Monday, August 29, 2005

Parkway, Gays and Jesus

Parkway is a school district in St. Louis County. Recently, they ammended their disciplinary policy to include language prohibiting harrassment based on personal appearance, socio-economic status and sexual orientation. This language was included based on a survey of students:

"We have the data to support that's been a concern in our school district," said board member Karen O'Brien, who voted in favor of the changes. "We want children to feel safe and secure in our buildings, and that doesn't mean just earthquakes; it means safe from fellow human beings. (With this change) we have broadened the coverage to protect all children."

O'Brien said student surveys showed students reported being harassed or bullied primarily because of personal appearance, socioeconomic status and perceived or actual sexual orientation.

There has, of course, been protest:

Audience members said "Amen" in unison, agreeing with speakers as the discussion shifted to the use of the term "sexual orientation" in the policy. Some residents said that having special provisions protecting the sexual orientation of a person teaches children that it is acceptable to publicize sexuality.

Cunningham cited a page in a Parkway yearbook that displayed a gay and lesbian club asking students to participate in "National Come Out Day."

"They were encouraging kids to make it public about their sexual orientation, their homosexuality, their lesbian lifestyle. That's in your yearbook," she said. Cunningham said that a person's sexual orientation should be kept out of the schools.

State Rep. Allen Icet, R-Wildwood, said the policy could punish students who participate in after-school clubs, such as the Good News Group, a Christian-based group, for talking about certain kinds of sexual orientation that they feel to be morally wrong, a violation of free speech.

In other words, the fundies are pissed because they think this will prevent them from using the language of religion to express their bigotry and are pretending to be victemized. "...Let he who is without sin cast the first stone...." So, of course the fundies are casting that mutha bigtime.