Letters to the editor
To the editor:
Starting off one's day with a solid well-formed petition may be the pathway to unparalleled health and riches. Group movement is sometimes preferable to sticking out one's neck, and it also comports well with mob-rule or democracy. In the Dec. 3 edition of the Signal was a treat of whine and Swiss cheese, in the form of a public petition, which begs to be mulled over in this public forum.
Bullet one: The BOE "unduly limited [sic] opportunities for community input:" Is it possible those members of the board, who acted quickly, had some understanding of the public's opinion on the matter? A majority of board members were in agreement at the end of some unscheduled meeting on the subject and moved to avoid an impending riotous mob of parents from storming the high school. Any action they took at that time could have been easily reversed and had zero negative consequences to the availability of low-ball fiction novels.
Bullet two: The BOE "made conscious and intentional efforts not to release [their] report:" Was there anything really salient in that document that would have either shed new light on the subject, or swayed the grassroots support of the original direction of the BOE? Was there anything said by this lone valiant board member that would have changed the Kernel elements of the issue at hand? Oh great unnamed council member, please have your minutes printed in the Signal so we can all appreciate their gravity.
Bullet three: "it is [poverty] to have a lay elected body make decisions about professional [sic] issues:" In the federal system we have career physicians deciding telecom policy. We have pacifists deciding where and when to send our armed forces. It is only in issues of curriculum at the local school level that we cannot accept input from the "lay elected body." So now even Federalism has failed? When did that happen? Are we to trust in the appointed and not in the elected now? It is nearly impossible to have a teacher fired, but easy to work to have a council member voted out. It is preferable to have the elected run the show, as they are the most easily replaced. It keeps them looking over their shoulder. The tenure of some teachers leads to a certain lethargy of wit.
Bullet four: "the [BOE] has [sic] 'no confidence' in the USD 348:" No confidence? In some school professionals there should be no confidence. There are a small group of professionals and volunteers in this process that deserve a good "No Confidence" vote, right out in public view. There should be no confidence in the persons who drafted this petition to remember that the intent of schooling is to educate with the best tools available. Every confidence should be felt in their ability to transmogrify themselves into progressive Don Quixotes when a crummy pulp novel seeps into a foggily derived class, and is protested by the parents of Baldwin City's children.
Bullet Five: "prior to the Nov. 10, 2003 meeting, a majority of the [sic] BOE had discussed and come to majority consensus:" Baldwin City is about 3,500 strong. The school board is composed of people who have, for the most part, lived here a long time. The board members know each other. The BOE members talk to each other when not at a table with cameras and recording devices rolling. This is a situation that leads to cronyism and oppression. The notion that the board members might reflect their community standards only because they are from here is chilling. This reckless provincialism is outmoded in this day and age. Surely someone with professional credentials can recondition them. I wonder if the ACLU has a psyche unit?
Bullet Six: "materials are to remain in place until the challenge is resolved:" Using the absurd to illustrate the obvious; it is common knowledge that "Mein Kampf" is a particularly awful and odious literary work. If "Mein Kampf" was slipped through the buddy network of professional teachers and got the OK to be read as an inspirational work, and was required reading in the PACE class, in the second it was discovered to be in use it would be pulled. No work, good or bad, is beyond review. No book should be left in a class if it has not been properly PREVIEWED, as the current rules require. The book was pulled because it was hustled by progressive hucksters through educator ranks of group thinkers and fellow travelers. It was removed immediately for good reason.
Bullet seven: "The BOE [must] make a public commitment to follow the [sic] law:" Wow impressive.
Bullet eight: "the BOE [must] pass policy limits on [themselves] and [entrust] the professional staff with [professional and technical decisions]:" The professionals are not at liberty to choose curriculum. They are not at liberty to choose books without a complete preview of those books, following an established process, which was ignored in the case of this lame book. It makes total sense, elected board members should vote to make themselves useless and we should cede power to a group of people who are totally unaccountable to the public that pays their paycheck. All hail the professionals.
Bullet nine: "the Superintendent or individual staff members [must never again be able to] impose their personal agendas or beliefs:" So none of the altruistic board members have agendas? Good thing. It would just be terrible to have one of Baldwin City's citizen activists alert the Kansas City news that my neighbors are Neanderthals on broadcast television, or be interviewed on NPR stating that Baldwin City was holding some kind of censorship rallies. Agendas and beliefs are ugly things and should be gotten out of the public square. On this there should be no debate.
Bullet 10: "It is clear that the BOE [sic] has [possibly engaged in] ethical, if not legal violations:" Oooooo! Scary! Anyone who signs this petition must wish that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals was in Kansas and not so darn far away.
Michael J. Combest
To the Editor:
I was very troubled to read the Editorial page in the Baldwin City Signal this week and would like to respond to both letters.
First is the letter of "caution" issued by the ACLU. Why would a citizen or citizens of Baldwin City invite such an organization to our community? To these people I would say shame on you! You need to look at who and what you associate yourself with and make an honest determination as to what type of person you are and wish to be.
The ACLU has recently agreed to provide free legal representation to NAMBLA (North American Man/Boy Love Association, whose primary objective is the abolition of age-of-consent laws that classify sex with children as rape) and favor partial birth abortion. Meanwhile they have waged war against the Boy Scouts of America, they have filed suit in Federal court against the recital of the Pledge of Allegiance in our public schools and oppose anything remotely connected to God. Look at the situation in the New York Public School system and the eviction of Christ from Christmas! Thanks ACLU!!!
Now the ACLU has been invited to Baldwin City to flex their muscles and impose their agenda on our community. To this a simple question must be asked, do we bow down to the demands of a degenerate, secular organization and deny the philosophical beliefs of Christianity and Judaism on which this nation was founded, or do we take a stand? My choice is to take a stand. To Mr. White and the Board members willing to do the right thing, I commend you and support you as many within our community do.
In conclusion to the letter from the ACLU, it seems as though they have a terribly misguided view of Christians and the type of people we are. To this I would extend an invitation to join me and my family in worship this Sunday at the Lighthouse Baptist Church in Baldwin City. You can see first hand what kind of people gather in this humble church to worship and serve God. The invitation is always open, I hope you will attend and perhaps see that your actions could be better served to fight for morale rights rather than morale wrongs.
Concerning the petition circulating around Baldwin, the dominating theme of the petition is to remove power from the Administrator and the Board and place it in the hands of the staff. Let me assure you, this type of action will lead to utter chaos. Any type of organization, whether governmental, capitalist, religious or educational must have a system of leadership in place with appropriate checks and balances to avoid chaos (in the matter of no leadership) and tyranny (in the matter of no checks and balances), thus we have an Administrator and a duly elected Board.
Further, because a person has a degree in education does not necessarily make them suited to decide appropriate material for a particular classroom (dare I mention "We All Fall Down"). We need our Administration and Board to oversee what is being taught in our schools and make recommendations and take action when needed. If filth is used to "teach" our children about the "realities" of our world, what does that say about our world? Why are we not fighting to improve our society? Let's not loose sight of our ultimate goal, which is to educate our children and make them productive citizens to carry on the proud traditions of our great land.
Again, I stand behind Mr. White and the Board members who stand in the face of opposition and choose to make the right decisions.
To the Editor:
The Chamber of Commerce of Baldwin City would like to commend the vision and efforts of the Steering Committee for the Lumberyard Arts Center Project. To look at the lumberyard a few months ago it seemed like a daunting task, however a glance in the windows today shows progress. The object of the Baldwin City Chamber of Commerce is to promote the civic, commercial, industrial and agricultural interests in Baldwin City and to aid in the development of all legitimate enterprises, which will tend to increase their prospects. Following in the footsteps of the Arts Council, the Baldwin City Community Theatre and individual donors, the Chamber of Commerce is donating $1,000 to the Lumberyard Arts Center Project. We invite other organizations and individuals in the community to consider donating financially or with service to this project that will showcase the many artistic abilities of our community while preserving a local landmark.
Bill Harmon, president
Chamber of Commerce
To the editor:
I just wanted everyone to know that the Grinch is alive and well in Baldwin. This, too, is a sad time, for the Grinch has decided to run away with the Camel from the Nativity set in my front yard. The one I made myself. There are only two like it in the area and I made them both to share with family and friends in the past eight years.
Thanks to you, I will no longer spread the joy this set has given many people. I have taken them down.
I hope you enjoy the Camel even though it is only made of plywood. Remember, there are only two out there. So I hope you receive the pleasure and joy from taking it, as my family and friends enjoyed viewing it.