QUESTION: Last week, a state judge sided with the ACLU against the Camdenton School District. What are your thoughts on the judge's ruling? Is this an invasion of parental rights, or should students have access to these types of sites?
Tax-paying constituents should decide
As a Camdenton high school graduate, I am deeply disturbed by the state judge's ruling against the Camdenton School District. Each school district elects it's own school board to make decisions regarding monetary issues, curriculum and school policies. If the community disapproves of what actions the board takes, they can simply vote for different board members, or more importantly let their opinions be known in the open sessions of the board meetings. We, the voters, also fund our schools with our tax money. Therefore, we should not be told how to run it by an outside judge, who has an appointed position.
This is a perfect example of activist judges who discard the law or the wishes of the voting community. The state of California was another case where an activist judge overthrew an amendment to the California Constitution banning gay marriages which was approved by their voters. In the Camdenton case, this judge stepped over the line by disregarding the wishes of the tax-paying community, the parents, and the duly elected school board sworn to protect our children.
What purpose do these LGBT web sites serve? They are not part of the regular curriculum. I think they are more of a distraction than anything. Study hall used to be for doing homework, not for things which distract from the education process. Having said this, Camdenton does have an anti-discrimination policy and an anti-bullying policy already in place. It looks like to me that no laws were violated and this was just a test case for the ACLU. I think that all of us who are of faith should be watchful, because this won't be the first time they come a calling.
Children need to have access to facts
Today's children need to be equipped with a wide and unbiased reservoir of factual knowledge in order to successfully make the right choices for their future. Parents do their child a disservice if they prohibit their children's access to facts relating to knowledge outside their or their parents' comfort zones.
Instead of banning the acquisition of such knowledge, parents should strive to acquaint themselves so that they may serve as guide and advisor for their children.
No one can completely shield their children. Instead they should work to provide strong moral support and guidance so that their children can make the right choices no matter what challenges or temptations they encounter.
Joyce Everhart Hoff
Make consequences known as well
If we are going to be forced to include these sites, whether the parental rights are ignored or not, they should also include links to the consequences of sexual behavior. Such as the destructive, devastating medical conditions caused by AIDS and other STD's.
The lesions that come from the disease, in the lungs, oral cavities and other orifices. The treatment and cost associated and the spread of these conditions to unsuspecting partners. If these court mandated sites are to educate and inform our children then our children should also see the pictures of active lesions, tissue inflammation and destruction of the immune system. The cost to tax payers is astronomical when these diseases present themselves. If the present government is going to make such a big deal about what our children are eating at home and in school they should certainly make available pictures of the results of indiscriminate uninformed sexual behavior. It is at least as important as showing pictures of chubby (fat) children and adults. Tax payers pay for all irresponsible behavior one way or another.
Parents should have ultimate jurisdiction
I have always understood that parents of children under the age of 18 have total jurisdiction over them. By sending them to a public school they are granting the school the authority to act for them. An extreme liberal group such as the ACLU has no authority to dictate parental actions.
Therefore, unless the judge has clearly indicated his ruling only effects 18+year olds, the school can ignore it. The school has full authority to control the web sites it allows students to access.
Where is the Camdenton School Board on this issue?
I have two grandchildren in this school system and have a vested interest.
School access should be a last resort
My personal view is if a student wants information about gay or transgender issues it might be best if this information is accessed from a personal computer, preferably with a parent or guardian.
I don't see anything wrong with asking for access to such information but it seems that this issue has taken on a life of it's own.
I also think the safety of the student is important and since there have been incidents of violence directed at students who are gay or transgender, or those deemed to be gay by other students in other states and school districts, at home viewing is best.
Only if the student fears reprisals at home should the school consider other options.