FL School Board Takes Public Input on GSA Controversy

FL School Board Takes Public Input on GSA Controversy February 23, 2013

The Lake County School Board in Tavares, Florida that is considering eliminating all non-curricular clubs from the middle school to prevent the formation of a Gay-Straight Alliance club took public testimony about the issue on Monday, with predictably bad arguments from the busybodies.

Two health care professionals who addressed the board quoted a study from the American College of Pediatricians.

“Declaring and validating a student’s same sex attraction during adolescent years is premature and harmful,” said Carol Moore.

Two “health care professionals”? Why not be specific? Two nurses, or even doctors, would have no more insight into adolescent sexuality than a garbageman or a plumber. And the American College of Pediatricians sounds very authoritative, but it’s actually the right wing alternative to the much older and more authoritative American Academy of Pediatricians. The ACP split off in 2002 because the AAP supported marriage equality. So this is an appeal to entirely irrelevant authority.

A Baptist minister voiced his opposition as well. “A club of that nature, those activities would be a gateway for other groups to follow, groups not having anything to do with our education of our students,” Pastor Ken Scrubs. “We believe our school campuses should maintain a focus on academic prowess and not become a center of social expression.”

So I’m sure he’s opposed to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at the local high school, right? Yeah, I didn’t think so. But if they don’t get rid of that club, which is clearly non-curricular, then they’re breaking the law.

In another article on the same meeting, the board tried to pretend that the new policy they’re considering has nothing to do with the GSA:

School Board chairwoman Kyleen Fischer and members Bill Mathias and Debbie Stivender in previous discussions spoke in favor of a rule banning clubs not tied to school courses in middle and high schools. Board members Tod Howard and Rosanne Brandeburg have expressed support for a measure banning such clubs only in middle schools.

On Monday, Howard and Mathias stressed that their decisions are about creating a policy and not based on the gay-straight group. Howard said he does not agree or disagree with the gay-straight group, while Brandeburg said she has not seen bullying on campuses.

Oh yes, of course! It’s purely coincidental that this desire to get rid of all non-curricular clubs just happened to appear the moment someone tries to form a GSA club. And it’s sheer serendipity that people showed up to preach about the evils of the GSA club at a school board meeting to discuss that policy. One has absolutely nothing to do with the other!

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  • This is also the solution to that picture of Jesus, supposedly belonging to a student group, in an Ohio school. Form a GSA and ask to hang a portrait of Harvey Milk in their “Hall of Honor” and Jesus (and all clubs) will disappear like … well … magic.

  • Steve Morrison

    Something about this sounds familiar—oh, yes, Educational Decree Number Twenty-four!


    The High Inquisitor of Hogwarts

    All Student Organizations, Societies, Teams, Groups, and Clubs are henceforth disbanded.

    An Organization, Society, Team, Group, or Club is hereby defined as a regular meeting of three or more students.

    Permission to re-form may be sought from the High Inquisitor (Professor Umbridge).

    No Student Organization, Society, Team, Group, or Club may exist without the knowledge and approval of the High Inquisitor.

    Any student found to have formed, or to belong to, an Organization, Society, Team, Group, or Club that has not been approved by the High Inquisitor will be expelled.

    The above is in accordance with

    Educational Decree Number Twenty-four.


    Dolores Jane Umbridge


  • MikeMa

    I wonder if football or other sports could be disbanded as not having a direct link to academics. Nah, I didn’t think so.

    The bigots rarely just come out and own their hate.

  • whheydt

    When I saw the title of the article my fisrt thought was, “They have a problem with the Girl Scouts??” That is probably because the convention I was helping run last weekend had a bit of a problem with some of them…to the point that a different Girl Scout leader stated plans to take up the issue with the district council.

  • mvemjsun

    “school campuses should maintain a focus on academic prowess’ Great that means evolution and not the non-academic bs of creation.

  • Moggie

    So I’m sure he’s opposed to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at the local high school, right? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

    I wouldn’t be so sure. The GSA kids are probably already facing hostility from the community (and further abroad), but imagine how much worse that will get if Christian groups are forced to close. Then, after a suitable interval, the school board can announce that they have reversed their decision, and clubs can resume… but the GSA kids, having had their fill of death threats, will decide it’s not worth it.

    As for the American Academy of Pediatricians, according to the SPLC they have no more than 200 members, compared to 60k in the AAP. You could probably find more than 200 pediatricians who believe the Earth is flat.

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