Friday, June 12, 2009

Kid Gets to Give Report in Class

We were talking about this a few weeks ago -- a sixth grade kid in San Diego wrote a report on Harvey Milk, a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors who was assassinated in 1978. Because Milk was gay, the school wouldn't allow the student to give her oral report in class unless her classmates got parental permission to hear it. The school said Natalie Jones could give her report at lunchtime, not in class, for credit.

Lawyers got involved, the press came in. Now the school has apologized in writing, and Natalie got to give her report in class. From San Diego:
The Ramona School District reversed its decision and allowed a 6th grader Thursday to present her report on slain gay rights leader Harvey Milk.

In May, sixth-grader Natalie Jones was the only student in her class prevented from giving an in-class presentation. “Harvey Milk always stood up for his beliefs and what was right, so I felt like I should do the same thing when my school told me they wouldn’t let me do my presentation,” Natalie is quoted in an ACLU statement released Thursday. “I worked really hard on my presentation, and I’m glad I’m finally going to get to share it with all of my classmates like everyone else got to.”

The Ramona Unified School District apologized in writing to Natalie and also sent a letter to parents who were sent the initial permission request about the presentation.

"On behalf of the governing board of the Ramona Unified School District and the staff of Mount Woodson Elementary School, we would like to extend our apology to you and your family for denying you the same opportunity as your fellow classmates to give your final Excel class presentation and for requiring parental permission for the presentation," the district stated in its letter to Natalie.

The district also said it would adjust its current policy so that a repetition of the situation would not occur. Ramona Student Gives Milk Report

Hey, this is cool, you can see the kid's PowerPoint presentation in PDF form HERE. It's a sixth-grade report, if you remember how those are. The school district seemed to think there would be something sexual in it, I guess because there is some possibility that people who have a sexual orientation will have sex. Actually, I don't know why they thought that -- if a kid wrote a report about a heterosexual person, would they have to present it at lunchtime? Anyway, the report is about Harvey Milk as a gay rights pioneer, it looks like a pretty good job for sixth grade -- if it was my kid in sixth grade the PowerPoint would have exploding fireworks and twinkling letters and swirling graphics, this is a straight-ahead, sober account of a famous American's life.

We have seen and will see many stories like this, ignorant people making bad decisions and dogged activists calling them on it, making them change their decision and apologize. It is weird to me that anybody would even think of stopping a kid from giving a presentation about a gay person, but some school administrator thought it made sense. Now they see it is not so reasonable, if only attracts bad attention to your biased policies and costs a lot in lawyer's fees and wasted time in CYA meetings. Next time this situation comes up and school monkey-monks huddle and decide what to do, they will consider the fact that this San Diego school suffered major embarrassment. Thus freedom creeps forward, one micro-victory at a time.


Anonymous lightning rod said...

It's funny how Jim tried to pin the anti-semitic attack on "right wing" terrorists when the guy who attacked on Wednesday sounds a lot like one of Obama's oldest friends:

"Rev. Wright's latest remarks about Jews once again put him in the news.

In an interview with David Squires, a columnist from the Newport News, Va. Daily Press, Wright blamed "them Jews" for keeping him from talking to President Obama.

"Them Jews ain't going to let him talk to me," Wright said. "I told my baby daughter that he'll talk to me in five years when he's a lame duck, or in eight years when he's out of office."

He added: "They will not let him to talk to somebody who calls a spade what it is. I said from the beginning. He's a politician, I'm a pastor. He's got to do what politicians do."

Wright, discussing his comments with Sirius/XM radio's host Mark Thompson on "Make it Plain," issued a clarification- and added to the damage.

Said Wright, "I'm not talking about all Jews, all people of the Jewish faith, I'm talking about Zionists... I'm talking about facts, historical facts. I'm not talking about emotionally charged words.

"They can jump on that phrase if they want to,'' he said, "but they can't undo history and they can't undo the fact of Jewish historians and Jewish theologians who write about what's going on.""

Remember, Wright is not anywhere close to right-wing. He preaches liberation theology, an attempt to mix socialism with Christianity.

June 12, 2009 9:10 PM  
Anonymous BetterAnon said...

Anon, this was yesterday's talking point, shame on you!

June 12, 2009 9:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well, keep it in mind

the connection leftists is always around

June 12, 2009 11:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On Friday, the Daily Press reported that Wright posted a statement on his Facebook page.

Wrote Wright, "I am extremely disturbed and deeply saddened that once again my comments as reflected in the June 10, 2009, Daily Press article has resurfaced a divisive debate about my relationship with President Barack Obama. I love President Obama as my son, and support and honor him as the President of the United States of America and leader of the free world. I apologize to the Jewish community and all others who were offended by the way in which I framed my comments. I misspoke. I meant no harm or ill-will to the American Jewish community or the Obama Administration. My great respect for the Jewish faith and the foundational (and central) part of my Judeo Christian tradition are unquestionable, and I pray that all whom I have hurt accept my sincerest apology."

June 12, 2009 11:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

does this cover all the statements he's made before June 10 too?

fact is, anti-semitism has a strong following in certain parts of the liberal tent

Obama would still be best buddies with this guy had it not been for media attention and Obama was fully aware of Wright's views

June 13, 2009 9:17 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Obama left Wright's church. He walked away and never looked back, just like George Bush left drinking behind him and never looked back. I'm proud of Obama for having the courage to end a harmful relationship and learn from it as I'm sure you're proud of Bush for giving up booze. The speech Obama made in Egypt shows his true views and repudiated Wright's, especially when he said:

America's strong bonds with Israel are well known. This bond is unbreakable. It is based upon cultural and historical ties, and the recognition that the aspiration for a Jewish homeland is rooted in a tragic history that cannot be denied.

Around the world, the Jewish people were persecuted for centuries, and anti-Semitism in Europe culminated in an unprecedented Holocaust. Tomorrow, I will visit Buchenwald, which was part of a network of camps where Jews were enslaved, tortured, shot and gassed to death by the Third Reich. Six million Jews were killed - more than the entire Jewish population of Israel today. Denying that fact is baseless, ignorant, and hateful. Threatening Israel with destruction - or repeating vile stereotypes about Jews - is deeply wrong, and only serves to evoke in the minds of Israelis this most painful of memories while preventing the peace that the people of this region deserve.

Should we judge Bush by his insistence of speaking at Bob Jones University at the same time he refused to speak at the NAACP or should we accept that Bob Jones has renounced it's racist policies of the past and that Bush finally saw fit to address the NAACP after 6 years as PUSA? Personally, I think you should be amazed it didn't take Obama six years to arrive at the right decision.

June 13, 2009 10:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Obama left Wright's church. He walked away and never looked back, just like George Bush left drinking behind him and never looked back."

Obama only disassociated himself from Wright when intense media focus resulted in falling polls.

I think few people would think drinking too much is the equivalent of anti-semitism, moreover.

The point is that anti-semitism isn't particularly conservative or Republican. Historically, Democrats are generally more associated with racism.

Of course, "associating" is a typical liberal lunatic game.

In the 50s, Joe McCarthy associated everyone who had any leftist views with the extreme Communists of the Soviet Union.

Similarly, the founder of TTF associates everyone who supports protection for the unborn with an extremist who shot an egregious late-term abortionist.

Whether it's called McCartyism or the more updated term, TTFism, Americans should reject it.

June 13, 2009 10:45 AM  
Anonymous Robert said...

Anonymous is right in saying that the Republican party and American conservatives do not have a monopoly on racism, anti-semetism, homophobia, bigotry and hatred. Hate creeps into all parts of our American polity.

On the whole, however, public organizations and figures who identify as conservative appear to me to be less friendly to those who are different than they, or not as powerful. I believe, also, that in American this has been true historically: i.e. liberalism in America since the 1850s has been the philosophy of greater diversity, more power for the oppressed, and greater tolerance, while conservative has been the bulwark for keeping things as they are, and power in the hands of those who already have it.

Would you disagree, anonymous?

June 13, 2009 11:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Would you disagree, anonymous?"


June 13, 2009 11:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, the problems of our society today are all caused because there are too many leftists who encourage tolerance for individual differences and celebrate diversity of various ethnicities, religious traditions and sexual orientations. American leftists are always going around blowing up federal buildings and shooting people who disagree with their views about being tolerant and reveling diversity. Anyone who doesn't agree we should all get along with each other, live and let live, enjoy and learn from our differences, etc. is just plain wrong and should be murdered by the extremists leftists egg on with their tolerance-encouraging and diversity-loving websites.

June 13, 2009 12:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"tolerance for individual differences and celebrate diversity of various ethnicities, religious traditions and sexual orientations"

Conflating a behavioral/emotional characteristic like sexual deviance with ethnicity and faith is fatal error of today's left-wing.

George Bush, whom you villify, had the most diverse cabinet in history, if you don't make sexual deviance a category.

Other leaders of the conservative movement in the last quarter century, such as Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp, recognized the strength of our diversity. Diversity is a valuable American asset that leftists can't take away.

Back to that particular brand of hate, anti-semitism, Democrats from George Wallace to David Duke to Rev Wright have also been represented.

TTF's attempt to associate anti-semitism with Republicans is offensive- and wrong.

June 13, 2009 1:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, "Anonymous" a faceless, unknown mob of toadies. (George Bush, whom you villify, had the most diverse cabinet in history, if you don't make sexual deviance a category.)
Their record of achievement is, shall we say, less than stellar.
Like Bush, they were completely over their heads in jobs for which they had no competencies.

June 13, 2009 7:18 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...

Anonymous is an impediment to discussion here.



June 13, 2009 7:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"a faceless, unknown mob of toadies. (George Bush, whom you villify, had the most diverse cabinet in history"

first you're attacking Republicans for intolerance

then, when it's pointed out that Republicans have a better record than Democrats in appointing minorities, you say they're all incompetent

give it a rest

your characterization of Republicans, party of Lincoln, has no

June 13, 2009 9:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

basis in fact

June 13, 2009 9:24 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Which Bush/Cheney minority appointees are you calling competent, Anon?

Do you think Alberto Gonzalez was a competent Attorney General?

Do you think Condi Rice was a competent Secretary of State?

Maybe you think Claude Allen was a competent Senior Policy Advisor for the White House or would have been a competent judge to sit on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, where Bush tried to put him until the Democrats voted him down. Or maybe you think he's not so competent now that he's resigned after being found guilty of theft.

Or maybe you think Colin Powell was competent. But if Colin Powell was such a competent Secretary of State, then why did he leave after the first term and why does his former boss, Dick Cheney, think Powell should leave the GOP to make room for more Limbaugh dittoheads?

"when the Republican presidential candidates refuse to debate at black or Hispanic venues, why are they not being asked if they're as racist as that seems? Candidates Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, and John McCain had committed to joining their rivals at five debates and forums from California to New Hampshire in the last six months. That is fewer debates than the Democrats, yet they say they are too busy to appear at a PBS forum for black voters next week. Last week, a forum for Hispanic voters was cancelled due to a lack of Republican interest. Only John McCain even answered the invitation. It's a pattern of minority avoidance that is alarming some Republicans, such as former vice presidential candidate and Congressman Jack Kemp. "We sound," he says, "like we don't want immigration. We sound like we don't want black people to vote for us. What are we going to do, meet in a country club in the suburbs one day? If we're going to be competitive with people of color, we've got to ask them for their vote." Even former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has noticed. "I think it is a terrible mistake," he says. "I did everything I could do to convince them it was the right thing to do, but we are in this cycle where Republicans don't talk to minority groups." And a President with a six-year record of dismantling minority initiatives and neglecting the plight of a minority city engulfed by a hurricane, seemed even he to recognize the folly.

GEORGE W. BUSH clip #1: My advice to whoever will be our nominee is to reach out to the African-American community, as well as other communities."

If the GOP is truly highly regarded as the Party of Lincoln, then why did exit polls in 2008 show that 95% of African Americans voted for the other party? Maybe it's time for members of the Party of Lincoln to remove their rose colored classes and take a hard look at themselves. Maybe they might ask themselves why people like David Duke and Strom Thurmond felt at home in their party and why their candidates accept invitations to speak at Bob Jones University but not the NAACP.

I congratulate Bush, who finally, in 2006, got it right and walked into the NAACP building and addressed African Americans, who he'd ignored for years. I hope the Party of Lincoln continues to do the repair work needed to earn the right to deserve that label and to wear it again with pride.

June 14, 2009 12:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's that you say, "Anonymous" - "Republicans have a better record than Democrats in appointing minorities"??

Republicans, especially Bush, have always appointed minorities because of the political rewards they expected to reap...not becaue of any commitment to any minority group.
Except for Colin Powell and Rice, (who was barely competent for the job), the rest were merely token appointments. And they continue to "use" minorities, such as the incompetent Steele, to try to convince Americans that they are committed to equality of opportunity.
Who are you trying to kid?

June 14, 2009 8:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

so, they're intolerant because they appoint minorities that are incompetent?

competence is a shifting target and not always immediately apparent

try again in 20 years

June 14, 2009 10:11 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...

It's a fascinating statement on historical trends that the Republican Party was in fact the party of Lincoln, supporting and promoting radical liberal ideals, while the Democratic Party was that of staunch agrarian and slaveholding conservatism. Massachusetts, the Netherlands and Geneva were hotbeds of repressive Calvinism. Go figure.

June 15, 2009 2:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Democrats are also the ones who started the Vietnam War, fought to block blacks from entering the schools in the South in the sixties, beat up protestors in 1968 in Chicago and invented DADT.

Why did you vote for them, Robert?

They don't believe in anything other than that they'd like to be re-elected.

June 15, 2009 2:40 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

they're intolerant because they appoint minorities that are incompetent?

No, I just think they are intolerant. Here's a current example of how some Republicans show it.

South Carolina Republican Compares Michelle Obama to Escaped Gorilla

The South Carolina Republican Party recently launched a campaign to reach out to minorities who have, for decades, wanted nothing to do with the state's GOP. On Sunday, however, longtime Republican activist Rusty DePass seemed to be doing everything in his power to thwart that effort when he was caught making a racist joke on his Facebook page about First Lady Michelle Obama.

Over the weekend, a gorilla escaped from a zoo in Columbia, and according to the New York Daily News, DePass just couldn't resist what he saw as the perfect opportunity for humor, updating his status message to read,

"I'm sure it's just one of Michelle's ancestors - probably harmless."

Apparently, not only is DePass fond of racist humor, he also doesn't think too highly of evolution, either. One can tell a lot about a person from the apology he or she issues following an off-color joke, and on this score DePass seemed intent digging his hole a bit deeper.

...DePass told WIS-TV in Columbia, "I am as sorry as I can be if I offended anyone. The comment was clearly in jest."

Then he added, "The comment was hers, not mine," claiming that Michelle Obama made a recent remark about humans descending from apes. The Daily News could find no such comment.

One wonders if DePass feels the same way about RNC chairman Michael Steele.

The "I'm sorry if I offended anyone" line (but not sorry if I didn't) is something of a classic refrain for those who think they've done nothing wrong. DePass may think it's funny to liken black people to apes while exempting himself from that same genetic lineage, but it is comments like these that will ensure that the South Carolina GOP does not evolve beyond its current its current Neanderthal status.

June 15, 2009 3:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you're doing it again, anon-B

this guy isn't anymore representative of Republicans than Rev Wright is of Democrats

saying so makes you appear hypocritical

sorry, Charlie

June 15, 2009 3:46 PM  
Anonymous magilla gorilla said...

this guy explained that he made the remark because Michelle had recently said humans were descended from apes

if so, it isn't a racial remark

why do liberals assume such a remark is racist? do they think black people resemble apes?


there was a similar incident in England when the British press referred to Barack as a "surrender monkey"

June 15, 2009 3:53 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Yeah right, and it wasn't a racist cartoon published in the NYPost a few months ago either. So why did Rupert Murdoch take up column space to publish this personal apology?


As the Chairman of the New York Post, I am ultimately responsible for what is printed in its pages. The buck stops with me.

Last week, we made a mistake. We ran a cartoon that offended many people. Today I want to personally apologize to any reader who felt offended, and even insulted.

Over the past couple of days, I have spoken to a number of people and I now better understand the hurt this cartoon has caused. At the same time, I have had conversations with Post editors about the situation and I can assure you - without a doubt - that the only intent of that cartoon was to mock a badly written piece of legislation. It was not meant to be racist, but unfortunately, it was interpreted by many as such.

We all hold the readers of the New York Post in high regard and I promise you that we will seek to be more attuned to the sensitivities of our community.

June 15, 2009 4:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know the specifics of that case but it's become the common wisdom that when these charges arise, the smartest thing is just concede, apologize and move on.

Our whole society now needs to move on.

We have a black man as our Chief Executive, for heaven's sake.

Time to drop the hypersensitivity.

Probably should have a long time ago. Really, Howard Cosell meant no disrespect to Alvin Garrett.

My guess is few blacks wanted him fired.

June 15, 2009 5:16 PM  

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