During September public outcry forced Clark County School District (CCSD) Superintendent Pat Skorkowsky to issue a letter of apology for undertaking private meetings without the press by invitation only.
During the private meetings over 100 pages of changes to the Sex Ed curriculum were presented. In part the apology letter offered to turn over a new leaf with parents. “I have instructed my staff to move forward with this discussion in a way that is respectful, open and collaborative,” said Skorkowsky, adding, “I believe we can restore trust with community support.”
While the school district tries to convince onlookers that only a small number of activist parents are displeased, the school board moved into one of its typical tactics to handle upset parents by holding public hearings beginning in November. Typical of these hearings was the “Parent input solicitation” in the small community of Moapa. News reports characterized that a Moapa Valley “frustrated crowd” of about 300 parents attended. Each speaker was given 60 seconds to speak, after which time the microphone was cut off.
Apparently each of the school board members created their own uniquepublic hearing rules as attendees at other meetings reported that they were told that they could have one person from their group speak for three minutes and others were not allowed to speak at all. This was apparently envisioned as “respectful, open and collaborative,” in comparison to the usual CCSD methodology. Those who remember (years ago) the agitated grandmotherly Rose Moore, then over 65, having been
taken away by medics, during the school district police removal of her from the podium, will agree that CCSD has improved. Now they just shut off the microphone.
During that second meeting of seven, parents made the accusation that the school board had aligned itself with Planned Parenthood (PP). This is important because parents who follow such trends know that PP was
allowed to take over Sex Ed training in some California Schools and parents there were very displeased with the results. PP publicly stated opinions about sex are at direct opposition to the religious and personal beliefs of many parents.
During a mid-September school board meeting parent Julie Butler said, “You want to teach my 5-year-old how to masturbate?” referencing the item getting the most attention during that meeting. The “Progressive advancements” that the school board and school district were considering would have supplemented current Sex Ed with a LGBTB etc.
educational format sexuality model including education on lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual people as well. Public advocates of the policy shared their sexuality issues with the attendees occasionally explaining why, in their circumstances, knowing such things would be good (in their opinions).
During November 5 to December 11 the school district undertook a problematic (fatally flawed) survey. This was done with paper ballots and an online survey. This resulted in a dizzying 435-page survey results report prepared by the bureaucracy for the school board. By the time that the results were out it was already known by the parents’ community that a significant number of pro-LGBT or pro-PP students, many of whom participated in the public hearings, were responding to the survey. District staff asserted that their system would know if a person voted multiple times from the same internet address and that the problem of persons doing that was addressed.
However, an average high school student would be able to get around such measures. Whereas if a husband and wife only had one kid with a student number then would one be eliminated if both voted from the same internet address? It also became known that PP had broadcast to its liberal constituency for assistance in influencing the matter. So not surprisingly the people who input that they were parents (who were willing to risk CCSD retaliation by inputting their student’s confidential number) typically voted conservatively and others typically voted more “Progressively.” Other problems with the survey included the use of terms that have an undefined meaning in the mind of the typical person, like “secret touch.”
Suspiciously the district claims to have hit a technical glitch in Question 49. Many parents refer to this as the “Planned Parenthood” question because it asks if Sex Ed should be taught by licensed teachers and among the list of who to allow was “Other community-based health educator.” This is, of course, the California scenario where PP took over (volunteered) teaching Sex Ed to the outrage of many parents there. Many of the questions lead to the inescapable conclusion that
while it is not absolutely certain that PP and left wing brainwashed students are not necessarily the non-parent respondents, the results would reflect that possibility… if it were true. Not all questions exemplify this. But, here are three that do.
Question 9: Halting the revision of current sex education curriculum. Parents Yes (63%) Community members No (67%) Question 10: Limiting curriculum revisions to topics mandated by state law. Parents Yes (63%) Community members No (67%) Question 23: (To teach) How to make responsible sexual choices. Parents No (67%) Community members Yes (65%)
If the answers to question 49 would have coincided with these three questions, conclusions would be obvious. But this was, giving the benefit of the doubt, probably just a coincidence. Question 49 had a technical glitch.
During October a new parents’ rights organization came into existence. Power2Parent (www.Power2Parent.com or Facebook and Twitter @power2parent ) has issued a press release listing its reply to the survey results. Their website offers a position paper from a parent discussing the issue in detail and more. Erin Philips with the group said, “Parental rights must be honored in this process.” “While we are grateful that the school district has listened to parents by putting forth this survey, we hope they value the voice of the parents above other outside organizations when making their final decisions.”
Among the Power2Parent requests is one to halt any decision making on this issue until after the 2015 legislature. This may also be good political advice because this topic will not bode well in a republican-led legislature. Power2Parent has a petition. You can contact them on their website to participate.
CCSD is looking at a bunch of bad news just before the start of this legislature, not the least of which would be trying to get more money in the midst of this curriculum. The school district could well find itself defunded on Sex Ed altogether if it had adopted the 101 pages of ideas that it started out with in November. Unfortunately, backing this idea into temporary oblivion leaves the last three hot topics as the school board president’s ethics commission investigation, the CCSD lawyers paying off a lawsuit for inappropriate behavior of a board member by an inappropriate payment and an increased failure rate of high school students in the face of increased funding again.
While the survey report says that a meeting of the Sex Education Advisory Committee will be on 2/19/2015 at 3:30 p.m., 3950 South Pecos Road, this ongoing process will likely be detrimental in budget battle for increased school taxes. No doubt both sides will be at the legislature with their arguments and petition.