Via Pharyngula I get a link to:
The Minnesota GOP platform.
One of the items that interested me was this:
G. Parents have the right to attend their children’s public school rooms while school is in session
without being accused of criminal trespassing as has occurred in Monticello and Big Lake,
THAT got my attention, because it implies that some parents actually got accused of criminal trespassing for going into their kid’s school while classes were in session. That WOULD be bad. So I did a little search, figuring that it would have made the news somewhere in here and I would be able to find information on it.
This is all I was able to find about any incident in Monticello. A mother went to the school and questioned a teacher about a class, and was banned from the school by the principle. The school district said that the mother’s comments and discussion with the teacher disrupted instructional time. There were no accusations of criminal trespass made in this case. I did find the Monticello Schools policy statement. There is nothing in there that I found to be unreasonable or threatening.
I found this link about Big Lake:
Which describes how a policy of asking parents to gain prior permission to attend their child’s classes, and a ban on video taping inside the school building with out prior permission came into being, and the public outcry it generated:
It all started when a woman came to a school meeting, and videotaped a bulletin board full of children’s work (she was not a parent of a child enrolled in the school…but was considering enrolling her child). She made the video tape because she couldn’t believe that Christopher Columbus was being depicted by the student projects as a murderer, a rapist, and a terrorist. Nevermind that murder, rape and terrorism are well-documented facts in the conquest of the new world by Christopher Columbus’ crew and those that followed them. They left out “slaver” ,“massacreist”, and “mutilator” (although those were the specific forms that most of the terrorism took…I would say they really deserve to be called out individually). They don't even mention that Columbus was a product of his times, and no better or worse than anyone of hundreds of petty tyrants carving out their fifedoms in that time...the beginning of the Enlightenment [update: sorry, I meant to say Renaissance]...when the end of the dark ages was in it's last dying gasps and the brutality of Religious superstition and intolerance were giving us religiously inspired torture, rape, enslavement and war all around the world as the religious rulers desperatly tried to hang onto their ill-gotten power by their fingernails.
Personally, I'm apalled by the incompleteness of the projects...but back to the school story.
Nobody was ever charged, or threatened with being charged under this policy in Big Lake. Actually, local public outcry and local public politics lead to a re-write of the policy.
So, I guess it just goes to show that local communities can handle their own affairs without “Big government interference”… you would think that the Republicans would learn eventually that they just can’t go around forcing everyone to do what they say by passing more and more laws to control local government. The Republican party should learn to trust local governments and school districts to handle their own business.
Oh wait…that’s what they SAY they believe. Except their actions are in direct conflict with what they say they believe. Lessee…there’s a word for that…right?
But just to clarify:
This lady was outraged that the students were being taught accurate history that she disagreed with because it didn’t jive with the vision that she wanted to have of a lionized and romanticized historical figure.
So, she made an unauthorized reproduction of some student’s work and got upset that the school district was worried that she might use it in a way that was dangerous for the students whose work she was reproducing without permission (presumably, you could read the reports they had written on the videotape, as well as their names attributing the work).
Because it is obvious to everyone, isn’t it, that she was just videotaping it for her own home usage…to onanistically fire her own personal sense of outrage at the excesses of the schools in teaching inconvenient facts to kids. She would NEVER THINK of distributing it to others and feeding THEIR addictions to a sense of embattlement and need to feel like Holy Warriors against the twin devils of education and reason. At worst, I think most liberals agree, that should be a misdemeanor.
So, the school district wanted to create a policy that protected the privacy of the students, and a bunch of people got mad and decided that they didn’t like the way the school district was doing things…but they couldn’t really object on the original grounds of protecting student privacy…because the Republicans claim to be all about privacy and protecting the children. So instead, they changed the debate…”shifted the paradigm”…lied.
''Clearly the effect of this new policy is to make it more difficult for parents to find out what their children are being taught,'' said Tom Prichard, president of the Minnesota Family Council. ''If you need to jump through more hoops to visit your child's classroom and can't tape classroom instruction, it pushes parents farther out of the picture. This policy should raise all sorts of red flags for parents in the Big Lake school district. It makes one wonder what the district might have to hide.''
Now, it’s not about protecting students’ privacy and their work. They’re fighting a war for family values. This way, they can claim to be for student’s privacy before they were against it.
Also interesting is the fact that the only references I’ve been able to find about these two incidences have been in the Minnesota Republican Party Platform and the Minnesota Family Council website. You would think that if there were any "there" there, it would have been covered somewhere else...
They’re not against student’s privacy and safety. They’re not trying to have chilling effect on classroom instruction that is counter to their extreme ideology. They’re not trying to be burdensome, meddlesome and manipulating a small local issue into a state-wide rallying cry demonizing public education.
Nope nope nope. They’re doing it for the American Family. And who can argue with that?