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LOCAL Announcement :: Civil & Human Rights : Education & Youth : Gender & Sexuality

Support GLBTI Teachers! SCOTTS VALLEY HS hosts special Board Meeting Monday at 6 PM

Scotts Valley High School has been at the center of the local debate around Identity politics, with attacks on what some parents (and some right-wing commentators) call the "Gay Agenda."
Teachers, students, parents, administrators, community advocates, GLBTI and allies, will attend a special meeting of the Scotts Valley Unified School Board, called specifically to address concerns that the school is pushing a "Gay and Lesbian Agenda." Specific complaints are that two Lesbian teachers are openly raising a child together, that students are being indocrinated against their will and that of their parents, and that teachers have propaganda hanging in their rooms (signs such as "Safe Space, Safe Person," "This place respects all people regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, age or disability," and "Respect all families"). Monday, February 7th at 6 PM, the meeting will take place in Scotts Valley High's Student Union building.

This conflict has been ongoing for several years. Triangle Speakers has had difficulty bringing their message into the school because of resistance from students and parents. Teachers have had their rooms vandalized (Swastikas and "Feminazi," among other things). Students have transfered to other schools out of fear and intimidation, parents have questioned the motives of several teachers, queer and otherwise, and the administration has been called upon to pressure teachers not to talk about homosexuality so gosh darn openly.

The issue has been portrayed in the local corporate media as one of parents who promote conservative family values in their homes fighting against queer teachers who push their agenda on a captive audience at school. For a Sentinel story published January 13th ( www.santacruzsentinel.com/archive/2005/January/13/local/stories/03local.htm ), Nancy Pasternak published the perspectives of one parent and one former student, without much context. Read the story for some perspective on the situation, although no current students, teachers, or faculty are interviewed for the piece (a school board member does reflect on an incident from two years ago, though). Letters to the editor from other parents and several teachers have already defended the school and attacked the "flimsy coverage" in the original article ( www.santacruzsentinel.com/archive/2005/January/18/edit/let.htm ), but for many the January article already framed the issue.

It is extremely important the the GLBTI and allied people are present at this meeting. Please be there to hear the rhetoric of intolerance and fear, to see the makeup of an important local school's board, to speak on behalf of a diversity of opinion, and to support students and teachers who are under attack.

Attacks on academic freedom continue to be drawn directly from FoxNews and corporate/government media outlets, who provide the 'talking points,' to sheeple who regurgitate phrase after phrase word for word from the television "programs." We must get out message out there! It is amazing to hear people so obviously repeating what they have been told, so obviously influenced by TV "news" and newspaper "reports." Please come and support this dialogue, the only way we'll move forward on this and many other issues in the education of our children!
 
 


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IMPORTANT: starts at 6 pm, not 7!

Apologies--please note that the meeting begins at 6:00 pm, not 7 pm, at the Scotts Valley High School Student Union.
 

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