Thursday, May 03, 2007

East Allen County Schools Refuses To Repeal Anti-Gay Policy

When officials of the East Allen County School system disciplined Woodlan Junior-Senior journalism teacher Amy Sorrell for allowing an editorial written by 10th-grader Megan Chase promoting tolerance of gays to be published in the student newspaper, school officials insisted they weren't sending a message of intolerance of gays and lesbians, even though one school official labeled the editorial as "inappropriate material" for the students. There is in fact good evidence the school has an anti-gay policy. The Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette's Katie Stockman has unearthed an anti-gay policy the school's board adopted in 1995 six days before Christmas. The Board specifically adopted a policy which denounced "gay and lesbian behavior or the support of such activities". The full text of the policy adopted by the Board reads:

We resolve as the Board of School Trustees of East Allen County Schools to strongly support and value those things which contribute to and improve the stability of families. Likewise, we denounce anything which undermines such family structure and encourage others both inside and outside of our school system to join us in these efforts. This is a denunciation of activities such as drug use, premarital sex, violence or gay and lesbian behavior or the support of such activities.

Despite the undeniable meaning of the policy, school officials refuse to rescind the policy or consider adopting a gay tolerance policy, claiming it was a mere reflection of the Board's thinking at that time. The school's president was adamant that no action would be taken on the matter. “It’s not a policy,” school board President Stephen Terry said. “It predates this board.”“The mind-set and mentality of digging up the past, I believe, is what kills people,” Terry said. Say what? "Kills people." Notwithstanding Terry's disturbing defense of the status quo, Stockman found favorable sentiment for the anti-gay policy on today's Board. Quoting two of the board members, Stockman writes:

Board members Leland Etzler and Rick Allgeier said while it may not be a resolution that would be adopted by the board today, it does follow the beliefs of many people.

“The majority of our people are interested in Christian values and know Christ did not condone sin, but he loved the sinner. That would be the model by which we ought to live,” Etzler said.

“Those activities do undermine the stability of the family, in my opinion. I certainly would not argue against most of the content of that resolution.”

But all people should be treated with respect and fairness, he said. Allgeier agreed.

“I am called as a Christian to love my neighbor as myself,” he said.

But as a Christian, he said, he also can’t deny that some actions are sinful, and sometimes it’s appropriate for a school board to comment on those issues.

“If there’s a lot of breakdown and problems in the schools, and much of those problems you could relate to the breakdown in the family, then anything that breaks the family structure down I think is not conducive to good learning,” Allgeier said.

You may recall that the school's superintendent, Kay Novotny, claimed people were engaging in "character assassination" by insisting she and other school officials weren't tolerant of gays in a news conference following the school's decision to transfer Amy Sorrell to another school and suspend her for five days without pay. It's hard to say there's not merit to those claiming the school system is fundamentally anti-gay after reading this latest from Stockman's reporting.

13 comments:

Wilson46201 said...

I'm no constitutional expert BUT as I recall, our U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that anti-gay laws were unconstitutional. Would that not also apply to governmental entities like Indiana school boards?

Anonymous said...

Many Indiana school boards have policy manuals that, if reviewed by good counsel, would make a civil libertarian cringe.

Most good lawyers will tell any hiring entity, that "policy manuals" should limit their language to exact definitions and proscriptions, not broad statements of philosophy.

Basically, the more words on paper, the more fodder for lawsuits.

This district may represent many of its constituents, but I gaurantee you it does not represent them all in this kind of policy.

They ought to repeal it, but until their constituency demands such, it won't happen.

Unless, of course, there's a lawsuit...

Anonymous said...

The only problem I see with this situation is the lack of a backbone by the current superintendent and some board members to defend it as good policy. If they can't do that, then yes, they should be open to repealing it. But much to the chagrin of most readers here, I will say that it is a good policy. Too bad that more public institutions do not have the backbone to pass such policies and that those that have are unwilling to defend them.

Wilson46201 said...

At one time, most of those same school manuals included support of only white, native-born and Christian (i.e.: Protestant) principles.

The more things change, the more they remain the same!

Wilson46201 said...

The reactionary anonymous nobody at 8:22am should move to Iran where schools are very strict about morality: boys and girls are segregated and teenagers can be put to death for homosexuality.

donna said...

Poor poor anonymous 8:22 AM EST

I was waiting to see how long it would take for you to jump in with your per usual ignorance.

Anonymous said...

I am so happy for you, Poor, Poor Donna. Your posts are still pretty much worthless. But at least you aren't looking like an absolute fool by trying to offer an original thought.

As for Willson. Well, Wilson will be Wilson. What more can be said?

donna said...

Anonymous 8:22 AM EST
"But much to the chagrin of most readers here, I will say that it is a good policy. Too bad that more public institutions do not have the backbone to pass such policies and that those that have are unwilling to defend them."

Clarify. Why do you think it is good policy?

Anonymous said...

It's Fort Wayne folks, what the hell do you expect?

Anonymous said...

I expect better from ALL Hoosiers and will work against such mentality until it is gone.

No one gets let off the hook for being bigoted or willing to use their personal Christianity as a club over others because they have a position from which to do that.

I love Jesus. It's His "fan club" that drives me nuts!

Zappatista said...

Jesus...please protect me from your followers! There is a seperation of church and state and for a public school to enact a guideline and then have the people in power quote there RELIGIOUS beliefs to back it up is a riot. It is not the items in the rule that are obsurd, it is there attempt to force their own beliefs on a whole PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT!

Lynn David said...

From the EACS StudentGuide - Revised for 2006-2007
http://www2.eacs.k12.in.us/schools/StudentGuide-Revisedfor2006_2007.pdf

P. INSPECTION OF INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS BY PARENTS
The East Allen County School Corporation will make available for inspection by the parents or guardians of all student instructional materials, (including teacher manuals, student texts, tapes, films or videos, and other materials), used in connection with a personal analysis, evaluation, or survey soliciting information about a student's personal beliefs.

A parent consent form for such a survey must accurately reflect the survey's contents and nature. A student will not be required, without written consent of a parent, to participate in a personal analysis, evaluation, or survey that is not directly related to academic instruction and which reveals or attempts to affect the student's attitude, habits, traits, opinions, beliefs, or feelings concerning any of the following: political affiliations; religious beliefs or practices; mental or psychological conditions; sexual behavior or attitudes; illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating or demeaning behavior; critical appraisals of other individuals with whom the student has a close family relationship; legally recognized privileged or confidential relationships, including those with a lawyer, minister, or physician; or income (except as required by law to determine eligibility for participation in programs receiving financial assistance).

And....

T. ACCEPTABLE USE POLICY - ACCESS TO ELECTRONIC INFORMATION, SERVICES, AND NETWORKS
Freedom of expression is an inalienable human right and the foundation for self-government. Freedom of expression encompasses the right to freedom of speech and the corollary right to receive information. Such rights extend to minors as well as adults. Schools facilitate the exercise of these rights by providing access to information regardless of format or technology. In a free and democratic society, access to information is a fundamental right of citizenship.

A policy to allow parents to inspect materials. But .... Whoops! Looks like Woodlan HS and the EACS is not following its own policy as concerns the school newspaper. Everything they've said concerning this has included the "fact" that a student has no rights of free speech. The EACS has no policy concerning employment which concerns 'sexual orientation' - but that's to be expected.

Eh... wait a second, students have free speech, but only if the principal allows them to have free speech, this isn't America, it's the EACS. Again from the Student Guide:

5. Freedom of Expression
Students are entitled to express their personal opinions and assemble peacefully at appropriate times and in appropriate places to the extent that others' rights are not infringed upon and the educational program is not disrupted. However, it is the responsibility of the school principal to define the limits of students' freedom of expression in order to maintain an orderly educational atmosphere:

a) Administrators and faculty have the authority to deny distribution of any student publication.

b) The principal must authorize any group of students meeting on school property.

c) Any expressions, whether single or group, which interfere with the educational process are prohibited.

d) Students are expected to use appropriate language at all times. Suggestive, profane, or obscene language is not acceptable and will not be allowed. Students using inappropriate language may be suspended or removed from class or school.

In their favor the EACS has this policy, again from the Student Guide:

(Sec.-2) Disruption of the Educational Process:
n. Sexual Harassment: Engaging in behavior that constitutes the sexual harassment of anyone at school or at a school-related activity such as unwelcome sexual flirtations or propositions, sexual slurs, leering, sexually degrading descriptions or comments, sexual jokes, spreading sexual rumors, touching an individual’s body or clothes in a sexual way, or, cornering or blocking of normal movement.

This policy as well as their "Harassment and Bullying" policy while not specific as to sexual orientation may be applied to situations that might concern gay and lesbian students.

But that 1995 policy statement doesn't show up in any way in the current Student Guide.

Anonymous said...

http://blog.hasanagha.org/images/haft_tir-5_21.jpg

Please see this link that show an Iranian girls had be harmed by Iranian police because here topcoat were not like some model who Islamic Government had determined by Quran!

Many Iranian People do not like Islam but government Kill and harm them.

قال زهرا بنت رسول الله از جهنم:

خداوند فرمود بواسته دروغی که برخدا بسته ام و خود را بانوی برگزیده خدا درجهان نام نهادم و چادر بسر کردن را بر زنان جهان اجباری کردم و چون به خاطر گناه زهرا بنت رسول و پدرش و خاندانش بر زنان ایران ستم می شود و دختران را کتک می زنند.

خداوند امر کرده زهرای بنت رسول درجهنم کسش باز شده و اهل جهنم و بهشت بر کس او می رینند و زهدان حضرت زهرا پر از گوه شده .
و مکرو و مکرالله


حزب مبارزه با ستم اسلامگرایان (فاکرین حزب الله ) اعلام کرد چون ریشه همه بدبختی های ملت ایران و جهان اسلام است به ازای هر ظلم به هر ایرانی میلیون ها کیر خر و کیر خوک و ...کامنتی به کس و کون آل محمد رسول الله روانه خواهد کرد.

کیر و سنده خوک تو کس حضرت زهرا بنت رسول الله

به حزب ما بپیوندید و کامنت دونی ها را پر از آنچه شایسته آل محمد است کنید.

کسانی که به زبان های خارجه مسلط هستند کامنت دونی های وبلاگ های خارجی را مستفیض فرمایند.

هرکس روزانه در 10 وبلاگ انگلیسی زبان یا عرب زبان آنچه شایسته محمد رسول الله است را بنویسد تا خارجی ها متوجه علاقه ایرانیان به اسلام شوند. اگر فقط 1000 نفر هم از حزب ما استقبال کنند بزودی اکثر سایت های دارای رنکینگ اینترنت پر از ابراز نفرت ایرانیان نسبت به اسلام خواهد شد.

برای خلیج فارس بمب گوگلی درست کردید که چرا دریای فارس را عرب کرده اند فرهنگ عرب حاصل تفکر محمد رسول الله پست تر از شیطان و حیوان را به فرهنگ درخشان 2500 ساله ایرانی برگزیده اید؟ نگرانید که چرا خلیج فارس را عرب نام گذاشته اند ولی ناراحت نیستید که از بیخ عربتان کرده اند؟

ستاد حزب مبارزه با ستم اسلامگرایان.
و نحن الفاکرین الغالبون
We will have all hizbolla women fucked by dogs.
Now God, say you must fucked Mohammad and Quran by send message to all people of world.
This message sent from Iran