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Austin Cline

Christians Would Ban All School Clubs To Stop Gay-Straight Alliance

By February 22, 2013

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In Lake County, Florida, the school board is considering eliminating all extra-curricular student groups in secondary schools. The reason is that the law requires schools to not discriminate when it comes to such groups -- if they let anyone form such a group, then they have to let gay students form a group.

Gay Teens
Gay Teens
Photo: Stone/Getty

This horrifies local Christians so much that they would rather deprive everyone of student groups in order to ensure that gay students are deprived of a group. After all, the overall goal of the Christian Right is to deprive gays of equal legal protection, equal rights, and even just equal consideration as human beings.

Bayli Silberstein wanted to create a Gay-Straight Alliance student club at Carver Middle School in Leesburg, Florida. The purpose, like with all such clubs, is to create a place for students to be themselves and to oppose the bullying which so commonly afflicts gay students. That's unacceptable.

School Board members Bill Mathias, Debbie Stivender and Chairwoman Kyleen Fischer spoke in favor of a rule that would ban extra-curricular clubs in secondary schools while fellow board members Tod Howard and Rosanne Brandeburg favored banning extra-curricular clubs only in middle schools.

Fischer said the district should focus on education and that "social engineering" is not the job of the School Board. "It is not our job to socially mentor students, but to educate them," she said.

Howard said he was worried about the clubs that would be lost under stricter rules. "I am very concerned that one club would push out the remainder of the clubs that are doing good things," he said.

Source: Orlando Sentinel

It's a tragedy that a person like Kyleen Fischer is on the school board at all, never mind the chair, because she so terribly misunderstands what schools are for. Obviously education is central to a school's mission, but mentoring is also critical. Schools aren't doing their job at all if they aren't able to create a healthy social environment where young people learn healthy forms of social interaction, learning how to interact with other people who are both alike and different from them.

You can't create a social institution where people interact socially for several hours each day without also influencing their social development -- especially when you're dealing with young people. You can do so either in a healthy or in an unhealthy way. Any attempt to abandon this will necessarily lead to an unhealthy environment and that's precisely what Kyleen Fischer is arguing for: schools which produce an unhealthy social environment.

February 22, 2013 at 12:44 pm
(1) Cousin Ricky says:

“Fischer said the district should focus on education and that ‘social engineering’ is not the job of the School Board. ‘It is not our job to socially mentor students, but to educate them,’ she said.”

Allowing students to form clubs is not social engineering. Attempting to prevent gay students from expressing themselves–now that is social engineering. It is astonishing how consistently and transparently religious fanatics engage in psychological projection, and baffling how so many people do not see it.

February 23, 2013 at 8:08 am
(2) Grandpa In The East says:

I can understand (but not approve the “morality”) of the Christians.

Freedom, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are antithetical to their concept of what it is to be a human being.

After all, where is “Freedom of Assembly” mentioned in the Book of Totalitarianism?


OH! I forgot to say: Hell! Thank you, Jesus.

February 23, 2013 at 12:50 pm
(3) Morris Rhoades says:

Human decency is not derived from religion. It precedes it, -Christopher Hitchens

February 23, 2013 at 1:00 pm
(4) Michael Tanton says:

This is a clear example of Christian idiots from the right fearing that kids can be “converted” or “lured” into being gay or bisexual. No, you fucking morons. Stop fucking with shit and leave everyone alone already. Get out of the schools, the laws, and society.

February 23, 2013 at 4:25 pm
(5) Carmen Shields says:

This is beyond sad that any one would even dream of doing this. Gay-Straight Alliances promote acceptance towards all and peaceful nature. Trying to stamp them out by also stamping out all other school clubs and activities is just depressing. Hopefully they will see the error of their ways.

March 1, 2013 at 3:15 pm
(6) Ricardo says:

The School Board decides to eliminate all clubs, and they have the courage to say that they are “very concerned that one club would push out the remainder of the clubs that are doing good things”!
It is not the proposed Gay-Straight Alliance student club that is banning the other clubs, but the Board. Psychological projection working once more.

March 2, 2013 at 6:28 pm
(7) retiredwheezer says:

Daily Commercial, The (Leesburg, FL)
February 17, 2013
Section: news-lake

ACLU ups the pressure on Lake County School Board

GREG JONES Staff Writer
The ACLU said it will present Lake County School Board members on Monday with a petition containing 25,000 signatures from people supporting the creation of a gay-straight alliance at Carver Middle School.
Eighth-grader Bayli Silberstein wants to form the club to help combat anti-gay bullying at the school and got the ACLU involved.
The ACLU previously told the school district it couldn’t ban a gay-straight alliance at Carver Middle while allowing other extracurricular clubs to meet there. In response, the school board at an earlier workshop said it would consider banning all such clubs at all schools or possibly at middle and elementary schools only.
Silberstein, 14, said she intends to address the board Monday.
“I’m excited by all the support I’ve gotten,” she said in a release. “We need to do something about the bullying at Carver. I really hope the school board will listen to all these people saying that banning student groups is not fair, and that we should be allowed to form a gay-straight alliance.”
The ACLU said it will continue to urge school board members to allow the gay-straight alliance club.
“We hope the public presence at the meeting on Monday will demonstrate to members of the Lake County School Board that the public supports Bayli’s right to form a Gay-Straight Alliance,” said Joyce Hamilton Henry, Mid-Florida Regional Director for the ACLU. “People are upset and want the school board to know that sacrificing the needs of all students isn’t fair, and that Bayli and her friends should be allowed to form their club to make Carver a safer school.”
The ACLU said it will present the petition to school board members at 2:15 p.m. at a workshop at 201 W. Burleigh Blvd.

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