Saturday, September 08, 2007

Gazette Covers Litigation

Marcus Moore has this story in The Gazette:
Three groups of critics want the county’s Circuit Court to halt the Montgomery County school system’s sex-education lesson plans before they are taught in all middle schools and high schools this fall.

In their request, Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum, Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays, and Family Leader Network claim that the school system released inaccurate information and did not put material out for public review before approving the curriculum earlier this year. They also claimed the lesson plans violate students’ constitutional rights.

The critics are asking the court to throw out only lesson plans that discuss homosexuality, said Michelle Turner, a spokeswoman for the Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum.

The lessons include a video in 10th grade on how to properly use and discard a condom and two 45-minute lessons on sexual orientation in the eighth and 10th grades.

The groups filed two appeals with the Maryland State Board of Education this year — one in February to have the curriculum thrown out before it was piloted in the spring and another in June to have the lessons scrapped before the beginning of the school year. In March, state schools Superintendent Nancy S. Grasmick allowed the sex-ed pilot to move forward. In June, the state school board upheld the approved curriculum.

The request for a stay is expected to be heard in January.

The state board has already rejected the critics’ claims, said Brian K. Edwards, a Montgomery schools spokesman.

‘‘It appears that a small group of opponents is intent on forcing Montgomery County Public Schools to spend thousands more in taxpayer dollars to argue the same points all over again,” he said. Activists try to block lessons on homosexuality

11 Comments:

Anonymous chaunsey said...

Since TTF is again posting a news story without making any comments or insights, I'll make some:

"The state board has already rejected the critics’ claims, said Brian K. Edwards, a Montgomery schools spokesman.

‘‘It appears that a small group of opponents is intent on forcing Montgomery County Public Schools to spend thousands more in taxpayer dollars to argue the same points all over again,” he said."

The current curriculum hasn't been scrutinized by the judiciary so Edwards statement is disingenuous. A curriculum with some similarities in that it makes assertions without empirical evidence was subject to judicial scrutiny a couple of years ago and found to be illegal because it constituted viewpoint discrimination.

The new curriculum is unique and it is appropriate to delay its implementation until constitutional issues can be settled by the courts, not to mention the violation of procedural policies.

If the MCPS spokesmen continue to insult the court rather than address the issues, they will make CRC's task much easier! How dare they say our judicial system is not worth the cost!!!

September 08, 2007 12:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes, how dare they.....

September 08, 2007 12:37 PM  
Blogger Tish said...

Chauncey, dear,

When you pasted in your post from the last blog entry you forgot how to spell your name. (Isn't it awful that they make you type it in every time?)

Would you like Jim to delete it so you can paste in back in with a correction so that you can look as though you know who you are?

September 08, 2007 9:29 PM  
Anonymous I said...

Nice spin ChaunC. Mr. Edwards never mentioned any courts so no courts were insulted. He did mention the thousands of dollars the suers want to force the county to spend "all over again." That's the closest thing to an insult in his comments. If it is an insult, it's directed at the serial suers, not the court.

The majority of MCPS parents are mad as hell that CRC has filed yet another lawsuit that will cost MCPS money to defend. The classes the suers object to are optional; they are only provided to students who receive parental permission. As of the spring 2007 field test, over 90% of eligible MCPS students' parents granted permission. Any parent who doesn't want their kid to take these classes can withhold permission.

The 2004 curriculum was not found to be "illegal." A Temporary Restraining Order was granted so that the merits of the suers' legal arguments could have a full hearing. Then the suers decided to settle with MCPS for two seats on the CAC and $36,000 in school taxpayer funds rather than push their case. We all noticed that those lawyers from the anti-gay Liberty Counsel refused to help them sue again this time. It's pretty obvious even Liberty Counsel doesn't think there's any merit to the suers arguments.

September 09, 2007 10:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrea-not anon
Nutty anon- aka Chance -EEEEE- doesn't get it. CRC isn't worth the cost- not a dime! Plus let me repeat for Nutty- no constitutional issues, no procedural issues- just the typical CRC hate fest whining and money wasting. In fact, I am thinking this is all just a publicity thing for Johnny G- maybe he can get more clients from the far right with this stuff.

September 09, 2007 5:12 PM  
Anonymous wutyp said...

"Mr. Edwards never mentioned any courts so no courts were insulted. He did mention the thousands of dollars the suers want to force the county to spend "all over again." That's the closest thing to an insult in his comments. If it is an insult, it's directed at the serial suers, not the court."

No, it's directed at the courts. The courts haven't looked at the new curriculum yet. CRC has asked them to and Edwards is saying that having the courts look at something is a waste of money.

People who whine about the 36K settlement last time out are a riot. The wealthiest school district is the country, I'm sure we could easily cut 36K out of Weast's wasteful expenses.

September 10, 2007 7:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrea - not anon

If we could move money around or out of the school budget, no one wants it to go to CRC except Johnny Garza who got some business from the lawsuit.

September 11, 2007 7:35 PM  
Anonymous zoso said...

"If we could move money around or out of the school budget"

Well, we can, and the only reason they paid the legal before was because they were GUILTY of VIOLATING students' CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS!

GUILTY, GUILTY, GUILTY!!!

September 12, 2007 6:59 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Wow, zoso, that was extremely persuasive.

JimK

September 12, 2007 7:58 PM  
Anonymous crisp crackers said...

Right you are, Jim. It's important to remember that MCPS wound up paying 36K last time out not because of anything CRC did but because they passed the unconstitutional Fishback revisions.

In America, if you violate the Constitution, you pay.

September 13, 2007 7:43 AM  
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