Tuesday, October 25, 2005

No Surprise: Crybabies Want to Sue Again

The question now will be whether the Montgomery County school district can multi-task. As expected, the CRC failed to follow the school board's policy for applying, and as not surprise the school board did not appoint their single, unqualified nominee to the citizens committee. And as expected, this morning's paper has a picture of a not-very-cheerful-looking Michelle Turner, President of the CRC, and a story about how they are going to sue again.
The day after the Montgomery County school board appointed a new advisory board to consult with educators on revisions to the school system's sex education curriculum, it appears that board members could be facing a new legal challenge.

Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum said it is considering legal action against the school board for violating terms of an agreement that granted it and another group one seat each on the 15-member advisory panel.

Board members last night declined to appoint to the panel a representative from Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum, but they did name one from Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays despite a dispute with the two groups over the nomination process.

Board members had been slated to make appointments to the Citizens Advisory Committee on Family Life and Human Development on Oct. 11, but they delayed action to allow the groups more time to meet conditions laid out by the board.

Under the guidelines, community groups seeking a seat on the panel were required to submit three names to the board. The applicants had to be Montgomery residents who had not previously served on the committee.

The groups submitted only one name each. Left Off Sex-Ed Panel, Group Weighs Lawsuit

We've been through this before, but here's how it is. CRC and PFOX won a temporary restraining order against the school district. In order to avoid more legal costs, the district's lawyers negotiated with the anti-MCPS groups' lawyers, and they came to an agreement. Part of the agreement was that each group was guaranteed one seat on the committee.

Once that was done, the school board was able to announce that a new citizens advisory committee would be forming, and shortly thereafter they put out the rules for applying. There was an application form, some qualification requirements, a deadline, the usual stuff. But CRC and PFOX felt that they only had to meet the terms of the settlement agreement, not the board's rules for applying. So, for instance, the board said any groups that wanted to submit a representative should submit three names, And the board said that no one would be selected who had served on a previous citizens advisory committee. But since none of this was in the other document, the settlement agreement, CRC and PFOX said they would not comply.

I'm not a lawyer or a party in any of this, but I do have front-row seats to this game. So let me tell you what this is. There is not a chance in hell that any committee of reasonable citizens would approve the CRC/PFOX brand of gay-hating, anti-safe-sex health curriculum. Not going to happen. People in this county don't like them, don't like what they stand for, don't feel that way, and you're just not going to see them persuading anybody.

So what else can they do? Ah, they can gum up the works. They've already managed to delay the pilot-testing, which should have been done last spring, and now probably won't happen until next year. They did that by filing a bogus last-minute lawsuit, what has been called a "drive-by" suit, and simply baffling a federal judge. They didn't win any argument, the judge was unclear about what was in the curriculum and what was in some background resources. He didn't have anything to say about anything that was going to actually be used in the classroom.

So ... they'll never win by reasoned argument, so instead they're going to take the low road, and just waste taxpayers' money on defending the school district from legal sniping.

The Post continues:
Michelle Turner, president of Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum, said the group will not submit another name.

"CRC intends to stand by the settlement, and that settlement said we could choose who we wanted to serve," Turner said.

Members of the group said that according to the settlement agreement reached in June, they, not the board, should determine who would represent them on the panel.

Let me remind you of what the actual legal agreement says:
MCPS agrees that the newly-constituted CAC, for the term during which the consultation on the Revisions contemplated by the Board’s May 23, 2005 resolution will occur, will include a maximum of 15 members and will include one representative of PFOX and one representative of CRC, to be selected by the Board in accordance with Section C(2)(a)(3) of Board Policy BMA, provided such representatives are Montgomery County residents and are otherwise qualified and able to serve on the committee. PFOX and CRC will inform the Board of their nominees in writing by July 1, 2005.

You can read the whole thing HERE.

Contrast that little phrase in there, "to be selected by the Board in accordance with Section C(2)(a)(3) of Board Policy BMA," with Ms. Turner's statement, "that settlement said we could choose who we wanted to serve." Go to court, hold up the agreement, CRC loses, pound the gavel, case closed. It would have been easier, actually, just to take our tax money and flush it down the toilet.

But this is a good, effective way to waste time and money. Four school board seats are up for election next year, and I doubt anybody wants this to still be in the papers when campaign-time comes. CRC is counting on the board to back down from the controversy and the expense.

Now ... the question is this: can MCPS defend itself in court and develop a new curriculum at the same time? I don't see why they wouldn't be able to, these are two entirely separate functions performed by entirely different groups of people.

If the district stops development while they battle in court, then the suers (and that is a perfect word for them) will have won. That's all they want -- to gum things up, slow the process down, so they can get their way without winning the debate.


Blogger Kay2898 said...

Out of the so called 4,000 signatures CRC claimed it submitted to BOE earlier this year against the health curriculum...CRC could not manage to ante up a name/names to meet criteria as set forth by BOE?

People will not tolerate game playing by CRC when it comes to school money for children wasted on frivolous lawusuits just because CRC cannot follow the settlement agreement and BOE policies.

October 25, 2005 1:20 PM  
Blogger andrear said...

Is Retta/Bianca/Precious the only volunteer they can find? She seems to be the only CRC person on their pathetic forum except for Johnny Garza.

October 25, 2005 1:21 PM  
Blogger Kay2898 said...

Well CRC promotes hate junk like this below(as posted on their website)..so maybe that seat should remain empty.


15 Good Reasons to Oppose 'Sexual Orientation' (Homosexuality) Codes in Schools 6/19/2002
By Peter J. LaBarbera

Opposing 'sexual orientation' school codes is good on a number of fronts.

1. "Sexual Orientation" codes undermine students’ deeply held religious convictions. Homosexual behavior is wrong (and illegal in some states), and is regarded as sinful by many students of various faiths and ethnic backgrounds.
2. Homosexual acts are unhealthy — especially for males. Like smoking, alcohol and drug abuse, they should be discouraged. Dangerous behavior that shortens a person’s life should never be promoted to impressionable students.
3. "Sexual Orientation" codes lead to escalating homosexual activism in schools. (This has happened in schools across the United States.)
4. "Sexual Orientation" codes undermine parental rights by enforcing a pro-"gay" orthodoxy in schools that overrides moral lessons and beliefs taught at home.
5. "Sexual Orientation" codes are used to discriminate — and propagandize — against students and groups (like the Boy Scouts) that oppose homosexuality.
6. "Sexual Orientation" codes may open schools up to lawsuits from parents whose children are misled into dangerous behavior.
7. "Sexual Orientation" codes draw more homosexual teachers to the schools in which they are enforced.
8. "Sexual Orientation" codes encourage homosexual teachers to be "gay" activists in the classroom, and to proudly discuss their homosexuality with students.
9. "Sexual Orientation" codes lead to the adoption of pro-homosexual curricula, such as pro-"gay marriage" lesson plans.
10. "Sexual Orientation" codes are used to justify the pro-"gay" indoctrination of very young children. (Homosexual activists aggressively defend their efforts to mold young minds, even in kindergarten.)
11. "Sexual Orientation" codes pave the way for pro-homosexual teacher and "diversity" training.
12. "Sexual Orientation" codes distort traditional civil rights by equating immoral, changeable behavior with racial, ethnic and religious tolerance.
13. "Sexual Orientation" codes encourage schoolchildren to embrace "gay," bisexual and "transgender" identities and then proudly share them with other students.
14. "Sexual Orientation" codes, once in place, are very difficult to remove.
15. Schools can protect all students from bullying through blanket protection policies that do not specify special criteria, groups or behaviors. Educators can make their schools safe for every student without promoting the acceptance of homosexuality.

October 25, 2005 2:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


The board knows they're wrong to require the three rep selection thing. That's why they picked Spriggs. Also, since he has the backing of a powerful national group, they're also afraid of the consequences of denying him his legal rights.

They probably reasoned (and hopefully have legal counsel) that they can get away with requiring that no former CAC members be included, thus the CRC rejection.

Besides the thoroughly offensive inclusion of the pro-murder-for- convenience NARAL rep, the board also doesn't understand the process required by state law. Experts are not supposed to be on the committee, they were supposed to write the curriculum. The citizen's advisory was supposed to give non-binding advice about what community reaction will be to the already written program.

They've stacked the committee again but if the result is a curriculum that says there is empirical evidence that homosexuality is not a choice or a disease, they will be defending those assertions in court, and, as you well know, they'll lose.

October 25, 2005 4:13 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Anon, the school board manages this process. It's theirs. They wanted three names because they wanted to be able to choose the best people for the committee. That's why we elected them, so they could make those decisions and ensure that our schools maintain a high standard of quality education.

It would be crazy if the schools taught whatever was popular. Somebody commented recently that only 15 per cent of Americans understand that humans are the result of evolution. That's pathetic, and indicates that we need more rigorous education. If people voted on it, we'd have biology teachers saying that all the animals on the earth today came from Noah's ark. That story is an important and time-honored part of our society's cultural fabric, but it's not biology.

In the same way, a majority of people are afraid of sexual variation and ignorant about it, and are uncomfortable with sex generally. That doesn't mean the schools should convey this discomfort and ignorance to students.

But I know this discussion won't go anywhere -- your mischaracterization of NARAL shows that you're not going to get beyond two-valued logic. Let me just say, everybody is opposed to abortion, but it's the individual who might need to make that important decision at some time in their life, it's not for the government. That's what the debate is about, nobody advocates abortion, but some people don't think the government should make their hard decisions for them.

But I don't think I just changed your mind, somehow.


October 25, 2005 4:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

(Completely different person)

I don't see why the school board just doesn't let the CRC have their seat. After all it is one only one vote, and they may not have any one else in thier the ranks that has the time an energy to be on a committee. Also I find it odd, that the school board decided that it wanted to exclude people who have had experience working on a committee. Plus, I do have to agree with the last anonymous person. Experts shouldn't be on the committee, they should present information to the committee but ultimately citizens of the county should have the final say in what their tax money gets spent on based on the facts.

I think the school board really goofed on this whole thing and created an unneeded problem. The real problem with the curriculum it that is trying to teach both safe-sex and tolerance at the same time. Now I think the schools should teach people to be more tolerant towards others; however, a sex-ed class is not the place to teach tolerance and students should just be taught to be tolerant of people with different sexual orientations. Furthermore, this set up is an affront to tolerance, since the curriculum states that tolerance isn't important enough to be taught in its own curriculum.

As for the condom part. Can anyone explain to me how some experts arrived at the conclussion that teens are too stupid to figure out how to put on one on? I think that time could be better spent on talking about other less known means of contraceptives. Another that could be covered instead, is the flaws on relying on a condom to prevent STDs and other steps that should be taken to avoid unnecessary risks. Finally, they could also explain to the teens the importance of choice, and that if they aren't ready to have sex and his/her partner continues to pressure for sex perhaps s/he should end the relationship. They have a right to make their own decisions and they aren't obligated to lose their viginity before finishing high school because some idiot determined that to be the in thing.

October 25, 2005 5:52 PM  
Blogger andrear said...

On what is currently taught- PLEASE stop suggesting that only having sex and contraception are taught. Abstinence is taught- as well as issues about relationships(including marriage and having children- and why sex and marriage and children are all not great ideas for high school kids)- that there are lots of reasons not to have sex- besides pregnancy and disease. And there is very extensive material and some photos in the book on STIs(so don't believe it isn't taught). If you really want to know what is taught(and not just claim that this or that is or isn't taught)- it is not just the curriculum outline. Go to your school and ask to see the textbook- it is large(and of course has a lot more than sex education items). I have to wonder if the CRCers have even looked at the textbooks or know texts exist.

October 25, 2005 6:38 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Anon, the condom part is easy. A condom is, as I recall, about 85 percent effective, that is, if you used that method for a year there is an 85 percent chance that you won't get pregnant, if it is used incorrectly -- that is, like most people use it. When used correctly, it is 98 percent effective.

That seems like a significant increase to me, and worth going through it in class. Like, the video said to use latex, not sheepskin, don't tear the package with your teeth, if you start to put it on inside out you have to throw it away, showed how to unroll it, etc. Nothing that would damage a young psyche, but it might keep mom from becoming an accidental grandma.


October 25, 2005 6:41 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

The CDC says:
For condoms to provide maximum protection, they must be used consistently (every time) and correctly. Several studies of correct and consistent condom use clearly show that latex condom breakage rates in this country are less than 2 percent. Even when condoms do break, one study showed that more than half of such breaks occurred prior to ejaculation.

When condoms are used reliably, they have been shown to prevent pregnancy up to 98 percent of the time among couples using them as their only method of contraception. Similarly, numerous studies among sexually active people have demonstrated that a properly used latex condom provides a high degree of protection against a variety of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV infection.

Link HERE.

Yes, it is important to teach students to use them "consistently (every time) and correctly."


October 25, 2005 7:28 PM  
Blogger Dana Beyer, M.D. said...

Anon #1,

You contradict yourself. So there are not supposed to be "experts" on the committee? I thought Spriggs was an "expert." Or is he just your average concerned father?

You really think a court is going to declare sexual orientation is a choice, or a disease? Are you out of your mind?

As I have said before, I really don't mind if a biology teacher discusses ID in class, because the discussion wouldn't last long. No biology teacher believes in it, so the end result would be that the children would either have their minds opened or their feelings hurt. They can handle that. History class is a better venue, because it would allow a much deeper discussion.

And I wouldn't even mind presenting your ideas about homosexuality in health class, either, as long as I have the same freedom to speak my mind. I'd be happy to discuss the Biblical roots of anti-gay bigotry, and I wouldn't have a problem calling people like you bigots. But it would sure offend you.

So to prevent such ugliness in class the school system has decided to teach tolerance, and let people make their own choices based on the facts. As always, if you want to believe people like me are freaks, you are welcome to believe it. I am free to believe the same about you.

The fundamental, irrefutable fact of American history is that separation of church and state has allowed this country to survive and flourish, and allowed the religious to practice their faith as they see fit. Tamper with that, and you can unravel the entire experiment. I think you should be able to temper your fear of homosexuality enough to allow us all to get on with our lives.

October 25, 2005 8:18 PM  
Blogger Christine said...

In order to be eligible to serve on this newly reconstituted CAC, you must be a resident of Montgomery County, Maryland. This means the experts on the committee, whether from the liberal or conservative side, are county residents.

And who is to say that these county residents with expertise in fields like infectious disease and pediatrics are not MCPS parents? JimK, the TTF.org CAC representative has a Ph.D. in Social Psychology, resides in the county, and is the father of two MCPS students.


October 25, 2005 10:01 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Just for the sake of discussion -- the state regulations that call for citizens committees are published HERE. It says:

System-Wide Citizen Advisory Committee. The curriculum shall be developed by professional educators within the local school system. A citizen advisory committee broadly representing the views of the community shall consult with these educators in developing, implementing, and evaluating the program. Membership may represent groups such as parents/ guardians, students, legislators, members of community organizations, clergy, physicians, and members of professional and civic organizations.

So it doesn't seem to call for experts, but it doesn't call for just ordinary people, either.

October 25, 2005 10:08 PM  
Blogger andrear said...

Why explain- Anon would only be happy if the CAC was made up of CRC-supporting people-prefereably those whose kids are not in MCPS or do not take the family life parts of the health class.


October 26, 2005 8:59 AM  

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