Author Topic: The Truth, the Whole Truth And. . .  (Read 47805 times)

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sirs

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Re: The Truth, the Whole Truth And. . .
« Reply #15 on: October 17, 2008, 09:27:37 PM »
The anti-Prop 8, pro gay marriage crowd is running ads charging this whole idea that public schools will teach gay marriage is just a "lie."
 
The latest press release from the Protect Marriage Yes on 8 campaign in California rather cleverly points out the same groups now charging its a lie public schools will teach about gay marriage whether parents like it or not ? were just in court in Massachussetts filing amicus briefs arguing parents don't have any right to opt their children out of the pro-gay marriage curriculum.

Say WHAT?
"The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal." -- Aristotle

MissusDe

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Re: The Truth, the Whole Truth And. . .
« Reply #16 on: October 17, 2008, 10:25:20 PM »
Quote
...parents don't have any right to opt their children out of the pro-gay marriage curriculum.

sirs, that's exactly what bothers me.  I don't have any problems with same-sex relationships, but I do have a problem with any group that thinks they should decide what my children need to learn beyond the basic subjects; i.e., math, reading, grammar, spelling, writing, history, and geography.

In our district, sex ed classes have always contained an 'opt out' choice.  Each school has a Health Curriculum Advisory Board comprised of both teachers and parents who review and choose the course materials for the upcoming year.  Parents are invited to view the materials before the unit is presented, usually during the regular "Back To School" night.  Then the permission slips are sent home for the parents to either agree or opt out of the class. 

As far as I'm concerned, this is the best way to handle the issue of sex ed in public school.  The school satisfies what they see as their duty to educate students about a subject that may or may not be taught in the home, and parents retain their right to decide whether or not the subject matter and manner of presentation are appropriate for their own child.  When government - in the form of the school board - decides that it can and should override a parent's judgment regarding what their child is taught, the government has gone too far.

Now...if you think having your child's school take over your right to teach them about sex, same-sex relationships, or birth control in the way that's best for your family, how would you like to have to deal with this issue?

Stunned Parents Protest
Uproar over teacher's gender change
By Ryan Chalk


When Angela Weinzinger's children returned home at the start of the new school year, she was surprised to learn from them that one of their music teachers, formerly a "Miss," was now to be addressed as "Mister."

The startling revelation sent Weinzinger scrambling for answers to questions of how this happened, and why she had to hear about it from her children who attend Foxboro Elementary School. Weinzinger has two daughters, ages 6 and 9, along with an 11-year-old son who attend the school.

A growing number of parents feel the school could have done more to inform them of the teacher's gender change. They also charge that there was no support for the students who had questions about their teacher. Last Friday, a handful of concerned parents spent time before and after school handing out fliers notifying others of the change.

"They told them (students) to go home and ask your parents about it," Weinzinger said. "But how can we answer when we don't even know about it."

Principal Lisa Eckhoff said she was not at liberty to speak on the matter, citing confidentiality issues. The teacher did not respond to e-mail inquiries from The Reporter.

Weinzinger said that more than 30 parents have contacted the school requesting to have their kids removed from music class. On days when her children would attend music, they are attending activities with other instructors, according to Weinzinger.

Jim Dorigatti, whose daughter attends sixth grade at Foxboro, said that, like many parents, he respects what people do in their private lives.

"But this isn't a private issue," Dorigatti said. "This is something the kids can't not know about. It's hard to call the issue private when it's right there in your face."

Dorigatti has gone as far as removing his daughter from band class as well, enrolling her in private music lessons to keep her prepared for middle school band.

The parents say they would have liked some advance notice about the instructor's decision to identify with the opposite gender.

Travis Unified School District Superintendent Kate Wren Gavlak, issued a statement saying, "We want to assure the community that staff will not be discussing private or personal matters with students, parents or the community."

Dorigatti and Weinzinger said they would be keeping their kids out of the teacher's class as long as the teacher remains there.

"I know the school is frustrated because parents are pulling their kids out of class," Weinzinger said. "I would hate to think the school could lose funding because parents are pulling their kids out of those classes."

Travis Unified Governing Board Trustee Edwin Sanderson said he did not have all of the facts yet but that the board may consider addressing the matter in closed session during its next regularly scheduled board meeting on Tuesday.

"This is not a matter for amusement, this is a matter for careful deliberation," Sanderson said. "It is my understanding that the administration is working very diligently to preserve the rights of both the parents and the teachers."

For the most part, parents just want to feel like they have some level of control over what their children are exposed to in school.

"As a family, we have our values, and we don't push them on anybody," Weinzinger said. "But we don't feel it's fair that someone pushed their values on us."

Jennifer Mikolajcik has also taken steps to keep her children out of the music class. The parent of second- and fourth-grade boys said that the matter has become a distraction.

"This is not an issue of the teacher's choice. It's an issue that our kids know about it and are seeing it."

Like many parents, Mikolajcik doesn't know what to do next, realizing that her children may not be able to be kept out of the music class forever.

She says the next step may be to get a group of concerned parents to rally at Tuesday's board meeting.

"It's very frustrating for parents because you want to do what's best for your children," Mikolajcik said. "We just feel respect has to go both ways. The rights were looked out for the teacher and not our children."

http://www.thereporter.com/news/ci_10697147

Michael Tee

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Re: The Truth, the Whole Truth And. . .
« Reply #17 on: October 17, 2008, 10:41:17 PM »
I wonder if the parents didn't want their kids to know about black people, could they pull their kids from a class with a black music teacher?  If they didn't want their kids to know about Jewish people, could they pull their kids from a class taught by a Jew?

This has got to be the most abysmal example of parental ignorance and bigotry, passed directly on to the kids.  No, a parent does not have the right to deny a child knowledge of the real world because they are stunting the kid's development as normal functioning members of a community.  When you pull a kid out of a class because you don't want him to know that people like that teacher even exist, then you are fundamentally making a statement that denies the humanity of the teacher and making the school complicit in endorsing the statement, at the expense of the dignity of that teacher.

Cross-dressers, transsexuals, etc. exist in the real world as citizens with equal rights.  Whether or not the parents wish their kids to know about these people, those people exist in the real world and those kids will sooner or later encounter them.  The function of the school is not to teach the kids that the world is a fantasy world without GLBT people in it - - that is teaching a lie, the parents may want their kids to be taught a lie, but the schools must not become complicit in teaching that lie.

I'm glad these issues are surfacing the way they do.  I am learning more about hatred and bigotry just by being forced to consider the issues as they arise than I've ever thought about them in this context (public schools and GLBT teachers) before.  It's amazing to me how really clear this issue actually is.  How wrong the one side is and how right the other.

BT

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Re: The Truth, the Whole Truth And. . .
« Reply #18 on: October 17, 2008, 10:55:45 PM »
Quote
This has got to be the most abysmal example of parental ignorance and bigotry, passed directly on to the kids.  No, a parent does not have the right to deny a child knowledge of the real world because they are stunting the kid's development as normal functioning members of a community.

Complete and utter nonsense. This is a perfect example of mismanagement in the schools.

Quote
A growing number of parents feel the school could have done more to inform them of the teacher's gender change. They also charge that there was no support for the students who had questions about their teacher. Last Friday, a handful of concerned parents spent time before and after school handing out fliers notifying others of the change.

"They told them (students) to go home and ask your parents about it," Weinzinger said. "But how can we answer when we don't even know about it."

Principal Lisa Eckhoff said she was not at liberty to speak on the matter, citing confidentiality issues. The teacher did not respond to e-mail inquiries from The Reporter.

The district and the state needs to work on parental notification on issues like this. This situation did not happen overnight.

There seems to be an assumption of bigotry from our flamer on the left ( bogus empty rhetoric as usual) , when what really has happened is parents were blindsided and searching for answers to questions that had no idea they would have to answer so early in their childrens lives.


sirs

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Re: The Truth, the Whole Truth And. . .
« Reply #19 on: October 17, 2008, 11:01:15 PM »
Quote
...parents don't have any right to opt their children out of the pro-gay marriage curriculum.

sirs, that's exactly what bothers me.  I don't have any problems with same-sex relationships, but I do have a problem with any group that thinks they should decide what my children need to learn beyond the basic subjects; i.e., math, reading, grammar, spelling, writing, history, and geography.

PRECISELY.  This isn't about having some strong disagreement with where Columbus landed, or what 2+2 is, or how to conjugate a verb.  School is SUPPOSED to be about education of the basics.  The Child's morality & spirituality, and how they're to be raised is the domain of the parents, and PARENTS ALONE.  The School, if anything is to support that concept, unless the parents are perpetrating some crime.  Except for those who supposedly know better than the rest of us

Enter Obama & company      >:(


In our district, sex ed classes have always contained an 'opt out' choice.  Each school has a Health Curriculum Advisory Board comprised of both teachers and parents who review and choose the course materials for the upcoming year.  Parents are invited to view the materials before the unit is presented, usually during the regular "Back To School" night.  Then the permission slips are sent home for the parents to either agree or opt out of the class. 

As far as I'm concerned, this is the best way to handle the issue of sex ed in public school.  The school satisfies what they see as their duty to educate students about a subject that may or may not be taught in the home, and parents retain their right to decide whether or not the subject matter and manner of presentation are appropriate for their own child.


Absolutely.  Options, options, options.  So much for the party of "choice".  That apparently has to do with what they choose for you, and screw the parents if you disagree.  They apparently know better.

I challenge folks like Js & Fat to argue against such an approach

"The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal." -- Aristotle

MissusDe

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Re: The Truth, the Whole Truth And. . .
« Reply #20 on: October 17, 2008, 11:26:03 PM »
The school could have handled this so much better by notifying the parents ahead of time.  Instead, they abdicated their responsibility to the students, who should be their first concern, by telling them to "go home and ask your parents."

It's possible that many of the parents wouldn't have removed their children from the class if they'd been given the chance to talk to their kids beforehand.  While I'm sure that some of the parents acted out of their own views on the transgender issue alone, I imagine that for some, the action is a protest against the administration's lack of communication.  The school pre-empted the parents' choice of when and how to discuss the issue with their kids. I don't believe that the teacher's right to work trumps the responsibility of the school towards the parents and students in this case.


fatman

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Re: The Truth, the Whole Truth And. . .
« Reply #21 on: October 17, 2008, 11:39:36 PM »
I challenge folks like Js & Fat to argue against such an approach

Both sides of this issue have some good points re: specific points of the issue.  I'll take up a partial challenge tomorrow, when I've had time to think and articulate a (hopefully) coherent response.

MissusDe

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Re: The Truth, the Whole Truth And. . .
« Reply #22 on: October 18, 2008, 12:12:04 AM »
Good...I was hoping you'd post on this, and am looking forward to seeing what your thoughts are.

Michael Tee

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Re: The Truth, the Whole Truth And. . .
« Reply #23 on: October 18, 2008, 12:41:30 AM »
<<There seems to be an assumption of bigotry from our flamer on the left ( bogus empty rhetoric as usual) , when what really has happened is parents were blindsided and searching for answers to questions that had no idea they would have to answer so early in their childrens lives.>>

It's hard to think of a more asinine concept of parental responsibility than that.  Life doesn't hand a parent a weekly Sunday morning advisory of the problems that they will be required to resolve for their children in the coming week.  Life means that a parent has or should have already acquired for himself or herself a basic set of guiding principles that hopefully he or she will be able to pass on to their kids as and when the occasion requires.  For example, a firm and abiding belief that all individuals are worthy of respect and dignity at a certain basic level just for being human beings; that sexual preferences are a matter of personal choice and that no one such choice is worthy of any more or any less respect and dignity than any other.  Then when the kid comes home from school and asks why Miss Jones is now Mr. Jones, you tell the kid that that is how Mr. Jones now wants to be identified, for reasons best known to him and deal with the kid's questions as best you can, consistent with your own guiding principles.  If you're stumped by anything the kid wants to know, there is nothing wrong with admitting you don't really know or you need some time to think about it.  This is not rocket science.

A parent would have to be a total fucking moron to be "blindsided" by anything the kids could ask about the situation, but even if you could find someone that stupid, what on earth would prevent him or her from telling the kid, "Geeze, honey, lemme think about that a minute?"

I'm always amazed at the ingenuity of bigots in rationalizing every act of their bigotry as something else, in this case, their revulsion at the teacher becomes an "intellectual quandary" for them - - they're not revolted by the individual, they're just "blindsided."  An amazingly complex problem, comparable to the decoding of the human genome, has suddenly been presented to them without warning, so now they are all discombobulated and just don't know what to say about it, and gosh darn it, it's all the fault of that damn school for not WARNING them about it, so they could first think it through.  Gimme a break.  At least have the balls to face up to your own bigotry and take responsibility for it.

I went back and re-read the parental comments again to see how much of it had to do with "being blindsided" and how much had to do with the person of the teacher, and it's pretty clear to me that almost all the parental comment was that as long as the teacher is in the class the kid will be out of it.  If BT wants to misrepresent that sentiment as anger at being "blindsided," that's of course his privilege, but that is pure bullshit, as the parental commentary makes abundantly clear.

BT

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Re: The Truth, the Whole Truth And. . .
« Reply #24 on: October 18, 2008, 12:56:55 AM »
It amazes me that students are sent home for wearing T shirts because it might offend someone and then when parents question the handlin of a situation in school they are the intolerant ones.

I could care less if the teacher chooses to change gender. I think the school did a poor job of presenting that change.

And I think the larger debate is whether the state or the parent is the arbitrator of when is the correct time to introduce and explain the different layers to the onion. I side with the parents. My guess is you side with the state.





Plane

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Re: The Truth, the Whole Truth And. . .
« Reply #25 on: October 18, 2008, 01:34:07 AM »
<<They are teaching Natzism next, why not?>>

What makes you equate Naziism with homosexuality?&nbsp; Do you really believe them to be equally evil?


Probly not , Natzis killed a lot of people and Homosexuals don't have that problem .

Communism is more equivelent with Natzism , they might have killed more people with no more need.

But that is entirely beside the point , to teach something to children that their parents are not persueded is true is evil and it isn't anything but evil.

Natzis swept up likely youths for indoctrination by the state , Communists also...

But why should our government be involved in makeing children into strangers within their familys?

The parents right to teach children right from wrong should not be so lightly ursurped wholesale .

If you want to persuede adults I don't object , but the notion that the children will learn a new right and wrong as approved by the state is anathema to freedom and free men.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwTpZpwjtIE

Michael Tee

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Re: The Truth, the Whole Truth And. . .
« Reply #26 on: October 18, 2008, 01:41:24 AM »
<<It amazes me that students are sent home for wearing T shirts because it might offend someone and then when parents question the handlin of a situation in school they are the intolerant ones.>>

You're comparing apples to oranges.  The T-shirt issue is about protecting the dignity of the individual student against assault by another student.  It's basically an equal-protection issue in conflict with freedom of speech.  The cross-dressing teacher issue involves parental rights over the moral education of their own children in conflict with the equal-protection rights of the teacher.  I think the handling of both cases was consistent - - in the T-shirt case, the dignity of the offended student was protected against the wearer's 1st amendment (freedom of speech) rights, and in the cross-dressing teacher case, the dignity of the teacher was protected against the parental 1st amendment (freedom of religion) rights.

<<I could care less if the teacher chooses to change gender. I think the school did a poor job of presenting that change.>>

I don't think the school should be in the business of commenting upon or explaining a perfectly legal decision taken by a teacher in a purely private matter.  It would be singling out the teacher.  If the teacher had entered into a heterosexual marriage and become Mrs. Grant instead of Miss Jones, would the school "present the change" to the students or parents?  "Presenting " every single change of every teacher would be treating all teachers equally, "presenting" only the non-standard changes of unconventional individuals is singling-out.  The school could probably be sued for that.  It really IS the job of the parents.  It's natural the kids would have questions about it - - which is why the schools should have a comprehensive sex-ed program in place - - but if there's no sex-ed course, or if the course hasn't reached that part of the text yet, then there's really no alternative but to leave it to the parents to explain as best they can.

<<And I think the larger debate is whether the state or the parent is the arbitrator of when is the correct time to introduce and explain the different layers to the onion. I side with the parents. My guess is you side with the state.>>

Actually with our own kids my wife and I were the sole arbiters of every aspect of their education.  ON at least two occasions that I can think of now, we took violent exception to the way the public schools  handled things.  I taught my kids about sex, basically by answering honestly every question they asked, regardless of when they asked it.  Once they got past a very early age, our two daughters seemed to be a lot more comfortable discussing stuff with my wife, and our son actually - - once he got the basics under his belt - - wasn't comfortable discussing stuff with either one of us.  Strangely enough, they all turned out OK.

I believe in the principle that certain basics be taught by the state in the public schools to all students to prepare them for citizenship, and further that no parent has a right to opt his or her kids out, because good citizenship is not optional.  A white supremacist parent, for example, can't opt the kids out of classes that discuss 14th Amendment rights.  There has to be a basic sex-ed curriculum set up for all grades, JK to 12 or 13 and that also is not optional, it's a case of the health of the child.  But even subject to that curriculum, as a parent, I would be proactive.  I would make sure my kids knew certain things earlier than the curriculum requirements if I thought fit, and in certain issues such as obedience to teachers and principals, I was very clear in letting my kids know that they NEVER had to follow instructions that to them appeared clearly wrong or even irrational, regardless of who was issuing the instructions. 

I guess the short answer is that I'm happy in general to let the state be the arbiter of all aspects of the kids' education but I would never abdicate the parental oversight role.  And in a conflict between the state and I, I am going to be the final arbiter.  But I was always very pleased with the Toronto School system and in general had very little conflict with them.  I especially admired their Anti-Racism Initiative, which wasn't initiated until after our own kids had passed through the system.  Any kid would be in good hands in our public schools.

Plane

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Re: The Truth, the Whole Truth And. . .
« Reply #27 on: October 18, 2008, 01:54:29 AM »
I guess the short answer is that I'm happy in general to let the state be the arbiter of all aspects of the kids' education but I would never abdicate the parental oversight role.  And in a conflict between the state and I, I am going to be the final arbiter.  But I was always very pleased with the Toronto School system and in general had very little conflict with them.  I especially admired their Anti-Racism Initiative, which wasn't initiated until after our own kids had passed through the system.  Any kid would be in good hands in our public schools.

I can't agree with that.

When a parent is mistaken about something , the child suffers a mistaken knoledge that he might or might not learn better than later.

When a State is wrong about something , it turns out a cohort of kids shareing an institunalised error.

It is far safer for the well being of the society to allow individuals to think for themselves , than to try to standardise them in their thinking.

BT

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Re: The Truth, the Whole Truth And. . .
« Reply #28 on: October 18, 2008, 02:05:08 AM »
Mandatory ROTC.

Should parents be allowed to opt out their children?


Michael Tee

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Re: The Truth, the Whole Truth And. . .
« Reply #29 on: October 18, 2008, 02:11:12 AM »
When a parent is mistaken about something , the child suffers a mistaken knoledge that he might or might not learn better than later.

When a State is wrong about something , it turns out a cohort of kids shareing an institunalised error.

It is far safer for the well being of the society to allow individuals to think for themselves , than to try to standardise them in their thinking.

                   =========================================================

One of the problems with that is that the state is a lot less  likely to be wrong about anything than an individual parent.  And the lower you go down the socioeconomic ladder, the more parental error you're likely to find, until at the bottom of the pile you've got a bunch of dope-smoking lumpen dropouts, single teenage mothers, unemployables and general morons who are not in a condition to teach their kids how to tell time from an analog watch, let alone the 14th Amendment or the egg and the sperm.

I taught my kids to think for themselves, to stand up against their teachers and principals (and I backed them up when they did) but their day-to-day instruction was unexceptionable and, as I say, they did a great job.   I actually can't think of one error that our school system passed on to our kids.

Maybe it's a lot different in the South, where the school system probably passes on a lot of ignorant nonsense about the War Between the States, the Peculiar Institution, the Happy Slaves Singing and Dancing, Ginrul Lee, crap like that and I can appreciate how somebody like me might want to keep a close eye on them, but frankly, I'm very surprised that YOU would have a problem with what the schools might be teaching in your neck of the woods.  I would have thought you'd eat it up.