April 30, 2008
Quote of the day
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
April 30, 2008
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Tuesday, 29 April 2008
Praise for the Day of Silence outcome!
Whether they blame me or credit me, the fact of the matter is over 600 students, almost half the student body at Mt. Si were kept home by their parents on the Day of Silence. The school officials must realize they have some very unhappy parents.
Last night I met with the NAACP. Please pray for wisdom for them as they discuss what their move will be in response to the Mt. Si MLK Day debacle.
Please pray for me as I travel to Southern California today and as I return home on Saturday.
Further deception from Hutch. The attendence at Mount Si was well reported by multiple news sources. He claims "over 600 students, almost half the student body", chose not to attend.
Actually 495 out of 1410 did not attend. That's 35%
So 65% of the students and their parents are open minded! That's a good thing.
Now I don't expect Hutch to understand math, after all math is one of those evil tools that science uses to kill God.
And does he really think that the NAACP is going to get on his crazy train?
Good luck with that Kenny!
Monday, April 28, 2008
Having suffered their inevitable defeat on their mission from God against the abhorrent lifestyle of our gay students and community, what's coming next from Hutch and his disciples at CoDE?
We took a peek at the CoDE web site to see if we can discern the next attack from this group.
So just what are the CoDE parents concerned about?
A parent says:
"I am especially concerned about the prevalence of witchcraft and anti Christian attitudes and actions at MSHS."
A parent says:
"SVSD is allowing the agendas of certain interest groups have a foothold in Snoqualmie Valley schools. Those agendas are in direct conflict with traditional family values and what my families believes to be morally right."
A community member says:
"Unequal representation. The GSA has taken over the school and all efforts to create a bible study group has been met with extreme resistence.(sp)"
A parent says:
"I believe that I, as a parent, should be the first and foremost teacher of our child, especially in the area of life's values. It disturbs me that teachers, who have so much influence in our children's lives, can undermine what we teach at home in areas that have nothing to do with basic education."
It sounds like resolving their religious beliefs and the curriculum in public schools is presenting a challenge to these parents. Surely if they believe in the Old Testament, a conflict with evolution is not far off.
Can we expect CoDE to assault our science programs because they conflict with their fundamental beliefs? Is an attempt at introducing “Intelligent Design” coming our way next?
The assault on science and reason has been underway for years now by the religious right. If CoDE gets this flustered by gay kids, what do they have in store for science?
In case any of you have forgotten, there is a difference between biblical science and real science. Here is a great video that clarifies the differences and contributions both have made to society.
We'll be ready!
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Friday, April 25, 2008
Congrats to the GSA and Students of Mount Si that made the DoS a great day despite the antics of the adults outside!
Great thanks to the community for showing their support!
Good story on the event.
Jaqueline Ferland, president of the GSA, said there was definitely a range of opinions, and T-shirts with everything from Bible quotes to her own, which said on the back, "Listen."
"We've started," she said. "There's diversity at this school and there's now a recognition of that."
You Kids Rock!
SNOQUALMIE, Wash., April 25, 2008 -- A press conference will be held at the Snoqualmie Library (7824 Center Blvd SE, Snoqualmie, WA) on Friday, April 25, at 11 a.m. to address misconceptions being perpetuated regarding the annual Day of Silence, which seeks to bring attention to anti-lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) name-calling, bullying and harassment in schools.
Community members, some of whom plan to show solidarity with participating students outside the school before school starts, will join a panel of local Snoqualmie Valley residents, including clergy, parents, and current and former high school students, and representatives from the Washington State chapter of the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN).
The panelists include:
Stephen Hadden is the pastor of Tolt United Church of Christ. His church purchased a full-page advertisement in this week's Snoqualmie Valley Record in support of the Day of Silence and the Mt. Si High School Gay-Straight Alliance. Nearly half of high-school-age youth at his church go to Mt Si High School.
Jane Storrs is a nurse and mother of three teenage children. Her daughter attends Mt. Si High School. She will talk about how the Day of Silence will be a benefit to the students of Mt. Si High School. Neil Lequia, a former Mt. Si High School student who experienced anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment at the hands of his peers, will share his experiences and discuss why the Day of Silence is important.
GLSEN, the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students, is the official organizational sponsor for the event. A record 7,000 schools nationwide and 223 in Washington are expected to participate.
"The Day of Silence helps bring us closer to making anti-LGBT bullying, harassment and name-calling unacceptable in America's schools," said Robert Raketty, executive director of GLSEN Washington State. "The sad truth remains that anti-LGBT bullying, harassment and name-calling continues to be the rule - not the exception - in Washington State schools."
This year's event will be held in memory of Lawrence King, a 15-year-old from Oxnard, Calif., who was shot and killed in school on Feb. 12 because of his sexual orientation and gender expression.
"For the majority of students, the Day of Silence is a chance to see things from another's perspective and develop tolerance and empathy,"Storrs explains. "For youth struggling to fit in, the Day of Silence offers a chance to be acknowledged by their peers. For everyone, the Day of Silence opens doors to reflection about bullying, tolerance, and compassion.
"As a nurse I've seen kids with an alternate sexual orientation or gender identity suffer isolation, depression, and suicide. Spending a day in silence allows students a safe place to consider a different perspective and the challenges faced by a minority group. In a world often lacking compassion this might be a rare opportunity for our high school students to develop important character traits. It also gives them practice honoring diversity."
Four out of five LGBT students are harassed every year because of their sexual orientation, according to GLSEN's 2005 National School Climate Survey. Additionally, 64% of students said they feel unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation and 40% because of their gender expression.
About GLSEN Washington State
GLSEN Washington State is a chapter of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, the nation's leading education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students. GLSEN envisions a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. For more information, call 206-330-2099 or visit www.glsenwa.org.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Pastor Ken Hutcherson, and his 'prayer warriors', will actually be PROTESTING the DoS outside of MSHS on Friday!
Do these misguided individuals have nothing better to do with their time than harass our children?
Here's hoping the darkness can be lifted from these narrow minds.
From the Seattle Times article;
Todd Shaw, a member of Hutcherson's church, said he'll be at the protest Friday with a sign that reads "Education Not Indoctrination."
Could not be related to LeAnn Shaw, President of CoDE?
Click Schrammie to get his take on this.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
From the CoDE web site;
An officer of a student club recorded his club's after-school, public meeting, and a teacher took the machine and erased the recording. (4/2/08)
RCW 9.73.030 clearly states that is is unlawful to record a conversation, public or private, without consent of all parties.
We understand the student in question is the child of a CoDE member.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
In a joint statement, 27 LGBT activist groups, including Lambda Legal, The National Center for Lesbian Rights, GLSEN, and The Transgender Law Center, now urges the DA to try McInerney in juvenile court:
"We are saddened and outraged by the murder of junior high school student Lawrence King. At the same time, we call on prosecutors not to compound this tragedy with another wrong, we call on them to treat the suspect as a juvenile, not as an adult.
"The facts in this matter seem clear: one boy killed another in a climate of intolerance and fear about sexual orientation and gender expression. The alleged perpetrator, who turned 14 years old less than three weeks before the shooting, should be held accountable for his actions.
"But we support the principles underlying our juvenile justice system that treat children differently than adults and provide greater hope and opportunity for rehabilitation. California law does not require District Attorneys to prosecute 14 year-olds as adults, even in circumstances such as these, and we oppose them doing so.
Read the entire story
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Dear Mount Si Parents,
Thank you for posting the message from CoDE concerning Snoqualmie Valley School District policy in regards to the upcoming Day of Silence.
This lawyeresque analysis of SVSD policy governing demonstrations must have been written by a CoDE member who either is not a parent of a Mount Si High School student, or if s/he is a parent, then either did not bother to discuss the matter with her/his child or, if such a discussion did occur, completely missed the element of high school culture to which the Day of Silence truly belongs.
The Day of Silence is not a demonstration, but an act of solidarity. If any parallels are to be drawn between the Day of Silence and other school activities, they properly belong among those, for instance, held during Spirit Week and on other special occasions. For those readers unfamiliar with our school’s culture, a brief explanation of Spirit Week will suffice, followed by an example of another type of activity that sometimes takes place at Mount Si.
Each day leading up to the homecoming game in October is filled with activities designed to rally school spirit. Monday, for example, is p.j. day – yep, students and staff alike are encouraged to wear their pajamas to school. Are they required to? No. Are signs about p.j. day posted around school so students can know what’s happening and when? Yes. Everyone knows this is a voluntary activity, the purpose of which is simply to declare your school spirit.
The days following p.j. day are assigned any number of themes by student organizers and the week usually ends with class color day – freshmen wear white, sophomores red, juniors grey and seniors black or camo colors. Is everyone required to wear their colors? Again, no. The choice about participating is left to each individual: you may abstain entirely; participate only in those activities with which you feel comfortable; or go whole-hog and vie to outdo everybody else in an outlandish show of school spirit. And, what is school spirit, but a show of solidarity with past, present and future generations of Mount Si students.
Let’s now take a look at another example of school solidarity from the opposite end of the emotional spectrum.
Two years ago, MSHS student Tess Sollitto drowned in the Snoqualmie River shortly before the start of the school year. Some of her classmates decided to help raise funds for a scholarship in her honor and did so by selling plastic pink wristbands (pink being Tess’s favorite color). Were students and staff required to purchase these wristbands? No, of course not. Those who did, however, did so to contribute monetarily to the scholarship fund, but also – and perhaps more importantly – as a show of caring and support for Tess’s family and friends who had suffered a terribly tragic loss.
Were people who did not purchase and/or wear one of these wristbands regarded by those who did as uncompassionate or heartless? Of course not. The absence of a pink band meant nothing – there was no judgment cast, no ostracism, no ill will. At the same time no one at the school did anything to oppose this solidarity activity. Had a student, for instance, worn a t-shirt ridiculing the pink wristbands or made mean spirited remarks to one of Tess’s friends, few would have had much sympathy if the provocative act elicited harsh words or even a slap.
Solidarity – this is what the Day of Silence is all about – like wearing a red-white-and-blue necktie on the 4th of July or a Mariners cap to Safeco Field. Participation in acts of solidarity are completely voluntary and always welcome; non-participation doesn’t usually register on anybody’s radar screen; and oppositional participation, depending on the degree of hostility, is either ignored or responded to (preferably in a constructive manner).
The oppositional activity of CoDE to the Day of Silence is, simply put, heartless and hostile – heartless toward those gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered students who fear being open about who they are, and hostile toward those GLBT students and their friends who simply want to make MSHS a safe and supportive place for each and every student.
I have much faith in the goodness of people, and sincerely hope that CoDE will support the Gay/Straight Alliance and use its influence to help make the Day of Silence at Mount Si on April 25th a day of goodwill between participants and non-participants alike.
9 April 2008
What is this unholy alliance CoDE has made?
If their motives where ever in doubt before, they are clear now.
Thursday, April 3, 2008
Here is the latest attempt by CoDE to end the Day Of Silence...
To: Randy Taylor, Beth Castle, Greg Hart, Cindy Wilson, Joel Aune, Rudy Edwards, Caroline Loudenback, Kathryn Lerner, Marci Busby, Kristy Sullivan
In reviewing Snoqualmie Valley School District policies that relate to the Day of Silence, policy #3223: FREEDOM OF ASSEMBLY struck us forcefully: Individual students and student organizations may meet in school rooms or auditoriums, or at outdoor locations on school grounds, to there discuss, pass resolutions, and take other lawful action respecting any matter which directly or indirectly concerns or affects them, whether or not it relates to school.
Such activities shall not be permitted to interfere with the normal operation of the school. Peaceful demonstrations are permissible, though they are to be held in designated places where they will present no hazards to persons or property and at designated times that will not disrupt classes or other school activities.
The Day of Silence (DOS) is not an “assembly” in any sense of the word – there is no coherent meeting of students for the purpose of being silent or any other reason. The DOS is clearly a “demonstration” and is subject to the restrictions of the second paragraph. Please note that the policy states that all demonstrations must have a designated place and time in order to prevent hazards and disruptions. The policy does not define certain types of demonstrations that are free of these restrictions. The policy does not exempt certain demonstrations that are somehow “deemed” to be non-hazardous or non-disruptive based on expectations or past experience. If there is any question about whether the DOS is a “demonstration,” consider the following:
1) The definition of “demonstration” is “group display of opinion: a public show as a group for or against an issue, cause, or person.” (Encarta World English Dictionary, 2007.)
2) The DOS is a coordinated action in which more than two hundred students make the same statement about the same controversial issue over the same period of time in the same way. A demonstration does not require picket lines, placards, or chanted slogans. Demonstrations can involve holding a candle in the dark, a group standing in one place, or being silent and wearing an armband.
3) The national organizers of the DOS describe it as “an action” and “a movement” whose purpose is “to protest.” Consider the following from www.dayofsilence.org (emphasis added): What is the Day of Silence? Founded in 1996 by students at the University of Virginia, and currently officially sponsored in K-12 schools by GLSEN, the Day of Silence is the largest student-led action to protest the bullying and harassment of LGBT people and their allies ever. (Day of Silence Organizing Manual, page 2, http://www.dayofsilence.org/downloads/Manual%20Draft%20Final.pdf)
Students will hand out "Speaking Cards" which say: - "Please understand my reasons for not speaking today. I am participating in the Day of Silence, a national youth movement protesting the silence faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their allies…" (About Day of Silence web page, http://www.dayofsilence.org/content/getinformation.html)
We cannot see any interpretation of district policy that would allow the DOS demonstration to occupy the entire school grounds for an entire school day. The Coalition to Defend Education has repeatedly suggested that the DOS should take place as a rally or gathering before or after school, which would allow the students their First Amendment right of free expression while conforming to the spirit and letter of this policy.
If the district continues to allow the DOS demonstration, it must allow any school-day demonstration, such as a Day of Prayer, Global Warming Awareness Day, or Young Republicans for McCain. For the last two years, activities around the DOS have demonstrably violated the school’s “zero tolerance” policy against bullying and have arguably disrupted classes. To be fair and consistent, all future demonstrations must be accorded the same level of tolerance for bullying and disruption around those events. We expect Mount Si High School to conform to all SVSD policies, including #3223: FREEDOM OF ASSEMBLY.
We strongly believe that the Mount Si High School administration must
1) explain how previous Days of Silence were allowed to break district policy and
2) make a prompt and clear statement about the upcoming Day of Silence that upholds all district policies.
We request a prompt decision with respect to the appropriateness of the DOS because the scheduled day for this demonstration is quickly approaching. This would also be a courtesy to the Gay/Straight Alliance club, so that they can redirect their planning efforts to organize their protest so that it fully complies with all SVSD policies. We request a response in writing. Thank you for your consideration.
Coalition to Defend Education
When will these religious zealots figure out that the courts have already decided this issue. The district knows that if they cancel the DoS they will face litigation and will lose.
Keep your religion where it belongs, IN YOUR HOME!
We encourage all of you reasonable individuals to contact the District and the MSHS administration to remind them of their legal obligations.
And you folks at CoDE, if you don't like the laws that protect the civil rights of individuals in our secular democracy, we encourage you to seek a theocracy that is more to your liking!
Coercion will get you nowhere, haven't you figured that out yet?
"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
CoDE sent an “open letter” warning GSA members that they should cancel their plans to participate in the nationally recognized Day of Silence or else face “more persecution of gay students” (emphasis in original) based on what they claimed would be a building “resentment” that would “spill out in ugly ways,” where “problems experienced will occur again.” Of great alarm, this letter referenced “unstable people [who] sometimes turn their frustration to extreme acts of violence,” including “[s]chool shootings.”
Perhaps they should have their attorneys review the following;
RCW 9A.36.080 Malicious harassment--Definition and criminal penalty.
(1) A person is guilty of malicious harassment if he or she maliciously and intentionally commits one of the following acts because of his or her perception of the victim's race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or mental, physical, or sensory handicap:
Causes physical injury to the victim or another person;
Causes physical damage to or destruction of the property of the victim or another person; or
Threatens a specific person or group of persons and places that person, or members of the specific group of persons, in reasonable fear of harm to person or property. The fear must be a fear that a reasonable person would have under all the circumstances.For purposes of this section, a "reasonable person" is a reasonable person who is a member of the victim's race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, or sexual orientation, or who has the same mental, physical, or sensory handicap as the victim. Words alone do not constitute malicious harassment unless the context or circumstances surrounding the words indicate the words are a threat.
"The notion that an outside group of adults may make direct appeals to students to refrain from participating in school activities is deeply distressing for these students, many of whom feel targeted and intimidated by this effort. Moreover, the letter makes plain that CoDE misunderstands the nature and purpose of the Day of Silence, and shows why that and similar activities are essential for LGBT students and their supporters at Mount Si. These students selected the Day of Silence activity precisely because it is educational, calm and non-confrontational. It is a low-key way for them to help their fellow students understand that they exist within the school community, though many of them are invisible much of the time. By its very nature, this silent activity avoids confrontation. And, as the CoDE letter acknowledges, only a small percentage of the student body participates. Yet, even with limited participation, this educational exercise encourages the non-participants to recognize errors in their assumptions about others’ identities and/or attitudes about LGBT people.Because members of the GSA now feel targeted and pressured not to engage in the educational activities of their school club, we call on each of you to make clear the school administration’s commitment to allowing students to participate in their club and other free speech activities, free from outside adult warnings of dire consequences or coercion."