Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Massafoolishnessetts! Say What?

The story hit the nation on June 25th.  A Cape Cod Town elementary school at the center of a controversial policy on sex education.  The policy involves handing out condoms to elementary school age kids!  That's right, you read that correctly.  Pick yourself up off the floor and keep reading.

According to ABC News, The superintendent of a Massachusetts school district is apologizing to parents for what she calls a misunderstanding over a sex education policy that as written, would have applied to both high school students and first-graders.

Provincetown Superintendent Beth Singer said in the letter e-mailed Tuesday that the district would clarify that elementary school-age students couldn't get condoms if they requested them from the school nurse.

Singer said it became necessary to revise the policy's wording after it was "so badly understood and misrepresented by the media," according to the Cape Cod Times.

"It is especially troublesome to me and to our school community that this is likely to have been your introduction to the policy," Singer wrote in the e-mail, as reported in the Cape Cod Times.

In 1991, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education passed its first policy on condom availability as part its previous policy on AIDS/HIV prevention education.

It recommended that "every school committee, in consultation with superintendents, administrators, faculty, parents and students consider making condoms available in their secondary schools."

Provinceton -- the smallest district in the state -- was at the center of a firestorm after its school board voted unanimously on June 8 to give condoms to students even without their parents' consent. But because of an outcry from Gov. Deval Patrick and others the district said would consider excluding students in grades one through four.

You can see the full ABC story and their video coverage HERE
Also, a Massachusetts high school has decided to allow the Pledge of Allegiance in school, but not in class. Are you kidding me?  Arlington High School Principal Charles Skidmore has "graciously" offered to allow students to recite the Pledge of Allegiance before school begins, but not in the classrooms.

Todd Starnes on reports, Student Sean Harrington appears to have won his fight to bring the Pledge of Allegiance back into his Massachusetts high school -- except the Principal's proposed solution leaves the daily honor to the nation's flag literally hanging in the hall.

Charles Skidmore, principal of Arlington High School in Arlington, Mass., has offered to allow students to recite the pledge before school begins -- but in the school's foyer and not in the classrooms, as 17-year-old Harrington had hoped.

Kathleen Bodie, Arlington superintendent of schools, told Fox News Radio that “The principal wanted to be very respectful about the pledge and be sensitive to the Supreme Court ruling that students are not forced to say the pledge. He wanted to be sensitive to the diverse group of students we have.”

Bodie said there has been reluctance to put the district's teachers in a position of reciting the pledge, and she acknowledged that some have raised concerns about its inclusion of the words “under God".

“I don’t know if it’s all about ‘under God,’ but that is certainly an aspect of it,” she said.

She said the pledge is voluntarily recited in the district's elementary and middle schools, but it hasn't been recited at the high school in decades.

It is unclear whether Harrington, who led the fight to bring the pledge back to the school, will be satisfied with the compromise of having it recited in the foyer, and not in class. When he was a freshman, he noticed that there were no American flags in the classrooms, and he enlisted the aid of his fellow students to get them installed. He also began his fight to have students voluntarily recite the pledge.

Harrington recently presented school officials with a petition signed by 700 people, along with letters of support from lawmakers including Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn. But the request to have the pledge recited failed when the committee's vote ended in a 3-3 tie.

"I was really heartbroken," Harrington told Fox News Radio. "It's hard to think that something so traditional in American society was turned down."

His fight has received quite a bit of support from the community. "When I was going to school, it was an honor and a privilege to pledge allegiance to the flag," Francis De Guglielmo, 55, told the Arlington Patch. He called the ban an "absolute travesty" and a "disgrace."

Harrington, who will be a senior in the fall, told Fox News Radio: "I'm not a person who quits and I don't back down. It's a very righteous cause and needs to be followed through until the end."

Some committee members voiced concerns about forcing people to do something that might violate their beliefs – including religious beliefs. Among the no-votes was committee member Leba Heigham.

"Patriotism is a very personal thing for all of us, but I do not think it is in the school committee's best interest to mandate that any of our employees recite the pledge," she told the Patch.

But Harrington stressed that he was seeking a voluntary recitation.

"If we can't find one teacher who is willing to say the pledge, then the system we have is cracked," he told FOX News Radio, noting that a number of teachers signed his petition.

He said the school's ban on the pledge sent the wrong message. "It tells me that we've basically cast aside what our country is founded on," he said. "It's saying that we don't really care, and it's sad."

Get more about this story from Fox News HERE

Kudos to Sean Harrington for standing up for what he believes in!

No comments:

Post a Comment


News/Talk 660 K-SKY | 6400 Belt Line Road, Suite 110 Irving, Texas 75063 | (214) 561-9660