Monday, September 12, 2005

My Values are Your Values (or else)

So there's this parent who disagrees with the (admittedly controversial) subject being taught in his kid's school. He meets with school officials, refuses to leave, gets arrested, and tries to make himself into a martyr. Furthermore, he attempts to dictate more or less the entire school cirriculum, and make decisions about other parents' children for them. Needless to say, Jesse at Pandagon is all over this:


Remember David Parker? Sure you do...he was the "concerned parent" who demanded that his child's school reshape the entire school day so that he never be exposed to the idea that people of the same sex can ever touch outside of sports?

Well, the Concerned Women for America have taken up the non-oppressed, kinda-lame white Nelson Mandela's cause, with spectacular results.

The rally on Tuesday, held on the site of the opening battle of the Revolutionary War more than 200 years ago, featured Mr. Parker as a speaker. The participants faced a large counter protest. The counter protestors, who included members of the local school board, carried signs bearing the misleading slogan, “Massachusetts welcomes every child.” (Except, of course, Mr. Parker’s child.)


Hold on...wasn't Mr. Parker the one asking that his child be taken out of class every time the gayitude comes up?


“The media has tried to turn the focus from this as a parental rights issue into an anti-gay issue,” says Tammy Mosher, CWA state director for Massachusetts. Her organization worked to get the word out about Mr. Parker’s situation and the Tuesday night rally.

Police were present at the rally to prevent violence. Afterwards, they kept Mr. Parker from giving interviews to local media who were covering the story. Parker told the Article 8 Alliance, "The police felt that once the cameras were on it would get 'totally out of control' and could become 'incendiary' and they weren't willing to take that chance and be accountable for this."

Howsabout you give out contact information to let the media get in touch with you at your home? You do realize that we live in an era of mass communications, right? Anyway, he looked like enough of a dumbass without the interviews.

The Lexington Public School Superintendent has secured a restraining order to keep Mr. Parker off all school property. This means that among other things, he may not pick up or drop off his son at school, attend school sporting events or the school board meeting, and since in Lexington voting is conducted at public schools, he is unable to exercise that right.


From, you know, an actual news source (the above-linked article):


Parker said the restraining order, put in place after his arrest forbidding him from entering any public school property in Lexington without advanced permission, still stands and is working to be "hurtful to my family and make us feel unwelcome."


You see, if Parker gets permission to come on school property, which he'll most likely get for non-school purposes such as voting, he can bring his happy homo-hatin' ass wherever he needs to go.


Mr. Parker’s trial is set to begin September 21. Mrs. Mosher plans to be in the court room that day. She and a member of her CWA of Massachusetts Steering Committee attended the pre-trial hearing as well.


Mr. Parker addressed Mrs. Mosher’s CWA prayer/action chapter last month. She was impressed with the polite and articulate way in which he presented his message. “He just wanted to do what was right in his eyes for his son’s education,” she said. Mr. Parker stayed for an extra hour after the meeting answering questions.


Unfortunately, what was right in his eyes was crazy in the eyes of sane people.


Parker also appeared on Mrs. Mosher and her husband Timothy’s talk show Family Time, which airs on a cable access channel that reaches much of western Massachusetts.

Reflecting on Mr. Parker’s situation, Mrs. Mosher said, “This is a good way to drive home the point that parents should be involved in their children’s education. Don’t relinquish control! Read your children’s textbooks; listen carefully to what they tell you about their classes. As things are right now, the schools are wielding way too much power.”


What's strange is that the problem in this situation is that Parker wants the schools to wield power they simply don't have. Here were his demands:


The Parkers' proposal was simple: notify them in advance if there is a planned discussion about same-sex issues, and, if an adult becomes involved in a discussion spontaneously begun by a child, then remove their child from the discussion. Their concern is that impressionable children will hear for the first time from a respected adult that a homosexual headed family is a normal family structure, and an equally "good" one at that. Regardless of whether one agrees with that premise, it is a matter of one's values and beliefs. It is not borne in hate, but in a concern for his children and a desire to see them equipped to make decisions in a healthy manner.


So, if anyone ever brings up homosexuality, their child must force class to be interrupted to be escorted from the room until the question is answered, at which point he will be allowed back in. I don't know of a single school, a single teacher who could realistically handle that, along with the attendant responsibility entailed. Imagine you have a classroom of fifteen kids, and three can't hear about homosexuality and four more can't hear about evolution. Now, imagine you're a science teacher.


"Timmy, you take Sherri and Joseph in the hall, and let Neil, Sara, Jenny and Heather back in. Oh, wait, was your question about how gays and lesbians evolved? Damn. Okay, all of you in the hall, and I'll call up another teacher to watch over you."


His "concern" for his kids demands that the entire school day be shaped solely around special treatment for his child. He embodies the conservative view of diversity perfectly: protecting my child from your diversity is just as imporant as actually promoting it...perhaps more so!

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