September 2016

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
        1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30  

Subscribe

« The Right to a Dead Baby? | Main | What Is an Evangelical? »

August 22, 2006

Comments

It's 1984 all over again.
"reflecting adversely" could be interpreted in any number of ways, so if anyone connected with the Cal school system thinks that LBGT lifestyles are anything other than fantastic, they better keep their mouths shut. The Thought Police are here, folks.

I would also add that said legislature is controlled by mostly socialist far-left types, who are dead set on getting their personal agendas passed into law. The fact that they spend so much time passing crap like this, and ignoring things like the almost 50% drop out rate in many school districts, illegal immigration, the future deficits looming in State paid pension funds and in the State treasury in general, gives you a good idea of what kind of work is getting done in Sacramento. Why do we keep reelecting these people?

http://info.sen.ca.gov/cgi-bin/postquery?bill_number=sb_1437&sess=CUR&house=B&site=sen

Wow, Melinda should have quoted this part (thanks to Alan for the link):

60044. No instructional materials shall be adopted by any governing board for use in the schools that, in its determination, contains:
(a) Any matter reflecting adversely upon persons because of their race or ethnicity, gender, disability, nationality, sexual orientation, or religion, as those terms are defined in Section 422.56 of the Penal Code , or occupation.
(b) Any sectarian or denominational doctrine or propaganda contrary to law.

...

I'm no lawyer, but it sounds to me like the CA legislature is specifically targeting religious-based objections to sexual orientation.

Not really Cliff as the law applies only to public schools and they can't do religious instruction now anyway. It couldn't apply to religious schools as that would be a clear First Ammendment issue.

According to the Sac Bee the law was watered down and may well not change anything. Wouldn't be the first time a fuss was made about nothing.

I just read the latest version of the bill and it seems like a big so what.

I hit an earlier analysis, here is the link to the bill's complete journey. You might want to save the general search link for future legislation.

Oops, here's the link:

http://info.sen.ca.gov/cgi-bin/postquery?bill_number=sb_1437&sess=CUR&house=B&site=sen

Here are some off the cuff thoughts:

So what do you suppose the chances are that this will not be challenged in court?

Does "Any matter reflecting adversely" mean regardless of whether it may be true?

"Any sectarian or denominational doctrine or propaganda contrary to law"
Since religion is included in the previous section preventing adverse reflection does condemning the historical child sacrifice of the Canaanites become illegal? Or maybe it would not be illegal if you had religious reasons for saying that child sacrifice is wrong.

If Christianity cites Biblical condemnation of homosexual behavior is it protected under the new law?

Could this law be used against itself?

>Not really Cliff as the law
>applies only to public schools
>and they can't do religious
>instruction now anyway. It
>couldn't apply to religious
>schools as that would be a clear
>First Ammendment issue.

Really? Then what has changed in CA law since 2001?

http://www.snopes.com/religion/islam.htm

I gave you the snopes link and analysis for this particular event, since snopes is generally more skeptical about claims. Even the snopes article makes the point that Islam was taught in a CA public school in a way that "had the portions of world history centering on the spread of Christianity been taught in similar manner — the outcry would have been thunderous."

By the way, the school's ability to teach this curriculum was upheld on appeal by the 9th Circuit.

Cliff, did you read the whole Snopes article? The way the Byron School District tried to teach the California standards

http://www.snopes.com/religion/islam.htm

was off the wall however the courts had previously ruled in an earlier decision "Some student participatory activity involving school-sponsored ritual may be
permissible even under [the Establishment Clause] where the activity is used for
secular pedagogical purposes. For example, having children act out a ceremonial
American Indian dance for the purpose of exploring and learning about American
Indian culture may be permissible even if the dance was religious ritual. Similarly,
a reenactment of the Last Supper or a Passover dinner might be permissible if
presented for historical or cultural purposes.7" so the Ninth's decision was hardly without precident. http://www.nsba.org/site/docs/34200/34136.pdf

My own opinion is that interactive activities are largely a waste of time but that is another issue.

William, child sacrifice is a public policy issue which trumps the religious freedom issue.

I guess my question would be how does one understand "reflecting adversely"? While I would never (and I have taught in NYC public schools as an artist-in-residence) teach that homosexuals were "bad people", if a child asks how the AIDS crisis in America got so bad, is it reflecting negatively on the homosexual community if I say that intervenous drug use and casual sex (particularly anal sex amoung men) in the 1980s was the major culprit? Is that a negative reflection on homosexual men?

Alan,

You missed the point on the child sacrifice bit. It dealt with an ancient historical fact of religious practice. It doesn't have anything to do with a current practice (I hope!!)I haven't seen anything in the law that would explicitly exclude this from being subject to the law. Consequently my question.

Also please briefly explain how a hypothetical first amendment religious freedom issue is always trumped by public policy?

Robert,
Yep, that is a good question. The term "reflecting adversely" is vague at best. If the law is not vetoed I expect we will find out pretty quick.

William, as child sacrifice is illegal in California, I doubt condemning it would be a problem.

Claiming a religious pass on a given activity doesn't automatically work.
drug use and polygamy as well as human sacrifice don't make the cut. In order to qualify for tax exempt status certain forms of discrimination are not allowed even if the religion calls for such discrimination.

If a textbook reflects adversely on Canaanites for their religious practice of child sacrifice does it not violate this law? Or do the persons adversely reflected upon have to be alive? Do Nazis get a pass on their eugenics and its implimentation on the Jews? Would it be illegal to indicate that this was a bad thing or do we just report events with no moral context? If so I see this as big trouble for our society. Maybe these details are covered elsewhere in the law or other state legal definitions.

This seems like a very poor law in so many ways. Why is it needed? Once again it doesn't deal with truth. It is concerned with supposed non-judgmental education which strips truth and in my opinion, any ultimate meaning from the education system.

The law is of course specifically designed to bring pressure on those who believe that homosexual and other aberrant sexual behavior is unhealthy for individuals and society and should not be mainstreamed as normal and healthy. The law will in fact bring a judgment on values & beliefs of a certain kind and it is in this respect that I see it as self contradictory.

It seems that anyone concerned about freedom in our educational system would be concerned about how this legislation will be interpreted if it becomes law.

Does the law apply to public higher education as well? If not, I wonder why Universities should be exempt where elementary and high schools are not?

The reason whu we have the law is that some teachers are racists and bigots and have not hesitated to inflict their beliefs on their students. I'm sure even you don't want teachers to be able to push their religious values in class so the issue resolves to do we want teachers to be able to push their moral values about homosexuality on students or school boards to compel teachers to do so.

I have read that that is already the case so the watered down law may not change anything so all the fuss is about nothing.

http://www.holysmoke.org/sdhok/jewish.htm

But first we have the Canaanites and now the Nazis. Godwins law should probably be invoked at this point.

Of course the legislation not only prevents pushing religious values but any matter that has any values that imply that any person's race or ethnicity, gender, disability, nationality, sexual orientation, occupation or religion is less than wonderful in any way!! Regardless of whether there may be legitimate controversy surrounding the subject matter.

How far can an interpretation of "any sectarian or denominational doctrine or propaganda" go? Would it include political parties? I do think that is is reasonable to conclude that the author of the legislation was targeting religious objections to homosexual behavior but the terms are vague enough that the applications could be far more extensive.

Perhaps my concerns are unfounded but I would be interested in informed responses on the potential applications of this legislation should it become law.

As to Godwin's law, from Wikipedia: "Godwin's Law (also Godwin's Rule of Nazi Analogies) is a mainstay of Internet culture, an adage formulated by Mike Godwin in 1990. It is particulary concerned with logical fallacies such as reductio ad Hitlerum, wherein an idea is unduly dismissed or rejected on ground of it being associated with persons generally considered "evil".

The law states:

As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one. [1]"

I plead innocent. I did not compare any one or anything to Hitler or Nazis. As with the Canaanites I was looking for historical groups, not contemporary people, that had practices that are generally agreed to be wrong, evil if you will. This was an attempt, however awkward, to explore the possible extent of the application of the legislation by selecting instances of behavior and ideas that most people view adversely. I guess this means the conversation can continue:).

"I'm sure even you don't want teachers to be able to push their religious values in class so the issue resolves to do we want teachers to be able to push their moral values about homosexuality on students or school boards to compel teachers to do so."

But if you can't say anything negative (again, so wide a swath that it is useless) then you ALREADY HAVE pushed a moral point of view, since the only things that you can say are positive. You can't approach homosexuality from a morally neutral point of view any more than you can approach heterosexuality from a morally neutral point of view. Unless you simply say "Homosexuality is being attracted to a person of the same sex and heterosexuality is being attracted to a person of the opposite sex." Anything outside of that is going to carry some sort of moral angle to it, either specific or tacit.

Regarding "reflecting adversely", since the absurd standard of todays culture is that the perception is the reality, rather than the reality, if any one person simply said "I'm offended" that would be sufficient.

"No teacher shall give instruction nor shall a school
district sponsor any activity that reflects adversely upon persons
because of their race or ethnicity, gender, disability, nationality,
sexual orientation, or religion, as those terms are defined in
Section 422.56 of the Penal Code."

"You can't approach homosexuality from a morally neutral point of view any more than you can approach heterosexuality from a morally neutral point of view."

Whu would you approach it at all? You all are really reading too much into this law. Read the version passed by the Assembly. Read the version and read what is being said and you will know who to believe about political things. At most this law will keep some jerk of a gym teacher from shooting his mouth off.

http://info.sen.ca.gov/pub/bill/sen/sb_1401-1450/sb_1437_bill_20060807_amended_asm.html


"Whu would you approach it at all? You all are really reading too much into this law. Read the version passed by the Assembly. Read the version and read what is being said and you will know who to believe about political things. At most this law will keep some jerk of a gym teacher from shooting his mouth off."

I read the bill again. And while you may see the usefulness of this bill in light of what it will do to loud mouth gym teachers, the ambiguity of "reflecting adversely" has great power for jurists with an agenda.

You would approach this issue because it comes up. Kids make statements and ask questions in classrooms. I don't know if you have ever been a teacher in primary education, but questions which could be construed as "reflecting adversely" come up all the time. As a teacher, you have to walk a tight-rope. Now maybe not just this addition but the whole set of laws it is attached to is a bit ridiculous as far as the criticisms you give, but as people are just too willing to sue over people anyone stepping in their personal flower garden and, thusly, holding teachers/ school districts liable for the silliest of questions because of some perceived slight, I think the legislature of CA owes it to their teachers to be more specific. That is the weakness of this law (and others like it) and why it never should have been passed.

Alan

As a gym teacher I was highly offened by those comments. I think the language should include protection against reflecting adversely on ones vocation.

sorry
Todd

Sorry Todd, I'm sure you are a fine person and i'm sure many gym teachers are also but the gym teachers I (and my friends had) were too often not such great guys.

I actually had a PE teacher who made an off-color remark to the whole class about the daughter of another teacher at the school.

The reality is simply this: who is more likely to say something inappropriate - a coach in a locker room setter or a math teacher in a more formal classroom setting?

BTW, a number of years ago UCLA made gym optional. A friend of mine was there during the transition and said the gym teachers were a whole lot nicer that last year.

To be fair, I may also be dating myself. Perhaps the standards are higher now for PE instructors.

How do teachers walk the tightrope in respect to "race, sex,
color, creed, handicap, national origin, or ancestry" as these categories are already in the law? Seems to me one would handle it much the same.

As "reflecting adeversly" is already in the existing law, it would seem to me that there is probably a body of case law as to what the term means.

http://www.sacbee.com/content/politics/story/14296634p-15149822c.html

http://www.calitics.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=885

Hey Alan

I was totally joking. Not about being a gym teacher, but by being offended. My PE teachers weren't the greatest either (of course having a class size of 40 - 60 students doesn't help)

One of my favorite quotes is from a woody alan movie where he says something to the effect of:
"those who can't do, teach. And those who can't teach, teach PE."

But that is another story. (Because I work in a private school (secular) I actually do teach)

anyway...

You know what is funny, I think it is actually *more* likely that a class room teacher will say something inapporpriate in regard to religion or politics than a PE teacher.

But this is a major tangent form the original post and doesn't really add anything.

I just had to laugh and couldn't let the gym teacher comment go without commenting.

take it easy,
Todd

I can't help be reminded of what happened to an ass't prof at a Canadian university who was docked two weeks pay for comments he placed in a non-university blog stating that homosexuality is immoral. A gay student at the Canadian university stumbled across the remarks and complained which to the instructor being docked.

Jonh, your comment is a reminder of the wisdom of a Bill of Rights that is part of a written Constitution. Every time we read of someones speech being punished elsewhere in the world, we should be grateful for the Framers. We should also be alert to any threats to our First Amendment.

"I guess it's sort of like the evolution controversy in public schools. Indoctrinate rather than debate."

What matters is what elite judges having a secular religion say.
http://groups.google.com/groups?selm=dford3-3aenpiF69fl4rU1%40individual.net
aka
http://tinyurl.com/ee5ax

"SB 1437 would ban teachers, textbooks, instructional materials or school activities from reflecting 'adversely' upon people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender."

1939 R. T. Smallbones: "The explanation for this outbreak of sadistic cruelty may be that sexual perversion, and, in particular, homosexuality, are very prevalent in Germany."
Igra: homosexuality a "poisoned stream" in human history
http://groups.google.com/groups?selm=dford3-1144986392.404825.109570%40z34g2000cwc.googlegroups.com
aka
http://tinyurl.com/juk6w

The comments to this entry are closed.