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State school board rejects parental permission for clubs YES!!… 
15th-Jun-2005 09:00 am
State school board rejects parental permission for clubs
The state Board of Education voted Tuesday to reject a requirement that students obtain permission from their parents to join high school clubs, an offshoot from a controversy over a gay support group in one local school system.

Critics of the proposal, which was defeated 10-3, had said the policy would be a violation of the students' First Amendment Rights. Supporters said parents have a right to know what clubs their children join.

Initially, the rule change would have required students to get written permission to join any of the 100 or more clubs that some schools offer, ranging from school yearbook staffs to Habitat for Humanity chapters. Teachers and principals complained that would be too much red tape.

Tuesday's vote was on a rule that would have allowed local school systems to choose their own way of obtaining parental permission.

Beth Littrell, an attorney with the Georgia chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, said schools prohibiting students from joining club is "a violation of the students' First Amendment rights."

Sadie Fields, chairwoman of the Christian Coalition of Georgia, said said it was "a sad day when our Board of Education refuses to stand with parents. Parents have a right to know. Parents have a right to be informed,"¹ she said.

An effort to start a gay support group called a Gay-Straight Alliance in northeast Georgia's White County drew attention last winter. The school board agreed to allow the club, but later school administrators recommended eliminating all "noncurricular clubs" at White County High School.

State Rep. Bobby Reese, R-Sugar Hill, said opposition to the proposal before the state board was "appalling." Reese is the sponsor of legislation aimed at student clubs and said he will fight to get the bill passed next year.

"If you have children in school, why wouldn't you want to know what's going on in that child's life at school?"² Reese said. "To me, it's just common sense."³
¹ No, Sadie - it is a victorious day when the School Board represents it's fucking STUDENTS - so FUCK OFF! By the way, girl - how's your dyke daughter? *laughs heartily*

² Excuse me, Bobby - but why is it the School Board's job to raise your child for you? Why is it you'll continually waste time in Committee with this bullshit, but you don't do anything in the way of encouraging these very parents to take a more active role in their children's lives so they would know what they're doing anyway? Answer: you're too busy currying favor with the likes of Sadie Fields and politicking - you're about as interested in serving your constituency as she is in having to accept her children (or mine, or yours) having opinions and choices of their own.

³ No, Bobby - common sense is in knowing that we're Americans and we should strive to perserve democracy - for EVERYONE, not just heterosexual, white Christians. We are all allowed free will, even the Bible says that.

Besides, Jesus would join a gay/straight alliance.
15th-Jun-2005 01:01 pm (UTC) - *facepalm*
you know, if you want to know what's going on in your child's school life, why don't you ask them? concept.
15th-Jun-2005 01:11 pm (UTC) - Re: *facepalm*
that's just what I was going to say
it's the parents' job to stay informed of what's going on with junior
not the schools'
15th-Jun-2005 01:29 pm (UTC)
A) how do you NOT know what your kids are up to? Aren't you the parent? (Can you feel my sarcasm?)

B) if your child is a homosexual...uh...how do you not know? I mean, ok, I worked at Disney so maybe I have heightened gaydar but I remember an Oprah show eons ago and these guys were coming out to their WIVES and even the cable guy who was over was like, "DAMN! How did you NOT know?" And we're talking your own children that couldn't hide themselves from you if they tried because you've lived with them since before they learned to hide things. How can you NOT know?
15th-Jun-2005 01:38 pm (UTC)
I don't know that it's necessarily that they truly *don't* know, as that they don't want to. I've never hidden anything like that from my parents, but they still "don't know." I've never come right out and said it either, but my family doesn't talk about sex at all, and I know it would stress them. But you'd think the rainbow ribbons on my car, the gay pride stickers and magazines, and the lesbian magazines in my house would clue them in. But, consistently, they ignore that fact. I know I'll have to get down and dirty with them one day, but that's my fear.
(Deleted comment)
15th-Jun-2005 01:38 pm (UTC)
What gets me about this whole thing -- about the whole arguement that "parents have a right to know what they're kids are doing" -- is that that's absolutely, 100% true. SO FRIGGING ASK THEM. And then, here's a real shocker, GET INVOLVED WITH THEM if you really care. Not just fake-pseudo care to keep appearances that you're actually a parent and not just the person who owns the house they come home to.

I hate parents like that. I hate politicians, parents, teachers, so-called "community leaders" that legislate rather than particpate. If you want to know what your kids are doing GET INVOLVED IN THEIR LIVES. Period. Paragraph. Problem fucking solved.
15th-Jun-2005 01:45 pm (UTC)
*standing up and clapping*
15th-Jun-2005 01:45 pm (UTC)
This is something that annoys us teachers about parents. You know what, if you want to know what clubs your child is in, ASK THEM! If you want to know what's going on at school, ASK THEM! Yes, there are some random kids who will lie, but not so many that every parents should have to do stupid things like sign permission forms. If all parents actually made it clear to their kids from birth that they loved them, no matter what (even if their ass will get kicked if they fail geometry again) then we wouldn't have problems. Kids are willing to talk to people they think love them unconditionally. This is why I'm like an unofficial counselor wherever I go. I've had kids come out to me, admit pregnancies, drug use, etc. They know that, if it's something honestly harmful to them (ie, drugs), that I'm going to kick their ass and fight to get them better. But, at the same time, I will always love them. If I feel this way about their kids, why can't they? /rant

Plus, I think non-permission clubs are essential for students who need support and *cannot* get it at home for whatever reason. I imagine they wouldn't want a kid from a pagan family to have to get permission before joining FCS< so why the double standard?
15th-Jun-2005 03:35 pm (UTC)
Because this has absolutely nothing to do with "Parents' Right To Know", or students' rights. This is 100% about stopping gay kids from getting any support whatsoever. They just like wrapping up their hatred with nice words and sentiments, just like they've done with the words "Family", "Christian", and "American Values"... all of which are four-letter words in my book. What those words are supposed to represent are good, but what they now stand for is pure evil.
15th-Jun-2005 01:51 pm (UTC)
umm...i'd first like to say i added you to my friends list a few days ago because i found your journal entries intellectually stimulating, funny, and informative.

and in response to this post: parents should stop relying on schools to raise their kids. and i think it's wonderful that they stood up for student's rights! inch by inch, we move forward...
15th-Jun-2005 01:54 pm (UTC)
My Best friend and I attempted to start a gay-straight alliance last year and our school wouldn't let us...bitches. oh well, now I am out of that wretched place.
15th-Jun-2005 02:01 pm (UTC)
Er,... Mom? Dad? I am feeling a bit freaked about and confused about my sexuality. Can I join a group that feels as funky as me, where I can speak freely and get some guidance and camaraderie without judgment or feeling uncomfortable, or do I have to talk about my sexual orientation in front of the both of you, confusing these feelings inside even more than I ever thought possible because I am afraid you are going to tell me I am sick and depraved, and give me a good dose of "don't touch yourself there, we didn't raise you to be a goddam freak, and go to your room?"

"No, you may not join the group."

" You goddam freak... go to your room!"

"Thanks, momndad."

"Mom, Dad? Can I join Habitat for Humanity? I feel strongly about helping my fellow man. We have so much, I want to give something back."

"No. Absolutely not. Let those niggers and spics and crack whores with ten kids find their OWN way to get a house, just like your father and me. You have more important things to do than 'save the world,' superman, like play sports and get high and play Playstation. I don't know where you get your cockamamie ideas..."

"Why do you want to waste your free time helping junkies and freaks who bilk the system?"
15th-Jun-2005 02:27 pm (UTC)
Well, with these fundie types if the kid does let them know about being in a gay/straight alliance club they could find themselves sent to the Fundie Concentration Camp for Fixing 'Gay' Children like this poor fellow:
Scroll down a bit to get to the original post

15th-Jun-2005 05:39 pm (UTC)
Proving there is such a thing as having your parents TOO involved. Poor kid.
15th-Jun-2005 03:40 pm (UTC)
Yeah! Finally some good news. I guess I should revise my assessment of America being completely overrun by raving evil-doers. Maybe there is a glimmer of hope after all.
15th-Jun-2005 04:27 pm (UTC) - O biscuit, my biscuit...
Here's another one for ya... the skank leaves a phone number at the end. I called and said:

"Joan, I'm not signing your petition, because the only behavior I think is foul in this whole debate is YOURS. YOU are a danger to kids. YOU are a danger to families. YOU disgust me."

Give ol' Joanie a call too!

15th-Jun-2005 05:10 pm (UTC)
It would have been curious to see this "permission slip" idea in action the first time a wiccan mother refused her child permission to participate in the Campus Crusade for Christ or whatever.

Of course, most wiccan mothers I know would encourage their children to explore the world with an open mind. Talk about bad parenting!
15th-Jun-2005 05:23 pm (UTC)
So many of my friends have referenced your journal in recent days that I had to stop by and read a little...

And you are SO spot-on in this.

I teach in a Georgia school (private, though) and co-sponsor the GSA here. Kathy Cox was FULL of it when she even proposed this. Then again, she's full of it most of the time.

I ran into her in an airport in Boston last year and it was all I could do to keep from spitting at her shoes. *laughs*

I've added you to my contact list.
15th-Jun-2005 08:44 pm (UTC)
Any school district I know of, the school clubs are governed by a faculty advisor to make sure that the club does not do anything immoral, illegal or dangerous. So every parent can be certain that little Johnny and little Maria are not having mad passionate sex in the orgy known as chess club. They could be claiming to be going to chess club and having mad passionate sex behind the bleachers in the stadium (lord knows I did), but that is something else entirely and commonly refered to as puberty.

If you want to know what clubs your kids belong to, ask. If your child feels compelled to lie in order to hide what clubs he/she belongs to, then the problem is NOT with the club, NOT with the school, NOT with your child. The problem is with YOU. IF your child is so SCARED of you that they feel compelled to lie about legitimate social activities, you are failing as a parent and THAT is not the responsiblity of the school board either. But lord knows society will pay that bill as well.
15th-Jun-2005 09:17 pm (UTC)
This little bit of news actually warmed my cold-cold heart. I couldn't believe the lengths the state went to to try and prevent the group from forming.

I believe it could be a very beneficial thing to aid kids in coming to self acceptance and growing in maturity, in some way less incumbered by societal pressures. If you can't love yourself, how can you ever give love to another, regardless of orientation? Everyone needs a "safe place" and if that was lacking for kids coming to terms with their sexuality in that school, then, by God, they should have it.

Jude, I know you and I are on opposite ends of the activist spectrum, but I'll say this for the record. If I were a teacher and the opportunity came up to advise (or facilitate or chaperone or whatever) this kind of group, that'd be the kind of activism I'd be honored and proud to do.
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