Monday, May 10, 2010

Tea Party Forces School Back on Gay Agenda

"We monitor the school boards, the county freeholders, the New Jersey Legislature. There's a lot of people out there fed up with what's going on. It's important they understand the issues before they start doing something. That's where we come in."

-- From "Burlco school board bans book on homosexuality" by James Osborne, Philadelphia Inquirer Staff Writer 5/5/10

A Burlington County school board voted Tuesday night to pull a book depicting teenage homosexuality from its high school library shelves after protests from a local conservative group.

The Rancocas Valley Board of Education, which oversees a regional high school serving the Mount Holly area, was concerned that the book was too graphic for children, said school board member Jesse Adams.

The controversy began at a school board meeting in March when a group of 18 residents, who later identified themselves as part of the 9.12 Project, a nationwide government watchdog network launched by the talk-radio and television personality Glenn Beck, called for the banning of three books, all dealing with teenage sexuality and issues of homosexuality, said Superintendent Michael Moskalski.

The books are Revolutionary Voices: A Multicultural Queer Youth Anthology; Love and Sex: 10 Stories of Truth; and The Full Spectrum: A New Generation of Writing About Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, and Other Identities.

The proposed ban carried with it political undertones. The national 9.12 group has called for the resignation of Kevin Jennings as assistant deputy secretary for the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools in the U.S. Department of Education. Jennings, who is openly gay, is the former head of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network.

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From "Activists see momentum in book ban" by James Osborne, Philadelphia Inquirer Staff Writer 5/6/10

The campaign at Rancocas Valley Regional High School to pull Revolutionary Voices: A Multicultural Queer Youth Anthology and two other books dealing with teenage homosexuality is unlikely to be the last time county residents hear from [Gerry] Grabinski and his members - 358 according to the group's Web site [Burlington County 9.12].

They're already looking at petitioning the removal of the same book from the Lenape Regional High School District, which with four high schools and about 7,500 students is the county's largest school district.

In addition, 9.12 members are campaigning for such changes as an alternate teaching of global warming - the state considers Al Gore's documentary film, An Inconvenient Truth, an educational resource - and a requirement that high schools teach civics as a stand-alone class.

The path to the book's ban at Rancocas Valley began last year when Beverly Marinelli, a widely known activist in Lumberton who joined 9.12 last year, was poking around online and found a list of books recommended by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network.

"We decided to see if these books were here, and, lo and behold, they were," Marinelli said. "There's stuff that's appropriate for children and stuff that's not. People wish to distract from the real issue by going into the 9.12 thing."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.