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Only Selective "Diversity" is "Tolerated" At Mount Mansfield Union High School

Vermont NEA President Makes Intimidating Anonymous Phone Call

The following was provided by a concerned citizen and active participant in the Mount Mansfield Union High educational arena (Note: Updated Sept. 18, 2000 at the request of author):

Diversity Week at MMU

Two years ago, I learned that the administration was to discuss the speakers for a week of "diversity" education at the high school.  I invited myself to the meeting with a student from the Student Council and three teachers or consultants for the school and the assistant principal.  In this first meeting, there was discussion around several kinds of African dancers, one or two prisoners from Waterbury, etc. and a known homosexual who would speak on diversity.  There was no mention of having a speaker to discuss having left a homosexual orientation.  After bringing up this omission, I agreed to find a suitable speaker to help "balance” the talk from the homosexual.

Students would be asked if they wanted to hear the various presentations and their teachers would be requested to allow them to attend, if the time conflicted with the academic subject being taught at that time.  Parents were not asked to sign any permission slip nor were they given the opportunity to "opt-out" their student from any particular material that they may have found to be offensive.

At the next meeting of the school board (15 members) which I attended, it was moved that the diversity week be balanced with presentations from both sides of any controversial issue such as homosexuality.  The Board passed the motion (although the minutes of the meeting refer to the action as being a “consensus” and not, as I recall, a motion and vote).  Meanwhile, I passed on to the HS assistant principle the name of a man who had left a homosexual orientation (call him "Mark") who had agreed to speak to the students.  The administration setup the meetings: the homosexual was to address an assembly on one day and "Mark" was to speak the next day to those wishing to hear him.

When the homosexual community became aware that "Mark" was to be allowed to speak, he was slandered and there were threats that if "Mark" spoke, the students would riot ("Mark" was supposed to be that controversial).  The homosexual community was so concerned that the students would be told (apparently for the first time) that homosexuality was NOT a genetic condition that they concocted these false stories that "Mark" had spoken at other schools where students caused an uprising.  When these stories reached me, I asked for a meeting with the assistant principal and his staff to try and squelch these falsehoods.  My pastor, who personally knew "Mark", accompanied me to the meeting where we tried to convince the school personnel that "Mark" was not the monster being portrayed.  I discovered earlier that  "Mark" had never spoken before a student body since he was in school and, having spoken to other organizations, there never had been any hint of revolt by the audience.  These extreme measures, to prevent the presentation of a view that homosexuality can be "cured", should be anticipated by anyone wishing to speak out against the life style.

What happened at the High School?  The homosexual failed to appear for his presentation at the appointed assembly of the students.  Consequently, the administration decided to cancel "Mark's" presentation the following day.  Parents and school board members were led to believe that the issue was closed for that year.  However, one student told his mother that eight days later the homosexual who was to address the assembly was in his classroom and spoke on the life style of homosexuals.  There was no speaker invited to counter the presentation, despite the motion by the School Board to see that balance was achieved on controversial subjects.

The administration claimed to know nothing of the incident reported to one mother by a student.  The issue was closed for that year.

In early 1999, "Diversity Week" was again planned.  The Student Council met with the assistant principal who reminded them that the presentation would have to be in compliance with the wishes of the Board.  The chairman of the Student Council had a lesbian mother who, upon hearing that the school was insisting on a presentation from someone who had "left the homosexual life style", filed a suit with the Vermont Civil Rights Commission, claiming that homosexuals were being discriminated against at the high school.

The District Superintendent advised the Board members of the complaint when he received it.  I met with the superintendent, with two citizens who helped me speak of our concern if the complaint were to be used to squelch any presentation by "Mark".  Subsequently, the board reversed its earlier vote for "balance".  The Board minutes failed to report that the Board’s decision was reversed; I only uncovered the "re-vote" later when “Mark” was un-invited to speak.

The suit with the Vermont Civil Rights Commission was withdrawn after "Mark's" presentation was no longer required of the Student Council.  The battle was won by threats of legal action called "discrimination" against homosexuals.   It is the homosexual community that is intolerant and discriminatory, not those of the citizenry who seek to present some semblance of character development.  “Balanced” teaching would allow our students to decide for themselves and not base their lifestyle decisions on biased, one-sided presentations.  It is false teaching that “homosexuality is an acceptable lifestyle”, presented by State-funded homosexual organizations (Gov. Dean’s grant), when this deviant lifestyle can lead students to contracting AIDS and eventually result in death.  Failure to allow the teaching that homosexuals can leave the lifestyle is misleading.

Homosexual organizations are now recruiting students and offering "all expense paid weekends" at homosexual training centers (which is the last straw, in my opinion).  Parents may never know what is happening to their child until he or she has contracted AIDS and is a victim of sodomy or rape by a person of the same gender.

Parents MUST become more aware of the teaching that their children are receiving in the public (government) schools and for which they are paying taxes to support.

Wolcott Parmly
(Richmond, VT)

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