A tenth-grade student at Fluvanna County High School has proposed producing stickers featuring a redesigned school logo in rainbow colors in order to show “support” for the “LGBTQ+ community.”
In her letter to the School Board, the student recommends that the rainbow logo stickers then be distributed to sympathetic teachers for in-school display:
I am a tenth-grade student at the high school, and president of the Alliance club sponsored by Ms. Rebecca Newman. The purpose of Alliance club is to create a safe and non-judgmental space for students within or supporting the LGBTQ+ community. In order for some of the teachers that support our club to display their support, we would like to give out stickers to teachers displaying the Fluco “F” in rainbow colors. I am requesting permission for the club to use the logo shown below so that we can encourage a safe, accepting space in our school. If you would like to contact me about this, I am available at xxxxxxx@xxxxxxxxx
Thank you for your consideration,
The student’s letter does not reference the problem of politicization, but it is an issue worthy of consideration. Teachers will be judged, positively or negatively, by their acceptance or rejection of the rainbow stickers.
And despite the club’s tacit advocacy of safety and acceptance for all, older posts from the Alliance’s now-dormant Facebook page imply hostility and intolerance towards those who do not accept the club’s premise:
In addition, political appropriation of the school’s logo opens the door for other such customizations that certainly would deviate from the present political paradigm.
Can teachers be asked to promote safe spaces for pro-life students, those in support of the NRA and 2nd Amendment? For protection of and expressed sympathy towards conservatives, Southern Heritage, Christians, Hamas?
Everything old is new again, as the Fluvanna County School Board stands at the edge of a vast chasm. A capitulation to one interest group will lead to demands by others who may not be as palatable. Will the board have the courage and wisdom to just say “no” or will Fluvanna County High School become the latest battleground in the ongoing Culture Wars?
The student’s proposal is on the School Board agenda for November 7.
In response to Romans 1, I offer this from the Charter of the Rhode Island Colony, that nobody will be “molested, punished, disquieted, or called in question, for any differences in opinion, in matters of religion.”
It’s a public school, not a church.
The school officially has a sanctioned club/organization for this and therefore it makes sense for a request like this to come through. Being LGBT shouldn’t be a “political” issue. That’s like saying racism is a “political” issue. In 1960, maybe, but 2018? Prolife is a choice, religion is a choice, conservatism is a choice, supporting the NRA is a choice. Everything else mentioned in this article is a choice. Sexual orientation is NOT a choice.
Tony, I understand your point as well as Rob’s. Re: racism, the word has become bastardized and overused, sadly, by the left to where anyone who is not “of color” who dare criticize someone “of color” on a legitimate, logical basis, is labeled racist, or as having racist motives in his critique. For example, arguably the most famous (and polarizing) figure on the left made a comment about two black men she had confused by dismissing it as “Well, they all look alike, you know.” It was dismissed as a joke, rather than a racist comment.
Remember, there are those who believe that if sexual orientation is not a choice, homosexuality is still deviant behavior. They believe that, even though something is not a choice (like addiction or having six toes), it still deviates from the norm.
On the other hand, it needs to be made clear that this club was not formed in a political vacuum. A quick look at the sponsors Tweets reveals an obsession with hate of all things right, congratulating Sally Yates, calling Breitbart a “hate” site, and deriding the President of the US. All within her rights! But dismissing Ms. Newman’s motives as purely apolitical is like saying the UN motions on climate change are apolitical; it just doesn’t pass the smell test.
However, if one started a “Club National” at FCHS, and I sponsored it (as a teacher), and people complained it had a xenophobic mission, Tweets I had made that showed an obsession with America, the flag, the Second Amendment, conservative thought, etc. would be front and center. And I likely would be called, in fact, xenophobic. (We all know the tactic of attaching the suffix “-phobe” to something to make it appear sinister and irrational.)
The simple solution here would be for the club to design its own logo. Surely, in a school district, there is at least one student who does/is learning graphic design? Have a contest in the art program or make it a project.
So, the FCSB will meet and spend time on this issue. Everything but reading and writing and arithmetic…government schools 2018!
The problem of politicization is one of peer pressure, and peer pressure is unavoidable. The kids are in school to learn about life. Peer pressure is part of life. Politics are part of life. It’s neither desirable nor possible for a school to be a safe space from cultural clashes, which are rooted in history and its power struggles. Schools teach history, and the way in which history is taught is inescapably political. Instead of pretending that American culture today isn’t a battleground, schools should teach kids how to fight fairly, which first and foremost means by hewing to the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, something which is practically unheard of these days. They should not pretend the fights aren’t happening. That would serve the kids poorly.
Conservatives argue that kids should be allowed to display Confederate symbols, and that schools named for Confederate heroes should be allowed to retain their names (I agree). But at the same time they argue that liberals shouldn’t be allowed their own cultural symbols. You can’t have it both ways.
It’s unfortunate that the Alliance’s Facebook page shows hostility and intolerance towards people who disapprove of homosexuality, although the example given here is very mild. It’s much more unfortunate gays through history have themselves faced vicious hostility and intolerance: bodily injury, loss of life, total ostracism with all its social and economic consequences. It’s no wonder they’re a little peeved.
I’m not sure what “the present political paradigm” means, but change isn’t bad just because it’s change.
The liberal argument for excluding religion from public life is deficient both historically and logically. The Founders intended to protect the Church from the State, not the other way around. Also, religious views are views on the most fundamental of human questions – who are we, why are we here, is there a higher authority to whom we’re beholden, and if there is what does that specifically entail for how we should live, including in our sexual lives? Etc. Everyone has opinions on these things. Everyone therefore has religious opinions, the atheist no less than the Christian, the liberal no less than the fundamentalist. Excluding only conservative Christian beliefs from the public square is discriminatory
Tony (and Forbes),
I’m liberal on homosexuality, but the issue isn’t whether people have a choice about how they feel, it’s whether or not they can rightly act on their feelings. I think conservatives are wrong on homosexuality, but beginning from their presuppositions, it will always be a moral and therefore a political issue.
I would just like to say this… it’s not about whether you support the gay community or the club in mention. It’s about the legal issue this could bring. It could put a financial burden on the county taxpayers. Also it is about that many of the county residents didnt know or were aware of the vote almost like it was kept hush hush!!! You were going to vote on changing a public school logo and not tell the people who fund the school but some how residents from whole another county knew about it Really????? I am a fluvanna county resident and have children in its schools and I was not aware of any this until the morning of the vote. My fear is letting one club change the logo you would have to let all and no one has ever made a request like this before I dont feel it should even be considered now!!!!
The student’s letter is not a request to change the school’s logo – the logo that the school itself will use. It’s only a request to be allowed to produce stickers to be used by students, staff and others who support the LGBTQ+ community.
While we are on the subject of schools, let me digress…
Every time I see a f/u article about the Cville Schools article in NYT/Pro Publica that cited the schools’ failure in educating kids of color (I think that is the 2018 term), I wonder: If the CSD pays analysts, data crunchers, diversity officers, testing services and folks to pore through those numbers, minority outreach folks, scads of workers with doctoral degrees, then why did it take a NYT article nationally disgracing the schools to create this buzz and this supposed “action” to address and arrest the problem?
Or is all this motion just some tawdry public relations dance?
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