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




Thursday, May 15, 2008

Hutcherson vows future anti-gay protests and disruptions at Mount Si




May 14, 2008

From The Snoqualmie Valley Star
By Laura Geggel


At a May 8 school board meeting, the Rev. Ken Hutcherson vowed to continue to protest the Day of Silence in coming years if the Mount Si High School Gay Straight Alliance holds it during school hours.

In fact, Hutcherson, who led about 100 protestors during the annual event late last month, vowed an even larger presence in the future.

“As parents, next year, if you let this happen when school is happening, I’m going to have to organize well enough there will be no kids coming to school,” he said at the meeting.

District administrators, who are still discussing the future of the day at Mount Si, had no formal response to Hutcherson’s statement.

“I can’t control what Dr. Hutcherson does,” said Principal Randy Taylor. “We’re still assessing this year’s Day of Silence and looking to see how successful it was on campus. I’m a little disappointed with the level of absenteeism, but some of that could have been addressed through the concern of parents about adult protestors being near the school.”

...

In the same public statement at the May 8 school board meeting, Hutcherson said he took offense to a statement made at the Feb. 7 school board meeting by Potratz, an American literature and film studies teacher at the high school.

At the February meeting, Potratz said he was “the one, sole person who booed Mr. Hutcherson” at the Martin Luther King Day Assembly.

Three weeks after the assembly, Potratz said the school disciplined him with a letter of reprimand in his personnel file.

In an interview, Potratz said he “thought that the choice of the leading opponent of equal rights for homosexuals in Washington state was the most inappropriate possible choice for a speaker for the day which celebrates equality in our country.”

In his February statement, Potratz said he would try to combat prejudice and “stop those who, because of hate or ignorance, would hurt anyone or violate their civil rights.” He then went on to say that, as he understood it, Hutcherson and his supporters wanted to reverse the 2006 state Anderson-Murray Law, which prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation.

“They have their right to advocate that,” Potratz said in his statement. “People at our school have the right to advocate reinstituting slavery if they want. But our school system does not regard discrimination against homosexuals as an equally valid opinion with the opinion that everyone has equal rights under the law.”
Hutcherson said he found the statement akin to wanting to reinstate slavery. He said he has notified the Washington State Department and the NAACP. Neither organization could be reached to confirm the complaints at time of deadline.

Hutcherson said he wanted Potratz and McCormick removed from the classroom.

“You need to do something about teachers you have in your rooms with my daughter and students passing by them every day knowing that you made a comment about reinstating slavery,” Hutcherson said.
Taylor said the school had disciplined Potratz.

Read the complete story

32 comments:

JC said...

At this point, does anyone doubt that Hutcherson's appearance at the MLK assembly was engineered by Hutcherson (perhaps with the knowing assistence of his daughter, perhaps he just manipulated her), to provoke a response so that he could feed his massive media-whore ego?

Oh wait, of course someone does, CoDE! Here's their explanation of why there is a controversy:
"Mount Si High School and the Snoqualmie Valley School District have recently had their reputation damaged and have been in the national news due to the actions of a small number of teachers. "

Hmmm, maybe my memory is a bit faulty, but by my recollection, it was Ken Hutcherson, who made this an issue in the national news. It was Ken Hutcherson, who ran running to every sympathetic Christianist news outlet telling lies about events at MSHS. And remember, while Ken was doing all this, he was still a proud member of CoDE!

The fact that Ken would continue his lies at the school board meeting and in the local media is unremarkable. Unfortunately for Ken, the local media thought it might be worthwhile to provide the reader with the actual words of Potratz, so that Ken's dishonesty would be laid bare for all to see.

Remember, CoDE was happy to have Ken as member while he was generating all this media coverage that now has them so upset. He was welcome in their group, while he was demanding teacher's jobs and making threats in email- hell they were even defending him then.

Really makes one wonder what finally caused CoDE to see that they had made common cause with a hateful bigot. Oh wait, did they realize that? Or did they just decide that protesting against high schoolers wasn't very good optics for a group claiming to defend education?

Does anyone know how many CoDE members, or board members took part in Ken's little hate fest?

Anonymous said...

Of course it is just a coincidence that the President of CoDE is a member of Antioch.

Anonymous said...

JC - were you at the meeting or are you just regurgitating what the media reported Potratz's statement to be? I was there and what he said was different than the statement and far more inflammatory.

DR

JC said...

hmmm,"DR", claims that he or she was there and heard what Potratz said. He or she then informs us that it was "far more inflammatory", but fails to provide us with said statement. Hmmm, wanting us to be SHOCKED by something, but failing to provide enough information for the reader to make and informed judgement for themselves, where have I seen that tactic before? Oh yeah! It's the way CoDE speaks about events at MSHS!

Anonymous said...

I was at the school board meeting where Potratz spoke and I did not think it was inflammatory if you understood his point. I do think Pastor Hutcherson referencing how he was "not a Christian he would kill white people" at a board meeting was. I am hoping I heard it wrong but I heard from students at the MLK assembly he said it there too. I also read a quote where he "jokes" about ripping the arm off of a "soft man."

Anonymous said...

Okay JC - he said that if we were to take Hutcherson's position with respect to homosexuality then we might as well re-institute slavery!!! Are you kidding me? A teacher, one in a position of authority and responsibility over teenagers says that to a BLACK MAN? You don't even have to be a liberal in the Northwest to realize how insulting, inflammatory and reprehensible that is - not to mention worthy of suspension or firing.

Happier knowing the truth now?

DR

ps - anonymous - if you listened to what Hutcherson said about hurting, not killing, whites he said that before Jesus took over in his life that was his attitude growing up in racist Alabama in the 50's/60's. Do you know what times were like in the south back then?

MtSiParents said...

Okay JC - he said that if we were to take Hutcherson's position with respect to homosexuality then we might as well re-institute slavery!!! Are you kidding me?

You are kidding me!

You were obviously NOT there or have a similar mechanism for distorting reality that Hutch has.

Your statement is so off it borderlines libel.

I was there. That is NOT what he said OR implied.

Anonymous said...

mtsiparents (by the way, what a joke that is and this forum is - we know you're actually a teacher at the school) - you can stack up your witnesses against ours and we'll see who is guilty of libel. That is EXACTLY what Potratz said and there is no question as to his implication since those were his words.

DR

MtSiParents said...

DR

What Dr. Potratz was saying is, "yes, Hutcherson has a right to his views...just as someone who believes in reinstating slavery has a right to theirs." What Potratz went on to say, and what Hutcherson has idiotically and selfishly twisted is the part where Potratz continued with the idea that: "just because someone has the right to these ideas, it does not make them acceptable in a public school"

Anonymous said...

MSP - and you don't find that a bit insulting, naive, violative of the teacher's code of conduct to say to a black man who had been invited to speak on the day honoring the most significant black man in American history? Please, continue in your intellectual honesty that you exhibited in your last post - your accusations of libel just flew out the window, by the way.

DR

JC said...

DR,

For someone, who claims to have heard Potratz's EXACT words, you certianly are displaying a puzzling inability to provide them. You've provided us with your summarization and spin on what was said but not what was actually said. Of course, you woulnd't be one of Hutcherson's fools if you didn't feel the need to play the race card as well. Why is it that so many defender of the hateful Hutch think the color of his skin is so significant? And since you brought it up, I stil have yet to get an answer to this question from one of Hutcherson's defenders, perhaps you will be the one to break the trend: What, aside from the color of his skin, qualifies Hutcherson to speak to the entire student body, at a mandatory assemby, on Dr King?

Anonymous said...

jc - it is quite simple what qualifies him - HE WAS INVITED! Not only that, he was approved by the assembly committe, the administration and the various clubs, including their advisors.

Further, Potratz's exact words were exactly what I had exactly stated earlier "if we are to adopt Hutcherson's views on homosexuality, then we might as well re-institute slavery."

Now, that statement ALONE is why the "race card" (your words) is significant in this discussion. Oh yeah, not to mention that the apologists for homosexuality are equating the current fight to the experience of black Americans. HELLO??? See the connection?

DR

MtSiParents said...

earlier "if we are to adopt Hutcherson's views on homosexuality, then we might as well re-institute slavery."

You are either a bald faced liar or an idiot!

He did NOT say that! I and many others were there.

I think DR is Hutch himself!

You sir are a liar!

Anonymous said...

MSP - I appreciate the compliment, but no I am not Pastor Ken Hutcherson. You however are simply a name caller and labeler. Where is your tolerance? I can agree to disagree with you as to my recollections of what was stated at that meeting without having to resort to childish name-calling. Perhaps you need to practice what you preach to all of us Christian "bigot-hatemongering-homophobes."

Additionally, stop & breathe to realize the impact of talking about the re-institution of slavery to a black man....good grief, where is that intellectual honesty you exhibited on your earlier posts?

DR, the MIGHTY DR (not to be confused with THE HUTCH)

MtSiParents said...

And you are simply a liar! no name calling, a simple fact!

If you cannot accurately recall what Dr. Potratz said, stop attempting to quote him!

He was absolutely right on target with his comments! The KKK apologists have no place in our schools nor do anti-rights activists like Hutch.

If you understood the english language, you would know that Dr. Potratz was NOT advocating what you claim, quite the contrary. And if you do have some limited grasp on the language, then you are intentionally distorting the truth to comfort your own lack of reason and basic humanity.

So I reaffirm my original comment, You are either a liar or an idiot!

Anonymous said...

MSP - no, I'm not and you know it. You have spent all this time and effort trying to explain away and sidestep what his words were at that meeting. Do I actually believe that potratz wants to reinstitute slavery? No, I don't - but at one point in our history there were consequences for actions and words. His words, whether he wants to explain them away or not, now have consequences.

Don't call me a liar anymore - I don't call you a dishonest intellectualless propagandist. Agree to disagree and recognize that his analogy was very poorly chosen and wothy of sanction.

DR

Mark Joselyn said...

Folks, here is the direct quote of what Mr. Potratz said at the school board meeting. I was there as well. I did a 'copy/paste' from the article at the top of this thread, as published in the SnoValley Star. So all the vitriol on both sides about just what was said is a bit ridiculous. To me, while the mention of 'slavery' was arguably inflammatory, it is also very clear that the implicaton of Mr. Potratz's statement CAN NOT be construed in any way to suggest or support the idea that slavery should be reinstituted. Calm heads and facts are important if we are to find a way forward. I suggest we focus on open and inclusive education and an enviroment that supports education, broadly defined, for our kids.

Quote from the SnoVAlley Star article:

“They have their right to advocate that,” Potratz said in his statement. “People at our school have the right to advocate reinstituting slavery if they want. But our school system does not regard discrimination against homosexuals as an equally valid opinion with the opinion that everyone has equal rights under the law.”
Hutcherson said he found the statement akin to wanting to reinstate slavery.


Mark Joselyn

Anonymous said...

mark - which is it? were you there at the meeting or are you cutting and pasting the quote from the paper? The quote in the paper was different than what he said at the meeting. I believe that statements about slavery, whether they be analogies or not, are extremely serious matters - particularly when coming from a teacher and in a school system that has recognized that race relations are the number one problem.

DR

JC said...

no, DR, it's not that simple. WHY was he invited?!? What special knowledge of Dr King's life or philosphy does he have that warrents giving such a hatemonger access to an entire school of impressionable children? "He was invited!" what a simpleminded response!

See where I used your EXACT WORDS above? Did you notice how I enclosed them in these funny things called quotation marks? Those indentify when you are using the EXACT WORDS of someone else. Don't get pissy with me just because you lack a basic familiarity with punctuation.

Frankly, DR, I don't find your claims about Potratz's words credible. It doesn't sound like anything else Ilve heard credited to him, while the quote from the Valley Star you took issue with does.

Now, on to the race card, Hutcherson's apologists have been using it since long before the board meeting. He was hawking his "White teachers boo BLACK MAN, and at MARTIN LUTHER KING assembly" line from the very start. Almost as if it had been prescripted and rehersed.

I do find your to the owner of this blog to "realize the impact of talking about the re-institution of slavery to a black man" interesting though. Did it never occur to you that perhaps you should stop & think and realize the impact of having such a prominent, public and vocal advocate of discrimination against homosexuals as Hutcherson speak at an assembly on EQUALITY of all things on homosexual students at MSHS? Or do you not think that children deserve the same consideration as professional hate mongers?

Mark Joselyn said...

Dear 'JR'

which is it? were you there at the meeting or are you cutting and pasting the quote from the paper?

Both are true. I was at the meeting, and I also, miraculously, 'cut and pasted' the quote from the paper in a gentle attempt to divorce you from your errant idea that Mr. Potratz had said, to quote your earlier post:

Further, Potratz's exact words were exactly what I had exactly stated earlier "if we are to adopt Hutcherson's views on homosexuality, then we might as well re-institute slavery."

I quoted the paper because it is an accurate restatement of his exact words, (I know because I was there)unlike your own misguided attempt (similar to Mr. Hutcherson's) to take his words out of context. The quote in the paper parallels my own recollection.

My goal is to come together in order to create an educational environment that is inclusive and respectful of differences. What's yours, I wonder?

Mark Joseyn

Anonymous said...

Mark - do you find Potratz's reference to the reinstitution of slavery as an appropriate analogy? Troubling? Poorly worded? Worthy of sanction?

I would honestly like to know...I can appreciate your comments about focusing on education for the students, but I would anticipate that you and I differ on what that looks like.

Have a good weekend and remember to be thankful to the many who lost their lives defending our very right and ability to freely discuss these issues.

DR

Mark Joselyn said...

DR

Your question:

do you find Potratz's reference to the reinstitution of slavery as an appropriate analogy? Troubling? Poorly worded? Worthy of sanction?

I find it inflammatory, as stated earlier, and not particularly appropriate but the context is very important. Are you willing to acknowledge that he was not advocating the reinstitution of slavery?

What I find much more disturbing is your willingness to entirely fabricate, as absolute truth, a statement that entirely misrepresents the context in which he referenced slavery. Once again, you posted the following entirely unsubstantiated post to make a point, which continues to escape me:

Further, Potratz's exact words were exactly what I had exactly stated earlier "if we are to adopt Hutcherson's views on homosexuality, then we might as well re-institute slavery."

You owe an apology for what constitutes liable. This is what I most object to.

Thank you for the civil tone of your earlier response.

Mark Joselyn

George Potratz said...

Mark,

Thank you for insisting that people acknowledge the obvious: that no one could honestly construe what I said at the Feb. 7 board meeting as advocating the reinstitution of slavery (or even, as DR would have it, as equating slavery with anti-gay bias). What Hutch and DR are saying, as you make clear, is a preposterous lie and a libel. I thank you for that.

I cannot agree, however, that there was anything especially inflammatory in what I said, and I certainly don’t agree that my remarks were inappropriate.

What was inflammatory was inviting our state’s leading anti-gay bigot to speak on Martin Luther King, Jr., Day. To imply that saying anything which will make Ken Hutcherson angry is wrong is to accept the logic of Joel Aune and Randy Taylor, who have held from the beginning that it is those of us who stood up to Hutcherson who are at fault. The District administration has sought at every point to appease Hutcherson and his allies. This is a mistake morally and has shown itself to be a mistake pragmatically. It did not not get the bond passed and it did not make Hutcherson cool his jets. Instead, it encouraged him. Once he succeeded in getting Kit and me disciplined he moved on to demanding we be fired. Now we have CoDE, the Committee on Controversial Issues, and another battle looming over next year’s Day of Silence. I suspect even Aune and Taylor may be beginning to question the wisdom of appeasing this bully.

Let’s not make the same mistake.

George Potratz

P.S. The source of the quotation you supplied from the SnoValley Star is the transcript which District staff made from the tape recording of the meeting. It has a few typos, but accurately represents the substance of what I said. I think a somewhat fuller quotation may help to clarify my logic:

"And, I would mention the matter of the law. The fact is that the Washington law against discrimination does include sexual orientation as one of the long list of reasons why it’s illegal to discriminate against people in hiring and all kinds of other legal matters. This law exists despite all the best efforts of Rev. Hutcherson and his followers. His entire claim to fame, the reason he is who he is, is his unyielding opposition to that law.

His great success was in preventing, temporarily, that law from being amended to include sexual orientation. He claims it was his talking with Microsoft which convinced them in 2005, shortly after the first time I heard Hutcherson spoke at our school, to withdraw their support from the Anderson/Murray Bill which was to include sexual orientation in the law, and after, that the bill failed by 1 vote.

However, in the backlash from that, Microsoft reversed its position, they endorsed the bill. And, since 2006 that has been the law of our state. Now, I understand that Rev. Hutcherson and his supporters want to reverse that. That is their cry. We are going to that that right away…we are going to take those rights away. And, of course, they have their right to advocate that. People at our school have the right to advocate reinstituting slavery if they want. But our school system does not regard discrimination against homosexuals as an equally valid opinion with the opinion that everyone has equal rights under the law."

Anonymous said...

"An open forum for parents and students of Mt Si high school to discuss academic issues."


WHERE ARE THE DISCUSSIONS ON ACADEMIC ISSUES AT MT SI HIGH SCHOOL?

Anonymous said...

WHERE ARE THE DISCUSSIONS ON ACADEMIC ISSUES AT MT SI HIGH SCHOOL?

Ken Hutcherson vowing to disrupt the educational process once again at Mount Si...How is this NOT an academic issue at Mt Si?

Are you actually capable of rational thoughts or do you keep them at bay like your comrades?

Anonymous said...

Mark – I actually already did state that I, personally, don’t believe he was truly advocating the reinstitution of slavery, however, as I also already stated, I do not believe his intent is as relevant as you. There are many proper analogies one could make without going there and as I said, I believe that there used to be a time when one would suffer consequences for both word and action. Further, as a teacher, placed in a position of authority and responsibility, I would expect sounder, wiser judgment than what was exhibited by Mr. Potratz.

I noticed that he popped on and commented here as well and although I appreciate hearing from him, I do not believe that what I or what Pastor Hutcherson have stated is in contradiction with the statement he provided. Finally, if Mr. Potratz is truly so concerned about libelous actions, I would actually suggest that he find himself an attorney because HIS statements about Ken Hutcherson are far more libelous than Hutcherson’s or mine about him. Neither one of you might like our interpretations of his comments, but we are not the ones who made them – as a public figure and in a public forum.

Thus, with no disrespect intended, I will not apologize.

DR


ps - Mr. Potratz, I find getting a letter of reprimand in your "permanent record" hardly being able to be defined as discipline, we both know that if a student would have booed a guest, that student would have been immediately removed from the assembly AND suspended. what you received was not even a slap on the wrist.

Mark Joselyn said...

DR

The Student Handbook for Mount Si High School States the following:

To guarantee a physically and emotionally safe, non-threatening school environment, Mount Si has a zero-tolerance policy for harassment and fighting. Zero tolerance means an investigation and consequences according to the recommended sanctions. Students who are persistently annoyed or threatened in any physical or emotional way are encouraged to report it to a teacher, counselor or administrator. Violators of this harassment policy will be subject to immediate discipline.
The no-harassment policy extends to any form of sexual harassment perpetuated against any individual in the school. No one shall be subjected to harassment because of their sex, sexual orientation, or beliefs. Violators will be subject to immediate discipline.
Sexual harassment is any form of unwelcome and inappropriate sexually oriented, visual, verbal, or physical conduct directed at a student or adult or which creates a hostile environment. Students who feel they have been harassed or bullied should speak with an administrator or counselor immediately.

(my emphasis)

If, as I think we agree, staff are to be held to the same standard as students, then who has been disciplined for 'creat[ing] a hostile environment' for inviting a speaker, known nationwide and having built a reputation on his anti-gay views, to a mandatory school wide assembly?

As for your statement about Mr. Potratz, I again will 'copy and paste' your explicit, libelous, fabrication of what he said, for which you remain unwilling to apologize:

Further, Potratz's exact words were exactly what I had exactly stated earlier "if we are to adopt Hutcherson's views on homosexuality, then we might as well re-institute slavery."

Mark Joselyn

Anonymous said...

Mark - as I stated, my recollection of what Potratz said IS what I wrote. Again, I believe that two people can hear things differently and you and I do in this situation.

You're playing bait & switch by deflecting away from Potratz's actions/words to the process by which assembly speakers are chosen. All proper procedures (that were on the books) were followed by the committee and all groups/clubs and faculty who were required to be notified were notified. Ultimately, if you want to discipline Principal Randy Taylor, fine by me, but that doesn't dismiss the egregious and wrongful conduct of McCormack & Potratz.

DR

ps - Pastor Hutcherson has built his reputation by not compromising the Word of God, not being anti-gay. You label him in this way and I believe this is prejudicial and unfair - he is pro-traditional marriage and willing to stand on the Bible, whether it is popular or not.

Anonymous said...

ps - Pastor Hutcherson has built his reputation by not compromising the Word of God, not being anti-gay. You label him in this way and I believe this is prejudicial and unfair - he is pro-traditional marriage and willing to stand on the Bible, whether it is popular or not.

Really?

Does Hutch obey this "Word of God"?

"Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a sabbath of rest to the Lord: whoseoever doeth work therein shall be put to death. Ye shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations upon the sabbath day."
(Exodus 35:2)

And perhaps unclean women should be punished, will he advocate this "Word of God"?

If any man take a wife, and go in unto her . . . and say, I took this woman, and when I came to her, I found her not a maid . . . and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel: Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die . . ."

Or what about a man who rapes a virgin who is betrothed? Will he champion the "Word of God" here?

"If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her; Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of the city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city; and the man, because he hath humbled his neighbour's wife: so thou shalt put away evil from among you."
(Deuteronomy 22:23-24)

And does Hutch keep his women silent and submission to his will as is commanded by the "Word of God"?

"Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church."
(I Corinthians 14:34-35)

Anonymous said...

anonymous - you show your complete ignorance of the Word with your post.

DR

Anonymous said...

anonymous - you show your complete ignorance of the Word with your post.


Oh, do enlighten us...

Tyler Woods said...

Fuck yeah, go potratz!