Sounds to me like you caused a damn accident

Those crazy liberals are at it again, what with the refusing to resist the Cable TV-fueled temptations of Satan and the pushing of the homosexual agenda onto children. Consider this story from Lexington, Massachusetts:

For David Parker, the first alarm went off in January, when his 5-year-old son came home from his kindergarten class at Lexington’s Joseph Estabrook School with a bag of books promoting diversity.

Inside were books about foreign cultures and traditions, along with food recipes. There was also a copy of Who’s In a Family? by Robert Skutch, which depicts different kinds of families, including same-sex couples raising children.

The book’s contents concerned Parker and prompted him to begin a series of e-mail exchanges with school officials on the subject that culminated in a meeting Wednesday night with Estabrook’s principal and district director of instruction. The meeting ended with Parker’s arrest after he refused to leave the school, and the Lexington man spent the night in jail.

Ooooh, all conservatives think books are bad, right? Nope. Mr. Parker doesn’t say that and the specific book that his son brought home wasn’t the real issue for him. He’s concerned that the school is exposing his son to “homosexual material” without prior consent. The facts seem to support a complete communication failure between the school and the parents about this issue, which is where I believe Mr. Parker tried to take the discussion. Consider these e-mail excerpts from Mr. and Mrs. Parker and the school’s principal, Ms. Joni Jay:

Parkers to Principal on Friday, March 4, 2005

We do not authorize any teacher or adult within the Lexington Public School system to expose our sons, [older son] and [younger son] (begins school in 2006) to any sexual orientation/homoseexual material/same sex unions between parents.

Principal to Parkers on Friday, March 4, 2005

I have confirmed with our Assistant Superintendent and our Director of Health Education that discussion of differing families, including gay-headed families, is not included in the parental notification policy.

Parkers to Principal on Friday, March 4, 2005

We would like to clarify that our previous e-mail which states: “we do not give the Lexington Public School system permission to discuss homosexuality issues (i.e. – trans gender/bisexual/gay headed households) to our son [son’s name]” – is a parental assertion; not a matter open to legal interpretation or administrative policy. Let us, David and Tonia Parker, parents of [son’s name], be clear in purpose and prose on this matter:

Discussions concerning homosexuality issues will not take place in front of our son, [son’s name] (5 yrs old), at Estabrook.

There is clearly a disagreement about how to handle this book. While I suspect that this book does nothing more than present a gay couple, which is not the same thing as “pushing the homosexual agenda”, I concede that this can lead to questions that the Parkers aren’t ready to answer for a 5-year-old. My nephew is four-and-a-half and, as smart (and inquisitive) as he is, my brother probably isn’t ready to discuss same-sex couples. (I think my nephew, like most kids, would say “Oh”, and then run off to play.) So, yeah, it’s certainly a parent’s right to determine what his/her child is exposed to at that age. And I don’t believe that getting that agreement from the school is too much to ask.

That didn’t happen in this case, though. Whether the school misinterpreted state law (mentioned in the article) or not is irrelevant. Mr. Parker should’ve taken his complaint to the school board, the next logical step. The exchange between the Parkers and Ms. Jay took several months, so time lag was not a factor. If, after taking his case to the school board, he didn’t get the answer he wanted, he could consult an attorney and sue or work to change the school board rules or whatever potential remedy presented itself. He shouldn’t have to go through that, but sometimes we endure obstacles that we shouldn’t have to endure.

That’s what he should’ve done, but it’s not what he did. This is what he did:

Parker said he met with school officials to gain those assurances and then refused to leave until he got them. Parker stayed at Estabrook School for more than two hours, according to Superintendent William J. Hurley, as officials and Lexington police urged him to leave. Finally, they arrested him for trespassing.

He was there, officials and police asked him to leave, he declined, the police arrested him. That seems simple enough, right? Nope. This is turning into a rallying cry for “liberals vs. family values”. Consider this conclusion drawn by Michelle Malkin (where I found the article):

Unbelievable that we’ve come to this. Parker is treated as a troublemaker and a bigot –and now a criminal–for refusing to cede parental control to p.c. public school educrats. Meanwhile, “diversity” brainwashing and Moral Equivalence 101 have seeped effortlessly into government kindergarten classrooms.

Mr. Parker is treated as a criminal, not for his beliefs, but for his alleged unwillingness to obey police instruction to leave the school premises.

Is this the only reaction where the thinker missed the simple fact for why the police arrested Mr. Parker? Consider this, from Wizbang!:

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?

…snipped…

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.

While I quibble with his beliefs, Mr. Parker has a right to them. His demands to be notified are reasonable. But we also need more parents who respect the law as every other parent who has a disagreement with the school but works to achieve their goals in a proper manner.

Or consider this from The Pink Flamingo Bar & Grill:

The vast gulf between the left and reality is making any possibility of my children ever going into any public school vanish. This is not as some might claim the Right Wing evangelicals rolling back the clock. This is much more like parents finally understanding what is being attempted by the left wing.

Read the whole entry… it throws around the term “Nazi” and the statement that educators who believe same-sex marriage is acceptable “have dedicated themselves to getting into a position where they could start tearing down the family structure.”

Or consider this from the blue site:

The liberals want to brainwash your children as early as possible. Liberal Massachusetts has a kindergarten program that teaches kids about homosexuals and “families” with 2 gay parents…

Sickening. The hom
osexuals will do anything to force their alternative (alternative to NORMAL) lifestyle down all of our throats…their new tactic is to start as early in a child’s life as possible, so the brainwashing will be totally set in by the time they become adults. Disgusting…

This is why liberals need to be stopped from their destruction of the family, traditional values, and this country as we know it…

Do I need to comment on that?

Or consider this comment left on the blue site by moe:

So true,Josh,so true. I dunno what’s gonna happen,but it ain’t gonna be good. As much as I would like to have children,I’m glad that I don’t right now. I would be constantly on edge,worrying that some stranger,will legally try and force them to learn to be fags. I wouldn’t stand for it,and you’re right when you say the vast majority of Americans find it disgusting too.

What the hell right does the public “education” system think it has? It’s supposed to teach readin’,writin’,and ‘rythmatic…not blowjobs and buttsex. And the big pisser,is that these filthy devient heathens,are enormously outnumbered by moral Americans,yet they somehow have been given authority. I ain’t happy.

I don’t bother queers,and I don’t harass them or go hunting for them to bash,so why do they attack the rest of us? Vile bastards,they are. They remind me of muslims….always picking the fights and starting trouble,yet always claiming to be “oopressed” and “discriminated”. They are not oppressed,but they should be. They should all get the ever lovin’ shit kicked out of them everyday,then see how much they wanna bitch and moan. Same goes for anyone who supports them.

Ah, those conservatives with their family values. Thank God they’re looking out for all of us from the evil liberal, homosexual agenda. Otherwise, what would concerned, law-abidingbreaking parents do?

7 thoughts on “Sounds to me like you caused a damn accident”

  1. I can’t WAIT to get to school on Monday so I can get down to brainwashing my students! We all know I have nothing else to do all day long than indoctrinate them with my evil liberal, pro-homosexual agenda! I’ve gotten kind of behind, what with all the teaching of reading and math, that I haven’t had a chance to get to the hot man-on-man monogamy yet.
    I wonder what these parents will do if they find out their son is playing on the playground with a child who has two mommies. Forbid the child to associate? Pull him from his class and move him to a “straight” classroom? Homeschool?
    Therein lies the problem with this father’s request to prohibit the school from exposing his child to any discussion of homosexuality. The lines are impossible to draw. I have children in my class whose parents follow a particular faith, but they understand that their children will have experiences in public school that contradict their morals and ethics. Instead of placing blame and/or responsibility on the school to protect their child from any and all exposure to these experiences, they choose to discuss them at home, as a family, and give their child tools to make appropriate and RESPECTFUL decisions when these situations arise. It’s a simple solution.
    Sheltering a child from the “evils” of the world won’t prepare him to deal when he’s faced with having to make real decisions in the future. If mommy and daddy protect him from everything, he’ll never learn to stand on his own. Mr. Parker is doing his son a great disservice.
    Now, back to that lesson on blowjobs and buttsex.

  2. “Sheltering a child from the ‘evils’ of the world won’t prepare him to deal when he’s faced with having to make real decisions in the future. If mommy and daddy protect him from everything, he’ll never learn to stand on his own. Mr. Parker is doing his son a great disservice.”
    Well, good thing teachers like you know better how to raise his kids. God forbid any parent want to shelter a 5 year old from discussions about homosexual marriage.
    Yes, it certainly must get tiresome fighting all these religious nuts. It sure would be easier on everyone involved if the NEA would simply support school vouchers and let people make their own choices about how their children are educated.
    Well, maybe not everyone. Some public school teachers would probably find themselves out of work.

  3. My response, reprinted from the comments section of the Warden’s blog…
    I read your response to my comment on rollingdoughnut.com. I was glad to come here and see this post, because, actually, I don’t think our views on the subject are that much different. You don’t know me at all, and I think you misconstrued the sarcasm in my remarks as “knowing better”.
    I was not suggesting I know better how to raise this child. I wasn’t suggesting that the parent should throw his hands in the air and give up all parental control to the schools. On the contrary, we public school teachers are crying out for more parental involvement, more parents who care enough about their children to raise holy hell in their best interest.
    Here’s my point: The questionable material that came home with the child was presented to the parents at an Open House. The parents attended this open house, had the opportunity to peruse the material and opt out of having their child receive the material. Why didn’t they do that?
    I think Mr. Parker had every right to require that his child not be exposed to the homosexual material. I’m not sure why he and his wife didn’t opt out of the program’s materials when they were presented at the Open House, but that’s a moot point. I know how much useless paperwork comes home from school and how confusing Open House evenings can be, so I can imagine that the opt out forms were simply overlooked. The school, if they did not, should have sent home a reminder, informing parents once again of the content of the materials and another opt-out form for those who may have missed it.
    Within reason, I always respect the wishes of a parent when they make a specific request of me in the best interest of their child. (I wouldn’t agree to anything where I had to treat any child unfairly or demonstrate any kind of inequality.) The main point of my earlier comments is that I have a great deal of admiration for parents who help their child make independent decisions that are appropriate for their level of development.
    Do I think these people are “religious nuts”, as you put it? No. I think they are parents who care for and are concerned for their child. However, after more than a decade of teaching experience, I have seen an increase in the number of parents who, in my opinion, tend to overprotect. Your definition of overprotection and mine may be very different, though.
    Despite popular opinion, we teachers are not the enemy. I’m not in the business of brainwashing or indoctrinating children. I’m in the business of knowledge, thinking, and good citizenship. I care about each and every one of the children in my class as if they were my own. (I’d be happy to send you links to entries on my blog where I discuss my dedication to my profession.) I didn’t go into this work for summers off or to complain tirelessly about parents who don’t know how to raise their kids. I take offense to anyone who uses the words “teachers like you” in reference to me. I am a well-respected educator among colleagues, parents and students.
    Yes, I have strong opinions. Yes, I express them (sometimes with sarcasm and snark). And that’s exactly what I try to do in my classroom every day – provide children with factual, unbiased information and knowledge that will help them to decide who they are, what they think and what they believe, and provide an environment where they can share those opinions and respectfully debate with others with whom they disagree.
    While I understood your rebuttal, I welcome a time in the future when we might debate (or agree) respectfully. I’m always open to an intelligent discussion.
    Best.

  4. Danielle,
    Thanks for stopping by my blog. If my rebuttal here was a little on the sharp side, it was due more to the perceived snarkiness of your post than a desire to be rude or aggressive.
    I think that sometimes we get too caught up in Right/Left political definitions, and forget that we are discussing issues with people who have a wide range of viewpoints, many of which don’t fit conveniently into our preconceptions regarding the “other side.”
    I’ll probably post more on this thought later.
    I’ve been posting a lot on public education lately because the Columbus Public School System in which I live is such a mess. The alleged gang rape of a special needs student at Mifflin High School is just the tip of the iceberg. A few months ago at Northland High School, just a few blocks from my home, a female student stabbed another in the eye with a pair of scissors.
    The conditions are an outrage.
    And no, I don’t place all or even most the blame on teachers. Mostly the problem stems from poor parenting and an administration that is more concerned with managing PR than fixing the schools’ problems.
    Tony, I’m adding you to my blogroll. You may an opposing view than me on most things, but you argue with intellectual honesty and courtesy.
    Dianne, I’ll probably catch up with you later. My fiancee is going to be teaching high school English in about a year, and my father is a university professor. We have more in common than it would seem at first glance.

  5. Thanks for your response. I think your remark about getting caught up in Right/Left political definitions is spot on. I went back to your blog and looked over the excellent research you did on the subject of the Parker story, and along with this exchange of comments, you’ve really sparked some thoughts…
    My first year of teaching, I worked in an extremely chaotic school, and that’s an understatement. In another fifth-grade class, a student stabbed another student through the arm with a pencil. This student had deep emotional issues that couldn’t be addressed in the traditional school setting, so he was removed in order to receive the treatment he needed.
    I believe in public education. I believe in the foundation upon which it is based and I believe in its practices. Unfortunately, the conditions you and I describe as “outrageous” are becoming more and more common. It’s frustrating, to say the least.
    Teachers, administrators and school districts are fearful. Fearful of blame, fearful of lawsuits, fearful of bad press. Educators need to be trained in public relations as much as pedagogy. As I read the email exchange between the Parkers and the school principal, I could see exactly where the lines of communication broke down.
    I think the Parkers wanted answers. Promises. They wanted the school to say, “We assure you that your child will have no exposure whatsoever to any material or discussion of a homosexual nature.” The school couldn’t and wouldn’t make that assertion, particularly in writing. There’s no way any administrator or school district would ever back themselves into that kind of corner, for they know it makes them extremely vulnerable. Neither party would back down in this situation and give the other what was wanted, which is why the situation escalated out of control.
    I’ve been thinking a lot about this topic, because it is the quintessential can of worms. I don’t believe the Parkers’ request was unreasonable, nor do I believe the school acted arrogantly or dismissively. The outcome of the situation was the simple result of what happens when someone doesn’t get what they want. Based on the emails, compromise was not an option for the Parkers. They wanted promises that really couldn’t be made. Yes, the school can promise that they won’t send home any MATERIALS dealing with homosexuality, but there is no way on earth they can promise that “discussions of a homosexual nature” would never take place in front of the Parkers’ children.
    If the Parkers were open to some sort of compromise on the subject, I think the outcome would have been much different. I just don’t understand how hard it is to say, “You know what? We can accept the school’s promise that there will be no more homosexual material coming home with our kids. We appreciate that the school respects our beliefs and can accomodate our beliefs as best they can. In turn, we can accept that the topic of homosexuality may come up in school in the future, and even though we don’t like it, we are prepared to deal with it. We will give our children ways to express their views on the subject respecfully, when we feel they are old enough to understand and to do so.”
    As for Mr. Parker’s behavior at school, I am of the opinion that he set a poor example for his children. Kids see everything. They hear everything. They know everything the adults in their life do, even when we think they’re not paying attention. I think it’s great that Mr. Parker wants to teach his kids to stand up for their beliefs, and not back down if they feel an injustice is being done, but there are better ways to go about it than refusing to leave premises to the point of arrest. To me it sends the message that he wants everyone to respect his views and beliefs and opinions, but he’s not willing to respect anyone else’s. His reaction was juvenile.
    These comments aren’t really a response or a reaction to anything. I’m just thinking out loud, and I’m interested in any other remarks anyone might have on the subject.
    Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

  6. I should also add that when it comes to politics and news, I am in no way as knowledgeable or intelligent on the subjects as people like you and Tony. (I’m interested and learning, but American Idol and Amazing Race keep getting in the way of reading the news.) I just know what I believe in this world, and I appreciate any chance to engage in dialogue about issues that mean something to me. Thanks.