Quote of the day

"We are shut up in schools and college recitation rooms for ten or fifteen years, and come out at last with a bellyful of words and do not know a thing. "

-Ralph Waldo Emerson




Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A look at Washington State Law

A key argument in this issue revolves around the question of whether Rev. Hutcherson presents a positive role model in the context of civil rights to the student body. Considering Mr. Hutcherson’s actions, which truly define a role model, of opposing anti-discrimination legislation, hate crimes legislation and civil rights legislation based on his religious beliefs leads one to believe that he may not be an appropriate role model in the current context of celebrating diversity and civil rights.

Although the event was organized by the student organizations it is ultimately the responsibility of the administration to exercise proper discretion in selecting appropriate speakers for a compulsory event such as this. In addition, the administrations primary responsibility is to provide a safe and open learning environment that is free of hate and discrimination to every student without exception.

The Washington State laws against discrimination as well as the policies of the Washington State Office of Public Instruction clearly identify the LGBT community as a community that is vulnerable to discrimination.






Washington Models for the Evaluation of Bias Content in Instructional Materials
Published by the Washington State Office of Public Instruction

Relating to RCW 28A.640.020 Regulations, guidelines to eliminate discrimination--Scope.

Guidelines for Identifying Bias

As we discover how to better teach and apply the principle of equity in our schools, we are learning the importance of perspective in points of view and the need to reflect the participation and the contribution of the various cultures and both genders in our curricula. It means a move toward respecting and appreciating differences and understanding how they contribute to the desirability of the whole. The diversity of race, custom, color, religion, age, physical make-up and lifestyle are positive and essential characteristics of our nation and its heritage.

The schools, of course, play a highly significant role in promoting or negating these points of view. The curriculum by which students learn shares this role with the teacher and other school staff. Attitudes expressed or modeled in materials, as well as by people, work against the development of the appreciation of diverse groups if they relegate groups of people to secondary or inferior status. A curriculum may perpetuate these attitudes and the behaviors they cause if it omits the history, contributions and lifestyles of a group; if it demeans a group by using patronizing language; or if it portrays a group in stereotyped roles with less than a full range of human interests, traits and capabilities.

Included are: Stereotyped views are depicted of gay, lesbian and bisexual people.





Opponents of Mr. Hutcherson support his right to voice his opinion and oppose civil rights legislation if he chooses to do so as a fundamental right provided to him under law. They question however the judgment of school administrators in deciding to invite a speaker whose well publicized actions are directly oppressive to a significant minority of the student body while professing to celebrate diversity as advocates against discrimination.

One has to question which fact presents the greatest irony. The fact that a man such as Ken Hutcherson spoke to the dream of Martin Luther King Jr. who advocated equal rights for everyone or the fact that the Mt Si Administration allowed such a speaker contrary to common sense and state guidelines.

Perhaps the administration hasn't had a chance to read the manual.

14 comments:

Dave Eiffert said...

One thing I continually see as an objection put out by those who aren't interested in making our schools inviting for sexual minorities is that those who are push a "gay agenda". Can anyone define that for me? It sounds like it might be one of those powerful but vague phrases that are repeated often- like "flip flop", or "liberal media". Can someone help me out here?

Parent of 4 MSHS Students said...

I would be happy to explain what is meant by "gay agenda". The term describes the set of political and cultural objectives of gay activitists and their supporters. On the cultural side, this generally means working to establish acceptance of homosexual behavior and lifestyle as fully equivalent to heterosexual behavior in every way - morally, legally, socially, etc. Note that this goes WAY beyond wanting tolerance for an "alternate" lifestyle. On the political side, this includes things like establishing "sexual orientation" as a "protected class" in anti-discrimination laws, redefining the millenia-old definition of marriage to include couples of the same sex, and so on. Some of the tools used to accomplish this are traditional lobbying efforts, but others use subversive techniques such as:
- redefining terminology (for example, change "marriage" to mean a relationship between any two people, speak of legal privileges set forth by law (survivorship, shared property ownership, etc.) as "rights" instead of "privileges". Please not that married people don't have a "right" to survivorship benefits; that is a privilege coded into the law, but there is nothing inherent in this that makes it a "right" for gay people or anyone else.)
- intimidation of those who oppose these objectives through name calling (bigots, homophobes).
- Establishment of "political correctness" around the objectives of the gay activists so that opposing political opinions can be stifled as "incorrect" and tacitly shameful. There is an entire aura of "you must agree with this or you are a biased, bigoted, incorrect person".

The promoters of the gay agenda generally don't leave room for differening opinions -- if you don't agree with their political and cultural objectives, you are all kinds of negative things: bigoted, homophobic, discriminatory, prejudiced, etc.

Parent of 4 MSHS students said...

And by the way, I am opposed to the political activism exhibited by the language arts teachers at MSHS and I am opposed to having the Day of Silence (DoS) in the school. This is not because I don't want the school to be "inviting for sexual minorities". Instead, I want the school to be a safe, neutral, and fair place for everyone. I am opposed to the activism and DoS because they promote the ideology of one side of this political debate without any opportunity to express opinions on the other side.

Your assumption that someone who opposes these activities must be prejudiced demonstrates my point exactly. You have tried to define my position for me, without allowing me to express my rational, well-thought-out, but differing, opinion on the subject.

MtSiParents said...

Parent of 4 MSHS students said...
And by the way, I am opposed to the political activism exhibited by the language arts teachers at MSHS and I am opposed to having the Day of Silence (DoS) in the school. This is not because I don't want the school to be "inviting for sexual minorities". Instead, I want the school to be a safe, neutral, and fair place for everyone. I am opposed to the activism and DoS because they promote the ideology of one side of this political debate without any opportunity to express opinions on the other side.

So you would prefer this?

I grew up in Kirkland during the late 1970's and as a gay child/teen, I had to face violence and insults almost every day. The teachers and other school staff did nothing to protect me....Neither did my family, with the exception of my mother who thought that karate lessons were the answer.

I droped out of school and ran away from home in the eighth grade. I am lucky to be alive however damaged.

-from a private poster

How can you be a parent of 4 children and accept the fact that kids are abused? Wha if one of your kids was gay, what would you do? How would they fair at Mt Si?

My kids are not gay but they will stand up for those that are because it is the right thing to do. Hutcherson is a bigot and has no place in a public school outside of his parent teacher conferencees. MLK would be furious!

Concerned Parent of MSHS student said...

mtsiparents, I'm sorry for the way you were treated in your youth. I too understand this issue as my life was threatened at school because of my religious beliefs. It's obviously wrong for anyone to be bullied or persecuted.

My question is this: Are there gay kids at Mt. Si being bullied? I suppose it happens, but I've never heard about it. I do know of a student who is now home schooled because the violence against him by a group of GSA students just wouldn't stop. His crime was to wear a pro straight t-shirt to school. Seems like tolerance needs to be a two way street, and those promoting the gay agenda just don't get it!

Alex said...

Concerned Parent,

I am an LGBT student who attends school at Mt.Si and I am also an officer of the GSA. Yes, there are LGBT students at school but most of them choose not to come out to avoid being bullied. I think the term "violence" you used in your sentence was a bit misplaced. I'm sure he would have taken the first opportunity to report any "violence" towards him. I'm not quite sure where you got your information, but I can assure you I haven't heard of this incident. And I should know... I go to school there. I participate in

And the tolerance issue...
Let me first say that my opinions are mine and not the owner of this blog's....

Why should I tolerate being called an attention-seeking slut by my fellow classmates?
Why should I tolerate weird looks I receive from my peers?
Why should I tolerate hearing nasty rumors about my straight female friends being involved with me?

The answer is I shouldn't. Be proud with whatever sexuality you have, but don't make me feel like less of person in doing so.

Yes, I have an agenda. It's to be treated like a normal person.

Parent of 4 MSHS Students said...

Intolerance, bullying, name-calling, and innuendo should not be tolerated toward anyone - gay or straight; black, brown, green, or white; liberal or conservative; Christian, atheist, or Muslum. When this happens, it should be reported and dealt with. I will stand behind you 100% to seek redress for persecution.

In our home, we strive to teach our children to respect everyone and treat everyone fairly and with kindness. I grieve for the pain you have suffered at the hands of others. I am sincerely sorry for the actions of others who are close-minded and cruel.

So you want to have a day to recognize the challenge of not being accepted? Where is the school day dedicated to recognize the same for Hispanics, blacks, Arabs, Native Americans, mentally retarded people, blind people, deaf people, Muslims, Mormons, atheists, women, victims of child abuse and sexual abuse, and everyone else who is different and not accepted? Why is one group singled out for attention when none of the other persecuted groups receive the same time and attention? Why does one group get to create a significant distraction to the learning of the entire school for one day when no one else does?

I'm sorry you are victimized, but don't think you are the only ones who are. It just happens that gays are the most vocal ones in our society because of those political and cultural activitists pushing the "gay agenda", the activists who have taught those of you who post comments on this blog that it is OK to call names like homophobe and bigot to anyone who dare suggest that other people are as persecuted and damaged as you are. The sheer hypocrisy of calling someone "intolerant" because they don't agree with you, while decrying the fact that you aren't treated with tolerance is galling.

Alex said...

First of all I would like to point out that I did not use words like "bigot" or "homophobes." I also like to say that I do not want tolerance. Tolerance is a word filled with rampant hypocrisy. I want acceptance. I don't care if you agree with my life, but just because you don't agree doesn't mean you can't accept. Also there is a difference between not agreeing and wearing offense t-shirts. When you wear something like "Straight Pride" you are being intolerant. It's the same thing as someone wearing nazi paraphernalia or wearing a "White Pride" shirt.

I appreciate the fact that you teach your children to be accepting of other peoples lifestyles and cultures. Truly I do. I don't think you realize how in the minority your children are.

Hispanic Heritage Month
Black History Month
Arab-American Heritage Month
Native American Indian Heritage Month
Mental Retardation Day
Meet The Blind Month
National Deaf History Month
Islamic History Month
Couldn't find a month that celebrates the LDS Church's History. :[
No month for Atheists either.
National Women's History Month

Child Abuse Prevention Month

I think the reason you feel like there is a giant spotlight on the LGBT community is because we here in the valley are not diverse. I would be glad to welcome in any other culture/heritage that wants to be accepted at the school. The problem is it's not my place to start up clubs and raise awareness.

In fact I'm taking time to personally meet with the officers of The Circle (the Christian club) to talk about having a joint meeting so that we can talk about our differences, and share in mutual acceptance.

But let's get back to the beginning...
This all started when a man who opposes civil rights for the LGBT community spoke to a group of children. We aren't talking about everyone at the moment. We're talking about a certain group that is under attack.

I know I'm not the only one who suffers in the world. I donate money to the stop the genocide in Darfur frequently. I'm not unaware of other's suffering but one cannot fight for every cause. It's like spreading butter. The wider you spread, the thinner the layer. If I can make a change in someone else's life, make them feel comfortable with who they are for a moment... I would dedicate my life to that cause. And I have chosen to.

Dave Eiffert said...

I appreciate your clear and concrete explanation of “gay agenda”, Parent of 4 MSHS Students. I think I really understand what the term means now.
You used the phrase “redefining the millennia-old definition of marriage” in one of your postings. I’m someone who believes that it is OK to revisit and update social and moral codes and changes in knowledge every 1,000 years or maybe more frequently.
If we did not, we would still have slaves but no interracial marriage. We would believe that earthquakes and hurricanes were God’s wrath and not plate tectonics or large scale weather systems. We would still arrive at the truth by the rack, iron maiden, disembowelment and ducking. We’d encourage health by bloodletting and trepanning. We would fear giant sea monsters and the edge of the earth. There’d be no roads, blogs, health care or retirement. We would work 80 hours a week from age 8 up. Grown men would still be able to marry 12 year olds.
We would also still practice such things as written in Genesis 19:7-8; Genesis 16:31-6; Judges 19:23-29 and Numbers 31:18.
So, I think we can agree that a periodic review is probably a good thing! Let’s do one at Mt Si High and make it a safe place for all groups of students. No special rights for any group, just the same rights for all groups- a level playing field. Join me!

Concerned Parent of MSHS student said...

Alex, I didn't ask if there were gay kids at school, but if they were being bullied. There has been a lot of talk about how all the gay kids are getting bullied, and I don't doubt that it happens. Nor do I condone it. But the story doesn't end there. I'm telling you that bullying goes both ways, and that it has gone the way at Mt. Si.

Among other acts of bullying there have been kids who were sucker punched and pushed down. Is this not violence. Is this what the GSA is sponsoring in our school? I hope not, but it seems like it is. And disturbances at assemblies the events like the day of silence only makes this problem worse by first separating the students into camps and second by encouraging them to be confrontational.

By the way, I too teach my children to respect others and to treat them with kindness regardless of their beliefs. But I don't tell them that they must accept those beliefs. To do so would be to force them to believe that homosexuality is both normal and natural, and wrong. It just doesn't make sense to accept everything. Although I respect your right to believe as you do I also expect you to respect my right to disagree. The issue around the assembly at Mt. SI is that one side of this particular debate is not willing to respect those rights.

Alex said...

Parent of Four,

I feel like you are only hearing from me what you want to hear, and so I don't feel it necessary to respond to you anymore. All you can supplement me with is second-hand accounts of things that you were not present to witness. I have told you my experiences and provided you with a number of facts and websites.

There is nothing you can gain if you're not willing to listen, and I don't believe you are. Sometimes we have to put aside political correctness and get to the bottom of what is right and what is wrong.

PS: Discrimination is the wrong thing. You don't just tolerate African-Americans, right?

♂ ♂ ♥ ♂ ♀ ♥ ♀ ♀

MtSiParents said...

Alex

You Rock!

Anonymous said...

Somebody here said a student wearing a "pro straight shirt" was attacked. What exactly did the "pro straight shirt" say? Just curious. I do not think anyone should be a victim of violence at school but I have to wonder if the "pro straight" shirt was benign or an effort to mock others.

Alex said...

The "pro-straight shirt" in question said,

I LIKE GAYS

...DEAD


The administration did nothing. It wasn't simply mocking, it was a death threat. And I feel like an child's parent saw that, and let it happen. Like an administrator saw that, and let it happen.

"He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it." MLK, Jr.

It's appaling that people would use this incident to claim their horrible victimization. I can't feel sympathetic when you want my close friends and I DEAD. DEAD.