of the curriculum I gave
Russ this document and he said he would pass it on. Obviously it did no good. Retta
[Date=02-08-2005] Name:Retta Rettab20@verizon, [Msgid=778141]

CCV letter as attachment
If it doesn't change the legal aspects of issuing it to the BOE, that should work!
[Date=02-08-2005] Name:TonyC ajcnet100@yahoo.com, [Msgid=778116]


Msg Topic [1 Reply Last Reply:02-07-2005 - 4:59 PM ]
Protect Yourself Video
According to Russ, the video will be available for viewing at the high schools after feb 15 (training day), and parents can call the high schools to see it. I directly asked him about allowing us to post the video on our website and he thought we would not get approval for the reason that it is for 10th graders, and if it's posted online, younger kids could view it. In regard to obtaining a copy of the video via the Freedom of Information Act - John: will the fact that it is produced by and copyrighted to MCPS keep us from being able to post it even if we do get a copy?
To view it now, we have to go to a BOE building at 570 North Stonestreet Ave in Rocville, about 2 miles from Carver. Some of us plan to view it Tues after the BOE public comments time. We need to get over there no later than 11:30.
At this time, Steve and Laura will be speaking at the 10am meeting tomorrow, and Michelle and I will be in attendance. (I may speak also, but haven't decided yet.) Anyone who wants to come should expect to hear them as well as the teachthefacts people (they met over the weekend and posted about it on their site.)
[Date=02-07-2005] Name:Ellen ellenmc7@juno.com, [Msgid=777265]

We need as many to attend as possible
I really hope that other interested CRC parents will come to the BOE meeting tomorrow morning at 10 am. We (I) could really use the moral support and it would be great to have several people in attendance as I have a feeling the teachthefacts people will be bringing some ammo (not literally) in the form of people and statements. As Ellen said, read about the meeting they had on Saturday on their blog (if you can stomach it!).

Thanks everyone.
Laura
[Date=02-07-2005] Name:Laura quigley5@msn.com, [Msgid=777433]


Msg Topic [No Replies]
Information that could be useful
Bunny Galladora (media group/WCTU)
Sent me this description of a packet she got from Russ Henke. This may be valuable to the cases you legal folks are working on.
"Russ sent me the copies of the reports from the Local School - Comunity Planning Groups that I requested. Latest reports available are June 2004. (I was sure that these did not exist!)

Would this information be helpful to any of you for whatever you are working on?

The information on the forms consists of:
dates of first and second sememster
instruction time in hours
number of students in class
number of students who were excused
type of alternative instruction provided for each student who were excused
if Family Life and Human Sexuality was included in other subjects at that school
how were parents informed of their righ to excuse their child
dates or how instructional materials were available for parent review
how were parents notified about review sessions
when did the school-community planning group meet and who participated in the meeting
how were the materials reviewed
number of teachers in school certified to teach health course"
Her email is bgalladora@comcast.net if you want to ask her about this information.
[Date=01-29-2005] Name:Ellen ellenmc7@juno.com, [Msgid=772566]


Msg Topic [No Replies]
Garza out tell next week
I will be out of town and not easily reached tell Monday. If you need me I can reached on my cell phone is 301 706 5557. I will see everyone on the 3rd.

"We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed, we are perplexed, but not in despair, persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down but not destroyed - always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body . . . For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God." 2 Cor. 4:8-14
[Date=01-25-2005] Name:Johnny Garza jgarza@garzanet.com, [Msgid=770459]


Msg Topic [1 Reply Last Reply:01-20-2005 - 8:18 AM ]
Our lawyers win in Louisianna
The same lawyers who are taking our case just reversed a trial court which struck as unconstitutional the Louisianna same sex marriage ban. The La. Sup Court reversed and reinstated the law.
[Date=01-19-2005] Name:John Garza jgarza@garzanet.com, [Msgid=766783]

Where can we help
John,

Let me know if you need a letter writing effort to help identify potential resources here. We can work up a press release on the past poor legal performance that would indicate the BOE's inclination to discriminate against religious families and organizations.

[Date=01-20-2005] Name:Steve stfisher21@cs.com, [Msgid=767238]


Msg Topic [No Replies]
Lawsuit
OK folks, I need anyone who wants to be a plaintiff in the case to send me an email with your name, address, email, phone, names of kids, school and grade. I need a set of plaintiffs for the federal lawsuit and a set for the State Board appeal. Two different sets. Our associate attorneys feel very confortable about these lawsuits. Also, if anyone knows of any TEACHERS WHO DO NOT WANT TO TEACH THIS STUFF, this presents another lawsuit. Please let me know. My email is jgarza@garzanet.com.
[Date=01-19-2005] Name:John Garza jgarza@garzanet.com, [Msgid=766554]


Msg Topic [No Replies]
Appeal to State Board
In addition to our federal lawsuit I think we can appeal to the State Board of Education to stop the curriculum. I am working on this and will be in touch.
[Date=01-18-2005] Name:John Garza jgarza@garzanet.com, [Msgid=766205]


Msg Topic [No Replies]
The calvary is coming!
TThe lawfirm that just whipped the BOE due to its unconstitutional conduct against the young
men of the “Good News Club” has agreed to help us in our case. We a putting together quite a
team of lawyers. If you know of any kids who have been discriminated against for their
viewpoint, or religious beliefs please let me know. The BOE has a poor batting record in Court
trying to defend its actions. Lastly, PLEASE, ALL PLAINTIFFS PLEASE EMAIL ME OR LET
ME KNOW WHO YOU ARE.
[Date=01-18-2005] Name:John Garza jgarza@garzanet.com, [Msgid=766147]


Msg Topic [1 Reply Last Reply:01-10-2005 - 12:01 PM ]
all we need are plaintiffs
We are working on the lawsuit. We parents who have children in the school system to come forward and become plaintiffs. Identity will be kept anonymous, (for many reasons, including the fact that children are involved, threats, and subject matter). We specifically need kids who attend the pilot schools and kids in 8th or 10th grade or who will be in 8th or 10th grade perhaps next year. Also, if a kid is struggling with his/her sexual identiy that would be perfect. (Although according to the school, all kids fall into that category). We cannot file the suit without plaintiffs. Ms. Rickman has already volunteered, however, the more plaintiffs we have the better. Please search out parents who can come on board with this. There is no obligation to stay on or anything like that and I am availble to answer any questions. As far as I can tell this will be the first case like this one in the country. We need to do this for the children. Please help!
[Date=01-10-2005] Name:John Garza jgarza@garzanet.com, [Msgid=761827]

about finding plaintiffs
John,
You should talk about this on Saturday, and if it's the right thing, we can send out a message over the list serve. There are 55 members currently, but that number will go up after the WAVA interview on Wed.
[Date=01-10-2005] Name:Ellen ellenmc7@juno.com, [Msgid=761845]


Msg Topic [No Replies]
Extremely important to include condom objection
It is imperative that we keep the condom demonstration objection in the final draft petition!

Petition no. 1 does not say what we want to do about the condom video, only that we object to it. Many parents were originally up in arms over this provocative condom on cucumber demonstration video and to leave it out would disappoint many would-be petition signers. Furthermore, we are NOT saying that they should eliminate all talk of contraception and make it 'abstinence only' as our detractors suggest-- we are asking them to go back to the original curriculum already in place and that DOES have information (but no video) on condom usage.

Laura

[Date=01-06-2005] Name:Laura quigley5@msn.com, [Msgid=760208]


PETITION Top
[37 Posts ] [LastPost: 01-25-2005 9:21 PM]

Msg Topic [4 Replies Last Reply:01-25-2005 - 9:21 PM ]
Petition signatures at SJN
Over 300 signatures were gathered at St. John Neumann Catholic Church this weekend (1/23)! I think that's very encouraging. The snow may have kept some people away, but we will be there next weekend as well.
[Date=01-23-2005] Name:Jeanne G. Tondo jgtondo@comcast.net, [Msgid=769206]

Ben will give us a count
Most of those collecting signatures can't access our board, so we'll have to wait for Ben to get the petitions from the PO Box and give us a count. Here is the list of Coordinators:

Rock Creek Church, Derwood ----Ben Patton
St. Catherine Laboure, Wheaton-- Olga Fairfax
St. John The Evangelist, Silver Spring--- Steve Dirlik
First Baptist Church, Gaithersburg--- Peter Sprigg
Hope Alliance, Germantown--- Pamela Wong
St. John Neumann, Gaithersburg ---Jeannie Tondo
St. Rose of Lima, Gaithersburg ---Laura Quigley
Covenant Life, Gaithersburg--- Bob Buchanan
St. Paul’s Catholic Church, Damascus ----Rob Robertson
Redeemer Lutheran, Damascus---- Jill Ochs
Seneca Creek Community Church, Gaithersburg--- Sue Patton
Cedar Ridge Community Church, Spencerville--- Buffy Wiltz
Walkersville Christian Fellowship, Walkersville--- Burt Patton
Our Lady of the Visitation, Darnestown--- Elizabeth Gerpe (not permitted)
Derwood Bible, Derwood---Alex Smith
Grace Community Church of Damascus---Robert Kerth
Church of the Redeemer---Benny Dorsey
Little Flower Catholic Church, Bethesda---Steve and Patty Fisher
Fourth Presbyterian Church, Bethesda---John Erskine
St. Martin of Tours, Gaithersburg---Therese Rodriguez

[Date=01-25-2005] Name:Ellen ellenmc7@juno.com, [Msgid=770556]

Total petition count?
Can we get everyone who gathered petitions last weekend to post how many petitions they gathered so we can get a total count to date?
[Date=01-25-2005] Name:Dominic Tondo dtondo@comcast.net, [Msgid=770542]

Great News!
Thanks, this is very good news. I plan to send a press release and additional emails on our progress next weekend. Hopefully with the feedback we get from others, we should be approaching if not exceeding 1,000 signatures after just one week!

Did we have anyone with the petition at the March for Life down town today?
[Date=01-24-2005] Name:Steve stfisher21@cs.com, [Msgid=769967]

Signatures
Pam Plaisted was collecting a lot of signatures after Church on Sunday at Covenant Life Church. I saw several pages of signatures. The only thing holding her back was lack of man/woman power. There should be a good number of petitions coming from CLC.
[Date=01-24-2005] Name:Johnny Garza jgarza@garzanet.com, [Msgid=769431]


Msg Topic [4 Replies Last Reply:01-20-2005 - 2:44 PM ]
Getting our message out
I took my son to a soccerpractice at the Germantown soccerplex yesterday (he drives himself so usually I don't go). There were lots of parents watching/waiting for their kids, I had my petition and got over 20 signatures, many of those people I have never met before. I did not have time to ask all the parents there, but all I asked wanted to sign, except 3. What I learned was that most of these parents did not know about the changes or had some vague idea that there were some changes. We need to have a business card to give out with our web address and some 2-4 liners of info on it. I was scrabbling on newspaper etc. I just went into this cold/unprepared, but it was great, the positive response I got. I met a health teacher from Farquhar MS. he does not want to teach this course and he and other health teachers have been wanting to put together an alternate health course and get it approved with BOE, I told him to contact us. So all of you creative citizens, can any of you come up with a pithy card?? I will be happy to take to printer and finance a bunch, Steina Walter
[Date=01-19-2005] Name:Steina Walter swalter86@verizon.net, [Msgid=766820]

Here is a sheet of printable cards
Attached is a sheet of business cards that could be handed out while collecting petition signatures. I will have these at our church, and bring them to the March for Life. Feel free to change the wording if you want, it's a Word doc. (I'll put them on card stock paper).
[Date=01-20-2005] Name:Ellen ellenmc7@juno.com, [Msgid=767464]
Attached File "mcpsbusinesscard~doc.zip" - size 41984 Click Here To Download

business cards
www.vistaprint.com can help you design business cards



[Date=01-20-2005] Name:Estella pfox_exgays@hotmail.com, [Msgid=767424]

Please have the teacher email me
Great work... this is encouraging, too.

I would like to get the teacher's comments and work up a press release and message to the BOE among others about the reluctance of some teachers to teach this course. I would also like to highlight that it is forcing teachers to create their own alternative courses as well.

Please if you have this teacher's name, have them contact me and John.


[Date=01-20-2005] Name:Steve stfisher21@cs.com, [Msgid=767239]

petition
Did the health teacher get hold of John?
[Date=01-19-2005] Name:retta rettab20@verizon.net, [Msgid=766924]


Msg Topic [No Replies]
Details about the petition drive
Ben will be collecting the signed petitions, scanning/copying, counting, and storing the originals until delivery to the BOE. Thank you Ben! Keep us posted.
HAVE YOU SIGNED UP TO BE A PETITION COORDINATOR YET?
I am collecting the petition coordinators names and churches in order to send out a letter on our email lists. Please send me anyone that you find who is willing to do this at their church or organization (name/place). I hope to have enough names to send a message out in the middle of the week.
This is the fun part!! Last night I took the petition to a basketball game and every parent (on our team) there signed it, and I filled the rest of the sheet this am at church. People are very happy to sign it, and grateful that we are doing this. I told them we are trying to get 10 or 20 thousand signatures.
[Date=01-16-2005] Name:Ellen ellenmc7@juno.com, [Msgid=765156]


Msg Topic [1 Reply Last Reply:01-20-2005 - 8:24 AM ]
Bring the Petition to the MARCH FOR LIFE
The March for Life is Monday Jan 24th. We are going and will bring lots of hardcopies for people to sign who come to the March (remember they DON'T need to live in Montgomery County to sign!). All we need to do is canvas folks who we see.

Also - if your church is going down in buses as a group, ask your Pastor if you can circulate the petition on the buses for them to sign!

We can get many, many, many signature that day!

TonyC
[Date=01-14-2005] Name: TonyC ajcnet100@yahoo.com, [Msgid=764069]

Please take article
Tony,

Also take copies of the press release and and other articles we have prepared and make them available too.

I would recommend we take a sheet of tear-off tags with our web site address so you can pass these out to folks to go online and sign that petition too as well as joining our email list and volunteers.

Steve
[Date=01-20-2005] Name:Steve stfisher21@cs.com, [Msgid=767241]


Msg Topic [No Replies]
The Flyer
Here is the flyer to accompany the petition that we revised while on the phone. We are not going to revise it. Please feel free to make your own revisions if you feel it is necessary when you collect petition signatures.
[Date=01-13-2005] Name:Ellen ellenmc7@juno.com, [Msgid=763978]
Attached File "PetitionFlyer~pdf.zip" - size 14123 Click Here To Download


Msg Topic [1 Reply Last Reply:01-14-2005 - 2:24 PM ]
And the winner is.........
The petition and flyer are posted on mcpscurriculum.com
The vote during the conference call was for Mary's latest and shortest version of the petition, see attached. Her fact sheet was also approved with revisions, see attached. The fact sheet is to be a supportive document for the petition. We aren't going to alter it, if you don't agree with the wording, change it for your own petition collections.
[Date=01-13-2005] Name:Ellen ellenmc7@juno.com, [Msgid=763970]
Attached File "CRCPetition~pdf.zip" - size 44350 Click Here To Download

Petition
Good job! Will the online petition be changed?
Also I am confused about what Tony said. Does it not matter if non-Montgomery county people sign the petition? Are you going to send the petiton to the BOE? Would they care if other people sign it from outside of the county?

[Date=01-14-2005] Name:Retta Rettab20@verizon.net, [Msgid=764259]


Msg Topic [1 Reply Last Reply:01-13-2005 - 7:46 PM ]
we need more signatures
I checked the petitiononline and noticed that the "bring back hfs radio station" started today has 12,000 signatures already and all we have is 100 + signatures. I hope we can get this petition on the front page.
[Date=01-13-2005] Name:John Garza jgarza@garzanet.com, [Msgid=763881]

RECALL SITE MODS
John - I will feature the on-line petition prominently on the main page. Give me about 15 minutes.
[Date=01-13-2005] Name:ADMINISTRATOR support@recallmontgomeryschoolboard.com, [Msgid=763883]


Msg Topic [No Replies]
CIVIL - NOT SUBMISSIVE
I agree Mary with your post in the media section. There is a place for focused anger here. Lets not forget that this "quasi" elected board, immediately after the nationwide election which trounced the homosexual agenda, instituted a profoundly pro-gay curriculum. What they did was, and still is, outrageous.

This board is NOT going to recant anything because of "supplicant" appeals to listen to our position. The only thing that is going to get their complete attention is:

1. Continuing outrage streaming in to their castle headquarters
2. John Garza proceeding immediatley with his lawsuit. (Lawsuits tend to get peoples attention - merit or no merit because it forces them to deal with their legal team on a continuing basis)
3. 50,000 plus signatures between the paper petition and the on-line petition.
4. Tabulation of all the outrageous things said about us and this issue, and posted on both web sites.
5. Massive email campaign to inform and INFLAME.

In other words, aggressive tactics.

[Date=01-13-2005] Name:ADMINISTRATOR support@recallmontgomeryschoolboard.com, [Msgid=763681]


Msg Topic [1 Reply Last Reply:01-13-2005 - 12:34 PM ]
EMAIL CAMPAIGN
I totally agree with Theresa. This is a public relations-Media war. Sharon, the fox, has won round one...period. She used the "poor wilting flower" in the face of the "big bad dangerous homphobe" ploy number 36.

Now, we better be more aggresive, and faster if we are not going to be totally out flanked. The Email campaign Theresa is talking about is the fastest way to stir the pot in our favor, particulalry since this county is very internet savy. I will help with this email campaugn in any way that I can.

AND, I still think we need to be out front with Condom Video excerpts on the web sites to get our "base" motivated. If its controversial then GOOD..maby we will get some press and eyeballs.
[Date=01-12-2005] Name:ADMINISTRATOR support@recallmontgomeryschoolboard.com, [Msgid=763332]

Petition-General Comment
O.K. from one that has been in the “lions den” for 2 years. Let me tell you that the opposition will stop at nothing for their “cause”. There is no compromise. They lie to get their point across. I tried reasoning and the Advisory Committee rejected every single item of information that Jackie and I proposed. D. Fishback’s comment he sent to the Gazette after Michelle, myself and others wrote the Gazette in April, 2004 reflects the other side’s thinking. This is what he e-mailed Sean Sedam of the Gazette about my comment regarding the fact that the committee would not include information from the CDC about the HIV/AIDS risk for homosexuals along with heterosexuals, “This selective use of materials…leads me to believe that Ms. Brown was simply seeking to demonize homosexuals.” “But the materials presented by Ms. Brown took the position that there is no such thing as healthy sexual orientation that is not heterosexual.”

This is his quote from the same e-mail that says exactly what the committee and I’m afraid the BOE have now come to believe.
“But the exclusion from that discussion of the fact that not all people are heterosexual, and that non-heterosexuals can have healthy and happy lives, was, in my opinion, destructive to the mental health of students who were not heterosexual.”
“My understanding of the views of all but one member of the Working Group (that was me) was that for any school system to suggest that homosexuality is, itself, a mental disorder and to suggest that, through extraordinary efforts, people can change their sexual orientation, would not only be destructive, but could even open up the school system to legal liability.”
We have to be mad but play smart!

[Date=01-13-2005] Name:Retta rettab20@verizon.net, [Msgid=763622]


Msg Topic [2 Replies Last Reply:01-12-2005 - 10:28 PM ]
On Line PETITION
Okay folks -

I really think we are getting bogged down. A couple of points :

1 - the BOE will not accept on-line signature as valid. They will only accept regular signatures. So it doesn't really matter if the on-line petition is worded slightly differently then the signed petition.

2- half the parents (I know I was this way) will be so angry about the new curriculum the attitude will be "where do I sign, how do I help..." They are not going to mince words back and forth and hem and haw about exactly how it is worded.

3 - the on-line petition signers have both web sites available, it really doesn't need to be detailed.

4 - we are losing momentum. We have not linked the on-line petition anywhere (to any site) yet. At this rate, the oppositions petition is going to vastly out number our signatures simply because they put one online accessible from their website (which we have not yet !). This is a media game and press relations - Sharon Cox latest stunt on "she's scared to show up at a meeting because we are a small hateful group" we are playing right into. The public is on our side, but you wouldn't know it since we are successfully hiding our numbers.

5 - I can't change the on-line petition after it is posted, that's the rules. I can get the email addresses for everyone who has signed and repost it somewhere else and ask them to sign again - but this to me seems rather silly.

6 - the text of the on-line petiton was voted on. And I did run the requested information by the chair of the petition group before posting it.

Sorry if this is curt, but if we keep going round and round here we are going to lose before we have started. They are 97 signatures on our petition. How many on the opposition's web site ?

Theresa
[Date=01-12-2005] Name:Theresa Rickman theresa.rickman@recallmontgomeryschoolboard.com, [Msgid=763225]

The online petition is up on mcpscurriculum (nm)
Theresa had to convince me about the validity of the online petition this past weekend, and now that I've signed it and passed it along to interested friends and neighbors, I really like it. When I passed it on, I reminded people to be sure to sign the paper petition, and even asked for help collecting signatures. I think it is very motivating and allows for comments from those less involved.
[Date=01-12-2005] Name:Ellen ellenmc7@juno.com, [Msgid=763299]

I Agree with Theresa
I agree with the points that Theresa makes, and I would also like to add a few other points.
1) I don't think this petition needs legal review becaue it was not intended to have legal standing - it is only a showing of support. As far as I know there is no legal procedure triggered by any number of petition signatures that would cause a rescinding of a school board action, and we decided that we are not formally seeking the recall of board members -- yet. If I am wrong about this and there is some legal action that we know would be triggered by some number of petition signatures than yes - we should have the enitre petition reviewed by attorneys.
2) One recent post suggested that we should remove some of items suggesting reasons for rescinding the action. That is the type of petition I suggested before Christmas but many individuals felt we should list some reasons, so we added a list.
3)I think we have a process problem - if we continue to make changes each time one is suggested we will never reach closure and never really launch our petition drive. This is not the fault of the many well intentioned people who have made suggestions - it is the fault of the process. Decisions like this should really be made at a meeting with all interested persons present so that all concerns and questions can be addressed and compromises - if necessary - can be made. Perhaps we can learn something for the future from this process.
4) We need to come to the Saturday meeting with a finalized petition that we can distribute and begin collecting signatures - not further debate about the wording of the petition. I am sure that we could continue to improve the language for many months to come and never reach perfection. I fear we are making the perfect the enemy of the good.

I will be on the conference call tomorrow night and hope that we can put this issue to bed then.

[Date=01-12-2005] Name:John Mitchell john.mitchell@recallmontgomeryschoolboard.com, [Msgid=763287]


Msg Topic [No Replies]
Accompanying flyer
P.S. The accompanying flyer would be most effective if printed in large print on colored paper - for parents in a hurry.
[Date=01-12-2005] Name:Mary Healy maryhealy@ix.netcom.com, [Msgid=763090]


Msg Topic [4 Replies Last Reply:01-12-2005 - 10:23 PM ]
Petition revisited
Here's how the revised petition would look.
[Date=01-12-2005] Name:Mary Healy maryhealy@ix.netcom.com, [Msgid=763088]
Attached File "DraftPetition2MH~doc.zip" - size 45056 Click Here To Download

I like it...
Looks good. We will vote on which petition/s to post/circulate tomorrow night on the conference call. To all an fyi - the executives and the group leaders will be on a conference call tomorrow night in order to prepare for the meeting on Saturday. We'll post the decision on Friday so we can publicize it on Saturday.
[Date=01-12-2005] Name:Ellen ellenmc7@juno.com, [Msgid=763298]

Petition
This will be the last from the Browns- Jim suggests that in #2 you change the word "determine" to "question". Think about it!!!What say you.
[Date=01-12-2005] Name:Jim rettab20@verizon.net, [Msgid=763120]

Petition Plus

I don't want to get complicated however I didn't know if you know that the curriculum is made up of 3 parts...Human Sexuality, Mental Health and Safety.... You can only opt out of Human sexuality.

FACT: Prior parental permission is required for students to participate in any class session on human sexuality and sexually transmitted infections.

FACT: Alternative units are available if parents decide that they do not want their children to participate in the classes:
* An alternative unit on "Abstinence Only;" * An alternative unit on stress management and environmental health; or * An independent study unit on a health education topic of the parent's choosing.
www.mcps.k12.md.us/info/pdf/newhealth2.pdf
========================================

HOWEVER
http://www.mcps.k12.md.us/curriculum/health/gr9.htm
Alternatives To or Exemptions From Comprehensive Health Education
Due to a variety of reasons some students may not be able to schedule comprehensive health education in Grade 10, when it is recommended. Those students may select the option of taking the course in evening school or summer school. Students considering this option should be made aware of the cost involved and should check the evening school and summer school schedule for times and locations of course offerings.
Some parents have requested that their child receive an exemption from comprehensive health education based upon religious conflicts with the subject matter. If a parent requests such an exemption the school should direct the parent to make the request in writing and forward it to the MCPS coordinator of health education. The coordinator will review the request and advise the parent and the school on how to proceed. An alternative program has been designed expressly for students who request this exemption.



[Date=01-12-2005] Name:retta rettab20@verizon.net, [Msgid=763108]

Petition
Mary, I think your idea sounds great. We don't want to give the oppositon an advantage.
[Date=01-12-2005] Name:Retta rettab20@verizon.net, [Msgid=763096]


Msg Topic [No Replies]
Petition revisited
Late as they are, I'm glad for the recent criticisms and suggestions regarding the petition. We need a document that everyone can wholeheartedly endorse.

Here's an idea: we delete the whole list of flaws from the petition. This could be to our advantage, because the less the petition says, the less vulnerable it is to attack. If our opponents can successfully refute a single point in our petition, they will have torpedoed the whole thing.

The list is needed, though. I suggest it be an accompanying sheet that must be availabe wherever the petition drive is being held. See attached and please weigh in.

I hope no one is discouraged by all the back and forth. We're all on a learning curve! Better to perfect it as best we can now than regret it later. Is there someone on the legal committee who can weigh in on this?
[Date=01-12-2005] Name:Mary Healy maryhealy@ix.netcom.com, [Msgid=763086]
Attached File "Petition_accompanying_flyer~doc.zip" - size 27136 Click Here To Download


Msg Topic [4 Replies Last Reply:01-11-2005 - 4:29 PM ]
petition needs legal review
I was surprised to see that a petition was developed without legal review to make sure it supports any legal or court action that may because necessary to stop the curriculum. As a member of the legal committee I cannot stress enough the need for us to work as a team.

From a marketing stand point the information on the petition is not not completely accurate, nor does it state the facts that would create a reason for the public at large to get involved.

1 the curriculum promotes homosexuality as normal,natural and healthy.
2. all references of fact based medical,scientific and psychological information that proves no one is born gay and provides choices to students have been rejected for inclusion in the curriculum.

3. The CDC medical risks of homosexuality have been rejected.

4.The curriculum as approved promotes a religious view point that approves of homosexuality in some of the resources.

The reason "Take Maryland" lost their law suit over their petition to not add sexual orientation to the Maryland Code was that over a thousand people said they were mislead by the statements
on the petition. 60 thousand signatures were thrown out and Maryland has sexual orientation as a proctected class. The enemy will sign it,so you need to make sure there is no wiggle room and always read what you draft from the enemies point of view.

What say the legal committee?
Regina
[Date=01-10-2005] Name:regina griggs reginagriggs@hotmail.com, [Msgid=761855]

Laura-Petition
Yes we need quotes and you probably know that homosexuality is changeable at any age. I have heard of a 60yr old man that changed his feelings!!!!
[Date=01-11-2005] Name:Retta rettab20@verizon, [Msgid=762562]

petition
I know many of us originally signed off on the petition as it stands, but I think the concerns that have been brought up are valid ones and I would be in favor of the changes to the petition which would make our 'problems' with the new curriculum more evident to a person being asked to sign it. My example using Retta’s suggestions is below. Perhaps this is not as big a job as we might anticipate. Could we 'tweak' this petition even further and get a similar or same result?

Laura

PS My use of the word 'unchangeable' should be in quotations as this is a reference to how the pro-curriculum people say that one's sexual orientation is something you are predisposed to and cannot be changed. This in the case of 12 or 13 year olds is not valid as you know.
[Date=01-11-2005] Name:Laura quigley5@msn.com, [Msgid=762491]

Petition
I too think Regina has some good points but the petition as is is still out on the web for people to sign. Will it be modified or not? The longer it stays there as is the more confusing the public will be about what CRC really means when it is changed.
[Date=01-11-2005] Name:Retta rettab20@verizon.net, [Msgid=762391]

Status of the Petition
Regina has some valid points... there is nothing worse than having all our hard work wasted by challenges that nit pick the choice of words or say the petition is not very clear.

Before I discuss the petition on the air, I need to know if it is good to go as is or will there be changes and if it is accesible.

Regina is also correct that we need to vet any public documents before we send them out. Even when we think it is just a minor modification of existing documents and statement, we need to get each group's input before release. I also failed to do this with my first press release in order to expedite its getting to the press. Fortunately, others reviewed it and made some excellent edits before we posted on the web site. I recommend that before anything is released we need at least one person from each group review and OK it. I will be doing this for my upcoming media documents.
[Date=01-11-2005] Name:Steve stfisher21@cs.com, [Msgid=762374]


CHURCH Top
[4 Posts ] [LastPost: 01-29-2005 3:32 PM]

Msg Topic [2 Replies Last Reply:01-29-2005 - 3:32 PM ]
Bishop Farrell's cop-out response
Ellen,

If you are discussing the Catholic Church then the Bishop's response is a true "cop-out". Our issue is NOT political, it is a MORAL issue. The Catholic Church takes a very strong position regarding Abortion, yet Abortion is also a political issue. The Church does not back-down on its position regarding Abortion. Well, the Church is VERY clear about homosexuality. The question is: Does the Bishop have the courage to stand up for the Moral Principles clearly outlined in the Catechisim? Hiding behind email is easy; we need to meet with him and have direct eye contact. I will take time off from work to meet with him. Can you set up the appointment? Please advise. Thank you.
[Date=01-28-2005] Name:Barry blyons4@comcast.net, [Msgid=772358]

I'm willing to attend also
Barry, Ellen, Steve --
I would be more than happy to go with you to meet with the Bishop or at least whoever we can arrange to meet with from the ADW. Count me in and let me know if there is something specific I could do in the interim to help get us the meeting.
Laura
[Date=01-29-2005] Name:Laura quigley5@msn.com, [Msgid=772652]

I wanted a response...
and I got one quickly, but it wasn't what any of us wanted to hear. Barry, re meeting with the ADW, Steve has asked to meet with them just today, and I'll let you all handle that. If the Church can't stand behind us with the petition drive, so be it, maybe there is another way for them to help. If anyone has any good ideas, post them, I can forward them to Barbara Zellers who will be meeting with Chuck and Larry from the ADW next week. I personally feel that I'd rather spend my time informing parents of the situation than trying to force the leaders of the Church to do something they don't want to. The Church needs to figure out what it WANTS to do to help our situation and then do it.
[Date=01-28-2005] Name:Ellen ellenmc7@juno.com, [Msgid=772370]


Msg Topic [No Replies]
About petitions in the Catholic churches
I emailed Bishop Farrell today and asked if he could encourage the pastors to allow the petitions to be collected at their parishes, and this was the response (by Chuck Short, assist.)
"The Archdiocese discourages using Church facilities for petitions for two major reasons:
It places pastors in the very difficult position of having to judge the merit of each request and there would be many, and should petition cross the lines of partisan politics it may place the Church in the position of violating federal laws."
In light of this, we shouldn't expect any promotion of the petition drive from the ADW, but just continue at those parishes where we have been allowed to do so.
[Date=01-28-2005] Name:Ellen ellenmc7@juno.com, [Msgid=772199]


PTA Top
[16 Posts ] [LastPost: 02-09-2005 2:22 PM]

Msg Topic [No Replies]
Review of BOE Mtng tape
On viewing the tape today of yesterday's meeting, this is what struck me as significant:
1. Pat O'Neil first refers to Steve's letter where he states that he's a Whitman Cluster parent, but that she couldn't find him in any of her resources for that school, then stated that she was "happy to find on your website" the information that his kids go to Catholic schools (quotes from Steve bio on this message board), etc, etc... She "found your bio very fascinating" (she is waving the paper around while saying this), and goes onto compare her family with his.
She made no attempt to hide the fact that she got Steve's bio from our password protected, private message board.
2. The staffer that Sharon Cox had speak at the end of the meeting about the policies doesn't say anything new for us except that the policy Steve spoke about (IFB - Citizen Review of Curriculum Materials) has been IDENTIFIED for revision. Take note - it is still the policy on the books right now, and we can only act on what we know.
3. Gabe Romero was quickly instructed to talk with Russ for an indepth conversation about how the new curriculum deals with family issues. They clearly didn't want to discuss it there on tape. Someone should follow up with him on this and find out what he thinks after he has that conversation.
[Date=02-09-2005] Name:Ellen ellenmc7@juno.com, [Msgid=778619]


Msg Topic [1 Reply Last Reply:02-06-2005 - 10:06 AM ]
Talk with WMHS principal
Mr. Cahall called to respond to an email I sent him. He is going to recommend that I be on the School Community Planning Group, which he now says does exist, and has met already at the beginning of the year. He will allow me to join the small group of parents and the health teacher, but didn't know what the limits were on the size of the group and indicated that he wasn't open to a many more parents coming in at this time. They (SCPG) will meet in the spring. He is going to advertise to ALL parents the information about when the new health ed materials (condom video) are available for viewing vs only telling the parents of kids in Health. He had not read the curriculum and wasn't familiar with what it teaches - I informed him:) WMHS will not be a pilot school. The health teachers also have not officially recieived the new curriculum, and he isn't interested in offering an informational meeting about it. I expressed to him my dismay that only those parents in the pilot can evaluate the curriculum to which he could only respond, "that's the way they do it", and didn't know what could be done. There is massive ignorance within the school system (administrators and teachers) in addition to all the parents about the contents of the curriculum. The BOE is doing of marvelous job of keeping it under wraps. (Actually there is one teacher at WMHS who signed the petition and was passing it around to other teachers to sign!)
[Date=02-04-2005] Name:Ellen ellenmc7@juno.com, [Msgid=776199]

Game Plan for PTAs and Schools
Ellen,

Great work... this is very good information. I would recommend that you get with the PTA/School Group and develop a detailed game plan for the various PTAs and Schools to include emails, letters, meetings with principals and spreading the word to parents at the six pilot schools especially. We need to expand on the good work you have done at WMHS. Is Jeannie the PTA/School Group Leader? (I do not yet have the most current Group Leader list, but Theresa is getting that for me.)
[Date=02-06-2005] Name:Steve stfisher21@cs.com, [Msgid=776787]


Msg Topic [No Replies]
about teacher training for the pilot,
Did you know that parents and interested citizens can observe the teacher training of this subject mattter? Russ told the committee that this was an option if anyone wanted to sit in on this training. Someone would need to check to see when this training would be. I wonder if he still says this? I think the 10th grade training is in Feb. and the 8th grade is in March. Russ indicated
to me that he would be conducting the training. Bring a tape recorder!! Retta
[Date=02-02-2005] Name:Ellen ellenmc7@juno.com, [Msgid=775140]


Msg Topic [No Replies]
At the elementary school...
After pointing out to the pta president at South Lake that many of the Muslim families there will be offended by the new curriculum (I refered her to the faith link we have on the website), she is going to have copies of the letter I sent her with info on the petition and website at the next pta meeting. This is progress, and demonstrates that we just need to find the right way to present our message and it will be received.
[Date=01-28-2005] Name:Ellen ellenmc7@juno.com, [Msgid=772169]


Msg Topic [1 Reply Last Reply:01-28-2005 - 3:42 PM ]
Talk with the WMHS PTA Pres.
I had a very nice discussion with the Watkins Mill HS pta president today (she is my neighbor). I wasn't asking her to do anything, I just wanted to know about the situation there. At WMHS they don't have a pta email group, and there hasn't been much talk at all on the new curriculum. They've been focusing on getting their FPO (full-time police officer?) back, and she feels that this is their biggest priority due to the frequency of fights and violence there. There is no School-Community Planning Group specific to the Health Curriculum, though they do have a School Improvement Team that reviews different projects and curricula matters (eg new grading system). The pres will recommend they address the new curr. at the next meeting. She personally didn't know all that much about the curriculum and I took the opportunity to explain our position to her and she seemed to soften up after hearing it and feels strongly that all parents should be given the opportunity to voice an opinion on it. She objects to the condom video herself.
After talking with Barbara (Russ's assist) today, it appears that they are not going to suggest to any non-pilot schools that meetings about the new curriculum be held to inform parents. This gives way too much power to those pilot schools to decide the fate of an issue that all parents should be given an opportunity to weigh in on. Jeanne Tondo and I may ask the WMHS principal to allow a discussion of the new curriculum to be held at the same time as the new condom video is shown to the parents before the kids see it this spring. All the county schools will offer the chance to preview the new video to parents. This would be a great opportunity to introduce the new curriculum to parents if the principals are willing.
[Date=01-28-2005] Name:Ellen ellenmc7@juno.com, [Msgid=772166]

Ellen
Something doesn't add up. Russ handed out the list and dates the Planning groups met at all the High Schools and Jr. High as reflected on the Principals report for 2003-2004 and Watkins Mill met on 11/13/03. So they had one last year. Susan J. said her principal didn't know of one at her school either and Poolsville HS down for 6/10/04. What is going on? Retta
[Date=01-28-2005] Name:retta rettab20@verizon.net, [Msgid=772212]


Msg Topic [No Replies]
QO cluster PTA meeting tonight
Did someone attend the QO cluster PTA meeting tonight???
[Date=01-18-2005] Name:TonyC ajcnet100@yahoo.com, [Msgid=766362]


Msg Topic [No Replies]
teachthe facts.org update

FYI -- the Yahoo message board that the infamous 'teachthefacts' people have set up at groups.yahoo.com/group/teachthefacts/ has 37 members as of this morning with 15 of those members added in the past week. This is a "closed" message board in that you must apply to the administrator for membership. (I have not done this yet -- but frankly, I do not think they would accept me.)

Laura
[Date=01-09-2005] Name:Laura quigley5@msn.com, [Msgid=761508]


Msg Topic [No Replies]
School listing
I found a web site with this private schools. Updates attached.
Theresa
[Date=01-09-2005] Name:Theresa Rickman theresa.rickman@recallmontgomeryschoolboard.com, [Msgid=761471]
Attached File "mcps_listing~xls.zip" - size 173568 Click Here To Download


Msg Topic [3 Replies Last Reply:01-12-2005 - 7:58 PM ]
List of schools
Hello -
I did some searching on the web last night and found a pdf with all the MCPS schools and contact information (not emails, though, unfortunately).

If we can complete this I can put it into a database and email blast (like I have been for update notices) a personalized email to each principal. We can also hit the mass email lists, if they exist.

I am going to need some help finishing the spreadsheet though. Does anyone object if I email the group and ask for volunteers to correct 50 names each ?

Spreadsheet attached.


Thanks
theresa
[Date=01-09-2005] Name:Theresa Rickman theresa.rickman@recallmontgomeryschoolboard.com, [Msgid=761455]
Attached File "mcps_listing~xls.zip" - size 65024 Click Here To Download

Contacting schools
here is what I was thinking on contacting the schools -

1) for the private schools, they should be on our side and the internet is the fastest and easiest way to reach all of them.

We draft an email addressed to the principals of all the Catholic schools (highschools/gradeschools) in the area. I have the names of all the private schools. We get the email address of the principal and send a email explaining the new curriculum, and asking that they email their school enrolled email list (everyone has one these days) - informing the all the private parochial schools attendees of what the public schools are doing with the curriculum. We will provide them with the text to email to their enrolled students. Most of the kids who are in the private schools are there because the parents are concerned about what the kids would learn if in the public school system (the education in the Montgomery County public school system exceeds that of the private schools). The point I am making is that these parents are ON OUR SIDE BY DEFINITION. And even though they don't have kids in the public school system, their tax dollars are supporting it. So, let's leverage them. Let's get them involved.

So here's the plan.
1) we come up with an email for the private schools principals.
and the email we want them to circulate.
2) we use the volunteers to research the email addreses of the principals for the private schools and find out how many volunteers we have that have children in those private schools.
3) then we email and request the help. the email should come from an enrolled student's parent whenever possible, otherwise I can blast emails if I get some help getting the data in a format that I can import into a database.

We start there, with the Catholic schools. Depending on the support we get, we think about moving on to the private non religous schools. I don't think it will do much good to contact the public schools principals (maybe I am wrong) but we should be able to figure out which public schools have a mass email list that is available to all that are enrolled - and we can hit that without the permission of anyone.

But again, I think we start with the private Catholic schools.

Theresa
[Date=01-12-2005] Name:Theresa Rickman theresa.rickman@recallmontgomeryschoolboard.com, [Msgid=763236]

contacting schools
Theresa,

It is a good idea, but I would like to hold off just a bit until the PTA and Media groups especially can formulate a coordinated plan for this. As Ellen mentioned, when we contact the schools, because the opposition is especially well entrenched and sensitive we may inadverntently fire them up, causing us to have to go on the defensive. We are aiming for this next couple of weeks to be such we can be on the offensive with out message and actions.

The list is a good resource, though, so keep it handy.


[Date=01-10-2005] Name:Steve stfisher21@cs.com, [Msgid=761711]

What is it you want to do?
Theresa,
I'm not sure I understand what you want to do with all the school names, numbers and principals. If you're thinking of a mass email message, let's talk about it more since we had such a strong negative reaction to a letter sent out by Michelle Calabia to all the pta presidents.
[Date=01-09-2005] Name:Ellen ellenmc7@juno.com, [Msgid=761564]


Msg Topic [No Replies]
Accessing the Parochial schools email lists
I think it is important that we try to get the information via email as quickly as possible.

To this extent, I would suggest the following :

1) We make a list of the parochial high-schools and grade-schools in the area.

2) We get the principals names at these schools and their email addresses.

3) We send all of the principal's an email encouraging them to forward a notification via their email lists of the new curriculum.

We should also come up with 1) an approved email for the principal and 2) an approved email that we suggest the principal should circulate.

We absolutely should do this for the parochial schools - they are already on our side. We should also do this for the public schools - though I doubt the principals there will be as accomodating.

However, my school NCC has a email blast list - anyone can hit it and whoever signed up for the PTA will be emailed. Once we come up with what this email should look like, I will hit NCCNET. Perhaps the other public schools have a similar system, in which case if we can find volunteers who are willing to send the email (or just provide the alias) we can address them too.

Is there a way via this web site to build a list ? Otherwise could we just make a different post group for this ? I will build the list with input, we can circulate to our volunteers and ask them if they are willing to research the email address for 5 schools. If we have attendees of these schools it would be better if the email came from them.


Parochial High Schools Montgomery County and surrounding area
St. Johns
Good Counsel
Holy Child
Holy Cross
Visitation
Landon
Georgetown Prep
Gonzaga

Parochial Grade Schools
Holy Redeemer
Holy Cross
DeShanel (spelling)
St. Marys


[Date=01-08-2005] Name:Theresa Rickman theresa.rickman@recallmontgomeryschoolboard.com, [Msgid=761247]


Msg Topic [No Replies]
PTA letters push a button
Dear friends,

Michelle Calabia recently had over 200 letters sent, at her own expense, to the PTAs of Montgomery County asking them to keep parents informed about the "drastic changes" to the curriculum, and enclosing two informational sheets: one only for parents' eyes, and one suitable for the children to take home to parents. In neither was there a mention of religion.

Below is her email to me of 12/22/04 about one person's negative response. Although I am not a lawyer, it seems clear to me Mr. Eiser has no basis for a lawsuit.

Any comments?
Jeannie Tondo


Jeannie,

I have received a letter in response to the PTA mailing from Lawrence Eiser, a man who is very strongly opposed to our group, and the fact that I had suggested that the PTA send a handout home with students about the matter. His wife, Ruthann, is a PTA president at Glenallan Elementary, and he is the MCCPTA Cluster Coordinator for her school. The following is just a small part of the lengthy letter:

"For you to be using MCCPTA resources to solicit my wife in her role as PTA president for your ignorant cause is improper. For you to then admonish her to further consume the good offices of the MCCPTA (and its credibility) by leafleting your religious material to parents and inserting it in student backpacks is solicitation to illegal conduct."
"Religious solicitations like yours are clearly prohibited from the backpacks as an unconstitutional entangling of church and state."
"I will be consulting a lawyer to review this matter. I further will forward a copy of this letter to Dr. Weast so that his office and its lawyers are aware of the situation. Finallly, I will forward a copy to Victor Salazar, Vice President of MCCPTA, and reluctantly ask him to spend the resources necessary to advise every PTA President (and others) who may have received this improper solicitation to refrain from accepting its invitation to violate MCCPTA bylaws, MCPS rules, and the U.S. Constitution. Rather, they should retain the letter as evidence in the not unlikely event of future litigation."

For those that did not receive a copy of the mailing, it does not contain anything religious in it, although it does mention the websites, which do have religious information and comments on them.

To say the least, it scared me. I have informed Jack Machado (he signed his name to the cover letter of the mailing due to the fact that I have a conflict of interests--I work for MCPS) and I have also spoken with Michelle Turner about this. They both feel that this probably won't come to anything, although that I do need to be careful since I work for MCPS. Also, the Vice President of the CRC is a lawyer. Still, I would prefer that everyone in our PTA group (unfortunately) lay low about this, and not push this mailing with their PTA. I would hope this doesn't end in a legal battle. I wish I could say that I don't care if it does end up in the courts, but I do care.

Today I sent out a copy of the letter to you. On Tuesday, I sent out a copy to Michelle Turner. I am also going to send a copy to Ellen Castellano. Please pray that this doesn't come to anything serious. Also, please forward this to the rest of our PTA group.

Thanks,
Michelle

[Date=01-07-2005] Name:Jeanne G. Tondo jgtondo@comcast.net, [Msgid=755109]


FUND RAISING Top
[1 Post ] [LastPost: 01-19-2005 4:38 PM]

Msg Topic [No Replies]
Funds for Conference Call
Ben,

I sent a donation into you via the Pay Pal to help defray the conference call.
[Date=01-19-2005] Name:Steve stfisher21@cs.com, [Msgid=766833]


WARNINGS/SECURITY Top
[6 Posts ] [LastPost: 02-02-2005 4:03 PM]

Msg Topic [1 Reply Last Reply:02-02-2005 - 4:03 PM ]
Proxy server needed
Barry, Tony, anyone who knows --

Ellen discussed with me the benefits of having a proxy server which as I understand it would disallow the teachthefacts people from tracking me down.

Question: What is the best and most consumer friendly service to use and how do I 'hook up'?

Keep in mind that I am NOT a computer geek -- just someone who uses her computer ALL THE TIME. Fyi, at home we use MSN as our internet provider but we get our access through Comcast.

Thanks!
Laura
[Date=02-02-2005] Name:Laura quigley5@msn.com, [Msgid=774848]

EMAIL SAFETY
The safest way to use an email addres without people being able to "track you down" is to get an email address from the recall site. Intially I provided our group with "recall" email addresses for this specific reason. Those addresses that have been set up are:

al.jackson@recallmontgomeryschoolboard.com
barry.lyons@recallmontgomeryschoolboard.com
ben.patton@recallmontgomeryschoolboard.com
bunny.galladora@recallmontgomeryschoolboard.com
dominic.tondo@recallmontgomeryschoolboard.com
ellen.castellano@recallmontgomeryschoolboard.com
jeannie.tondo@recallmontgomeryschoolboard.com
john.garza@recallmontgomeryschoolboard.com
john.mitchell@recallmontgomeryschoolboard.com
mary.healy@recallmontgomeryschoolboard.com
michelle.turner@recallmontgomeryschoolboard.com
robin.mtichell@recallmontgomeryschoolboard.com
samara.mendoza@recallmontgomeryschoolboard.com
steina.walter@recallmontgomeryschoolboard.com
support@recallmontgomeryschoolboard.com
theresa.rickman@recallmontgomeryschoolboard.com
tony.castellano@recallmontgomeryschoolboard.com
volunteer@recallmontgomeryschoolboard.com
steve.fisher@recallmontgomeryschoolboard.com

If anyone needs a "recall" email address, which will not point to you individually, please email me at support@recallmontgomeryschoolboard.com and I will set up your new email address and provide instructions on how to get your email program to use this new address.

JOB
[Date=02-02-2005] Name:job support@recallmontgomeryschoolboard.com, [Msgid=774983]


Msg Topic [No Replies]
Steve's guidelines for writing
Here are some good points to keep in mind when writing anything that will be published on web or in print:
In order to be successful in our letters and emails, there are several things we have to guard against so we can more effectively make our case:

1) Being perceived as intolerant and homophobic --- this is the current first line of defense that the opposition uses to convince others that we are merely irrational and emotional because we “hate” homosexuals. Choose words instead that say more precisely that we are “concerned” or “disappointed” or some similar milder expression when describing their actions and statements. Use of such terms as “perverted” or “weird” or “unnatural” can be interpreted as homophobic in many instances.

2) Being too evangelical --- the opposition has tried to paint us a bunch of extreme religious zealots. Even when our faith or beliefs are attacked or impugned, do not reply with a morally indignant tone or try to “preach” to the attackers or the target audience. Those who do not recognize sin will not appreciate the seriousness of committing that sin. You will have to stretch your mind (and your faith) to find a more secular tone and message in replying to such attacks.

3) Attacking teachers --- we need to be careful to separate the CAC recommendations for the new changes from the teachers who will have to eventually teach this course. Some of them are on our side but for obvious reasons, have to camouflage their real feelings or suffer castigation by the unions and their more liberal colleagues. Most teachers pride themselves on getting their students to put faith into their instruction. Voice your concern with the impact this course may have by stating the fact that teachers have unique and “significant” impact on young minds. This approach both compliments teachers while also stressing the reasons we need to be especially careful about what teachers are expected to teach.

4) Inform and let people decide for themselves --- one of the more infuriating techniques that the liberal left uses is to tell people what they “should” or “should not” believe independent of any sources. Before you tell someone what to do, such as sign a petition or complain or opt out, we need to let them see the facts clearly for themselves or provide verbatim, specific quotes from reliable or official sources from which they can easily see our point. You can also add a link to one of our documents on our web site or the MCPS curriculum documents itself for them to peruse. For example, if the curriculum does not actually state a specific charge or action --- such stating in black and white it is encouraging non-marital sex--- you can say that the hidden message is there because it does not specifically discourage non-marital sex. Instead you can write a statement along the lines that “a young mind could easily imply from the tone of the proposed changes to the curriculum that non-marital or recreational sex with same gender partners is normal and acceptable.” This in many ways touches upon fears more concerning to parents and lends more credence to your message. It forces the defenders of the change to refute the charge, which will be difficult to do without opening themselves up to other issues and charges. In this case, that they really did not provide ample resources or guidance for teachers to ensure that a young person does not come to that conclusion.

5) Use 2nd or 3rd person wherever possible; avoid questions where a simple statement is more to the point --- this carries more weight and is less threatening.

6) List or encourage one or two specific actions that require little extra effort for the reader to accomplish if possible --- such as going to the web site and clicking on the on-line petition, or signing up to volunteer, forwarding the message to others, or ask for a post card or similar document to formally protest or opt out of the curriculum.

7) Making personal attacks --- never attack anyone personally in opposition to our CRC mission or who has attacked us in a message or article. Take the higher ground and calmly provide evidence or a rebuttal in a statement or message targeted to the readers themselves, while essentially ignoring the attacker. The opposition pride themselves on their vaunted “debating skills.” Let’s leave them to believe in that illusion while we make our points with the real audience that matters, the general public.

Responding while angry --- NEVER fire off an email or letter while angry, no matter how aggrieved you may be or justified or correct your point might be. If you need to vent, write a draft and lea

Steve



[Date=02-02-2005] Name:Ellen ellenmc7@juno.com, [Msgid=774780]


Msg Topic [No Replies]
New Viruses
Discovered Jan 28: W32.Cissi.W To learn more, please go to http://securityresponse.symantec.com/avcenter/venc/data/w32.cissi.w.html

Also discovered Jan 28: Backdoor.Sdbot.AN Please go to:

http://securityresponse.symantec.com/avcenter/venc/data/backdoor.sdbot.an.html

Lastly, Beagle (W32.Beagle.A@mm) has reared its ugly head again. If you are up to date on your virus definitions, then you are ok. However, Symantec writes: Some customers have reported that Trojan.Mitglieder.C has been discovered on computers infected with W32.Beagle.A@mm.

Keep your virus definitions updated. Run virus scans. Hopefully you all have Norton Internet Personal Firewall running, along with Spybot, Ad-Aware and Ewido. At the very least you should be running Spybot, Ad-Aware and Ewido once a week, and remember to get UPDATES every time you run the programs.

Posted by your friendly Cyberworld geek,

Barry
[Date=01-29-2005] Name:Barry blyons4@comcast.net, [Msgid=772547]


Msg Topic [No Replies]
No password required?
Two days in a row now I have clicked on hte link in the notification and was able to get right into this site without entering the password. Shouldn't I always be required to enter a password?
[Date=01-27-2005] Name:Dominic Tondo dtondo@comcast.net, [Msgid=771798]


GENERAL COMMENTS Top
[61 Posts ] [LastPost: 02-06-2005 10:09 AM]

Msg Topic [1 Reply Last Reply:02-06-2005 - 10:09 AM ]
CCV way ahead
I was reading an article and found that in the last election the CCV group in Ohio (ccv.org) distributed 2.5 million Church bulletins, handed out 20,000 yard signs and made 3 million phone calls. This group started just like ours and has grown very powerful. We likewise can to this here.
[Date=02-05-2005] Name:Johnny Garza jgarza@garzanet.com, [Msgid=776447]

Our Strategic Goal
John,

They are an excellent role model. We should aspire to have the CRC grow to being a regional influence on our public schools here in the NCR similarly, too. The numbers favor our side... all we lack is organization, planning and execution over time.
[Date=02-06-2005] Name:Steve stfisher21@cs.com, [Msgid=776789]


Msg Topic [No Replies]
Reply to Blog Comment
Good job!
My addition to the latest bog- Aren't children "inherent in heterosexuality that maintains strong long-term relationships?"

This resource is from CANADA- What do you expect?
[Date=02-04-2005] Name:Retta rettab20@verizon.net, [Msgid=775926]


Msg Topic [No Replies]
heirarchy of CRC
I want to thank those of you who attended the exec bd meeting tonight. I really appreciate the time you took to assist the moving forward of the CRC.

John and I have discussed the fast pace with which we are moving and the need to identify a heirarchy. So, here we go:

As a group member, all work regarding CRC is to be presented to the respective group leader. At that time, the group leader shall present the action, writing, work, etc., to the executive board(Michelle, John, Ben, Theresa). John and I will confer, share with those whom we feel should be aware of the action, and then approve/deny/alter the proposed action.

I know this may sound like the beginning of a dictatorship, but it is not. It is vital that the exec board-me, John, Ben and Theresa- be aware of everything related to CRC. The group leaders were identified so as to prevent folks from doing their own thing under the guise of the CRC. As board members, the group leaders have a responsibility to report to the exec bd, as well as the board in whole, the actions of their individual groups.

We will meet again next week, same time and place, at which time we can dicuss this further. We need to stay focused and committed not only to our mission but to each other as well. We are all sacrificing, we are all human , we are all united in Christ.

Michelle
[Date=02-03-2005] Name:michelle turner mnturner@comcast.net, [Msgid=775708]


Msg Topic [1 Reply Last Reply:02-02-2005 - 8:37 PM ]
Link to Washington Times article
http://www.washingtontimes.com/functions/print.php?StoryID=20050201-110413-8926r
Here's today's article about the PFOX billboard.

[Date=02-02-2005] Name:Ellen ellenmc7@juno.com, [Msgid=774814]

Concerned Women of America report about it as well
http://www.cwfa.org/articles/7376/CFI/family/index.htm
This article is linked from their homepage today, and they put a link to mcpscurriculum.com. Thank you CWA!
[Date=02-02-2005] Name:Ellen ellenmc7@juno.com, [Msgid=775124]


Msg Topic [No Replies]
CAC observers
Ellen,
I think it is a good idea to have folks there to "watch" as well as locating those turned away. Keep in mind, there may be a few who do not want their names given to an attorney.

Michelle

[Date=02-02-2005] Name:michelle turner mnturner@comcast.net, [Msgid=774658]


Msg Topic [No Replies]
Another issue

FOR YOUR INFORMATION

Do know that one of the resources approved for use by the National Mental Health Association- This is NOT the U.S. Govt. National Institute of Mental Health, but an association that relies on contributions.
The resource, for 10th grade under Mental Health is Bullying in Schools: Harassment Puts Gay Youth at Risk at www.nmha.org/pbedu/backtoschool/bullyGayYouth.cfm

This resource has a lot of problems:
• Look at the bias references- one reference is from the self-serving GLSEN
• #4 reference was deemed incorrect by the surgeon general and National Institute of Mental Health [1]
• No peer reviewed scientific or government references
• Look at who they recommend for other resources- Human Rights Campaign, GLSEN and PFLAG!

Now if you look at the Mental Health Association of Mont. County, arm of the National Organization, you will see who their sponsors are: www.mhamc.org/html/sponsor.cfm
I’m not saying this organization does not do some good but look at the incorrect information that is allowed to be given to the children from this organization and there is now a representative on the Citizens Advisory Committee and she is very pro-gay.

It seems ironic that the National Institutes of Health is listed as a sponsor when this paper contradicts information on suicide that the National Institute of Mental Health, which is part of the National Institutes of Health, is saying. [see above reference]

Also look at the many churches that are sponsors.
Do you think a letter complaining to the sponsors would do any good at getting NMHA to withdraw this resource from its web site etc? I wrote them last year pointing out the problems however the resource is still there.

What do you think?

[1] “It has been widely reported that gay and lesbian youth are two to three times more likely to commit suicide than other youth and that 30 percent of all attempted or completed youth suicides are related to issues of sexual identity. There are no empirical data on completed suicides to support such assertions, but there is growing concern about an association between suicide risk and bisexuality or homosexuality for youth, particularly males.” The Surgeon General's Call To Action; To Prevent Suicide, 1999 and “At the current time there is no definitive measure to predict suicide or suicidal behavior.” Frequently Asked Questions about Suicide; www.nimh.nih.gov/suicideprevention/suicidefaq.cfm National Institute of Mental Health, 1/3/2000.



[Date=02-01-2005] Name:Retta rettab20@verizon.net, [Msgid=774480]


Msg Topic [2 Replies Last Reply:02-04-2005 - 2:38 PM ]
Info from Russ Henke
I talked with Russ this am:
1. He doesn't seem to be bothered that it is so hard to find the curriculum on the website, and doesn't think they (webmasters) will change it. I did tell him that it looked bad and is bound to frustrate parents regardless of their position on it. (He suggested we post it on our site, and I informed him that it has been up for quite a while, but that we wanted to point parents to a nonbiased source.) I also suggested to him that they insert a link on the 2 page fact sheet doc to the actual document.
2. Pilot and parental input:
At the parents meeting prior to the pilot at those schools - there will be an evaluation form there for parents to fill out. There will not be an evaluation after the pilot for parents. Problem: if the parents aren't sufficiently informed about what is coming at them in the pilot, how can they really evaluate it?
3. Appointments to the CACFLHD:
Applications are received by George Margolies and then given to the BOE. The review of applications and appointments are handled entirely by the BOE, not he, George, or the committee chairman. He said there are still a couple openings for organization reps on the committee. Since we are an organization, can we have someone apply to represent us?
[Date=02-01-2005] Name:Ellen ellenmc7@juno.com, [Msgid=774218]

Rep on CAC
I appreciate the recommendation but we need someone of whom they have not heard or know about. I'm afraid that my application would be summarily turned down on principle. We need an relatively unknow but very astute parent to represent us on the CAC. My being a member of the CAC may also mute my acting as an official spokesperson for the CRC, too.
[Date=02-04-2005] Name:Steve stfisher21@cs.com, [Msgid=776040]

With ref. to Russ's
Will give them an excuse to put one person on- Maybe Steve Fisher would be the man!@!@ He might convert David!@!@
Good work Ellen. Be sure to tell John Gaza about Russ's remarks. What kind of evalution is that? Someone will need to be at the parents' meetings to raise issues that I know Russ will gloss over and the parents will be "snowed". I'll go to one myself, if they ever happen.
[Date=02-01-2005] Name:retta rettab20@verizon.net, [Msgid=774422]


Msg Topic [5 Replies Last Reply:02-01-2005 - 11:30 AM ]
Talk with Regina Griggs
Had a long chat with her today, and she encouraged us to
1. solicit people to attend the CAC meetings as observers
2. begin a list of those who have applied for and been denied a position on the CAC (to use as part of our attack on the biased makeup and appointments)
3. work on developing a few good sound bites/talking points that put them on the defense
I can use the list serve to ask people to attend the CAC meetings and to ask those denied CAC positions to contact J. Garza with their name and when they applied. What do you all think?
[Date=01-31-2005] Name:Ellen ellenmc7@juno.com, [Msgid=773565]

List serve message
This went out last night to 70+ on the list serve:
The Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum needs your help in
1. Keeping observers at the Citizens Advisory Committee on Family Life and Human Development (CACFLHD) meetings. This is the committee that wrote the new curriculum. Meetings are open to the public and held every first Thursday, including this Thursday, Feb. 4 at 7:30pm at the
Carver Educational Services Center
850 Hungerford Drive,
Rockville, Maryland 20850
301-279-3617 (phone)

2. Composing a list of all the citizens who have recently applied for and been rejected for the CACFLHD. If you applied to be part of this committee and were rejected, please write us with the details at: mcpscurriculumadmn@yahoo.com

Keep up the good work collecting petition signatures! There is no deadline at this point.
Look for a report with numbers soon. There is new information on www.mcpscurriculum.com check it out.

I will collect the names of those who respond at yahoo and give them to John G
[Date=02-01-2005] Name:Ellen ellenmc7@juno.com, [Msgid=774222]

General comments
David Fishback was reappointed in Sept. 2004 for 2 years.

[Date=02-01-2005] Name:retta rettab20@verizon.net, [Msgid=774171]

dates conflict
Steve, this month's meeting is the same night as the CRC Exec. Bd. meeting, so many of us cannot attend.

I suggest we start a sign up "sheet" on this message board and invite everyone (via the email list as well) to signup to attend the next 6 meetings or so. That way we will be assured of coverage. Also, the more attending, the better.

I can sign up for March's meeting.
[Date=02-01-2005] Name:Laura quigley5@msn.com, [Msgid=774067]

Attending the CAC a must!
I also agree. We should have at least one designated CRC observer there every meeting. What is the schedule?

Not only should we take notes, but if there is any issue or example of biases or misuse of authority by the Chairman, it should be fully documented and, along with statements by witnesses, forwarded to the BOE and others.

I also agree that the record of who applied and who was denied should be examined and a formal letter of concern submitted to the appropriate governing powers as well as reported to the media as further evidence supporting our claims.

When is the current term for Chairman ending? I'm not sure under which Group this may fall, but I recommend that one of the Group Leaders take for action. I will try to attend as I'm sure one or more of my Media PR group members will also.
[Date=02-01-2005] Name:Steve stfisher21@cs.com, [Msgid=774040]

Reply to Ellen's message about CAC
Excellent! Go for it! --Barry
[Date=01-31-2005] Name:Barry Lyons IV blyons4@comcast.net, [Msgid=773723]


Msg Topic [2 Replies Last Reply:02-01-2005 - 10:24 AM ]
Did MCPS take the new curriculum off their website?
I'm writing up an article for our middle school pta newsletter, and I want to direct them to the new curriculum at the mcps site, and can't find it, I just find some fact sheets. Does anyone know if they have actually removed it? If they have, we ought to nail them on that!!! Let me know, it may be that I'm not looking in the right place.
[Date=01-29-2005] Name:Ellen ellenmc7@juno.com, [Msgid=772775]

What's up with their website
AFter asking the MCPS site webmaster about access to the new curr., she let me know that it is indeed still linked to the BOE site, but that it is found under Agendas and the date. "This material is on the Web site in the Board of Education area under agendas at
http://www.mcps.k12.md.us/boe/meetings/agendas.shtm. It's accessible by date under Past Meetings: Agendas with Supporting Materials." I left a message with her asking about the possibility of making this document more easily accessable and she's going to ask a supervisor. Note: when you type in the name and date of the report it still takes you to the 2 page summary they wrote about it, not the actual report that contains the curriculum. Therefore, a person needs to know to look under Agendas, past meetings in order to find it, and a search for the doc doesn't work to find it. When I expressed my concern that it was difficult to access and appeared that they were trying to hide the document from parents like myself, she got very upset and almost hung up on me. She did say that we could bring it up to the ombudsman.
[Date=02-01-2005] Name:Ellen ellenmc7@juno.com, [Msgid=774173]

What parents can read:
http://www.mcps.k12.md.us/info/pdf/newhealth2.pdf
This appears to be the only available information for parents at this time after searching their site. Please read this if you haven't already since it's the "party line" for the BOE. They call the CAC efforts a 3 year "study", Retta, Michelle - what do you think of that description?? Also, it reiterates that parents in those 6 schools will be given an opportunity to review the curriculum prior to making the decision of signing the parental permission form, but whether those parents will be asked to actually evaluate the curriculum is not addressed. I've left messages for Russ on this question and will continue to try to get an answer.
We need to start bringing these issues to the press/media. Steve, are they really doing anything with the press releases? Or should we be trying to collar writers and give them this kind of info directly? Maybe we should focus on a writing campaign to the editors?
Here is a letter to the editor of the Times in today (opposition)
http://www.washingtontimes.com/op-ed/20050129-095131-4600r.htm
[Date=01-30-2005] Name:Ellen ellenmc7@juno.com, [Msgid=773014]


Msg Topic [No Replies]
Dr. Dobson sets record straight on Sponge Bob
Hello,

John Garza pointed me to the posting section recently.

With the controversy that you may have heard in the last week about Dr. Dobson and his "concerns" about Sponge Bob being gay, I thought you'd like to read Dobson's response about how his comments were taken out of context. Actually, Sponge Bob and other characters were going to be used in a presentation presented by a group with a homosexual agenda. See it at http://www.family.org/docstudy/newsletters/a0035339.cfm

Hopefully, this will keep you informed if people make links/attacks about what CRC is doing to the Dobson comments.

Best regards,

Pam Plaisted Text
[Date=01-29-2005] Name:Pam Plaisted PamBassett@aol.com, [Msgid=772641]


Msg Topic [1 Reply Last Reply:01-29-2005 - 10:58 PM ]
fyi - something is working
At mcpscurriculum.com yesterday (Fri) was one of our top 3 days for hits to the homepage, and the highest day so far for first time visitors(68). Nat'l Public Radio was there, someone at MD state legislature and still getting folks from all over the country.
[Date=01-29-2005] Name:Ellen ellenmc7@juno.com, [Msgid=772576]

Hits on our web site
I've notieced also that the number of online sign-ups for the petition has increased at a greater rate, too.

Keep in mind that we just sent out our latest round of press releaese lately and hopefully we have had a number of emails and letters go out on the Times artile this week, too.


[Date=01-29-2005] Name:Steve stfisher21@cs.com, [Msgid=772826]


Msg Topic [3 Replies Last Reply:01-29-2005 - 10:55 PM ]
Great Day at Pro-Marriage Rally Today
Hello All,

I attended the Pro-Marriage Rally in Annapolis, MD today at the State House and it was great! Despite the fact that is was extremely cold out today... a good number of people showed up. I'd say probably 500-700 people showed up today. It was very encouraging to even see the young and old, the physcially abled and disabled show up to this important event.

Needless to say, you know I had to tell people about our efforts and what we are trying to accomplish here in Montgomery County. My friend, Valeta and I passed out over 200 mcps business cards encouraging everyone to visit our website and sign the online petition. Hopefully we'll see alot more names on the petition within the coming days.

Thanks a bunch Ellen for giving us the template and idea to use the business cards. It went over very well... using the cards made it very easy to hand people our information. I also had extra petitions on hand and gave these to a few people who really showed an interest in our petition and they said they didn't mind collecting signatures at their churches.

There is another Pro-Marriage Rally scheduled for March 10, 2005 in Annapolis. I hope to be there as well handing out more information on the wonderful strides our group has made. Hope you all will be able to join me as well... to fight for marriage, between man & woman. We surely don't want to become another Massachusetts....






[Date=01-27-2005] Name:Samara Mendoza incite_emc@yahoo.com, [Msgid=771802]

follow up on rally
I'll add this to our Feb 3 Exec Board Meeting agenda.

Thanks..

Steve
[Date=01-29-2005] Name:Steve stfisher21@cs.com, [Msgid=772824]

Contact for Pro-Marriage Rally
Hi Steve,

My pleasure to be of assistance to help spread the word on our organization. :O)

I think it would be great if you would be able to speak at the next upcoming rally on March 10, 2005 in Annapolis, MD. The organization that put this event on is Defend Maryland Marriage. I believe it may consist of a few organizations together... I'm not too sure. To get further information on DMM their website is: www.defendmarylandmarriage.com. I believe you can contact either:

Rock City Church
1607 Cromwell Bridge Road, Baltimore, MD 21234-1416
Email: info@defendmarylandmarriage.com

OR

Take Back Maryland.org
P.O. Box 4, Pasadena, MD 21123
P) 410.647.8644
Email: contactus@takebackmaryland.org

Just so you know... I met many people from Montgomery County... so this would definitely be a great place to inform others of our organization. As well as encourage other parents to come aboard to help us... cause they never know when this agenda would be hitting a school board nearest them. Everyone who took a card, regardless of where they were from (Baltimore, Anne Arundel, PG, Frederick), said "we were doing a good thing... keep the good work up... we need you... I'll definitely support this!"

Please let me know if you need me to help you obtain further information.

NEXT RALLY SCHEDULED FOR:
Defend Maryland Marriage Rally at the Capital in Annapolis
March 10, 2005, 2pm - 4pm
Annapolis, MD
[Date=01-28-2005] Name:S. Mendoza incite_emc@yahoo.com, [Msgid=772011]

Great Work Samara!
Thank you for great diligence and initiative. It is so encouraging to see the so-called "silent majority" rising to the challenge. I noticed that we have added over 30 names to the online petition since yesterday, so the word is getting out.

I hope to hear back from the MD Catholic Conference advocacy group soon. I'll mention that CRC members are showing up to practice what they are supposedly preaching! We need them to weigh in on our side too.

Maybe Michelle and/or I can be one of the featured speakers at the Rally in March... who can we reach to see if we can get some publicity about the CRC at that event?

God Bless!

Steve
[Date=01-27-2005] Name:Steve stfisher21@cs.com, [Msgid=771834]


Msg Topic [1 Reply Last Reply:01-26-2005 - 11:02 PM ]
Today's article in the Times 1/26
http://www.washingtontimes.com/functions/print.php?StoryID=20050125-101100-3664r
This is a good platform for a letter to the editor! I did it last week, now it's someone else's turn :)
[Date=01-26-2005] Name:Ellen ellenmc7@juno.com, [Msgid=770890]

Responding to the Times Article
I sent out for the CRC a copy of the article to each member of the BOE along with a brief statement of concern with what Mr. Fishback is quoted as saying in the article.

I also sent a note to the writer, Jon Ward. Emails are going to the other media contacts as well.

We need everyone to jump on this opportunity with responses --- keep them short, to the point and respectful! NO NAME CALLING!

Thanks!
[Date=01-26-2005] Name:Steve stfisher21@cs.com, [Msgid=771191]


Msg Topic [No Replies]
What's coming next....
Retta sent this to me. I wonder how can parents can put up with this kind of thing and not see right through it?
Ellen

American Family Association - AgapePress news
http://headlines.agapepress.org/archive/1/afa/132005c.asp


Here is their message...

This practice was mentioned in one of the approved teacher resources.
[Date=01-23-2005] Name:Ellen ellenmc7@juno.com, [Msgid=768973]


Msg Topic [1 Reply Last Reply:01-22-2005 - 3:31 PM ]
UPDATE: New PBS Kids Cartoon Features Two-Mommy's

NEW KIDS TV PROGRAM ON PBS FEATURES LGBT PARENTS

BUSTER: a new PBS program starring Buster, Arthur's best friend, made popular in the ARTHUR series. Each episode finds Buster in a new place, meeting kids from some cultural background, doing the things that kids do. One of the families that Buster visits is a same gender family in Hinesburg, Vermont. The female-female couple has 2 kids that one women had and they both have an adopted Child. The kids are around 10 and 12 years old, and are shown to be typical, out-doorsy, Vermont, well-adjusted kids.

This episode will air for the first time on MARCH 23rd (NEW DATE). PBS gets a lot of its funding from the Department of Education, and as the day looms, folks at the DOE are getting a bit nervous about the reception this show will get.

So, please tell everyone you know to tune into the show when it airs and to call and email their local PBS station to vigorously oppose it!
[Date=01-22-2005] Name:TonyC ajcnet100@yahoo.com, [Msgid=768567]

General Comments
What about the new Sponge Bob movie that will be sent to all schools this March. Dr. Dobson spoke about this. Retta
[Date=01-22-2005] Name:retta rettab20@verizon.net, [Msgid=768636]


Msg Topic [1 Reply Last Reply:01-20-2005 - 8:42 AM ]
Back To The Basics.
Reference: Jud Ashman's post on 1/19/05. Jud is right! You need to concentrate most of the group's time and energy on the basics. Simply put 'your prime objective at this point in time is to insist that the BOE cease its implementation of the new policy because they did not follow the current BOE procedures in allowing for adequate public input.' That's it. That's your argument. You need to have this put back on the table for public testimony to be given. You need to have your day in court via a public hearing. This needs to be the highest of priorities. Everything that comes after achieving a public hearing is downhill in comparison.

All letters, press releases and interviews should concentrate on that message and not that of your position on the particular policy changes. "They violated the BOE process" and that process belongs to the people of Montgomery County." They will understand pressure first and foremost from the media and other elected officials at the state or county level. You have a greater chance of having elected officials 'publicly' side with you on the procedural issue alone than to back your position. A steady (weekly) diet of well crafted letters to the editor addressing this issue is paramount. This battle can be won through 'public pressure' and if you lose it, then you're pretty much left with litigation.

Avoid conveying your opinion, position or agenda at this point in time. That's what public hearings are for. The fact of the matter 'is that you are playing catch up' as the decision has already been made. The rules change and are not in your favor. If you offer up too much of a position, it will be easy to be 'labeled' by the opposition. Once labeled, it will be hard to win the public or the BOE. The character assassination has already begun by the Gazettes 'planned mistake' concerning Sharon Cox. Having played the game at the city, county and state levels, I've had my share of 'lessons learned.'

Ok enough said from me for now, you get the picture. You’re on a boat with a leaking hull and time is not on your side. It would be best if those who are shining the brass railings, cleaning the deck or otherwise engaged in important matters, concentrate on the leak first.

[Date=01-19-2005] Name:Dan Reeder sportphish@aol.com, [Msgid=766900]

Thank you, your voice is appreciated
Dan,

Thanks for the recommendations and suggestions. We are indeed concentrating our focus on stopping the proposed changes to the curriculum. If you read the various documents on the web site, you will see that over the past several weeks we are highlighting the fundemental flaws in the process, the lack of bonefide factual data and the blatant discrimination demonstrated by the BOE and the CAC in trying to railroad this through without any genuine public review or comment. Our major attacks are on the failed process and partisan politics used in shaping this change.

Our 6 point objectives are aimed at a multi-facet campaign that will:
* define our desire to stop the implementation of the changes
* abolish the current CAC and reform a more representative and balanced group
* put the BOE on notice that the CRC is a force and voice that will continue to monitor BOE activities and drive for increased parental involvement in the sex edcuation process and related policies.

While the meeting last Saturday provide a voice for some who have just now joined in the fight, there have been many of us who toiled over the holidays to focus our enegery, decide what actions would provide maximum effect to achieve these goals and coordinate our collective actions to be sure we stay on target. This may not have been readily apparent in our brief opportunity to meet with newer members and interested parties. We have come a long way and are working to further our outreach and strengthen our base.

In addition, we have developed a set of follow on actions reflecting a long term strategy to keep the heat on the BOE and make sure that this type of partisan and politically motivated activity will not exist in our MCPS. Included in this are alternative tactics, for example, if the BOE continues to move forward with the planned testing.

We greatly appreciate your energy and insight on this issue. Please help us by using some of that in working the petition and writing letters to the BOE, County and the media. Remember, though, if you are going to identify yourself as a CRC member, you letter or email should be in keeping with our mission and ethics. We are becoming successful in identifying ourselves as the true reflection and voice for moderation and respect in this county... firebrand comments or ultimatums to any on the BOE will only hurt our cause in the end.
[Date=01-20-2005] Name:Steve stfisher21@cs.com, [Msgid=767245]


Msg Topic [1 Reply Last Reply:01-20-2005 - 2:03 PM ]
Gazette article re PFOX billboard
Please somebody stop me! I went to teachthefacts.org again this morning and Kennedy has blogged a sarcastic and nasty piece about the Gazette's article today about the PFOX billboard.

I found it online in the Rockville edition - I didn't check any other editions. The article is not good -- here is the lead sentence:


"Some area residents are crying discrimination after a billboard promoting the controversial idea that homosexuals can become heterosexuals was posted on Hungerford Drive in Rockville last week."

Please read it and his blog. I can't be the only person reading that trash. Can I?
[Date=01-19-2005] Name:Laura quigley5@msn.com, [Msgid=766573]

Not all bad
Don't worry, Laura. Not all of the article was bad. THey also interviewed a local former lesbian and explained how she feels discriminated against for being ex-gay. Also, the quotes from some of the gay activists showed how intolerant they truly are.


[Date=01-20-2005] Name:Estella pfox_exgays@earthlink.net, [Msgid=767435]


Msg Topic [1 Reply Last Reply:01-19-2005 - 9:32 AM ]
Letter opportunity
In addition to my letter to the editor this morning, the Times has an op-ed piece by Dr. Throckmorton that would be an excellent platform for a letter about the curriculum. There are plenty of points he makes, including: We now know there are good scientific reasons to abandon moral neutrality in sex education. Teens will abstain if given good reasons to do so. Furthermore, in the recent CDC research, nearly 40 percent of teens said they avoided sex because of religious reasons.
here's the link: http://www.washingtontimes.com/functions/print.php?StoryID=20050118-09361 1-6331r
[Date=01-19-2005] Name:Ellen ellenmc7@juno.com, [Msgid=766532]

Way to Go Ellen!!!
That was a great Letter to the Editor! We've got to keep this issue in front of the public inorder to put pressure on the BOE.
[Date=01-19-2005] Name:Retta Rettab20@verizon.net, [Msgid=766543]


Msg Topic [3 Replies Last Reply:01-19-2005 - 9:45 AM ]
Hispanic Outreach by the Opposition
This posted at teachthefacts today as well:
Seems they are getting to our friends in the Hispanic Community:


Tuesday, January 18, 2005
Hispanic Support for the School Board Decision
Teachthefacts.org is concerned that some health education issues affect the county's minority populations especially strongly. Thus it is very heartening to read the following letter from the Executive Director of Casa of Maryland to the Montgomery County Board of Education.

Dear Montgomery County Board of Education,

Ref: Regarding the Sex education curriculum in MCPS and Latinos

As the Executive Director of CASA of Maryland, Inc. the largest Latino organization in Montgomery County, I would like to take time to show my full support for the board's decision to implement additional materials to the health curriculum taught in Montgomery County Public Schools. As you know, the Latino as well as the African American communities are the most affected by teen pregnancy, STDs and HIV/AIDS infections so the sexual education is very critical for both communities.

While continuing to stress the importance of abstinence for teens is very important, the new curriculum expands upon the old by providing teens with real-world knowledge about how to protect themselves, and encourages them to be tolerant of all people, regardless of sexual orientation. I know that the curriculum only uses as resources reputable, factual, and scientific sources validated by the consensus of the scientific community.

I strongly support the November 9, 2004 decision of the Montgomery County Board of Education to implement the revisions to the health curriculum for grades 8 and 10.

Please let me know if you need any help to ensure that you can carry-out the November 9th decision.

Thank you so much for your work and your vision in support of the low-income families in Montgomery County.

Gustavo Torres
Executive Director
CASA of Maryland, Inc.
301.270.0419
[Date=01-18-2005] Name:Laura quigley5@msn.com, [Msgid=766197]

Hispanic CASA
Someone needs to call them and ask for a meeting of their group so they can hear both sides of the issue. We need to set up teams to be ready to go after these pop ups right away.
[Date=01-19-2005] Name:John Garza jgarza@garzanet.com, [Msgid=766551]

I sent the CASA letter to the ADW
Laura,
I emailed Michael Caruso from the citizens committee asking him to consider helping us with a letter to the Post and I included the CASA letter. He didn't indicate that he was interested in writing a letter, but he said he would speak about the letter from CASA with the communications office at ADW. They must have an Hispanic Outreach Director down there who would be concerned about the situation.
[Date=01-19-2005] Name:Ellen ellenmc7@juno.com, [Msgid=766538]

Someone has to call Torres
Someone has to call Mr. Torres and explain what is really going on. Steve are you there?
[Date=01-18-2005] Name:John Garza jgarza@garzanet.com, [Msgid=766203]


Msg Topic [No Replies]
Visit teachthefacts today
Well, I knew it would happen. My repsonse to Ms. Estrada-Portales on the GHS-PTA listserv was handed over to Jim Kennedy and he has picked it apart on his blog under the heading "Response to the Recall Group"

Here is a sampling:

"Okay, it's true, we make fun of you sometimes. It's not character assassination, it's just that ... we can't take you seriously."

"It's not character assassination. We could get angry. Well, sometimes we do, but generally we remain cheerful, knowing that we are being reasonable."

"We stay cheerful. We do not -- I mean, we really do not -- like to see your big-money national organizations coming into our community and telling our school district how and what to teach."

"Yes, we brand your approach as bigoted, and we have a number of ways to say it. Nothing personal, as you repeatedly point out, you seem like a nice enough bunch of people. Some of our group are good friends with some of your group. It's not about that."

What do you do with people like this?



[Date=01-18-2005] Name:Laura quigley5@msn.com, [Msgid=766126]


Msg Topic [9 Replies Last Reply:01-25-2005 - 9:41 PM ]
Blog
Someone brought up the idea of a blog at our meeting. I think this is an excellent idea and one that the opposition has already begun (http://www.teachthefacts.org/vigilance.html).

I talked with Tony, who thinks we have enough server space, and brought up the idea to Steve F. All we need is the green light and people who want to write stuff.

I know how to set a blog up, and I blog pretty much daily myself, so I'm happy to get things set up and start posting. I can also work on getting others to link to us and train others on how to post articles to the blog.

Any input from others? Officers, what do we need to do to win your approval on this?
[Date=01-18-2005] Name:Jamie McDonald jamiedmcdonald@earthlink.net, [Msgid=766027]

Blog site
Jamie,

I'll help you in setting this up if approved by the Exec Board. We do need to publish good guidelines on the proper use of the blog and define what will not be tolerated up front.

I think it can be an effective and positive PR tool and will also be a source of ideas and recommendations and a source of volunteers for us.

If done effectively, it can be just as demoralizing to the opposition as it can be uplifting to the CRC. It will need very frequent policing though... as I know that some of the opposition are experts at creating false images and bogus posts.

Jamie, I need a brief description of the blog and its requirements to present to the Exec Board. Can you work this up for me?
[Date=01-25-2005] Name:Steve stfisher21@cs.com, [Msgid=770567]

Alrighty then
Ok, it sounds like people are interested so long as we control who posts. That will not be a problem, as blogs are normally set up so only one author can post to them.

Although we can use free hosting to keep the domain name separate, I'm not sure why we would want to. Disk space is minimal and, as the opposition has figured out already, a blog would attract more attention to the MCPSCurriculum site.

Ellen, can you or someone else bring this up at the exec meeting? I'd need a password to the server, its IP address, and Tony to set up a directory for the blog. Everything will be free; I'll start the posting and add other people as directed.
[Date=01-25-2005] Name:Jamie McDonald jamiedmcdonald@earthlink.net, [Msgid=770298]

About a blog site
If I understand correctly, the blog would need writers who on a daily basis post new thoughts, reflections, reactions, events, etc. I am not sure we have the manpower for this,... but maybe we do. Keep in mind, this may be useful for those individuals who "do blogs", but it isn't going to be terribly valuable in reaching the vast middle - those undecided, uncommitted parents of kids in mcps who need to be informed about the new curriculum. I'm wary of focusing too much effort on internet communications while neglecting the traditional communications like the newspapers - they want letters to the editors, and they have established readers, all we need to do is write them. If we really are trying to reach the vast middle, I suspect that the papers(and the radio)are going to be essential to acheive this. Letters to the editor are free publicity that we can't afford to neglect.
Reminder: we need petition coordinators, please email me names and churches for the list serve message to go out tomorrow.
[Date=01-18-2005] Name:Ellen ellenmc7@juno.com, [Msgid=766391]

If someone wants to run with this idea...
If someone wants to run with this idea of starting a new blog,
MY VIEW IS - GO FOR IT!
[Date=01-18-2005] Name:TonyC ajcnet100@yahoo.com, [Msgid=766361]

Option...
Just a point. This message board, when I set it up, gave me the option of "Blog" presentation, with moderator functions including assignable passwords. It could revert to a blog, if the executive council wishes. Though I think it is most useful at this juncture as a intra-CRC message board.
[Date=01-18-2005] Name:ADMINISTRATOR support@recallmontgomeryschoolboard.com, [Msgid=766311]

We could open a blog with a moderator...
I got this from Mike Netherland. I think he is right, we could seperately setup password access to the board available by email request and if someone posts something we don't like, take it off and invalidate their password (they would need to be specific passwords...)

Theresa
-----Original Message-----
From: Mike Netherland [mailto:miken@mailblocks.com]
Sent: Friday, January 14, 2005 9:56 PM
To: trickman@lnxw.com
Subject: Re: FW: Draft Press Release No. 2 & 3

Theresa,

If, as you suspect, Theresa, that the opposition is indeed using the
message board to plant unsavory commentary, then it could moderated. The job of moderating such a popular board could be shared. I own and moderate several Yahoo lists and have started a Blog using Blogger. It is not an easy job. But what are the goals now? I think they are to keep the pressure on, keep the issue alive, don't let the county electorate forget so the next time these people are up for reelection, they will face a fully informed constituency. Let the message board forever record the events these politicians put into train. Let other politicians see the impact on those who went before and hopefully learn from their experience. Count the cucumbers and follow the money!

We need to collect and publicize the results of the implementation of this ill-conceived curriculum. The results will, unfortunately, be manifested in the children and families of the students who are the targets of this policy. But their experience can be like the
lighthouse for other jurisdictions approaching the rocks outside the
mainstream.

It seems like the main goals of recalling the board or rescinding the policy are beyond reach unless incredible pressure is brought to bear. The message board or a subscription list serve, with strict moderation, would be the best way to accomplish these goals and future ones. What do you think?



Thanks,
Mike


[Date=01-18-2005] Name:Theresa Rickman theresa.rickman@recallmontgomeryschoolboard.com, [Msgid=766301]

NEW/UPDATED - CRC Blog Concept
To address the concerns if we open the blog up, we would not. The concept that we have is that it would be a more dynamic information portal rather than a chat/post venue. Only certain people would be able to post. The idea was to put something out there that was informative but not as static as our current site. Something like, for starters, going through the tons of documents that we have on the site and quote them with some cohesive comments, etc. That way we are making new points on a daily basis by doing the heavy reading for others who want to know what the story is but not inclined to download and read the whole document themselves. I think that the blog site should be separate and new from both of the existing CRC sites. And not even appear that it was started by the CRC at all. That way it really does give the appearance of a separate opposition group. There are free blog sites where it could be posted and run from. It is however, an effort and a lot of work. So a few volunteers are needed. Whoever does the writing would also need to follow some guidelines. Much thanks to Jamie for stepping up to volunteer first!
[Date=01-18-2005] Name:TonyC ajcnet100@yahoo.com, [Msgid=766129]

Caution.....
Having run the recall site when it was open to the public....you either have to only let people post who have ironclad password protection (and thoroughly checked out) or you will be SWAMPED. Openess does not exist in this environment. And administering who can and cannot get access will be very time consuming.
[Date=01-18-2005] Name:ADMINISTRATOR support@recallmontgomeryschoolboard.com, [Msgid=766120]

Let's do it!
Jamie, I brought it up at the meeting and I'm so glad to hear that you are willing to get this going! We desperately need a place of our own to counter their attacks and bring out some of our own.

I would just caution however, that we be really careful about what actually gets on the blog. If we allow it to become a free-wheeling board somehow, it will do us more harm than good. Just today I was faced with an email from Isabela Estrada-Portales from teachthefacts who continues to point to the negative postings we had on the recall website as evidence that we (the CRC) indulge in homophobia and name calling (something I called them on).
[Date=01-18-2005] Name:Laura quigley5@msn.com, [Msgid=766096]


Msg Topic [No Replies]
Call the Gazette today
I just left a message with Lloyd Batzler, editor of the Gazette - (301) 948-3120 - and suggest you do the same.

Background:
The Gazette absolutely trashed the CRC in last Wednesday's print edition with the story, "Cox avoids Germantown meeting after receiving threats." link: http://www.gazette.net/200502/poolesville/news/254334-1.html

They since revised the story, but ONLY on the online Gazette... not (yet) in print. See link: http://www.gazette.net/200502/germantown/news/254275-1.html

By trashing CRC, the Gazette owes you guys free space. This is an opportunity to:
a. Correct the record on the Cox incident
b. To get your POSITIVE message out

But you need to call and demand it. Monday is usually the filing deadline, so I'd suggest flooding their phone lines ASAP.

Good luck,
Jud Ashman
[Date=01-17-2005] Name:Jud Ashman judashman@aol.com, [Msgid=765386]


Msg Topic [No Replies]
Not so funny stories
We have the cheerleaders at Wooten HS with pix on a porn website and now a speaker at a school in NJ tells the students that a great occupation is stripper and for every 3 inches in breast size a gal can make an extra 50k per year. We have kids getting killed while DWI and yet the BOE gives themselves awards for the care they give to our kids. Just thinking out loud.
[Date=01-14-2005] Name:John Garza jgarza@garzanet.com, [Msgid=764282]


Msg Topic [No Replies]
where is the next meeting (nm)
No Message
[Date=01-12-2005] Name:elizabeth gerpe egerpe@msn.com, [Msgid=763339]


Msg Topic [No Replies]
Extremely important to include condom objection in petition
It is imperative that we keep the condom demonstration objection in the final draft petition!

Petition no. 1 does not say what we want to do about the condom video, only that we object to it. Many parents were originally up in arms over this provocative condom on cucumber demonstration video and to leave it out would disappoint many would-be petition signers. Furthermore, we are NOT saying that they should eliminate all talk of contraception and make it 'abstinence only' as our detractors suggest-- we are asking them to go back to the original curriculum already in place and that DOES have information (but no video) on condom usage.

[Date=01-06-2005] Name:Laura quigley5@msn.com, [Msgid=760206]


Msg Topic [1 Reply Last Reply:01-06-2005 - 10:33 AM ]
Website Visitors
Thought you might be interested in seeing some of the folks who are hitting the mcpscurriculum.com site lately:

DC Government
United Kingdom
Thousand Oaks, California
San Francisco, California
The Gazette
Worcester, Massachusetts
State Dept
Newark, New Jersey
National Institutes of Health
National Institutes of Standards and Technology
Covenant Life Church
Metropolitan Regional Information Service (local Realtor's multiple listing service)
Archdiocese of Washington
Duke University
Burlington, Massachusetts
MCPS
Iowa City, Iowa
U.S Dept of Justice
U.S. Dept of Treasury
Newark, Delaware
France
Dept of the Navy (Ft. Washington, MD)
Houston, Texas
Austin, Texas
Huntington Beach, California
National Science Foundation
Honolulu, Hawaii
U.S. General Accounting Office
Montgomery County Government
West Sunbury, Pennsylvania
Atlanta, Georgia
Salem Radio News Network ("[An]...international News Center just 10 minutes from the White House and Capitol Hill, SRN News fields a team of the finest anchors and reporters in Christian journalism providing on-the-spot coverage of breaking news from around the world.")
Royal Oak, Michigan
Westat Corp (Rockville based statistics company)

And lots of dialup AOL and Verizon users, Comcast cable modem users, and Verizon DSL from the Metro DC area

One of the more interesting things is to see the site being hit from within a webmail message, meaning that folks are including the site in their mail to one another. So far from yahoo, Verizon, and AOL.

Also a lot of people are still coming to the site from the link on the Recall site. And several folks are coming from the amcop.blogspot.com site. Even several from the teachthefacts.org site.

[Date=01-08-2005] Name:TonyC ajcnet100@yahoo.com, [Msgid=759937]

Tony, that's great!
Tony, great information! Thanks for posting it.
[Date=01-06-2005] Name:Laura quigley5@msn.com, [Msgid=759967]

July 24, 2005 1:14 AM  
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