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"Old School" beliefs meet New Education

This morning, a good chunk of New England is abuzz about this story out of Lexington, MA. It seems that one David Parker didn't approve of his school touching on homosexual issues in the classroom, in particular the classroom of his kindergartener son. He had several discussions with the school, going around and around until finally demanding that they notify him when such matters were to be discussed in his son's class. The school hemmed and hawed, but eventually agreed.

But last week, the class read a book called "Who's In A Family," and one of the families mentioned was a little girl who lived with her mommy and mommy's "partner." Mr. Parker demanded a meeting with school officials. When at the conclusion of the meeting he was still unsatisfied, so he refused to leave. They called the cops, and Mr. Parker spent the night in jail for trespassing.

Now, nearly everyone is arguing about the appropriateness of the material. Some say that it's indoctrinating children to accept values that their parents reject, while others say they're teaching the children that such situations exist and how to be tolerant of them. It's getting hot and heavy around the whole issue.

And in the meantime, what I think is the bigger issue is getting ignored. Whether or not you agree with Mr. Parker's beliefs, the fundamental question is this: are his demands that he be notified about what material is being taught to his son about a clearly controversial issue unreasonable?

I think not. In these days, whole hosts of social problems can be attributed to parental disinvolvement in their children. Here is a father who is so involved with his son getting what he considers a proper education and upbringing that he's willing to go to jail to fight for it. Right or wrong, he certainly has the right to make his stand.

And I really can't blame the schools too much. For too long, they've taken on more and more of the responsibilities that parents have abrogated over the years. It's understandable that some of them might view those additional obligations as their natural right, and feel that a parent who is intruding into "their" turf is in the wrong.

But the parent isn't. The school is. And they need to wake up to that fact damned fast. They are entrusted with the EDUCATION of our children, not their GUARDIANSHIP. "In loco parentis" is a very limited concept, and in no way should be construed to be superior to parental rights. If they want to override a parent's wishes in regards to a child, they better be ready to go to court -- not simply wave regulations around and call up the cops to back them up.

Quibble if you wish with Mr. Parker's beliefs, but don't challenge his right to possess them -- and act on them. We need more parents who feel as protective of their children as he does.


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Comments (52)

Who's quibbling? This guy ... (Below threshold)
LJD:

Who's quibbling? This guy should get a medal. Public schools are out of hand. Indoctrination is a weak term for it. While kids can't read or solve math problems, liberal teachers think it's their duty to "teach diversity", get kids against the military, you name it.
What about the champion trap shooter in NH, who could not have a yearbook picture with his shotgun, broken open, and hanging over his shoulder. Meanwhile, perfectly o.k. for him to pose in a dress, or for a girl to pose with her illegitimate baby!
It all started with gay cartoon charaters; now this. Watch very closely. The shameless left has made our children the new battleground in gay rights.

Disagree. If the schools h... (Below threshold)

Disagree. If the schools had to take time to figure planning out out everything that's going to be mentioned every day in class, and then sending notice to each parent each time something that some parent doesn't like is going to be discussed, the schools aren't going to have time to teach anything

It's fair game to ask what the schools are teaching, and to bitch about it if you don't like it. It's fair to take them out of special units if you don't like them. It's fair to take your kids out of those schools if you don't approve of what they're teaching. But it strikes me as unfair to but the burden on the schools to have to vet everything that happens every day.

...are his demands that ... (Below threshold)
Steve L.:

...are his demands that he be notified about what material is being taught to his son about a clearly controversial issue unreasonable?

Historically, parents have been notified (and given right-of-veto) about their children being taught sex ed in school. This is not unreasonable.

While Spoons is correct that it is difficult to vet everything that a school does, a little control can go a long way. Currently, in most places, the teachers are relatively immune from the consequences of these type things. The administration takes the blame and the union protects the teacher. When you make the teacher reponsible for the content in the classroom, he/she will be less likely to do something stupid.

It's incomprehensible to me... (Below threshold)

It's incomprehensible to me that a public school thinks kindergarten kids need to be educated about alternate or homosexual lifestyles. Little 5 yr old kids don't need to think or know about sex. Come on! What happened to finger-painting? Learning to read? A little light arithmetic?

The father in the story would do well to take his kid out of that school and find a more wholesome alternative. If I were raising a child today, I would NOT have him or her in a public school. They are cesspools of PC idiocy.

Spoons said:If th... (Below threshold)

Spoons said:
If the schools had to take time to figure planning out out everything that's going to be mentioned every day in class, and then sending notice to each parent each time something that some parent doesn't like is going to be discussed, the schools aren't going to have time to teach anything

Therein lies the problem. I dare say that teaching things pertinent to education wouldn't need any such vetting and/or parental approval. The teaching aspect is not the problem. On the other hand, school should be essentially a political vacuum, a place for facts to be taught, and arguments left aside, especially in the primary classrooms.

To further address your point, the teachers are supposed to plan out everything that they are teaching in class--that's called a lesson plan, and it's required of every teacher in every classroom of which I have any knowledge. This wasn't something that came up incidentally in discussion, but rather an effort made by a teacher to present a "nontraditional" family as perfectly normal to her class--a view that is particularly controversial in today's political climate.

The underlying issue is that for too long, teachers and school administrators have been taught that they are the "professionals," and that because of their extensive training on child behaviour, development, and discipline, they inherently know better than parents what children really need. For a teacher to accept the responsibility to teach certain social skills that are neglected in the child's home is a noble endeavor. To teach a child that his parents' morals and belief system are antiquated and foolish, however, is to assume a place of authority that very few parents are willing to knowingly concede.

LJD--you're dead wrong on one point. Our children are not the "new" battleground in gay rights--they've been the battleground for 20 years.

In fairness to the school, ... (Below threshold)

In fairness to the school, the material taught wasn't about sex. It talked about different family structures, including a family where both adults were female. The man's objection is not to the school teaching about gay sex -- it was doing nothing of the kind -- but rather to them "mainstreaming" gay couples by describing their families as just another family arrangement.

I can see why this would be controversial to those who believe that gay couples are some form of aberration -- if you take that view, having such couples presented as normal to your 5-year-old amounts to outright indoctrination. On the flipside, there are children that live in such households, and in my humble opinion, regardless of anyone's view on same-sex households, those kids deserve to think that their family is as good as anyone else's.

I have to agree that KINDER... (Below threshold)
lisa:

I have to agree that KINDERGARDEN for crying out LOUD! Is NOT where kids should be learning about alternative lifestyles. Gimme a break..........
Can't we wait?? Kids graduate out of highschools and can't read and write but they know about "alternative lifestyles" what the.......
Kudos to Mr. Parker! I think it should be a law that EVERY single parent gets a curriculum, outline of everything a child will learn for that quarter and if they choose to act on it, they have the right.
it's all very tough but the bottom line is, if a parent wants to be involved - the school should be willing to work with the parent.

Give the guy a medal and su... (Below threshold)

Give the guy a medal and sue the pants off of the schools. They are teachers and not political officers. Teachers, teach the three R's!

And yes, all teachers do have leason plans and the do script each and every day.

And yes, PARENTS SHOULD BE NOTIFIED AND AWARE OF THOSE LEASON PLANS. IT IS NOT A STATE SECRET, IT IS A LEASON PLAN. PARENTS COULD AND SHOULD BE PART OF THE PLAN.

I heard the superintendant ... (Below threshold)
Jack Tanner:

I heard the superintendant on the radio this morning and he was calling same sex couples 'nuclear families'. The parent is right, the school has absolutely no business in promoting, discouraging or indoctrinating children's social values. I heard the superintendant lie about how it was only offered as a benefit to the parents as a discussion tool. I'm sure it was right next to the book on Bible stories that was there for a discussion tool. To me what's more offensive then the same sex equivalency is the single and divorced parent equivalency. Just make sure you indoctrinate kids that all those lifestyles are consequence free!

I was unaware anthropology was now part of the K2 curriculum. Actually I knew it was but you'd think they'd have enough sense to at least try
to play it off like it was something worthwhile other than an indoctrination tool.

For those out of the area, ... (Below threshold)

For those out of the area, you need to understand that Lexington, MA is among the MOST LIBERAL towns in greater Boston, along with nearby Lincoln, Wayland, Concord and Carlisle --- its sort of the west-suburban leftie axis.

Kindergarten. There's only one objective for starting with this type of information so early.

It's called "indoctrination."

These are the people who would scream to high heaven if you tried to include intelligent design in the biology curriculum.

It's all part of the <a hre... (Below threshold)
Sue Dohnim:

It's all part of the plan.

It's one thing to teach chi... (Below threshold)

It's one thing to teach children to tolerate someone that they (or their parents) disagree with. That's fine, IMO. But tolerance is not the same as acceptance, and teaching kids to accept something that their parents don't want them to accept is wrong. Jesus tolerated sinners, but did not accept their sins. That is what I'm going to teach my kids as they grow.

And, of course, the liberals will condemn me as a hateful, bigotted, gay-hating, right-wing wingnut because of it.

Kindergarten and early elem... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

Kindergarten and early elementary are way too young to be introducing these topics to anyway.

Also I don't buy the "it is too difficult to make parents aware" crap. Teachers write their lesson plans and know what they are teaching, and they should notify parents of things they ask to be notified of beforehand.

The school is way out of line, and if you are fine and dandy with same sex couple issues being addressed to your kindergartener, then just pretend for a moment that the topic is something else you would personally object to your Kindergartener being introduced to, and decide if you still think the school is correct.

1. Kids in classrooms are t... (Below threshold)

1. Kids in classrooms are truly a "captive audience."
2. We need more involvement from parents, not less.
3. There's really no justification for that kind of instruction in a Kindergarten class. A few years later, sure, whatever, but not at such a young age.

It is interesting how we ha... (Below threshold)
Zsa Zsa:

It is interesting how we have high School Seniors who can't read or write!...Hmmm I wonder if they would spend less time on educating our children about alternative life styles it might help with the three R's?...I hate to think what they are going to be learning at nap time and recess!

How can this father dare qu... (Below threshold)
Bluewing:

How can this father dare question the wisdom of "the village"?

Dear E. NoughWith ... (Below threshold)

Dear E. Nough

With respect to your comment that "there are children that live in such households, and...those kids deserve to think that their family is as good as anyone else's."

Let's take your premise ad absurdum.

Did the young women who lived with Charles Manson "deserve to think that their family is as good as anyone else's"?

Did Eva Braun "deserve to think that [her] family is as good as anyone else's"?

There is overwhelming statistical data (in re stability, violence, substance abuse and distressing outcomes for children) that gay households are not as functional ("good") as heteronormative households. Children deserve to know that.

Umm.. they read a BOOK. SO... (Below threshold)
Serapheem:

Umm.. they read a BOOK. SO the SCHOOL or the TEACHER had to BUY THE BOOK. Unless they didn't know what was in the book they bought to use in the classroom there is no excuse for not notifying the parent in question.

Already well stated here (J... (Below threshold)
-S-:

Already well stated here (Just Me, wavemaker, Jim, Jack Tanner, Sue Dohnim, lisa, BoDiddly, BARRY, LJD, decatur...) and about which I agree: schools prepare lesson plans, and when requested if not as course of policy, should make those plans available to parents.

And that, what/who the school 'believes' "represents a family" isn't material for kindergarten age children (why aren't they using their time with children in KINDERGARTEN for the 'three r's' if not for naps, cookies and time to play.

Yes, this is indoctrination. Yes, it's planned. Yes, it's wrong of the most egregious kind.

About the parent, the cops, him being arrested, OBVIOUSLY, to my view, the school used law enforcement as another form of extended indocrtination, undoubtedly just relying on certain steps taken to conclude with the obvious step later taken...arresting the parent rather than discuss their own behavior. At least, arranging, setting up, so to speak, the reasons why the parent had to be.

This has nothing to do with 'teaching diversity' but with indoctrinating children and presuming upon children and their families in a highly offensive manner. Highly offensive.

And yet the child is expected to not say "God" in the Pledge of Allegiance, or even the Pledge itself in some areas. Socialism run amok.

Going to Jail, a threat or ... (Below threshold)
frank:

Going to Jail, a threat or a badge of courage. Being a parent, and being a teacher, talk about a conflict of interests here. First my personal life stirs in me the need to want to stay informed, but then the attitude of seeing someone with different beliefs and concerns then mine make me pause, add to that my background in ED where so many parents raise a fuss but don't seem to care about the big picture ( not really a lot. but they seem a lot because they make noise) and in politics and education . loud makes more changes. As a teacher, I don't want to be second guessed and have to please everyone because you never do.

welcome to the chaos and growth of our education system. Where the attitudes of voting adults are shaped by their memories of teachers 20+ years earlier

scary

I just want to know WHAT TH... (Below threshold)
Cro:

I just want to know WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO NAP TIME!!??

Seriously, if the education system stuck to actaully providing kids the ability to read, write, and perform arithmetic, do you think they'd have time for this horse-crap?

Remember that the next time you give the teenager at McDonalds 3 cents extra change and they give you that blank look trying to figure out in their head how much change to give you back.

The theory is that children... (Below threshold)

The theory is that children are socialized to be anti-gay, and therefore it is appropriate for the schools to socialize the kids against what they perceive as homophobia. I don't buy the premise myself and I think these efforts are doomed to failure.

Decatur said . . .<b... (Below threshold)
DavidB:

Decatur said . . .
There is overwhelming statistical data (in re stability, violence, substance abuse and distressing outcomes for children) that gay households are not as functional ("good") as heteronormative households.

There is? Please provide your basis for this, links to these studies, or at least a title for one of the studies from a reputable organization, without an obvious bias.

At best it appears that you are resorting to a hasty generalization here. There is more then enough statistical data available to show that these societal problems are not the result of a single characteristic in the makeup of the famliy unit. Income, education level, social standing, self esteem and many other factors contribute to these problems.

There are many people who have been raised by same sex couples that are normal functioning individuals, just as there are many abnormally functioning individuals that have been raised by hetero-sexual couples.

This is not the first incid... (Below threshold)

This is not the first incident like this that has come from Massachusetts. It's just plain ol' indoctrination. Coming from a left that believes in no absolute truth, they sure are quick to say that homosexuality is normal, natural and good.

Schools will not stopped this behavior until parents protest enmass. Don't stand for it!

Teachers already plan thier... (Below threshold)
lunacy:

Teachers already plan thier lessons well in advance. Or they SHOULD.

What would be wrong with passing a calendar of lesson plans to all the parents on ALL the topics?

Parents who care can know (and should) whether their child is learning colors or state capitals. Parents who don't care can do with it like they do with every other document the kid brings home.

Lunacy

Jay Tea writes: a... (Below threshold)
s9:

Jay Tea writes: are his demands that he be notified about what material is being taught to his son about a clearly controversial issue unreasonable?

Yes, they're unreasonable. It's reasonable for him to expect he wouldn't be denied access to the teaching materials used in his son's classes. It's totally unreasonable for him to expect to receive unsolicited announcements of every little update in the curriculum.

It's called parental responsibility, Jay. Think about it. It's your responsibility to obey the law. Ignorance of the law is no excuse, so you're on the hook to stay current with changes in the law. It's totally unreasonable to expect that every time the law changes that you'll get a letter in the mail warning you about it. This is exactly the same thing as what this guys is complaining about.

Jeez. It's like you people think the nanny state is supposed to take care of you from cradle to grave, never doing anything without first notifying you and seeking your explicit permission for everything.

Thought you might be intere... (Below threshold)
PABBIS Parent:

Thought you might be interested in learning more about the controversial K-12 book issue.

PABBIS - Parents Against Bad Books In Schools.
www.pabbis.com

PABBIS is in existence because there is more and more explicit and graphic material in K-12 books. They have explicit descriptions of rapes, incest,
oral sex, bestiality, pedophilia, homosexuality, sex associated with violence, torture, excessive vulgarity, anti-religious material and other
extreme content. These books are being used with younger and younger students. They are usually used without parental consent. Parents are
generally not aware of this problem and when they find out they often get very upset.

To learn more about this issue, and to see how explicit some of the book content can be, see the PABBIS website.

Teachers have no business c... (Below threshold)

Teachers have no business conducting gay indoctrination sessions - ever!

Has the world turned upside... (Below threshold)
NOTR:

Has the world turned upside down? Sure seems like it sometimes when one reads a litany such as this one.

Now it looks like the state has decided what our kids are to believe. It is a tyranny upon the citizen who does not believe his children should buy into to collective morality.

Brainster wrote...<i... (Below threshold)
-S-:

Brainster wrote...
The theory is that children are socialized to be anti-gay, and therefore it is appropriate for the schools to socialize the kids against what they perceive as homophobia. I don't buy the premise myself and I think these efforts are doomed to failure.


...and while I agree with what's written there (speculation about where the crazed "educators" are going and what's fueling their process in reference to this issue about the kindergartner and parent)...it ALSO points out the gross and presumptuous nature of just what a public school system is engaged in, as in...

I can imagine that "people" and/or "children" are "indoctrinated" to, say, hate spaghetti so as a public official, I take it upon myself to spend taxpayer dollars and my employee hours "counter" indoctrinating the hapless indoctrinated spawn under my "care" about why they should NOT hate spaghetti. Or even bears in the woods.

I mean, it just points out the foolishness and irresponsibility that potentially can and does result about very personal things (to parents and their children) that public officials of any area have no privilege in accessing in a public forum using taxpayer dollars.

As in, you can speculate as to any sort of wrongdoing, spend your senior year in college as an assistant to some socialist in one of the colleges who is sure there's reason there to think society is in need of a finer tune about something and then go on to graduate and teach all your subjects that very same fine tune. Simple as a perception, which leads to all sorts of possible violations of position, particularly in education.

About the "curriculum" for the kindergartners, very school and every teacher in those schools has to prepare and file a teaching plan (some really abuse this process by simply copying the plans of others, filing them and then 'teaching' whatever they decide to do off the plan based upon the assumption that no one will find out).

So, this teacher expecting to be informed about a plan for a kindergarten class is not unusual and not at all exceptional/outrageous as request. What IS outrageous is that the parent found out afterward that the teaching plan wasn't followed and/or was amplified to include socially subjective requirements that intrude into the integrity of the individual (that is, the whole area of family sexual relationships, particularly of the 'alternative' kind is not at all appropriate for kindergarten and/or any child without parental knowledge and acceptance).

These were kindergarten age children. The school was so egregiously into an area of irresponsibility in allowing what took place to take place that I can understand the parent's upset. I hope he finds another school or else gets his taxes back. Honestly, I do. People should be refunded their tax dollars under situations like this, given the public nature of the offense, the outrage involved to and about private areas of belief and psychology.

Typo...should read...... (Below threshold)
-S-:

Typo...should read...

"So, this PARENT expecting to be informed about a plan for a kindergarten class..."

Some of the things my kids'... (Below threshold)
Mabel:

Some of the things my kids' schools did that I objected to:

A Latin Grammar magnet (premise is kids wear uniforms and learn Latin, like Catholic school but of course without the pesky religious stuff), my son attended K-3:

They were very proud of the fact that the kids could recite the Pledge of Allegiance in Latin. When my son was in first grade, after one of his performances of the Latin pledge, I asked him to say it in English. He did not have a clue. Phone call to the principal. Three months later all the kids knew the pledge in both Latin and English.

For black history month, they planned a skit about some obscure event where a black woman got kicked off a train for daring to venture outside the car reserved for blacks. My son, the only white child in the class, was assigned the role of the wicked conductor who kicked her off the train. Many, many calls trying to get the administration to see the problem with this. My son, even then a budding thespian, was upset with me - it was a really juicy role. But come on people, would we be doing a play about something bad that a black person did and casting the only black kid in the class as the villain? Eventually, the play was shelved. My son is now in high-school, an award-winning thespian despite my parental interference.

Same son, 5th grade: A cabal of four boys bullied everyone else in the classroom, especially my young thespian. The four boys were seated in the same desk-grouping, facilitating their reign of terror. Teacher was completely oblivious (everything happened in the halls, at recess, classroom insults were under their breath when her back was turned, etc.). I called the principal, finally, after many months, the cabal was broken up.

I am not the most popular parent with the administration of the school - and especially because I have a teaching degree myself, so I don't buy their b.s., I do know the laws and do know the procedures. I absolutely support the teachers who do well, and there are many of them, but I will not hesitate to wade in and deal with the b.s. when it surfaces.

What one of the folks said above is absolutely correct: the teacher could not have been reading the book if the school had not purchased it and made it available. Trust me, nobody could have purchased that book without knowing what was in it - that little scenario would have been one of the main selling points of the book in pamphlets from the publisher, and would have been prominently highlighted in the teacher's edition lesson-planning suggestions. That stuff does not get in there by accident.

I'm not a big fan of banning books, especially at the high school level. But the school has no business whatsoever presenting this type of content in kindergarten, AND the school DOES have an obligation to inform parents that such things will be discussed, ESPECIALLY when the parent has requested such notice.

Parents have way more rights (and responsibilities) in regards to their kids' education than most people are aware of. Teachers take courses on "Legal Issues for Teachers." I took that one. 50% of the course content is what the laws are and how to observe them, the other 50% is how to keep quiet about a lot of this stuff so the parents don't actually find out what their rights are, so it stays under the radar, so the teachers can push the limits.

If you aren't on a first name basis with your kids' teachers, if you don't have your school's phone number memorized, then you are really leaving a lot up to chance.

I understand Mr Parker's fr... (Below threshold)

I understand Mr Parker's frustration. I personally don't think homosexuality should be taught in Kindergarden. First off, when my kids when to school - in the first grade, 2nd, 3rd, they had no idea what sex was. My oldest wanted to know everything so I told him. He was 8 and in the 3rd grade. MY second one, at 21, still doesn't want to hear it come out of my mouth and refused to listen when he was younger; it was hysterical. KIDS SHOULD LEARN FROM THEIR PARENTS. And secondly, what kid in Kindergarden at age 5 is homosexual?? NONE. It is a subject for later on in life, not as babies still. Teacher should be fired, fined and if he wants to keep teaching, he better be damned careful about what he talks about. BTW, is the teacher gay??

Cindy

This is about the most ridi... (Below threshold)
RickB:

This is about the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. That someone, whose only credentials are holding a degree in education thinks they can teach whatever they want, without regard to the controversial matter of the subject, and without somehow consulting parents in some way, of kindergartners no less, is tantamount to state indoctrination.

I know one thing, via my attorney I would bring suit against everyone in every direction involved in this catastrophy, and my child would later be attending the most expensive privates schools money could buy, all the way through college.

<a href="http://www.parents... (Below threshold)
T2:
I am an adoption attorney l... (Below threshold)
Maria Lally Clark:

I am an adoption attorney located outside of Albany, NY. My daughter attends Catholic school. My best friend, our daughter's honorary "Uncle", is gay. Our daughter is seven and barely has a grip on the facts of life, much less ready to understand the issues surrounding a gay or lesbian lifestyle. WE plan to be the ones to discuss it with her, when she is ready.

I think it is appalling that the school district is placing this issue before young children, and a quick poll among my gay and lesbian clients reveals that they, too, resent schools getting involved in this issue in this manner.

I do support gay and lesbian parenting, and have assisted gay and lesbian clients in my adoption practice for approximately twelve years. I long for the day that my friends and clients do not have to seek out "gay friendly" places to vacation with their children, and can just go to "kid friendly" places. However, this is still a difficult issue for most people, and cramming this lifestyle down the throats of people in this insidious manner does nothing to promote acceptance of gay parenting. "Educate" the schoolchildren's parents on this issue, not the kids.

I love the crickets you hea... (Below threshold)

I love the crickets you hear when you press bigots to provide evidence of the damage in growing up in same-sex households.

Like the last poster, I too am in favor of same-sex parents. nevertheless, I am also the daughter of an 8-year old girl, and am otherwise quite conservative. I sometimes freak out at what she is being spoon-fed at her school here in Montgomery County, Maryland...one of the most liberal counties in the country (but certainly no Lexington, Mass). They celebrate black history month for 6 weeks, but she can't tell me one thing of george washington or abraham lincoln. and i have actually called 2 meetings with the principal: 1, because in reviewing one of my daughter's grammar tests, the teacher had graded 4 of the 20 questions incorrectly (!!), and 2, over the spinning of Christopher Columbus day into a "poor-native-americans-killed-by-white-men" remembrance. I was told to go to the school board, but just didn't have the energy...i bet if I was a gay dad I would be a better father :)

john pike (and Maria Lally ... (Below threshold)
-S-:

john pike (and Maria Lally Clark):

About pike's issue, my response to that is that most people are exhausted trying to even communicate basic points with the 'gay agenda' opinions because it then reduces down into "you're a bigot" and "let's teach diversity" (which means, public schools should instruct children about homosexuality who might otherwise never know about the behavior from their own families and social experiences until far later in life).

It isn't that there is nothing to communicate but that it's a fruitless, for the most part, process.

IF and when people are "gay," then practice what you preach and 'be gay' if you have no other affects in your life other than that.

But, to continue to press and press and preach and preach to general humanity, about all that the general population knows and how less they know it when measured against how much 'gays' know by comparison about this, that, whatever...people get tired of it and disconnect.

If your choice is homosexuality as a lifestyle and series of behaviors and you feel no other influences, most people in today's societies go about their own lives and remain apart from others' lives. But the 'gay' argument routinely presents 'gay' people as victims or instructors, either demanding society cater to or grow into, never an acceptance BY homosexuals about the values of others, the right to privacy by others, the sensitivities and behaviors by others, and on and on.

Most theology of the sincere kind instructs against homosexual behaviors and defines that as sin. A very grave problem. Other people have every right to believe what they believe and to chose what and how they chose based upon values and psychologies that are divergent from those used by many who are engaged in homosexuality.

That's the base issue, right there. About parenting and 'marriage,' I am just too sleepy at this hour to even get into that but it's my choice and well reasoned and well educated opinion as a voter to discourage those behaviors in our society to those engaged in homosexuality. And I don't have to search far and wide on even the internet to find reasons why I conclude as I do, but in my case, it's mostly due to religious beliefs and an education in biological sciences (not an easy answer but that's a general one).

I smile and open the door for everyone, and I never ask whomever what they do in their sexual life...meaning, like me, most people, particularly parents, are not all that involved nor interested in what other adults are doing sexually with others, as long as there isn't a public problem or harms that we are made aware of or witness otherwise. But, when children are concerned, adults do become far more aware of who has contact with the children, why and how. And, some of us prefer to not allow exposure for our children to homosexuals in any educational process.

It's a choice, it's a parental choice, it has nothing to do with your choices, however different they may be from mine and people like me. It's the insistence on publicizing and expanding "educational awareness" about areas of sexual behaviors on a public level about homosexualit that is, actually, working to prove that it's not an element some of us prefer for our children in any explicit and/or informative way.

Because, what happens is you get, eventually, people just like that public school administration, indoctrinating kindergarten and other children into and about issues that most parents chose against for their children. It's another case of homosexuality presuming to know what's better, best, preferred and worthy for others and that's exactly what's offensive about it. It omits and denigrates the adult voice of others.

I support civil unions, my ... (Below threshold)

I support civil unions, my youngest daughter was one of the founding members of her high school's Gay-Straight Alliance club, but I'm appalled at this school preeching a political viewpoint to captive 5 year olds.

Kindergarten is, primarily, a peer socialization venture. And the teacher should be helping kids learn to accept each other on an individual basis and to reject bullying of any kind.

That along with identifying colors, letters and learning not to eat the wheat paste.

The years of innocence that kids experience are growing ever smaller and that should worry everyone. If kids accept each other as peers, they rarely pitch a fit on what household the kid lives in.

The "diversity" bookbag is political garbage and inappropriate crap. Period.

Vouchers, people. Vouchers.

This doesn't suprise me at ... (Below threshold)
Lorraine:

This doesn't suprise me at all. How many of you let your children participate in the D.A.R.E. (Dare to Keep Children Off Drugs) program without question? Do you assume that the discussions are only about the dangers of drugs? You would be wrong.

Read through the booklet that comes with the program. You will find all kinds of scenarios that the kids are supposed to reinact to answer the "what would you do?" questions. What you will not find is any participation by a parent in any scenario. When I read through them, I could answer almost all of them with the answer "Call the parents" or "Talk to your parents". Instead, the advise is to talk to your counselor at school, a teacher, principal, or the police.

This program is given during 5th and 6th grade at many schools. It takes the place of academic instruction at least one or two hours a week for an entire semester. You will find that there is no "opt out" available. I had to write a letter to the school telling them that my children were not allowed to participate and that their moral instruction would come from me. I received phone calls from their teachers, the principal, and the DARE officer. They were polite, but it was clear that they thought I was wrong. My children spent their time in the library working on math and other "real" work.

Parents must take a stand for their parenting rights or those that think they know better will take them from you.

Good points, -S- and Lorrai... (Below threshold)
Sue Dohnim:

Good points, -S- and Lorraine. And this, I believe, is the first time I've ever agreed with Cindy.

I have a friend who lives i... (Below threshold)
Lee J.:

I have a friend who lives in Lexington, and has three kids in the school system. He has had several run-ins with the schools, so I asked him his take on this.

He told me that:
1) Teaching Diversity is a high priority at Lexington schools. This is no secret.

It would be nice if teaching math, science, and reading were as high a priority, but that's another discussion.

2) Parents are informed about "the diversity bag" from which this book was taken. Parents do have the option at the beginning of the year to opt their kids out of the diversity bag.

I had not heard this mentioned anywhere else.

3) The school claims that in their diversity lessons, they are just reporting the fact that same sex households exist. They are not advocating it, just acknowledging it. It is just a fact like any other.

This last point seems like semantics to me. Acknowledging it is normal is advocating it. There are lots of other situations that exist they don't acknowledge and is therefore promote as normal.

Of course, the issue comes ... (Below threshold)

Of course, the issue comes down to teaching "tolerance" of homosexuality and homosexual "families". The question is SHOULD the school be teaching that message? And I ask that as a high school teacher in a public school.

The problem, in my experience, with teaching such "tolerance" is that it quickly morphs into approval, and the imposition of values opposed to those taught by the families and churches of the students. Rather than being a support institution, schools then become an agent of change and destruction, teaching kids that their parents, families, and religious leaders are wrong and immoral. This runs contrary to the holding of the Supreme Court in West Virginia v. Barnette, Mr. Justice Jackson writing for the majority.

If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein. If there are any circumstances which permit an exception, they do not now occur to us.

It would appear to me that these mere public employees, among the most petty officials in the galaxy of officialdom, are attempting to force exactly such a confession of the family in question, and are banning from school grounds those who dare to oppose them -- much like the state of West Virginia did over 60 years ago when it expelled children and jailed parents because the kids would not say the Pledge of Allegiance.

Actually this is not a comp... (Below threshold)
Michael B:

Actually this is not a complicated problem if you ignore the same-sex issue.

I as a parent am responsible for my children's upbringing.

Schools are assisting me with this.

Justification: When my children run into problems (even as adults) who will they run to (or blame)?

Hint..it's not the school teacher.

My number one priority is to prepare my children for a world that will be unfair and cruel to them. Social issues are not a priority to me. If other parents see same-sex parenting as a necessary subject for preparing their kids for adulthood more power to them.

It scares me that so many of my peers don't understand what having children means and use schools, babysitters, and "activities" to avoid their parental responsibilities.

They are in for a rude awakening. Unfortunately these darlings are classmates to my children.

My wife and I try to help out the my children's teachers by tutoring and helping with homework. However I do anticipate the day that I will have to confront some progressive teacher who seems to think that it is their duty to "correct" what I am teaching my children.

Mr. Parker has every right to guard what people are putting into the heads of his children no matter how well-meaning their motives are. If school administrators do not have the patience to deal with the few parents who are willing to be actively engaged with their children's education then perhaps they need to try a different line of work.

Who on earth decided that "... (Below threshold)
JD:

Who on earth decided that "diversity" was to be taught in freekin' Kindergarten?

For that matter, who on earth decided that "diversity" was, in and of itself, a Good Thing that Must Be Learned?

For those that believe that Diversity is the sine qua non of a Well-Educated Person, consider the status of being "jack of all trades, master of none." These kids are being force-fed so much PC twaddle in the schools that they can barely function in their home lifestyle, much less in public.

Decatur said....Ther... (Below threshold)
PC:

Decatur said....
There is overwhelming statistical data (in re stability, violence, substance abuse and distressing outcomes for children) that gay households are not as functional ("good") as heteronormative households.

DavidB responded...
There is? Please provide your basis for this, links to these studies, or at least a title for one of the studies from a reputable organization, without an obvious bias.

I think you will find the sources and studies listed in this article quite reputable as far as professionalism, qualifications and status. I'd encourage you to read it in full before you bash the author. I doubt you'll have room for dispute.

However, the deeper case against this sort of an agenda and social transformation can be made in defense of the children involved as by products. The social costs will be staggering, and the damage done to many children as a consequence of redefining marriage will be incalculable.

The case is made in the link below.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/003/660zypwj.asp

There is overwhelming stati... (Below threshold)
pc:

There is overwhelming statistical data (in re stability, violence, substance abuse and distressing outcomes for children) that gay households are not as functional ("good") as heteronormative households.

DavidB responded...
There is? Please provide your basis for this, links to these studies, or at least a title for one of the studies from a reputable organization, without an obvious bias.

I think you will find the sources and studies listed in this article quite reputable as far as professionalism, qualifications and status. I'd encourage you to read it in full before you bash the author. I doubt you'll have room for dispute.

http://www.frc.org/get.cfm?i=IS04C02

However, the deeper case against this sort of an agenda and social transformation can be made in defense of the children involved as by products. The social costs will be staggering, and the damage done to many children as a consequence of redefining marriage will be incalculable.

The case is made in the link below.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/003/660zypwj.asp


Sorry I forgot to make the links URL's....

Under the doctrine of M... (Below threshold)

Under the doctrine of Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390, we think it entirely plain that the Act of 1922 unreasonably interferes with the liberty of parents and guardians to direct the upbringing and education of children under their control ... The fundamental theory of liberty upon which all governments in this Union repose excludes any general power of the State to standardize its children by forcing them to accept instruction from public teachers only. The child is not the mere creature of the State; those who nurture him and direct his destiny have the right, coupled with the high duty, to recognize and prepare him for additional obligations. US Supreme Court: Pierce v. Society of Sisters.

Just FYI.

Read the article. Parents h... (Below threshold)
Cora:

Read the article. Parents had the opportunity to review the books in question beforehand. It's not the school's fault that the father chose not to avail himself of that opportunity or that he claimed not to know about it. So his right to be informed about his son's education was preserved.

Besides, it's not as if the book was a detailed manual about homosexual sex (which would have been inappropriate in this context), it was simply a children's book stating that some people live differently than others. And I don't really see what the problem with that is supposed to be.

Homesexuality exists. Get used to it.

I read the article, Cora. A... (Below threshold)
fatman:

I read the article, Cora. According to Gov. Romney "schools under our parental-notification law are required to inform parents ... of matters relating to human sexuality that may be taught in the classroom and to allow that child to be out of the classroom for that period of the education." That means that it's not the parents' job to ferret out what their child is being taught on the subject, it's the school's job to pro-actively inform them.

And yes Cora, homosexuality exists. But the idea of indoctrinating five year olds with the notion that it's normal shouldn't. Get used to THAT.

So has anyone actually read... (Below threshold)

So has anyone actually read the book? I've seen it talked about on the news and in lots of blogs, but I can't seem to find any specific details of the actual specific content of the book. I'd like to see the book before I make a judgement on it. Is it the entire point of the book or is it like the Where's Waldo book with one tiny little drawing of a woman losing her bathing suit that people got in a big uproar about?

This is a case about parent... (Below threshold)
rightsforparents:

This is a case about parental rights, nothing more and nothing less. David Parker has been denied his right to have his five year old "opt-out". He never gave up this right, despite Cora's misinformed claim to the contrary. And when he chose to exercise his right, he was arrested.

The entire arrest sequence demonstrates the duplicity of the school board. They lured him to the school under pretense, then had him arrested. The email exchanges tell the real story.

Now the city is wasting hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to prosecute this farce instead of throwing it out or offering a reasonable settlement.

Mr. Parker is the real victim here. I support him. http://www.davidparkerfund.org/




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