Monday, March 05, 2007

It Will Be Best to Sit Behind the Fan

From this morning's Washington Times:
Maryland school officials say they will respond as early as this week to a request to stop Montgomery County from beginning sex-education classes this month that include lessons on homosexuality and the use of condoms.

"I expect a ruling by the end of [the] week," said Bill Reinhard, a spokesman for the Maryland State Board of Education.
State ruling awaited on sex-ed challenge

According to the schedule released by the school district, pilot testing should start: later than March 30, 2007, but no earlier than three full weeks after parent notification and no earlier than two full weeks after parent meeting.

I don't know exactly (I think I remember Tish pasting the meeting schedule into the comments here, but I can't find it anywhere), but it appears that the school district expected the schools to notify parents between February 5th and 14th. Three weeks after that would be ... about now. The parent meetings should have happened after February 14th. So, again, that means testing could begin next week.

The CRC has said to the papers and to the school board that they will sue again. I don't think anybody thinks there's a chance that the state board will overrule the county on a curriculum that was developed with fastidious attention to process and accuracy, adopted unanimously by the county board. So, as I was quoted on the Blade's blog saying: "It’s two swings at the piñata." If they don't win with the state school board, they can take it to court.

The appeal to the state board was just a dress rehearsal. Now -- well, once the state comes back with their decision -- the CRC can take their whining to a judge. I can just see the exhibits, the curriculum documents with the circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one explainin' what each one was, to be used as evidence against the school district, the arrows pointing right between the lines, with tidy labels (sans-serif, very serious-looking) saying "covert politically correct code talk."

My impression is that the dress rehearsal backfired.

See, last time the CRC, with backing from an out-of-state religious-right law firm, filed their suit just days before the pilot testing was to start, asking for nothing more than a little ol' temporary restraining order. They didn't have to prove much of a case, just show that there might be reason to believe that someone could suffer damages if the testing went forward. The schools barely got to present a case -- the judge had his opinion written before he knew what they were going to say. Really, he literally could not have written that whole thing in the couple of hours between when the school district made its arguments and when he delivered it.

That was clever, a drive-by lawsuit. Once they got the ten-day restraining order, there was no time left in the semester for the testing to happen.

Last time the MCPS attorneys were fishing for an argument. It didn't appear that they knew, for instance, that the religious stuff CRC was talking about was not really in the curriculum. The judge was confused, and the school district lawyers didn't straighten him out, which was their job.

This time: it's different. Unless CRC is going to try a whole different set of arguments, they have given the school district's lawyers a chance to study. They forced them to write up a response to this bogus appeal to the state, which meant they had to look everything up, ask around, reason through the arguments, look for any evidence one way or the other.

Now they know their stuff, and the MCPS legal team shows every sign of bustin' open a big, fat can of smackdown when they get into court this time.

I imagine something is about to hit a fan pretty soon. Of course nobody knows what the suers are planning, not that it matters. The covert politically correct code talk was all written in invisible ink -- when they get to court, nobody else will be able to see it -- even if they have the super-secret double-covert decoder ring.


Anonymous Tish said...

I'm sorry Jim, but I didn't post a meeting schedule. I think you are right that the parent meetings have already been held.

March 06, 2007 9:02 AM  
Blogger JimK said...

Tish, I know the memory's the second thing to go, but ... usually I forget stuff, rather than making it up, like I did this time.


March 06, 2007 10:18 AM  
Anonymous Tish said...

You didn't make it up, you just misplaced the memory. I recently sent a few emails asking about the meetings. You see, you still only have to worry about the first thing going. (The tuning pegs, right?)

March 06, 2007 10:33 AM  
Blogger JimK said...

(The tuning pegs, right?)

In a manner of speaking, yes, I guess that describes it pretty well. The old strings are going a little flat, I suppose you could say.


March 06, 2007 11:40 AM  

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