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
-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.
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