Monday, August 22, 2005

The White Knight is Talking Backwards

I recently posted some follow-up about the Montgomery Community Television show that was going to feature an anti-MCPS group explaining what the "future of health education" in Montgomery County should be. It turned out the producer of the show had a bit of a ... history, shall we say ... with the Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum (CRC), and was going to use this show to promote their point of view as if it were legitimate. I concluded that the bias of the show as it was planned was not accidental.

Today two different people forwarded the following letter to me, so I guess it's out there circulating on the Internet. I'm not quite sure who the "Neighbors" are that it was addressed to, but it seems to be quite widespread. I wouldn't publish a private email, but this seems to have gone well beyond any useful definition of "private."

It appears to have been written by the producer of the show, who cancelled it after CRC backed out. Instead of giving the real reason, she posted an announcement on the web saying that there were "email attacks" (which she has not yet shown anyone, as far as I know). Here she's writing to say she's sorry but people are being mean to her. I am going to interrupt her monologue with my own comments, blog-style:
Dear Neighbors:

Subject: The Golden Rule

It seems after an innocent attempt to build awareness by airing a TV Show of the upcoming new MCPS Health & Family Life Curriculum, I have opened old wounds and I am sorry.

Why did I not know this would happen when I suggested the subject for a show? Never did I imagine that good intentions would be so confusing. Unfortunate, but although I've had items posted about me on the website, this was not exactly the best way to feel inclusive in their conversations (smile).

Uh, I would respond to this, but I don't really know what she's saying about us. She has every opportunity to "feel inclusive" in the discussion here, with Orin and Aunt Bea and ~L and Alex and Bianca and multiple Anonymice and everybody else. She obviously has our URL, it's not hard to click on "Comments" at the bottom and say what you think about something here.
I do not in any way condone this type of behavior, but at the same time, I feel I must make a point perfectly clear. For the sake of being adults, I must say this:

When I discussed with my Production members to bring the Health Educational program to a show, we were not totally aware of the data and information available. Which, in a nut shell is sometimes why we host the specific shows. One of us on the team may very well be well versed on a particular subject, but others not. This again makes the shows unique and exciting. Our host commentator always cordial and many times not fully aware of the subject until after guests have been invited. Again, possibly causing a bit of adrenaline to flow, but never did I imagine such a force to be put on us as this topic, and by such unfortunate intimidation.

Now she's making me wonder who has intimidated anyone. Listen, if there's something going on, yall can send us an email, post a comment on the blog, let us know what's up. Hey -- you ... you don't mean me, do you? Intimidating someone? Naw, I just tell you what I see, you don't have to pay any attention to it. I don't want you to do anything different, I'm just going to say out loud what it is you're doing. So .... she must not mean me.
Now...the reason I must sincerely apologize is because I stand before you, humbled... I cannot and will not speak for anyone else, but myself. I have always tried to remain open minded and fair. I have always hoped to stand on the side of justice and good character.

I had a vision when planning the show. It was innocent. I looked into the future of the 2005-06 school year and thought what a good opportunity to begin now, during the summer months to get families talking about the new curriculum. Schools out, families normally spend more quality time together and what a great moment to air the Citizens Link Show that discusses the different issues. Our program was not to fix the curriculum, but to simply address various questions, concerns and challenges.

Um hmm, sure, innocent -- she's used that word twice already. With Michelle Turner, Steve Fisher, Ruth Jacobs, and -- unbelievably -- Richard Cohen? Innocent? Nobody buys that. The fact that she was involved in the Germantown meeting last winter is enough to show that she knew what she was doing when she invited this cell of radicals who have worked so hard against the school system.
Knowing that I had an application in my hand to apply to serve on the new committee, I also wanted to be aware of items that may cause concerns should I be selected. I then thought, well why also educate others in the community in case they too are applying to serve. Then because our show offers the benefit of a DVD copy, I thought it could serve the public as an additional benefit to have the ability to re-watch and discuss the items covered in the show continually.

What?!?! She was applying to be on the committee? Well what do you know -- the CRC is running stealth candidates. That's pretty tricky, trying to stack the citizens committee with people whose names have not been linked with yours.

Note to MCPS Board of Education: look at those applications very carefully. Please.

I am more convinced than ever now that this TV show was an intentional, divisive, and sneaky act of political radicalism.

In case you are new to this situation, let me explain. Earlier this year, CRC and PFOX sued the school board and won money for their lawyers and one seat each on the citizens committee that advises the school board in developing the new curricuum. Here we see that they were going to try to sneak more people onto the committee, by having individuals apply who will support the CRC/PFOX anti-gay and anti-safe-sex mission.

This is a very interesting admission, indeed, and I was unaware that she was doing this.

Who was it that said curiouser and curiouser? Was it me?

It should have been.
Speaking again, only for myself... I broke my own rules and now suffer the same unfair judgements like some of the planned guests.

So without any hesitation or excuse... I offer my sincere apology to our guests. If it has caused anxiety, it was not intentional. Everyone deserves respect.

Hmm, the guests I have heard from don't seem to have suffered any anxiety. It was a bit of an eye-opener, if anything. They seem very cool about it. So maybe she's apologizing to the CRC. Yes, as a secret agent, she has something to apologize for, doesn't she? Her cover was blown; now her mission is impossible.
I would also like to conclude that in one of the website postings from the "teachthe" group, a hurtful remark was made against my rights to advocate for our school children saying;

That's the very same Alice Gordon (who by the way homeschools and doesn't have any stake in the MCPS health curriculum),

I'd like to share that my family did elected to home educate seven years ago with our youngest child in her latter school years, because she developed a serious health issue that directly impacted her attendance.

I would like to say something about this. The health curriculum under discussion applies to Montgomery County Public School district eighth and tenth graders. Anybody in the county of course can have an opinion about it, well, anybody in the world can think what they want about it. But you do question the motives of activists who have no apparent stake in the outcome of a political decision.

We sometimes think that this particular issue, the sex education curriculum in MCPS schools, is only one little battle in a bigger culture war. And this sort of thing is evidence of it. Steve Fisher doesn't have kids in the public schools, Michelle Turner keeps her kids out of the sex-ed classes, Richard Cohen doesn't even live in this county -- why does it matter to them if our kids get comprehensive sex education?

It's something different to them, it's not about what their kids learn in these classes, it's about imposing their weird world-view on the rest of us.

It doesn't matter why she home-schools, that's her business. But why in the world does she want to undermine the public schools for the rest of the community? Can anybody tell me why that's not a legitimate question?
My comments to all as we voice our rights to one another is to be mindful of how it reflects on our children. Many times in history our children have suffered the consequences for the actions of adults. Many times we don't mean to do it, but we act too quickly and we victimize the victim all over again. Let's slow down and rethink our next steps. youngest child is now almost twenty years old and even though my children are grown, I am about to become a grandmother in two weeks, and my families right back into the school world again. So please keep in mind, everyone has a story to tell, so let's be a compassionate society and not jump too fast to judge.

Thank you,

A quick word. I wouldn't bother to "judge" this person. I don't give her a thought except for those few moments where something like this is put in front of my face. She wants to support CRC in their attempt to destroy public education in Montomery County, well, whatever, I wouldn't judge her for that. She can do that if she wants, I don't have the energy or motivation to judge her. Some small number of people feel like them, they can express their opinion, and then the sensible majority needs to do the right thing. There's no judgment of any person in any of this, as far as I'm concerned.

I happen to be one of the group who supports the school board's decision to improve health education in our county. Sometimes that means pointing out when the opposition tries to pull dirty tricks ... as in this situation. And this lady simply made the mistake of thinking that her "cause," the promotion of ignorance in the MCPS heath curricuum, was more important than behaving ethically.

Sorry you had to be sorry. It's not that big a deal.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think there is some untruth in her statement that she didn't know much about this. She was involved last year as we saw in her statements from the Germantown Citizens Association and she is applying to be on the CAC. Her "note" is an attempt to make herself out to be Poor little Me-I'm innocent, I didn't know that my program was one-sided or what was going on, it was the program assistant's fault and now you big bad Teachthefacts people are being mean. I just wanted to tell people about the new curriculum for next year.

Please Alice- don't try to play us for fools- it won't work with this crowd- maybe with your CRC friends. You aren't even subtle enough to carry it off- you were clearly aware of the situation last year and there is no question that the original program was supposed to be one-sided. You want to support homophobia and diseducation- you will get called on it. And don't hide behind anyone or anything for your beliefs and actions. I think the CRC and PFOX are shameful- but if you are going to support them- don't blame us when the truth of your clear support comes out.

an MCPS parent

August 23, 2005 8:42 AM  
Blogger Kay2898 said...

The more Alice tries to explain..the worse it looks in many areas. Hosting only one side of any issues for a program claiming to be about "Community Awareness" all the while as posted to Citizens Link website: "The Producer’s intent is to keep community involved and aware, while not taking any position or side of any special interest. Ours is to be a catalyst for the many citizens to share their voice and be heard in this county."


Citizens Link Mission Statement:

Empowered and motivated to enhance public safety and awareness, we join together through this Citizens Link. We proudly assist our community of local, county and state entities by maintaining an open communication link, realizing that communication leads to knowledge and through knowledge we eliminate doubt, fear and confusion. Together we offer support to one another by embracing our unity, respecting our differences

Alice Gordon is an associate producer and founder at Citizens Link so let me just say that I also find it incredible that CRC/PFOX/Cohen and company just happened to make it on that show as potential guests but yet the other side was going to be conveniently left out of a "community awareness" show.

Kay R
MCPS Parent

August 23, 2005 9:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ms. Gordon claims to be the victim of "unfortunate intimidation" but doesn't say who intimidated her or how. Please Ms. Gordon, click on 'Post a Comment' below and tell us how you were intimidated and who intimidated you. Please accept this invitation and include yourself in this conversation (smile).

We love our accusers but hate their implied accusations.

She claims she "had a vision when planning the show. It was innocent." This is the sole reason Ms. Gordon offers to explain why she included only anti-gay activists on the guest list of her show which she entitled, "Health Education: Where do we go from here?"

As reported in the Gazette Newspaper on January 12, 2005, “'There’s no way that we can choose sides, we have to remain open-minded,' GCA board member Alice Gordon said." This comment was in reference to the two opposing sides battling over the health education curriculum. (See

And now, seven months later, Ms. Gordon incredulously expects us to believe that she *innocently* didn't know there were two sides to this issue.

We love the liars but hate their lies.

And how about this: Ms. Gordon's Dear Neighbors note states, "I looked into the future of the 2005-06 school year and thought what a good opportunity to begin now, during the summer months to get families talking about the new curriculum."

What "new curriculum" Ms. Gordon?

The MCPS health education curriculum that was used during the 2004-5 school year is the same *old* health education curriculum that has been used for years now. This outdated curriculum will once again be used during the 2005-6 school year thanks to efforts of the guests Ms. Gordon originally and *innocently* planned to invite to address "Health Education: Where we go from here."

We love the misinformed, but hate their misinformation.

Once the onesidedness of her plan was pointed out to her, Ms. Gordon did appear to try to do the right thing and include the opposing view. But that attempt didn't last long. Less than 24 hours after she announced both sides would speak about the Health Education Curriculum in MCPS, she cancelled the entire show.

Red Queen

August 23, 2005 4:14 PM  
Blogger Kay2898 said...

.....and Alice Gordon knew not much about sex ed topic in MC?

Seems to me her communication to BOE on November 9 at 3:45 AM was urgent in nature and telling in what she thought. She actually represented she knew quite a bit back then in November as opposed to "Golden Rule" recent communication she circulated representing she knew little when questioned about trying to present a one sided show on that very topic just recently on Citizens Link.

Kay R

From Alice Gordon writes:
I am now a School Community Action Team (SCAT) Coordinator for four (4) public high school clusters in my area. I support a families personal choice of education for their children, whether it is public, private or home education. As a SCAT Coordinator, I hope to assist parents, students and schools in teaching our children to make "good choices" in life by resisting all forms of abuse (substance, physical or mental). Our future depends on their future!

Alice Gordon:

MCPS Safe and Drug-Free Regional Coordinators
Northwest, Poolesville, Quince Orchard, Seneca Valley Clusters


Date: Tuesday, November 9, 2004 3:19:50 AM



Subject: BOE Meeting 11-9-04 Family Health Curriculum IMPORTANT!!!

To: BoardOfEd - BOE

Dear Members of the Board of Education:

I am a lifelong resident and parent of Montgomery County Schools. I graduated from Gaithersburg High in 95. My husband and I raised two daughters in Montgomery County, one is twenty-six and the other is eighteen.

I received notice from a friend that a study has been completed and a curriculum containing homosexuality and a video with very explicit content was to be used in middle and high school classrooms.

I researched the following links and also have responded to a research finding done in the last years, which seems to be ready for launching this year.

Montgomery County Public Schools - Rules Regarding Sex Education

State Law - Text books

Whether we as parents and community agree with the choices of the BOE seems to be the problem. Perhaps it is in order to offer some addendums to the BOE to address the changing times of our society, with regard to current regulations. It appears the data collected on the state law was last updated in 1997, but the school data wasjust recently updated on June 14, 2004.

I'd like to ask each of you to note the last portion of the Implementation regulation materials page - it addresses parental consent and public advertisement. It would appear that a more public announcement of the research study would be recommended prior to the "protest" period. The issue of the Board of Education not having an inclusive audience in the beginning stages of the discussion may be a problem.

The Upcounty region of school clusters is a representation of over 80,000 plus just in, with Germantown, with a rapidly growing Upcounty community. As a responsible member to the families and community members I do not take this topic lightly. We are a people with strong values and dedication to our young generation and owe them a secure atmosphere tobe successful future leaders.

I recently received a report that the Montgomery County School Board of Education may be in the process of conducting a polling vote on the subject of sex education materials, including a very explicit video that may currently be in consideration to be released to our youth in middle and high school grades. The information states that the Board of Education will be conducting a formal vote of acceptance tomorrow, Tuesday, November 9, exact time unknown.

This report comes from a reliable source in the Upcounty region, but as advocates for all parties, we wish to take the position of mediator and inquire to the status and truth of this information.

With all due respect, we would hope that if this report is correct, that the Board members would reconsider any official vote until the public is allowed to be informed and voice opinion and input.

I realize the rules and regulations stated in the COMAR 13A.04.18, Program in Comprehensive Health Education of the Montgomery County Public School documents allows the school board to act on specific interests, and we do note that the records were last updated in June of 2004, but we would remind the Board of Education members that the recent election polls dramatically reflected a strong stand against certain conducts and teachings across this great Nation. We would hope and encourage our school board members to please allow the families to play an active role in the selection process of topics. Many believe the introduction and/or promotion of certain subjects may, simply by exposing materials, interject a sense of acceptance or approval as a controversal choice of lifestyle to the youth.

Thank you for the consideration of our proposals and hope to hear from one of your members with regard to the Tuesday meeting. Please feel free to contact us and we look forward to a future partnership in serving our Germantown families.

Alice M. Gordon
CitizensLink - Founder
School Community Action Team
(301) 601-0042 H
(301) 367-9444 Cell

August 29, 2005 11:06 AM  

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