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




Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Statements from teacher and GSA president




From the Stranger:

I am the teacher referred to above. I was absolutely unaware that Ken Hutcherson had been invited to speak at the MLK assembly before it happened. Had I known beforehand, I would certainly have protested. I stood to ask Ken Hutcherson a question at the end of the assembly because I knew I couldn't live with myself if I let his bigotry (disguised as tolerance) pass unchallenged. I would, and will, do it again if need be. His message has no place in any school. As for timing, if an assembly on equality is not the place to raise the issue of gay rights, I don't know what is. Kit McCormick

Posted by Kit McCormick | January 19, 2008 1:53 AM




From the PI:

As a student at Mount Si High School and the president of this school's gay-straight alliance, I would like to say that I am astounded with my principal's actions. I, as well as the rest of the GSA at school, understand that Rev. Ken Hutcherson is entitled to his opinion outside in the community even if I strictly disagree with it. The issue I am having with this only begins with him being declared as a "warrior" for civil rights while trying to make it clear that gays, lesbians, and other sexual orientations do not deserve the same rights. This is ironic and Rev. Hutcherson shouldn't have been an option as a speaker on a day that is meant to represent Dr. King's message that equality for all is a natural right to every human being, even though during his time was primarily focused on race. To make the truth absolutely known, there was a major misunderstanding between the committee that organized the assembly and the GSA. There was back and forth discussion about having Hutch as a speaker and the GSA's final stance on the matter was that we, as a club, "would prefer that Rev. Ken Hutcherson does not speak at the assembly." Soon after this, we were notified that the idea to have him speak had been dropped and that it was going to be run by students entirely. So, as some could imagine, it came as a bit of a shock that he came out to speak. This brings me to my second issue I have with this whole situation: Kit McCormick, very nervously not to mention, spoke out because she wanted the truth to be known about this man's message and how to have him speak on a day like this would be hypocritical. Her comment was not pre-meditated on any level and was not meant to be malicious towards the family, but was only intended to present the truth about Hutcherson's reputation and stance on other civil rights in society. So, Mr. Taylor, I say to you as one of your students: How dare you trade in your integrity as an administrator and as a leader of your staff and school to lessen an issue that shouldn't have been an issue in the first place? I am shocked with the administration's lapse of judgment to O.K. Ken Hutcherson as a speaker and then to not even back up a teacher's stance on something that we thought we had made clear. The GSA thought that we had made our opinion apparent, and for the record, we did not invite him just so we could bash him on his outside opinions. My name is Jackie Ferland, and I am more than willing to tell the full story to anyone who will listen and how the GSA, as well as myself, feels about this new situation. If you have any questions, comments, or SUGGESTIONS for me or the Mount Si High School Gay-Straight Alliance, my e-mail is jackiemferland@gmail.com.

January 23, 2008 2:50 PM

10 comments:

jweathe said...

I am a gay man, my partner and I have been living in the valley for nearly six years. We are so proud of Kit McCormick for taking a stand on issues of equality at Mt. Si High School. We just can’t believe the state of affairs at the school. We can remember all to well, while coming to terms with our own sexuality, how apprehensive, intimidated and uncomfortable we felt some 15 years ago in our own high schools. I can’t imagine being a member of this school and coming to terms with my sexuality. The hatred and confusion these young people must feel from the appointed leadership!

We’ve been following this issue closely and posting emails to friends in the surrounding area, urging them to support Kit, by writing to officials on the school board and at Mt Si. We’ve just recently joined an email campaign with Friends of GSA friendsofgsa@centurytel.net and have sent information regarding this website forum, along with information on Friends of GSA, to our friends, family members and media contacts. We are urging them to stay informed on the events unraveling in Snoqualmie and to help keep the focus on the big picture: providing a safe place for everyone.

Let’s make this school a safe place for all students and prevent another ‘Laramie’ from occurring.

Kit, you're our hero!

Anonymous said...

"Let’s make this school a safe place for all students and prevent another ‘Laramie’ from occurring."

Currently the school is not safe. My daughter asked a question in class on "The Day Of Silence" and was heckeled and bullied so much that she did not feel safe and had to come home. Another young man was thrown into the lockers while he was talked with a friend and punched in the face. Many more acts of intimidation occured on this day 2006 to anyone who would not wear "the Jewish Star" duct tape on their clothing (showing support for GSA) or talked during the day.

Even the some teachers refused to talk on this day. What a waste of a public education day. Why even have your daughter or son go on this day?

We all need to be tolerant and kind to each other and respect people for who they are not what they believe or life styie they choose to live. Tolerance is a two way street and to recieve a tolerance from others tolerance must be given.

As this is continually forced down these students throats a wider divide is forming and more damage is done.

Ask Kit how much tolerance she shows in her class to those who oppose her views. NONE

Anonymous said...

Where is your tolerance? Leave us alone.

brothers said...

We will never stop until we and our way of life is accepted. Never, nerve, never so get use to it.

just a mom said...

Ideally, children should be taught values in the home. They need to be taught tolerance. No one needs to surrender his or her own beliefs while extending tolerance to those with other beliefs. Children should be taught respect. Respect for others and respect for the opinions of others. They should be taught loyalty. Loyalty to family, loyalty to friends, loyalty to the institutions of which they are part and to the nation of which they are citizens. They should be taught civility toward others. We have strived hard to teach our children the values I have mentioned.

I was saddened when my daughter came home on the day of the MLK assembly and shared what had happened. The booing by Mr Potraz was inexcusable. I thought Kit McCormicks question, though politely delivered, was the wrong place. I was bothered that during the remainder of the day a number of the classes, instead of teaching the curriculum, chose to discuss their views of Ken Hutcherson.

My daughter said it appeared that no one in her language arts class even knew about Hutcherson’s anti-gay teachings. A few students asked Ms. McCormick about the assembly, so she turned over the entire class time to the discussion of Ken Hutcherson and why she doesn’t like him. She talked about the homosexuals in her family and the unfair treatment of them. She let the students know that anyone who said they supported civil rights for blacks, but didn’t support the rights of marriage for gays was a hypocrite. One student spoke out that he didn’t think she should have brought up the question about gays in the assembly. He was quickly passed over and the discussion moved to the next student. No one the remainder of the class stated any opposition against what Kit was teaching. How could they? They are the students, she is the teacher. She holds the position of authority over them. There was no voice for anyone who didn’t agree with her. There were a number of students who felt they couldn’t say anything.

My daughter came home from Ms. McCormick's class having been taught that she was a hypocrite by her teacher. We believe that marriage is a sacred partnership between a man and a woman and that God provided this plan. Therefore we do not support marriage between same sex partners. We would be hypocrites to our faith if we did. We are taught to love all people. I have had friends that are gay and there are heterosexuals I heartily dislike. A person’s sexuality is not the defining characteristic of that person. There are multiple characteristics that make up each of us. But I still do not support same sex marriage. Due to that I am labeled a hypocrite, a bigot and homophobe.

Kit McCormick has been a very good teacher. My children who have had her have really enjoyed her class. It is a shame that she has allowed her personal political views to have entered her classroom and for some of her students to be labeled and feel intimidated by her views.

We do need to keep our focus on the bigger picture and keep the school safe for all the students. Everyone is not going to agree with each other. But everyone should show respect and tolerance. We live in a very self absorbed age. We tend to think our problems are somehow greater than someone else’s. Maybe when we think that way we should look beyond ourselves. Why should we think we are more handicapped or suffering more than someone else is?

Dena Stout said...

I am the parent of Molly Stout, a former student of Kit McCormick.
I support Kit McCormick's question of Reverend Ken Hutcherson. I highly suspect that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would applaud her question. When we don't stop to question, but politely applaud only those parts of speech that please the ear, while ignoring the controversy in the air, I think we betray ourselves and underestimate our students. Our public schools are responsible for the education of all students. If we fail to create learning environments that safeguard and support everyone's rights, we fail to provide educational equity as a society. Thankfully, Kit McCormick has communicated her commitment to protect the rights of all students to enter school knowing that they and their rights are valued.

Respectfully,

Dena Stout

Anonymous said...

The issue I am having with this only begins with him being declared as a "warrior" for civil rights while trying to make it clear that gays, lesbians, and other sexual orientations do not deserve the same rights.

False. They have the same rights as anyone. They are pushing for more and "special rights".

but was only intended to present the truth about Hutcherson's reputation and stance on other civil rights in society.

Where are you basing your ideas of "truth"?

I am shocked with the administration's lapse of judgment to O.K. Ken Hutcherson as a speaker and then to not even back up a teacher's stance on something that we thought we had made clear.

If a homosexual speaker came in, people would be controversial. If a former convict came in to speak, people would be controversial.
No matter the speaker, their will be controversy.
Its not the matter of who the speaker is, but how we handle ourselves in their presence.

Ginny said...

As Mother Theresa said, "There is a famine in America. Not a famine of food, but of love, of truth, of life." Since I'm writing out of deep concern over the disrespectful treatment of Pastor Ken Hutcherson by progressive teachers at Mt Si, something Martin Luther King, Jr. said back in 1958 is appropriate, "He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it." Words like diversity, pluralism and tolerance have anesthetized us to the reality of good and evil. We're called to love all men in the name of Jesus, not ignore their debauchery in the name of diversity. Sin is a big deal to God. So much so that He allowed Jesus to die on a cruel Roman cross to rescue us from its grip. Glossing over evil - whether our own behaviour or something the entertainment media has produced - is to say in essence, "What you did is really of little value to me, God. My view of sin is different from yours, and frankly I'm not that disturbed by it. Tolerance is the cultivation of an attitude of indifference to things we see happening around us. It is a numbing of one's conscience, a dumbing down of one's convictions. It is political and cultural correctness. It is being afraid to step on toes. It is not wanting to make waves. It is keeping one's head in the sand like an ostrich. In the name of peace, we tolerate evil. In the name of tolerance, we accept sin and call it free enterprise or freedom of sexual persuasion. We dare not stand up for what we believe for fear of being labeled intolerant. "Tolerance" and "love" are two very different things. Tolerance sees your sin and embraces it. Grace sees your sin and hands you over to Christ's healing embrace.

Having much wisdom, William Jennings Bryan made statements such as, " We do not ask that the teachers in the public schools, colleges and universities become exponents of orthodox Christianity … but Christians have a right to protest against teaching that weakens faith in God, undermines belief in the Bible and reduces Christ to the stature of a man." One does not have far to look to witness the chaos and devastation caused in our society due to our turning away as a nation from our Judeo-Christian roots. Bruce Hausknecht, judicial analyst for Focus on the Family Action said, ""It's a sad fact that those who complain the loudest about any mention of Christianity in public settings are also the first to hide behind the First Amendment to slander faith, morality and country and indoctrinate our children with repulsive ideas under the ridiculous guise of 'education'." Being able to discipline oneself for the benefit of others is the very essence of maturity. What examples are adults, entrusted with the awesome responsibility for their care, to the rapidly maturing next generation who will impact our society positively or negatively depending on to what we expose them. Albert Einstein once said, "The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

If we don't stand for something, we will fall for anything.

Ginny Bain Allen

Anonymous said...

Ginny,

You obviously have no grasp of reality and or history. To say this nation is founded on Juedeo-Christian beliefs is just plain WRONG. The founding fathers went out of their way to keep religion OUT of our government because they knew the evil that the church wielded must be defended against.

Since you are so fond of quotes, here are a few more for you...

"Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and tortuous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness with which more than half the Bible is filled, it would be more consistant that we call it the word of a demon than the word of God. It is a history of wickedness that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind; and, for my part, I sincerely detest it, as I detest everything that is cruel."
~ Thomas Paine

"Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, and imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch toward uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one-half the world fools and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth."
~ Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia, 1781-82

"Christianity neither is, nor ever was, a part of the common law."
~ Thomas Jefferson, letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, February 10, 1814

"The government of the United States is not in any sense founded upon the Christian religion"
~ John Adams

"We have abundant reason to rejoice that in this Land the light of truth and reason has triumphed over the power of bigotry and superstition ... In this enlightened Age and in this Land of equal liberty it is our boast, that a man's religious tenets will not forfeit the protection of the Laws, nor deprive him of the right of attaining and holding the highest Offices that are known in the United States."
~ George Washington

"If I could conceive that the general government might ever be so administered as to render the liberty of conscience insecure, I beg you will be persuaded, that no one would be more zealous than myself to establish effectual barriers against the horrors of spiritual tyranny, and every species of religious persecution."
~ George Washington

"The study of theology, as it stands in the Christian churches, is the study of nothing; it is founded on nothing; it rests on no principles; it proceeds by no authority; it has no data; it can demonstrate nothing; and it admits of no conclusion."

~ Thomas Paine



If you want to revel in your mythology, then stick to private schools that support your medieval fantasies.

Ginny said...

Anonymous, here is a true story from the history of our Christian nation, along with quotes from fine Christian founding fathers, among others, for you to ponder...

Bulletproof
The French and Indian War:
Account of a British Officer
July 9, 1755

The American Indian chief looked scornfully at the soldiers on the field before him. How foolish it was to fight as they did, forming their perfect battle lines out in the open, standing shoulder to shoulder in the bright red uniforms. The British soldiers - trained for European warfare – did not break rank, even when braves fired at then from under the safe cover of the forest. The slaughter at the Monongahela River continued for two hours. By then 1,000 of 1,459 British soldiers were killed or wounded, while only 30 of the French and Indian warriors firing at them were injured.

Not only were the soldiers foolish, but their officers were just as bad. Riding on horseback, fully exposed above the men on the ground, they made perfect targets. One by one, the chief's marksmen shot the mounted British officers until only one remained.

"Quick, let your aim be certain and he dies," the chief commanded. The warriors – a mix of Ottawa, Huron, and Chippewa tribesmen – leveled their rifles at the last officer on horseback. Round after round was aimed at this one man. Twice the officer's horse was shot out from under him. Twice he grabbed a horse left idle when a fellow officer had been shot down. Ten, twelve, thirteen rounds were fired by the sharpshooters. Still, the officer remained unhurt.

The native warriors stared at him in disbelief. Their rifles seldom missed their mark. The chief suddenly realized that a mighty power must be shielding this man. "Stop firing!" he commanded. "This one is under the special protection of the Great Spirit." A brave standing nearby added, "I had seventeen clear shots at him . . . and after all could not bring him to the ground. This man was not born to be killed by a bullet."

As the firing slowed, the lieutenant colonel gathered the remaining troops and led the retreat to safety. That evening, as the last of the wounded were being cared for, the officer noticed an odd tear in his coat. It was a bullet hole! He rolled up his sleeve and looked at his arm directly under the hole. There was no mark on his skin. Amazed, he took off his coat and found three more holes where bullets had passed through his coat but stopped before they reached his body.

Nine days after the battle, having heard a rumor of his own death, the young lieutenant colonel wrote his brother to confirm that he was still very much alive.

As I have heard since my arrival at this place, a circumstantial account of my death and dying speech, I take this early opportunity of contradicting the first and of assuring you that I have not as yet composed the latter. But by the all-powerful dispensations of Providence I have been protected beyond all human probability or expectation; for I had four bullets through my coat, and two horses shot under me yet escaped unhurt, although death was leveling my companions on every side of me!

The battle on the Monongahela, part of the French and Indian War, was fought on July 9, 1755, near Fort Duquesne, now the city of Pittsburgh. The twenty-three-year-old officer went on to become the commander in chief of the Continental Army and the first president of the United States. In all the years that followed in his long career, this man, George Washington, was never once wounded in battle.

Fifteen years later, in 1770, George Washington returned to the same Pennsylvania woods. A respected Indian chief, having heard that Washington was in the area, traveled a long way to meet with him.

He sat down with Washington, and face-to-face over a council fire, the chief told Washington the following:

I am a chief and ruler over my tribes. My influence extends to the waters of the great lakes and to the far blue mountains. I have traveled a long and weary path that I might see the young warrior of the great battle. It was on the day when the white man's blood mixed with the streams of our forests that I first beheld this chief (Washington).

I called to my young men and said, "Mark yon tall and daring warrior? He is not of the red-coat tribe – he hath an Indian's wisdom and his warriors fight as we do – himself alone exposed. Quick, let your aim be certain and he dies."

Our rifles were leveled, rifles which, but for you, knew not how to miss – 'twas all in vain, a power mightier far than we shielded you.

Seeing you were under the special guardianship of the Great Spirit, we immediately ceased to fire at you. I am old and shall soon be gathered to the great council fire of my fathers in the land of the shades, but ere I go, there is something bids me speak in the voice of prophecy:

Listen! The Great Spirit protects that man (pointing at Washington), and guides his destinies – he will become the chief of nations, and a people yet unborn will hail him as the founder of a mighty empire. I am come to pay homage to the man who is the particular favorite of Heaven, and who can never die in battle.

This story of God's divine protection and of Washington's open gratitude could be found in many school textbooks until the 1930s. Now few Americans have read it. Washington often recalled this dramatic event that helped shape his character and confirm God's call on his life.

"We have this day restored the Sovereign, to Whom alone men ought to be obedient. He reigns in heaven and ... from the rising to the setting sun, may His Kingdom come." ~Samuel Adams

"We have no government armed in power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our Constitution was made only for a religious and moral people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other." ~John Adams

"The moral principles and precepts contained in the Scripture ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws. All the miseries and evil men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression slavery, and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible." ~Noah Webster

Indeed, it is an indisputable fact that all the complex and horrendous questions confronting us at home and worldwide have their answer in the Bible." ~Ronald Reagan

"Our ancestors established their system of government on morality and religious sentiment . . . Whatever makes a man a good Christian also makes a good citizen." ~Daniel Webster

"Americans should select and prefer Christians as their rulers." ~John Jay, the very first Supreme Court Justice

"Unless the great God who assisted Washington shall be with me and aid me, I must fail; but if the same Omniscient Mind and Mighty Arm that directed and protected him shall guide and support me, I shall not fail. . . ." ~Abraham Lincoln

"My great concern is not whether God is on our side. My great concern is to be on God's side." ~Abraham Lincoln

"If the power of the Gospel is not felt through the length and breadth of the land, anarchy and misrule, degradation and misery, corruption and darkness will reign without mitigation or end." ~Daniel Webster

"America will never be destroyed from the outside. if we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves." ~Abraham Lincoln

"Suppose a nation in some distant region should take the Bible for their only law book, and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited! Every member would be obliged in conscience, to temperance, frugality, and industry; to justice, kindness, and charity towards his fellow men; and to piety, love, and reverence toward Almighty God. . . . What a Utopia, what a Paradise would this region be." ~John Adams

"I am simply trying as best I can and as fast as God gives me light to do the job I believe He has given me in trust to do." ~George Washington Carver

Pay a visit to the Washington Monument and discover there the glory given Jesus in myriad ways!

"Thou would'st take much pains to save thy body: Take some, prithee, to save thy soul"

--William Penn, Some Fruits of Solitude, 1693

after all...we are a spirit, we have a body.

"In coming to understand anything, we are rejecting the facts as they are for us, in favor of the facts as they are." ~Brilliant Oxford and Cambridge professor/author/former atheist/born-again Christian C. S. Lewis

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may and live for Jesus this fine day!

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