Kathy Cox, School Superintendent of Georgia, the woman who caused this state much embarrassed regression into the 1950's with her declaration that "Evolution is a negative buzzword" and subsequent campaign to have evolution removed from biology curriculum (reccommended reading here) is proposing a state board rule that would require parental permission for any after school activity. Right now parental permission is only required for athletics, but the new rule would cover all extracurricular activities including support groups, advocacy groups and clubs. The rule is actually designed to eliminate gay rights, advocacy and support groups in high schools. Because the members of these organizations by and large do so without their parents knowing they are gay, it would force many students struggling with their sexual identity away from the only support available to them.
Senator Nancy Schaefer, antigay Fundie and all around heinous beast, has already tried to get this passed in the legislature this session and it failed.
"Students and parents affiliated with the gay student support groups have their own concerns. Because many students can't talk to their parents about their sexuality or consider their parents unsupportive, requiring written permission could dissuade many from attempting to join such groups" parents and students say.
That's the point, said state Sen. Ralph Hudgens (R-Comer), who sponsored a bill this session that would have required similar disclosure. "I just believe that any child who would want to go and join that club, if they have to have their parents' permission, they're not going to feel comfortable going and asking Mama or Daddy to do it,'' he said.
The AJC article where the above quote comes from:
The people to contact are:
All State BOE Members: http://www.doe.k12.ga.us/doe/sboe/index.asp
Georgia DOE Legal Services Department: http://www.doe.k12.ga.us/doe/legalservices/proposed_rules.asp
The proposed board rule can be viewed at:
Public Hearing Date: Wednesday, April 13, 2005 from 12 – 1 p.m.
Proposed Adoption Date: April 14, 2005 at 9 a.m.
Location: State Board Room, Georgia Department of Education
2070 Twin Towers East, 205 Jesse Hill Jr. Drive, Atlanta, Georgia 30334
Written Statement Deadline: March 30, 2005
- Unnecessary level of paperwork involved for already overworked staff and students a like.
- Would deter membership in groups to assist those struggling with issues they may not want to involve their parents in such as physical abuse, sexual abuse and rape in addition to gay rights and advocacy organizations.
- You cannot legislate or force a parental bond. Forcing parental permission will not increase parental communication; it will only cause further friction as the student is forced to withdraw from the outlets available to them.
Spread the word! They WILL listen if we provide them with an overwhelming voice against such an action. Already I have contacted dailykos.com. Georgia Equality, and the Human Rights Campaign about this. I will NOT be complacent, and neither should you.
Much love and respect to arie for this invaluable information
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