The Republic of T.

Black. Gay. Father. Vegetarian. Buddhist. Liberal.

PFOX’s Thinly Veiled Threats

They’re at it again. I wrote earlier about PFOX’s attempt to take over our school district, because they object to a sex-ed curriculum that doesn’t include their propaganda about “reparative therapy” but does include a section on “Respecting Sexual Differences” which encourages students to put themselves in the place of LGBT students who face harassment, etc. According to the PFOX crowd, teaching kids that LGBT students shouldn’t be harassed, and maybe teaching them a little empathy, is “promoting” a “lifestyle.” (Whereas teaching LGBT students that they’re really heterosexual and just don’t know it yet, is fine and dandy. Because what the world really needs is more Ted Haggards and Paul Barnes.)

So, that’s cause to pull out the big guns. They’ve been to court once already (because they’re actually not averse to resorting to the courts if it helps them get their way) but didn’t get everything they wanted. So, now they’re threatening legal action again if the board approves the new non-homophobic curriculum. [Via Vigilance.]

The children, parents and other tax payers of Montgomery County need a new curriculum but they do not need or deserve another round of huge legal expense caused by MCPS continuing to wrestle with what should be settled law.

In keeping with the educational theme, this is somewhat akin to the school bully strongly recommending that you hand over your lunch money or have a little meeting with him by the flagpole after school. (Or maybe hand over your lunch money and confer with him at the flagpole. It shouldn’t come as surprise, though, because that’s what bullies do and that’s what these people are. They’re the same kind of people who object to making schools safe for LGBT students and even oppose suicide prevention for LGBT students.

I know because I’ve come up against people like them ever since I was in school, and I know that they don’t stop once you give in to them. I can only imagine what kind of curriculum we’ll end up with if the school board gives in to these bullies. And the school officials would never get another moments peace, because the wingnuts will only keep upping the ante, and I’m sure I’ll join in the inevitable protest..

The school board would do well to note that there’s potential legal liability on the other side too, and that tolerance can help them avoid legal bills in the long run.

A lesbian student in California just won $1.3 in damages after a principal outed her to her parents.In 1996, Jamie Nabozny won a landmark case, and $900,000 in damages, against his school district for failing to do anything about the anti-gay harassment that left him hospitalized and suicidal. Derek Henkle faced daily harassment, which school officials did nothing to stop and which caused him to drop out our school. He later won a $451,000 suit against his school system. Another school district in California had to settle with a student who faced anti-gay harassment and sued the school for not preventing it, and had to implement a an anti-harassement program as part of the settlement. Dylan Theno, whose story I blogged about a while back, isn’t even gay, but was perceived as such and harassed as a result, won $250,000 in damages after suing his school district for not stopping the harassment.

And those are the kids who survived. Some don’t, like Jim Wheeler, who took his own life in 1997. Kids like Jim don’t sue. But they have parents who can so or, as Susan Wheeler did, successfully campaign for tolerance in their school district. Sometimes they get movies made about them, posthumously.

PFOX is suggesting that there’s a price to pay for standing up to bigotry. Well, there’s also a price paid for knuckling under to bigotry. It’s just a question of which is the higher price. And who pays it.


  1. You know, I read this and it pisses me off. But you know what else pisses me off? There are GLBT teachers in these schools that are being targetd. And they’re probably not speaking up because they’re afraid of becoming targets themselves.

  2. Hasn’t anyone ever told them to publicly FUCK OFF! using those two words?