Sunday, September 19, 2010

School Board Candidate Forum Monday at 6

There is something interesting going on in the contest for Montgomery County school board, an ultraconservative stealth candidate. Martha Schaerr is running as representative of District 5 but the entire county votes for that office. She is an anti-LGBT activist in our county and nationally but is not saying so in any campaign materials. She got enough votes in the primaries to advance to the general election in November and it is time for the public to learn what she stands for.

Tomorrow, Monday evening, there is a forum for Board of Education candidates at the Rockville Library in Town Center at 6 o'clock PM. I don't know what the format will be, typically members of the audience go up to a microphone and ask questions or write questions for the candidates, to be selected by the moderator. I understand that the forum will be televised.

Somebody needs to ask Martha Schaerr about her role in the several lawsuits filed by the Family Leader Network against Montgomery County Public Schools and why she is not mentioning them in her campaign. Somebody needs to ask her about her activities as president of the Citizens for Traditional Families, a group that testifies that marriage should only be allowed for heterosexual couples. We need to know how her attitudes about LGBT students, parents, and teachers will affect important decisions that she as a board member will be asked to make.

If the citizens of Montgomery County want a conservative activist on the school board, somebody who has demonstrated that she will use devious methods to undermine our gay, lesbian, and transgender neighbors, then fine, they can choose that, but the public should know what they are voting for.

In 2007, Ms. Schaerr, as president of the Magruder PTSA, announced that she had invited "members of the Citizens Advisory Committee" to speak about the new sex-ed curriculum, when in fact she had only invited Ruth Jacobs, committee representative for Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum and a strident anti-gay activist. Magruder parents would have attended that meeting believing that they were being given an honest representation of the curriculum and that "members of the Citizens Advisory Committee" were deeply opposed to what was being taught in the schools. The plan was foiled when other committee members found out and attended.

We have seen the Citizens for Responsible Whatever promote their bigotry directly, carrying signs that say who they are, they have said just how they feel and it was relatively easy for the people of our county to reject them. This time they are running a furtive candidate, someone who is hiding her beliefs and running as a nice mom and PTA president. If we let her get away with this then we are complicit in the consequences.

If you can, come to the candidate forum at the Rockville Library and have your questions ready. Here's how the announcement reads at the Rockville Living web site.
Mon, Sep 20
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Board of Education Candidates Forum
The Friends of the Library, Rockville Chapter and the Montgomery County Parent-Teacher Associations are co-sponsoring a candidate forum for the Board of Education with the League of Women Voters.

This event is scheduled to begin at 6:00 p.m. and will end at 8:00 p.m. This is a brown bag event and so you may bring a sandwich. The League of Women Voters will provide coffee/water and cookies.

The moderator will be Dr. Lucille Ellis. She is a retired MCPS educator, from teacher to principal, an adjunct professor at Bowie State University and a graduate of Leadership Montgomery.


Anonymous so-called genius said...

"Speaking at a Republican picnic in southern Delaware on Sunday, O'Donnell responded to Karl Rove's comments. "How many of you didn't hang out with questionable folks in high school?" she said. "There's been no witchcraft since. If there was, Karl Rove would be a supporter now."

Asked by Bob Schieffer if he had ever engaged in witchcraft, Ed Rollins, former political director in the Reagan White House, said, "I have had a voodoo doll or two of some of my candidates that I've wanted to strangle to stick needles in, in the course of a very long career ... but never witchcraft."

O'Donnell backed out of Sunday talk show appearances that had been scheduled on Fox and CBS. Fox moderator Chris Wallace said her campaign cited "exhaustion" as a reason.

At times lately, O'Donnell and Rove, now a commentator and author, have appeared to be running against each other.

For her part, O'Donnell said: "Everything that (Rove's) saying is unfactual. And it's a shame because he is the same so-called political guru that predicted I wasn't going to win. And we won and we won big."

September 19, 2010 9:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"She is an anti-LGBT activist in our county and nationally but is not saying so in any campaign materials."

so what?

most people, including her, don't feel it's an important issue

you can't talk about everything

"Somebody needs to ask Martha Schaerr about her role in the several lawsuits filed by the Family Leader Network against Montgomery County Public Schools"

we'll be sure and ask the other candidates if they supported the curriculum that MCPS had to discard because it violated students CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS

September 19, 2010 9:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hee-hee, anon, I hope you do ask that one. There never was any ruling that anything in the curriculum violated anyone's constitutional rights.

September 19, 2010 9:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I didn't say anything about a "ruling"

they realized they did it from reading the statement of the judge

that's why they "voluntarily" threw out the curriculum

I SAID this:

"the curriculum that MCPS had to discard because it violated students CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS"

stop the presses:

"President Barack Obama and his family attended an hourlong service Sunday morning at a church just across the street from the White House.

Accompanied by his wife, Michelle, and their daughters, Malia and Sasha, Obama strolled across Lafayette Square to attend St. John's Church. Sasha held her father's hand as they crossed the park.

The Obama family has rarely attended church since coming to Washington."

btw, Bill Clinton this morning said Obama's chances of re-election would improve if Democrats lose the Congress in November.

Thanks, Bill, but we all figured out that strategy long ago.

September 19, 2010 10:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can assert that it violated someone's constitutional rights but it didn't, and no court said it did.

The threw out the curriculum and settled out of court to avoid legal expenses and so they would have the chance to develop an even more progressive curriculum, which they did.

September 19, 2010 10:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

PLEASE. the judges ruling :

The First Amendment mandates governmental neutrality between religion and religion ... The State may not adopt programs or practices ... which aid or oppose any religion.... This prohibition is absolute. The Supreme Court has found that discrimination against religious speech among religions is subject to strict scrutiny. …when we are presented with a state law granting a denominational preference, our precedents demand that we treat the law as suspect and that we apply strict scrutiny in adjudging its constitutionality. The Revised Curriculum also implies that the Baptist Church’s position on homosexuality is theologically flawed. The materials state that theologians and Biblical scholars agree that “Jesus said absolutely nothing at all about homosexuality.” The materials also note that many seemingly innocuous activities were deemed abominations by the Bible, such as “wearing clothing made from more than one kind of fiber, and eating shellfish, like shrimp and lobster,” inviting the reader to draw the conclusion that not all activities that were banned in the Bible are still morally objectionable today. The Court would again note that the strength Montgomery County Public Schools’ substantive theological arguments are irrelevant — it is their exclusive nature that the Court finds troubling."

"Most disturbingly, the Revised Curriculum juxtaposes this portrait of an intolerant and Biblically misguided Baptist Church against other, preferred Churches, which are more friendly towards the homosexual lifestyle. The Revised Curriculum states: Fortunately, many within organized religions are beginning to address the homophobia of the church. The Nation Council of Churches of Christ, the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, the Unitarian Universalist Association, the Society of Friends (Quakers), and the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches support full civil rights for gay men and lesbians, as they do for everyone else."

September 19, 2010 11:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The Court is extremely troubled by the willingness of Montgomery County Public Schools to venture —or perhaps more correctly bound — into the crossroads of controversy where religion, morality, and homosexuality converge. The Court does not understand why it is necessary, in attempting to achieve the goals of advocating tolerance and providing health-related information, Montgomery County Public Schools must offer up their opinion on such controversial topics as whether homosexuality is a sin, whether AIDS is God’s judgment on homosexuals, and whether churches that condemn homosexuality are on theologically solid ground. As such, the Court is highly skeptical that the Revised Curriculum is narrowly tailored to serve a compelling government interest… Viewpoint discrimination consists of state action in which “there is no ban on a general subject matter, but only on one or more prohibited perspectives.”. When government restrictions “target notsubject matter but particular views taken by speakers on a subject, the violation of the First Amendment is all the more blatant. Viewpoint discrimination is thus an egregious form of content discrimination.” …“the government must abstain from regulating speech when the specific motivating ideology or the opinion or perspective of the speaker is the rationale for the restriction.”. In this case, Montgomery County Public Schools open up the classroom to the subject of homosexuality, and specifically, the moral rightness of the homosexual lifestyle. However, the Revised Curriculum presents only one view on the subject — that homosexuality is a natural and morally correct lifestyle — to the exclusion of other perspectives. Indeed, the Revised Curriculum advises teachers that the information concerning homosexuality is to be presented to students as facts and that “no additional information, interpretation or examples are to be provided by the teacher.” As such, the Court is deeply concerned that the Revised Curriculum violates Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum’s and PFOX’s free speech rights under the First Amendment..."

September 19, 2010 11:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

actually I think Martha should read the judges ruling and ask the school board candidates (many of whom voted for it..)
why they did ?

September 19, 2010 11:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Being "deeply concerned" is not a ruling or even an opinion.

September 20, 2010 6:31 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Oh brother, Anon the incomplete cut and paster! That entire last sentence you didn't quite finish quoting from Judge Williams' decision reads:

"As such, the Court is deeply concerned that the Revised Curriculum violates Plaintiffs’ free speech rights under the First Amendment, and believes that Plaintiffs’ free speech allegations merit future and further investigation."

In the end, Judge Williams wrote:

"This case pits a potential loss of Plaintiffs’ First Amendment freedoms against what amounts to mere inconvenience to Defendants. It is in the public interest for the Court to guard against any chipping away at Plaintiffs’ First Amendment freedoms, particularly where Plaintiffs have shown a strong likelihood of success on the merits. As such, for the aforementioned reasons, the Court will grant Plaintiffs’ Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order [2]. Additionally, the Court will grant Plaintiffs’ Motion to Waive Posting of Bond [3] and deny Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss Pursuant to 12(b)(1). An Order consistent with this Opinion will follow."

Instead of the "free speech allegations" the Judge was so "deeply concerned" about and felt had a "strong likelihood of success on the merits" receiving "future and further investigation" into the possibility that the Plaintiff's rights might have been violated by a couple of teacher resources that mentioned certain religions' views about homosexuality, the Liberty Council lawyers decided to drop the case like a hot potato. Liberty Council never agreed to represent CRW again, even after the second, more progressive sex ed curricular revision was pilot tested and approved for use in MCPS.

Every lawsuit that PFOX, CRC and Martha Schaerr's "Family Leader Network" brought against the more progressive sex ed curriculum with the vignettes they love to hate, has been won by MCPS while costing it precious tax payer dollars in this time of recession that would have been better spent on MCPS students.

Voters deserve to know about Martha Schaerr's views on wasting so much MCPS tax payer money on repeated frivolous lawsuits intended to INFLAME rather than to seek justice.

Thanks for letting us know about the forum, Jim. Uncle Beau and I will be there tonight.

September 20, 2010 8:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"most people, including her, don't feel it's an important can't talk about everything"

Candidate "W" lies about her past financial and personal indiscretions yet asks the electorate to put their trust in her to create and support legislation that would benefit the maximum number of citizens. Would that be an appropriate election issue?

Candidate "X" has advocated for the right to shoot public officials with whom she doesn't agree, contending that she has that right under Article 2 of the Constitution. Would that be an appropriate election issue?

Candidate "Y" believes that "abstinence only" should be the only curriculum, has demonstrated in support of that, and has even said that teaching the contrary is a violation of a student's "Constitutional Rights". Would that be an appropriate election issue?

Candidate "Z" has spread malicious rumors about members of the County Council, citing unsupported allegations, and villified people whom he believes are not entitled to the equal protection of the laws and of the Constitution. Would that be an appropriate election issue?

The members of the Board of Education represent the views of the citizens of Montgomery County. They determine the curriculum for the a majority vote. Your assumption that they do not know and are unaware of the CONSTITUTIONAN RIGHTS of students is pathetically laughable and lamentably ignorant.

The citizens' rights to know where candidates, who might be in a potition to make crucial decisions affecting the lives of students, stand on educational matters and any other issues that define their personal beliefs are what elections are all about. When you put yourself before the public for their votes you should be prepared for "uncomfortable" questions. Mrs. Schaerr is not exempt from that election process.

September 20, 2010 10:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"When you put yourself before the public for their votes you should be prepared for "uncomfortable" questions. Mrs. Schaerr is not exempt from that election process."

you seem to have constructed quite a fantasy there

she hasn't refused to answer any questions

Jim's objection is that she hasn't publicized some past dead issue

if you think voters need to know this, go ahead and talk about it

personally, I think MC voters are sick of the subject and the loser will be whoever brings it up, regardless of theri position

September 20, 2010 10:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The members of the Board of Education represent the views of the citizens of Montgomery County. They determine the curriculum for the a majority vote. Your assumption that they do not know and are unaware of the CONSTITUTIONAN RIGHTS of students is pathetically laughable and lamentably ignorant."

I thought you guys are always saying constitutional rights are not subject to vote

degeneracy is so unaware of itself

September 20, 2010 10:21 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

It was never proven in any court of law that anyone's CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS were violated in the 6 years of frivolous lawsuits filed by a couple of radical right wingers and their national backers against MCPS's decision to teach students about "RESPECT FOR DIFFERENCES IN HUMAN SEXUALITY."

The issue is hardly "dead." In fact, the CRC has a long public track record that shows it relies on frivolous lawsuits, whether they have merit or not, intended to INFLAME public opinion.

I encourage Vigilance readers to click on this link to Jim's post on "Frivolous Lawsuit" Defined, scroll down to the comments section, and read the google cache of the CRC's own internal discussions about it.

September 20, 2010 11:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It was never proven in any court of law that anyone's CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS were violated"

the proof presented in a court of law caused a judge to say there was a strong likelihood that the plaintiffs would succeed

MCPS tried to characterize the religious viewpoints of certain denominations as homophobic

when they were called on it, they retreated

"The issue is hardly "dead.""

it's only alive for TTFers

no one else wants to hear about it

September 20, 2010 2:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

can't get anything past this guy:

"Former president Bill Clinton, a champion of healthcare reform, admitted on Sunday that he made the wrong prediction about the popularity of President Obama’s healthcare bill.

Initially, Clinton had predicted that the polls in favor of Democrats would be boosted as soon as the legislation was signed into law. Instead, Clinton said on NBC’s "Meet the Press," his prediction was wrong."

September 20, 2010 9:18 PM  
Anonymous David S. Fishback said...

Sorry to get into this one so late. Here are the facts, in a nutshell.

1. In 2005, Judge Williams issued a temporary restraining order, in a legal ambush, on the grounds that the 2005 curriculum criticized certain religious viewpoints and that if one "side" of the issue on sexual orientation was presented then the "other side" had to be presented, as well.

2. The first ground was factually incorrect (the offending statements on religion cited by Judge Williams were NOT in the curriculum, but in background teacher resources, which teachers were barred by MCPS from discussing), and the second ground was legally incorrect (and was effectively rejected by the Supreme Court in the Rosenberger case and by the 4th Circuit in Child Evangelism Fellowship).

3. MCPS chose to scrap the curriculum and start over.

4. In the revised curriculum revisions, there was no mention of religion, even in background teacher resources. So Judge Williams' first point became moot.

5. MCPS began to implement the revised curriculum revisions in 2007. That was when the Family Leader Network first got into the act, bringing suit before the State Superintendent of Education, the State Board of Education, and the Montgomery County Circuit Court. All three rejected the legal challenges and the curriculum as been successfully operated now for three years.

September 21, 2010 10:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess there will be no end for the whining and breast-beating of the C.R.C./C.R.Gers in their attempts to revise history. I'm sure they are still looking for a "scandalous" or, "there, I told you so" example of women and/or children being accosted in a rest room by a transgender person.

September 21, 2010 10:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

as Jim's post proves, there is no end to TTF hunting down everyone who dared to oppose the curriculum and attack

remember Jim's complaint here is that Ms Schaerr isn't highlighting her views on the issue

David's post is partially correct, which is more than can be said for most of the TTF garbage

September 21, 2010 1:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that Martha Schaerr sure kicked some TTF butt last night!

September 21, 2010 2:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No she didn't. She was inarticulate, poorly informed, and unlikeable.

September 21, 2010 2:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would suggest that if you don't like the TTF "garbage" you go someplace else.

You don't think your presence here hasn't stunk up the place for the past several years? Your only purpose in life seems to be that of a nasty, quarrelsome, lonely, bitter, bigoted soul whose main objective is to moralize about other people, especially those who are different from you.

No tears will be shed if you don't ever wipe your dirty feet on the welcome mat here!

September 21, 2010 2:43 PM  
Anonymous TEA PARTY TIME!! said...

"She was inarticulate, poorly informed, and unlikeable."

sounds like a matter of opinion

we're in the tea party era now:

"(Sept. 21) -- Senate Republicans have blocked an effort to repeal the law banning gays from serving openly in the military.

The vote was a defeat for gay rights groups who saw the provision in a defense authorization bill as their last chance any time soon to overturn the 17-year-old law known as "don't ask, don't tell."

Democrats fell short of the votes needed to advance the legislation.

Advocates had been optimistic that the Democratic-controlled White House and Congress could overcome objections to repeal of the law barring gays from serving openly in the military. The move is unpopular among Republicans, military officers, tea party activists and social conservatives.

But in the end, Senate Democrats were expected to fall at least one vote short of the number needed to advance the legislation .

Now, gay rights advocates say they worry they have lost a crucial opportunity to change the law. When Democrats lose seats in the upcoming elections this fall, repealing the law will be impossible next year.

Newt Gingrich called the development "humorous." Aides were summoned to calm down Al Franken who began gesticulating and making faces on the Senate floor. Lady Gaga began whirling like a dervish on the White House lawn. "The whole thing is a political train wreck," said Richard Socarides, a White House adviser on gay rights.

Socarides said President Barack Obama "badly miscalculated" the Pentagon's support for repeal, while Democrats made only a "token effort" to advance the bill.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., gave Republicans the chance to offer an amendment to address GOP objections on the military's policy on gays. They knew that wouldn't be necessary.

Jim Manley, a spokesman for Reid, said the senator would be willing to allow more debate on the bill after the November elections.

An estimated 13,000 people have been discharged under the law since its inception in 1993. Most dismissals have resulted from vindictive co-workers trying to drum out troops who never made their sexuality an issue.

Top defense officials, including Defense Secretary Robert Gates and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, have said they want to move slowly to ensure changes won't hurt morale.

In another blow to the bill, Obama's pick to lead the Marine Corps told a Senate panel on Tuesday that he worried that changing the policy would serve as a "distraction" to Marines fighting in Afghanistan.

"My primary concern with proposed repeal is the disruption to cohesion that would be caused by significant change during a period of extended combat operations," Gen. James Amos said in a written statement provided to the panel for his confirmation hearing.

During one exchange with Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., Amos said the Marine Corps would rely on discipline and leadership to ensure order, but that he didn't envision a gag order on troops who disagreed with revoking the ban.

Republicans had suggested they fear troops who openly oppose gay service would be punished for speaking out."

September 21, 2010 3:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Martha Schaerr is not a teabagger, she is a run-of-the-mill, pearl-clutching, gay-hating Republican

September 21, 2010 3:57 PM  
Anonymous tea and jam said...

"She was inarticulate,"

sounded like she was doin' a lot of articulating to me

"poorly informed,"

yeah, she didn't know that scientists have proved that gaeity is innate

oh that's right, they haven't

"and unlikeable"

sure, gays didn't like her

but when she gets on the school board, DADT will apply to school teachers in MCPS

September 21, 2010 3:59 PM  
Anonymous GO MARTHA!!! said...


September 21, 2010 4:00 PM  
Anonymous oh sure, he was born here said...

(Sept. 21) -- As Congress prepares to reinitiate the stalled immigration reform debate this week, one very personal immigration issue looks poised to hit the president close to home.

President Barack Obama's aunt, Zeituni Onyango, says she's done nothing wrong by illegally living in the United States for years and is therefore deserving of amnesty.

"If I come as an immigrant, you have the obligation to make me a citizen," Onyango, 58, told Boston's WBZ news.

September 21, 2010 4:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Oh, sure..."
I bet it would be fun and quite revealing to do a check of your family history! I'm sure there is nothing there that would show any imperfections or illegalities or illegitimacy. Or even, heaven forbid, anything that smacked of bigotry or disdain for those of a different race.

Such perfections sucks the very air out of the room.

September 21, 2010 10:54 PM  
Anonymous ronnie rivers said...

doesn't it seem like Obama has more relatives that aren't U.S. citizens than any other since the Founding Fathers

we know more about Chris O'Donnell's high school days than Obama's background

there's a man who lives a life of danger

to every American voter

he remains a stranger

and every move he makes

another chance he takes

with our country's future

and not his

secret obama socialist

secret obama socialist

he's giving you a number

and taking away your name

September 21, 2010 11:09 PM  

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