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December 2, 2004 8:53 AM   Subscribe

RecallMontgomerySchoolboard.com The purpose of this site is to provide an information exchange for all citizens* concerning the recent actions of the Montgomery County School Board with the possible recall of these board members in accordance with applicable statutes.
* Please note that "all" is used here in its little known sense of everyone afraid of rubbers and homos.

posted by danOstuporStar (30 comments total)

 
The school board decisions that started it all (PDF).
posted by danOstuporStar at 8:54 AM on December 2, 2004


Too bad we can't create an inoculation for teh gay and make everyone allergic to latex, huh? That would show all these folks abrogating God's divine will that they make lots of babies!

These religio wing-nuts aren't being creative enough with their responses to what they perceive as societal problems.
posted by nofundy at 9:17 AM on December 2, 2004


Studies have repeatedly confirmed that homosexuals are at substantially greater risk of psychiatric problems than heterosexuals,

Yes, so making people who are homosexual feel like unaccepted freaks will help to address this problem.
posted by flarbuse at 9:56 AM on December 2, 2004


I plan to invent a new candy bar called a Fundynut.

It will be filled with hot air, empty calories, and many other tasteless, boring ingredients.

Each wrapper will have real, actual, bizarre Biblical sayings printed on it, like:

Leviticus 11:12
``Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you.''

Exodus 22:17
``You should not let a sorceress live.''

Exodus 21:20-21
``When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished.  If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property.''

Mark 4:10-12
``And when [Jesus] was alone, those present along with the Twelve questioned him about the parables.  He answered them, "The mystery of the kingdom of God has been granted to you.  But to those outside everything comes in parables, so that 'they may look and see but not perceive, and hear and listen but not understand, in order that they may not be converted and be forgiven.'''

Mmmmmm... taste the sweet fundy hatred of all nonfundyness.
posted by AlexReynolds at 10:02 AM on December 2, 2004


fuck. that's my county. and usually I am proud of how progressive it is. at least these people are notably not in power (and have extremely poor webdesign skills).
posted by scrim at 10:34 AM on December 2, 2004


I like the idea of the candy bar. But I instead of hot air, I would fill it with owl semen.

No reason.
posted by flarbuse at 10:38 AM on December 2, 2004


Holy crap.

Montgomery County, MARYLAND?

That school system is fairly progressive and one of the tops in the nation. (and, by way of disclosure, where I grew up and graduated HS).

Fundy nutbags, please, please please go away! now!
posted by contessa at 12:13 PM on December 2, 2004


Funny, as parents in Mo County are allowed to opt their children out of sex ed if they wish.

Ignorance and fear makes people intolerant.
posted by Red58 at 12:18 PM on December 2, 2004


From the site's message board:

"We are not for stopping sex education or sexual health awareness. We recognize the total spectrum surrounding this sensitive issue and applaud the fact that the BOE and our schools include abstinence concepts in addition to condom use in the discussion. What we are most upset with is the underhanded and eliteist approach our school board has taken to implement highly controversial subject matter into our schools without a full vetting of this in public or having an fully open public discourse. There are much more potentially damaging themes and concepts included in this recommended change that we are resisting than just trying to limit a sexually implicit video from being used.

Likewise, there is a tremendous volume of equally scientific generated information (such as recently provided by the CDC) on the problems and failures of condoms to protect against pregancies, STDs and the spread of HIV, especially among homosexually active males. This is important information that should be included, too.

Please do not classify all of us as some sort of knee-jerk conservatives and unimformed reactionary bible thumpers who do not have the facts. By placing qoutation marks around the word "beliefs" you are implying we are driven by some sort of unfounded myth or antiquated faith system. In this age of the internet, we do have a mastery of the facts from both sides of the social discourse on this issue (To prove the point, when we do an internet search of your own "genderhealth.org" email address we find that you are part of an internationally-focused group advocating for greater social and governmental responsibility, especially in third world countries, in educating people (specifically women) about STDs, STIs and HIV, etc.) This helps us understand your concerns and view point as well as the value you bring to our collective wisdom.) Our complaint here in Montgomery County is not so much with what we feel are poorly researched information being approved, but in large part with the one-side only indocrination program that has been attempted in our schools over the objections of rational and well-educated parents and taxpayers who have legitimate concerns as whether the facts are indeed unbiased and honest. I am sure your organization would champion this proactive approach by our group to ensuring that any sex health program be equally fair and balanced."

So much for the ignorant, redneck fundy stereotype that MeFites love so well.
posted by MikeMc at 12:28 PM on December 2, 2004


". . . ensuring that any sex health program be equally fair and balanced."

Yeah, like giving equal time to intelligent design. Really, what's to be balanced here? "Some people say that homosexuality is lots of fun, but other people say it is an abomination unto the Lord . . ." "Some people say you can get AIDS from drinking after an HIV-positive queer, others say it afflicts all those who have anal sex . . ."?
posted by rustcellar at 12:51 PM on December 2, 2004


I am sure your organization would champion this proactive approach by our group to ensuring that any sex health program be equally fair and balanced.

So does "fair and balanced" mean giving equal educational credibility to comments like "The new curriculum normalizes homosexuality and presents it as morally equivalent to heterosexuality." or "What about the epidemic of homosexual youth?" or "[T]here is no evidence that a homosexual orientation is genetically predetermined", despite several independent studies over two decades that has reached partial determination on the matter?

Please. These people are ignorant rednecks and need to be called out as such.
posted by AlexReynolds at 12:54 PM on December 2, 2004


Reading even a bit of the site shows a group of people who believe that if they form sentences containing their opinion as fact then others will perceive it as fact. Which, sadly, is true for far too many people. MikeMc, no need to use stereotypes to see that this (specific, gathered together under the recall banner) group of people are simply scared and intolerant.
posted by billsaysthis at 1:05 PM on December 2, 2004


That is one horrid message board.

There was an attempt in Solon, Iowa (a small town near Iowa City where I live) to remove "stories containing gay/lesbian characters" from the curriculum, but it was defeated rather quickly.

I've heard of initiatives like this as well in Texas and Alabama. I'm sure there are many others around the country. And they're popping up all at once. It's a fucking backlash rash!
posted by atlatl at 1:07 PM on December 2, 2004


MikeMC wrote:

"Likewise, there is a tremendous volume of equally scientific generated information (such as recently provided by the CDC) on the problems and failures of condoms to protect against pregnancies, STDs and the spread of HIV, especially among homosexually active males. This is important information that should be included, too."

There are many concerns about the "scientific" information currently posted on the CDC site. When the Bush administration took over 4 years ago, all information on condoms was magically pulled down from the CDC website and replaced by the "condoms don't work" stuff posted there now. As an example of how out of the scientific mainline the CDC site is, compare the WebMD website to the CDC site information on condoms.

Just because he disclaims loudly that he is not motivated by beliefs doesn't make it so.
posted by Red58 at 1:08 PM on December 2, 2004


So much for the ignorant, redneck fundy stereotype that MeFites love so well.

Yeah...after all, they only want the entire school board recalled. No biggie.
posted by contessa at 1:12 PM on December 2, 2004


So MikeMC, any answers? Or was this a quick hit and run for sympathy?
posted by AlexReynolds at 1:15 PM on December 2, 2004


These people are ignorant rednecks and need to be called out as such.

What's wrong with being a redneck?
posted by Lord Chancellor at 2:22 PM on December 2, 2004


Hey, guys? Montgomery County, Maryland is a wealthy suburban neighbor of Washington, DC. "Redneck" is not the word you're looking for.

I think they're wrong, too, but let's please not resort to ad hominem name-calling.

But I don't get it. I really don't get it. Parents that object can opt their children out, and it'll be fine. This is nothing new. I know kids that were opted out of my sex ed classes and nobody gave them shit for it.
And, for perspective, this is a small group of individuals and not a regional movement. This is getting attention in the conservative press, but the thing about the conservative press in the DC area is that it's the Washington Times, which nobody takes seriously. The Post hasn't touched this since the changes were announced.

And, AlexReynolds: Are you honestly claiming these videos don't present homosexuality as on the same moral ground as heterosexuality? How could they possibly not? Don't get me wrong, I think it's a Good Thing, but that presents a conflict with their moral system.
posted by mote at 2:49 PM on December 2, 2004


MikeMC wrote:

"Likewise, there is a tremendous volume of equally scientific generated information (such as recently provided by the CDC) on the problems and failures of condoms to protect against pregnancies, STDs and the spread of HIV, especially among homosexually active males. This is important information that should be included, too."


Just to clarify... I didn't write the message itself. I only posted this because I'm soooo tired of of the whole "redneck","fundy", "neo-con", "hillbilly" etc... labels that people here are so fast to slap on those that have points of view that differ from their own. Agree with him/her or not the person that wrote that message seems more of a reasonable, intelligent person than a gun totin,Redman chawin' yokel. It occurs to me that the people here that bleat about "tolerance" are often the least tolerant of all.
posted by MikeMc at 3:06 PM on December 2, 2004


It occurs to me that the people here that bleat about "tolerance" are often the least tolerant of all.

Is it really intolerant to expect people who want to control my life and choices to occasionally pick up a book, read a newspaper, or actually meet the people they hate so much before they open their mouths?

I suppose that makes me intolerant to point out their intolerance. I'll agree that I'm brought down to their level, for a short moment. They'll still be redneck hicks, though, until they pull their heads out of their asses.
posted by AlexReynolds at 3:11 PM on December 2, 2004


Hey, guys? Montgomery County, Maryland is a wealthy suburban neighbor of Washington, DC. "Redneck" is not the word you're looking for.

Agreed. Mostly. But, the first year I took the bus to high school, we passed by a farm every day that had a huge painted sign that read, "JOIN THE KLAN AND SAVE OUR LAND." Granted that was in Germantown in 1985, and quite a bit has changed since then. Still, just sayin'.

And this, from the front of the website:
Per the Washington Times article today, there has been an onslaught of emails SUPPORTING the new sex ed curriculum. This comes as a result of Rich Madeleno's plea for support of homosexual instruction in our schools. Mr. Madeleno is gay and an elected official from Kensington. The majority of support seems to be coming from the southern part of the county. Speak up, folks.
The "southern part" of the county being the part closer to DC, of course - Kensington, Takoma Park, Silver Spring, Rockville, Potomac. It is not inconcievable that a fair proportion of people living in the "northern" climes - Damascus, Germantown, Poolesville - are more politically and religiously conservative. FWIW, the population is denser in the southern part and there's quite a bit more money to throw around, too.
posted by contessa at 3:12 PM on December 2, 2004


Are you honestly claiming these videos don't present homosexuality as on the same moral ground as heterosexuality? How could they possibly not? Don't get me wrong, I think it's a Good Thing, but that presents a conflict with their moral system.

Maybe. I'd buy that argument if any of them actually met and dealt with homosexuals. But they don't, so their claim of morality seems pretty baseless.

The other claims are factual in nature and already demonstrated as baseless, and in fact, incendiary for the purpose of appealing to people's deep-seated fears.
posted by AlexReynolds at 3:14 PM on December 2, 2004


It occurs to me that the people here that bleat about "tolerance" are often the least tolerant of all.

To add to what AlexReynolds said, (if I may), it's the very definition of intolerance to demand the removal of every single member of the school board because of one (1!) decision they made. Not that it'll ever happen, of course. But good luck trying. assholes.
posted by contessa at 3:15 PM on December 2, 2004


it's the very definition of intolerance to demand the removal of every single member of the school board because of one (1!) decision they made.

Is it the attempt to recall the board or the reason for it that has everyone so peeved? Here in Milwaukee there was a movement to recall virtually the entire County Board because of one decision they made (it was a pension fund thing). Several county supervisors were ousted (including mine) and the subsequent fallout prompted a number of county officials to resign.

You may or may not agree with the reasoning behind the recall (I personally couldn't care less if Johnny gives bisexuality a try or not) but it is their right to express their displeasure at the conduct of the school board. To excoriate people for attempting to exercise their rights seems pretty damn intolerant to me.
posted by MikeMc at 3:30 PM on December 2, 2004


But it is their right to express their displeasure at the conduct of the school board.

It is also my right to call these people what they are, and explain why. I don't think intolerance is the right word for criticism of these nuts.
posted by AlexReynolds at 3:42 PM on December 2, 2004


What's wrong with being a redneck?

Nothing, as such. There's usually a lot I can find wrong with someone being a redneck of the ignorant variety, though.
posted by AlexReynolds at 3:54 PM on December 2, 2004


Is it the attempt to recall the board or the reason for it that has everyone so peeved?

Well, I'd say both. Does it have to be one or the other? By the way, your comparison doesn't wash. Without more details about the pension-fund-thing, one can only surmise that they wanted to do something really, really bad with it (gut it? screw people who had paid into it for years?). Fiscal irresponsibility by those entrusted with responsibility both to taxpayers and those who work for the taxpayer should always be scrutinized.

This is different. This is one person's (or a small group's) attempt to force, in a radical way, a very specific agenda on a huge group of people. And, as it has been stated before, nobody's being required to do a dang thing. People can opt out if they don't agree with the health curriculum. Framing that agenda around removing seven elected people from office is extreme and probably mostly an attention-getting tactic. They acknowledge (in the Gazette article) that it was a contentious issue for a while, yet it was unanimously approved. This isn't something that just snuck by in some top secret meeting. No, what they care about isn't that their children will be taught this (because, opt out, remember) but that other people's children will. And they happen to know that the "Them's" are greater in number than the "Us's" in good ole Montgomery County.
posted by contessa at 3:58 PM on December 2, 2004


Also, I can't help but notice that yet again the right says "morals", when they mean "sex". I've never actually heard anyone from the right use the word "morals" in a non-sexual context. The 1950's were a more "moral" time, they say; I say blacks were treated as second class citizens, how can that possibly be "moral"? The right today wants to hold US citizens indefinately, without charges, without a lawyer, and I'm supposed to believe that they're "moral"?

They have 128 hours a week to indoctrinate their kids in their homophobic, anti-safe sex, anti-science, BS. I think a few hours for reality is hardly the end of the world, especially since they can refuse to let their kids attend the class.
posted by sotonohito at 4:12 PM on December 2, 2004


Just for the record, SCIENCE has absolutely NOTHING to do with "fair and balanced." And neither does Fux News.

Geez, these folks need to go back to school and study science and quit watching Sean Hannity.
posted by nofundy at 4:30 PM on December 2, 2004


Yay yay Montgomery! Land of my indoctrination! Land I can't afford to purchase!

I think I can understand what these parents are upset about. When I took FLHD (Family Life and Human Development) curricula (in 1987, 1989, and 1992)... There was no "pick which days you attend" policy, and I'm guessing there still isn't. There was only opt-in for 100% of the curriculum (usually 2 weeks long). So they are faced with the idea of either letting their kids see the entirety of it or letting them see none of it.

Frankly, I think the FLHD curriculum in 1992 was good enough, and if the atmosphere is as it was in 1992, the students already have enough gay-neutral or even pro-gay indoctrination outside of FLHD.

I don't think kids need to be shown how to put on a condom at school. It would be much more practical to teach them how to shave properly. :)

In all seriousness: the FLHD curriculula I remember included discussions of birth control (with abstinence listed as 100% effective, and condoms as 90something precent effective, but condoms plus a spermicide being good enough for most purposes) and how to avoid HIV (latex, not lambskin; abstain; no blood play). On masturbation... and on where the nerve endings were, so we'd all know what a clitoris is.

FLHD never discussed the transformation of a virgin to a person with a sexual appetite. That's more of a philosophical discussion, and one that some of us already knew about. I think that would be a healthy thing to talk about, though. Maybe they talk about that now, too.

In any case - with all the discussions of oral sex, anal sex, and vaginal sex in the FLHD curriculum - I don't think you need to mention homosexuality or even heterosexuality at that point. I'm imaginative enough to think about the other permutations (vaginal-vaginal; strap-on, etc) but I think they already had all the bases covered then. Whether it's 2 guys or a guy and a girl or 2 girls doing oral sex, the same information still applies. It's not like the gay kids say "Oh, this isn't my sex ed" just because it's not discussed as "same-sex oral" or "same-sex anal" or what have you. Remember, this is Montgomery County, Maryland, which produces some of the smartest people on the planet. The students know that oral sex and anal sex go multiple ways.

For these concerned parents, maybe my 1992 curriculum was better. If that mostly unobjectionable, science-grounded, empowering and educating curriculum were still available, they'd probably be happy. Note that they were not asking for the removal of FLHD, nor did they feel the need to organize against the school board until 2004. But the 1992 curriculum (which is enough to make anyone with a half-decent memory an HIV educator) may not be available to them anymore.
posted by bugmuncher at 8:55 PM on December 2, 2004


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