The Engage Family Blog

Official Blog of The Family Policy Council of West Virginia

The Charleston Gazette: Debate erupts over Kanawha schools diversity policy 

with 2 comments

A story this morning from Davin White of the Charleston Gazette on the Kanawha County Board of Education’s (KCBOE) press to add “sexual orientation” to its cultural diversity policy raises questions about the objective counsel the KCBOE may be receiving.

White’s piece wonders why the KCBOE is being so hasty in its press this agenda, when hundreds of Kanawha County citizens have lodged their opposition by phone, email, and internet message board.

White’s story, which can be read in its entirety here, begins thusly:

In two meetings, Kanawha County school board members spent very few minutes talking about whether to include sexual orientation as part of the countys cultural diversity policy.

Fast forward a few weeks, and proposed changes generated about 200 comments on the school boards Web site and led to a flood of e-mails for the legal department.

School board members plan to vote on the policy at a meeting July 16.

Jeremiah Dys, president of the Family Policy Council of West Virginia, said the proposed policy is “going to be penalizing teachers for doing nothing other than standing by their beliefs.”

As the story continues, White quotes KCBOE attorney Jim Withrow as he continues to obfuscate about this unconstitutional policy.  After White outlines how a high school senior seems to have been drafted into action as the face of the political agenda of a few teachers, White quotes Withrow as saying:

“Clayton Stover’s comments to the board may have accelerated our plans….but I was already drafting changes,” Withrow said.

Wait, what was that?  Did he just say, “our plans?”

Whose plans, precisely, Mr. Withrow?  Are you suggesting that the KCBOE, yourself and Dr. Duerring (School Superintendent), or you and some other unknown group of persons had already formulated this plan and where merely waiting until the political landscape was ripe to launch it on Kanawha County?

In addition to not knowing an unconstitutional policy when he sees one, it appears that Mr. Withrow has joined the ranks of political activist for the KCBOE.  Can Mr. Withrow be complicit in the promotion of such a political agenda and yet be expected to provide the objective counsel for which he was hired?

This week, The Family Policy Council of West Virginia will send yet another letter to the members of the KCBOE offering to provide – at our expense – experts capable of explaining in detail the precise pitfalls of this policy.  To date, despite our repeated emails, phone calls, and letters to the KCBOE (including Mr. Withrow), we have received absolutely no response.  Nothing.  Not a phone call, email, or letter.

This leads us to conclude that the KCBOE is content to pass a policy that is in the best interests of politicians over and against that of the students they are sworn to protect.

At a minimum, we call upon the members of the KCBOE to table this policy until they conduct a thorough investigation into the potential problems and pitfalls it presents.

No teacher should be penalized or discriminated against – or have their paycheck held hostage – for merely abiding by their religious convictions.  The classroom is not the proper place for politics.  We encourage the KCBOE to spend more time improving reading, writing, and arithmetic rather than promoting behavior that is unhealthy, unwise, and unravels the moral fabric of the family.

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Written by Jeremy Dys

July 6, 2009 at 1:54 pm

2 Responses

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  1. […]  Further Food for Thought: “Sex Education Not the Governments Job” “Debate Erupts Over Kanawha Schools Diversity Policy” […]

    • the comments stated in this blog and in the article mentioned in the blog are infuriating. first and foremost, homosexuality doesnt have anything to do with being unwise, unhealthy, or unraveling the moral fibers of a family.
      give me a break. homosexuality is a part of a person, not a disease or mental illness. the family policy counsil of west virginia makes it seem as if homosexuals are in the same category as murderers, sociopaths, rapists, etc.!
      i, myself, am homosexual and remember what it was like to be the first “out” person in my high school. bullying isnt even half of what i got. the policy presented by the school board should have been presented YEARS ago. Nobody is expected to “embrace” homosexuality. of course, there are people who dont agree with it, but while it is unconstitutional to take away rights from homosexuals that everybody else has, it IS unconstitutional to take them away. i think the family council of west virginia needs to educate itself a bit more about constitutional rights and homosexuality in general.
      in response to the comment that “no teacher should be discriminated against based on their religious beliefs”, i have to say that doesnt the law separate church and state? a teacher may be racist, but it would be unconstitutional for them to give rights to white students and not blacks, correct? i mean, why dont we just bring back the KKK? carve a swastika on our foreheads? being gay is no different, and we will not go away, nor do we present any kind of threat to others. we are what we are, which is PEOPLE, who bleed the same red that you do. we dont want special treatment, just the same treatment as everybody else. children in school should learn about tolerance and accepting people without predjudice, because when we are dead and gone, they are the ones who are going to determine whether the world will continue to treat homosexuality as a disease that can be healed or bullied at anyone who disagrees with it’s will. people are killed because they are gay. killed. raped and murdered, left nailed to a fencepost to bleed to death because they are gay, much like black people got lynched way back when the world still hadnt figured out that people are people are people…i dont think that is what your god had in mind when he created this world.
      that being said, isnt the purpose of going to school not only to get educated book wise, but also street wise? how to grow up and take on the world? tolerance is a part of that.
      i have to also point out that it is not a matter of if, but WHEN we will gain equal rights. no civil rights movement has ever failed…EVER. it may not be in my lifetime, but in just the past few years ive noticed a dramatic increase in tolerance for homosexuality, so i know that we’re getting somewhere.
      “radical homosexual movement”? oh, please. i dont see the homos saying anything about “the radical jesus movement”…but then, those that recieve little tolerance typically show the most. believe what you want to believe. more power to you. we just want the same thing as everybody else, which is freedom to do what we want to do without hurting others, having others hurt us, getting murdered, fired, or any of the other things that organizations like the family policy council of west virginia seem to want for us. i dont know how anybody can hold their head up and feel good about themselves while they preach hate and prejudice.

      Ashli Burdette

      July 7, 2009 at 12:30 am


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