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SERVE Alameda Website Back Up

The S.E.R.V.E. Alameda website is back up and running. When we first got news of the website, it was down.

According to the website, SERVE Alameda “has effectively launched a recall of AUSD three [sic] board members who decided to vote according to special interest by rejecting the overwhelmingly known will of the citizens and parents of the City of Alameda who addressed the board.”

And further:

Town Hall

To keep residents in the City of Alameda in the “know,” S.E.R.V.E. ALAMEDA will host a series of monthly Town Hall Meetings. The Town Hall will successfully introduce S.E.R.V.E. ALAMEDA as an organization for the people, by the people and will update parents on curriculum status, present strategies, and information to empower parents to ensure elected school board members will represent the voters. The first public meeting will be held Saturday, August 29th, 2009 from 10am – 12noon. The location is to be announced.

The group is apparently associated with the Pacific Justice Institute, as the opt-out letter page on the website invites Alameda parents to send letters to AUSD “in care of” the Institute, requesting opt-out from the LGBT curriculum.

No doubt both sides of this fight – LGBT curriculum supporters and the conservative religious right would like everyone to believe that one either supports the curriculum or is firmly against it. Both sides sound like George W. Bush: “Yer either fer us, or yer again’ us.” Unfortunately, it’s not so black and white, and one might need to apply just a little more brain power to evaluating this issue.

We support the spirit of the AUSD Lesson 9 LGBT curriculum, but we believe it should have been implemented within the scope of a larger anti-bullying curriculum that addresses all protected classes, including those discriminated against because of their race, ethnicity, religion or disabilities. This is not only about protecting the rights of children of Christian fundamentalists – children of parents that practice no religion also deserve protection against bullying from children of parents who do. Even areligious or irreligious AUSD children deserve protection under the law.

Further, AUSD board members Mooney, Jensen and Tam were foolish to vote in favor of the LGBT curriculum alone in light of an obvious forthcoming lawsuit – which has arrived – that will cost AUSD – and Alameda taxpayers – a fortune to defend.

And just to cap it, AUSD board members Mooney and Jensen are well-known as part of the local Don Perata/Democratic Party/developer-friendly political cabal that tries to run everything in Alameda. LGBT education aside, we’d be happy to see those two cast out of office.

7 comments to SERVE Alameda Website Back Up

  • Jack Mingo

    When “atheist” and “fundie” are commonly dealt out as insults around schools–as “queer,” “gay,” and “lesbo” are–then those groups should also be included in the curriculum about tolerance and bullying.

    However, I have heard nothing to indicate that. It’s a smokescreen.

    I had dealings with the “Pacific Justice Institute” when writing about an excellent teacher who they slandered as an actively recruiting lesbian in the hope of getting her fired. The PJI are a nasty piece of work: anti-tolerant, but ready to play the “discrimination!” card when it will further the work of the Christianists and those who think bullying gays is a tenet of their religion. The PJI are not interested in justice, they are interested in “Just Us.”

    A lawsuit that might cost the city money? BFD. Sometimes you gotta do what’s right, despite the threats from moral pipsqueaks.

  • But the Lesson 9 plan doesn’t teach tolerance of “atheists” and “fundies….”

    Our point is that we think there were respectable reasons – aside from whatever the PJI said – to not approve the Lesson 9 plan as presented to the board. Where is the specific curriculum to prevent Muslim or atheist children from being bullied or otherwise discriminated against? (In some cases by the children of Christian fundamentalists…) Where is the specific curriculum to prevent black or hispanic or asian children from being bullied? New curriculum that protects all classes would no doubt provide a stronger defence against the PJI lawsuit that would have been filed in any event.

  • DHL

    “no individual or group has the right to gain respect for their viewpoint at the expense of disrespecting another group.”

    does this mean that if someone has a lifestyle or viewpoint different from the one I have, that their being open and honest about it is disrespecting me?

    “Parents have a right to educate their children at home with their customs, traditions, and values. Schools shall remain neutral.”

    A school’s neutrality is exactly that: no matter WHAT the lifestyle, belief system, etc., one personally holds, THE PERSON will be respected. Other than that, the school must teach secular ethics. These may differ from family customs. If so, why should those families and their customs be threatened by this and want their customs known and influencing/imposing-on others? Aren’t we all confident in our own views and beliefs enough to live, study, and work together anyway? Plurality. Go figure.

  • DHL

    “Academics first, academics second and academics before any other issue. Any program that creates a diversion from academics must be challenged and reconsidered.”

    Have you noticed that if a kid is being bullied or discriminated against, that they don’t have much chance at having ‘Academics first’????

    Christians are not discriminated against in general, in our culture. LBGT definitely and actively are–it’s a pretty horrid experience. This is a social issue that requires special attention in order for academics to be first for all children.

  • David Kirwin

    Lesson 9 is the ONLY anti-bullying lesson that specifically protects any of the protected classes – you know, “…on the basis of sex, religion, nationality, handicaps, race, ethnic group, or, …and this gets longwinded, sexual preference, gender, or perceived gender…”

    In short, despite the huge public demonstration against a this pro-LGBTQ curriculum for only grades K-5, LGBTQ is now the only protected class that has lessons specifically addressing their protection in the entire Caring School Curriculum. No lessons specifically address race, ethnicity or religion (or any of the others.)
    According to the District’s own statistics, local bullying follows the state-wide patterns – Race, ethnicity and religion are the main targets of “bullying behavior” There is very little ‘bullying” in Alameda on the LGBT issues – and none of it in Elementary school.

    Saying “That’s so gay” is not bullying – it is little kids misusing a term they think means “stupid”. (This according to my elementary and middles schools children) We can tell them those are things, or sentences we don’t say, …because it is against school rules. We don’t have to try to explain it any farther to 5, 6 or even 8 year olds.

    I favor having very clear and open discussions and lessons on Sexual tolerance, acceptance, and empathy, to improve understanding of all the LGBTQ issues, but they should not start until Middle School, and should continue thru high school. Such lessons on empathy and understanding should also exist for all the other protected statuses as well.

    IMO elementary students if using any kinds of slurs should be told to ‘stop it’ – they don’t need, and at the younger grades are not capable of, philosophic understanding of these issues. It a ‘just say “no”’.

    At the BOE meeting of Aug 25, AUSD reveled that because lesson 9 is the only lesson in the Caring School Curriculum that specifically addresses issues of a protected class, that AUSD will stop using the curriculum soon. They will now be forming a new committee to choose a new curriculum that specifically addresses all the protected classes. CSC was chosen years ago because it was a suitable framework for teachers to use as their judgment allowed.
    Now at great expense and because of poor judgment allowing the specific K-5 lessons to support the outspoken LGBTQ activists, it is all just a big waste that split the community. (And split the vote for the next needed parcel tax) That lack of good judgment is all the reason I need to want to dump those members of the BOE who supported dividing the community.

    I absolutely support LGBT issues, I resent being called ‘homophobic’ on local blogs because it is so opposite the truth, but the target age of K-5, IMO is just not appropriate. At young ages, children need to just be “told” what not to do as far as playground conduct. It is a time of socialization, true, but also a time they must begin to understand there are rules they simply have to follow. As they get older and they can understand more, more can be reveled to them in our public schools. As far as sexual awareness, “let the children play”, and later in their young lives there will be plenty of time for those sexuality lessons.

  • AUSD handled it in a pretty ham-handed manner, to be sure…

  • David Kirwin

    DHL

    “no individual or group has the right to gain respect for their viewpoint at the expense of disrespecting another group.”

    does this mean that if someone has a lifestyle or viewpoint different from the one I have, that their being open and honest about it is disrespecting me?

    In a word “NO”

    It more closely resembles that you like, and believe you have a right to peace and quiet in your home, but your room mate or neighbor likes and feels s/he has a right to play a drum set to high volume music at any hour of the day.

    Should this be settled by the Governing board allowing just one of you to put a committee together to determine the outcome?

    What if the committee was then allowed to be comprised of all drummers who like loud music?

    Would you feel the governing board used proper judgment? Would you continue to support that governing board? Would you give that board a vote of support, or increase their allowance out of your own pocket?

    In a word “NO”

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