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LGBT lesson meet set for Monday

Submitted by on 1, May 14, 2009 – 12:07 pm2 Comments
Devil at City Hall

Sorry, couldn't resist.

Just a quick note to you all to let you know that the school district has just confirmed a location for Monday’s continuation of their public hearing on proposed lessons to address anti-gay bullying.

The hearing will be held at 6:30 p.m. Monday, May 18 at Kofman Auditorium, 2200 Central Avenue.

According to School Board President Mike McMahon, 74 people spoke at Tuesday’s hearing, and another 101 are on tap to talk Monday (there’s a list on his website) – and that’s not including the folks who were turned away from the overflowing council chamber for safety reasons. He says to expect at least five hours of testimony on the lessons (which you can look at right here).

2 Comments »

  • JonSpangler says:

    Concerned Parents posted a strange message about the devil guy in the “Alameda Schools-Programs-Activities” advertising section (Alameda Journal (5/15/09, p. A8).

    In part, Concerned Parents wrote in their paid ad:

    “However, we are concerned that the entrance to City Hall was disrupted by a couple of hostile and intimidating characters.We suspect they were supporters of the curriculum disguised as religious people against the curriculum – their aggressive stereotypes gave them away. The proponents of the curriculum appear to have a new way of calling concerned parents ‘bigots.'”

    I spoke with both the devil and the sign-carrier, and they were precisely who they said they were: two white men who oppose anything that helps LGBT people, and who support their version of “biblical values.” There was no way that these two “visitors” would have been brought in by LGBT folks.

    Did they perhaps come from Sacramento with Karen England of the Christian Resource Institute? After hearing her angry and uncharitable comments opposing any forms of compassion, acceptance, or mutual respect on Tuesday night, I would not be surprised if they were both part of her extensive (and expensive) “road show.” Look for them to show up again on Monday night, and tail them if you want to know where “home” is when they crawl back in.

    I actually asked the red devil guy where he was from several times. He said, “Hell, of course. Can’t you tell?”

    I wish he would go back where he said he came from…

    am truly sorry to inform you that these two men were NOT our “allies,” nor were they even known to us. They are who they seem to be.
    No misrepresentation or subterfuge was involved on the part of anyone supporting the supplemental LGBT-specific curriculum.

    These “hostile and intimidating characters” were genuine and vehement opponents of the LGBT curriculum, and apparently believed
    precisely what they said they did. (I spoke to both of them, and their beliefs and presence were absolutely authentic to their own beliefs.)

    As a member of Alameda CARE and a long-time participant in Alameda civic affairs, I can personally and categorically
    guarantee you that:

    1) The sign-carrying protester and the red-suited devil were not associated with us in any way, shape, or form;

    2) None of us had ever seen either of them before;

    3) Many members of Alameda CARE felt personally attacked, insulted, and injured (as you did) by what these two men did and said at City Hall;

    Alameda CARE supports the proposed LGBT-specific addition to AUSD’s existing K-5 anti-bullying and anti-abuse curricula, and does so ethically and properly:

  • David Kirwin says:

    1. It would, and in the future, could be possible to achieve the core goals of this curriculum with out raising so much as an eyebrow, or violating 1st amendment rights the varied segments of our community. It is obvious we need a ‘common ground’, and this proposal is a failure in that and other regards. It is unfortunate there was not a motion simply brought to the BOE to try to get classroom readers in K-3 to better reflect the school community. This would require the LGBT activists to not make a big issue of the
    motion and the new reader purchases should make a goal to truly balance the number of readers to our community based on levels of ethnicity, religion, and different family types, and various types of handicaps, etc. and not advocate for any group, just include positive roll-models for children of all sorts of families as they exist in our varied school community.
    There were several pro-curriculum people I was talking to outside of City Hall Tuesday night. None of them had been aware of the Anti-harassment requirements of AS 397 that AUSD should be addressing. By discussing the issue we determined we all support the following concepts to provide safe and welcoming schools for all our students:
    1. AUSD needs to meet the requirements of CA anti-harassment law, (AB397) which does not require a “curriculum”, but thru the requirements does protect everybody by having a known set of rules and consequences for violating the rules, as well as protection for those who complain about violations of the anti-harassment rules and keeping District records on violations and remedies for a prescribed period of time.
    2. That it would have been much better for all intents and purposes for the BOE to have simply approved a policy for classroom readers for Alameda Youth to reflect our community, than to approach and propose the “K-5 Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Curriculum” in the way they did.
    3. That our teachers should be provided the training required to be able to intervene in any forms of harassment they witness at their schools, including middle and high schools.
    4. The need for AUSD to be completely forthright and to stop with the misleading statements.
    From subsequent meetings with members of religions and cultural groups and other individuals set against the proposal it has also been suggested that the District must follow the “First Amendment Framework for Finding Common Ground” for achieving goals relating to 1st Amendment issues. This recommended guideline for dialogue for highly charged topics was put together by; the American Association of School Administrators; the Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD); ‘BridgeBuilders’; Christian Educators Association International; the First Amendment Center; and Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN)
    It is requested that because the District did not form an inclusive and representative committee to assemble and promote the present proposal, that the motion to adopt this proposal be declined, and that the District follow the above cited guidelines which can be found on Board President McMahon’s website, (http://www.mikemcmahon.info/orientation.pdf ), and put a committee together that is representative of the community to the greatest reasonable degree possible to find a ‘common ground’ curriculum.
    It follows that the present committee should be disbanded because it is evident that this committee is interested in only defending their position and opinions and is not willing to work toward common ground to a way of teaching our children in a safe, accepting, and welcoming schools in a manner which does not violate the Constitutional rights of others in our community. In short the present committee is unacceptable for reasons of extreme bias.

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