PARENTS ARE OF NO CONCERN AT THE BREVARD SCHOOL BOARD


I have been out of the loop for a few weeks and just sat down at my Mac for the first time.

A disturbing act by our school board is the consideration of a policy change for the LGBT crowd.  One that Ms Amy Kneesey, Andy Andereson and Desmond Blackburn support..against the wishes of the community. Ms Kneessey is  is excited to vote before she leaves office.

The nationally funded LGBT movement is not about ‘equal protection’; it is about pushing an agenda of coercion, intimidation, silencing other’s views, in the name of victimhood and “fairness”.  These very same things that the LGBT crowd say they want for themselves, they work tiredly to deny to others. We need only to look at the Colorado baker and the mid west Pizza shop owner or more recently, the attack on the citizens of N.C. The LGBT crowd will tell you that these attacks are due to LGBT victimhood “rights” being denied, yet the truth is the opposite. NC’s legislation specifically protects LBGT crowd, but more importantly protected the rights of those that follow their relious beliefs and associated free speech.  This is the “camel’s nose under the tent”, where among other issues, they will push males having access to female’s locker and bathrooms. We have seen it time and again. Yet, Kneessy, Anderson and Blackburn ignore the facts, against the vast majority of Brevard citizens.

As a parent, I have come to understand that blocking parents from meaningful involvement in their child’s education or ignoring parent’s wishes of significant inclusion in matters that impact their child has been the mantra of the BCSB. Besides the above example, let me share the experience that Penny and I have had with Mr Blackburn.

My wife and I met with Mr. Blackburn on February 30th. Our meeting concerned the “Materials Challenge Process”. With Penny and I being the only parents in Brevard to go through this process, we expressed to Mr Blackburn,  that parents feel completely powerless in dealing with the BCSB and as example, had no voice in what materials their children are exposed to. Further, I said that there was not a resource(website) where parents could read parent/teacher reviews of a challenged material. In addition, the process is kept “secret” from other parents at the local school, and county wide, when materials are being challenged.

I emailed Mr Blackburn multiple times after our meeting and to date, a month later..still no reply. Mr Blackburn said he had hand picked a “group” to look at the policy/procedure, and I applaud him. I requested that I or Penny be part of the “group” in the policy/procedure revamp for Materials Challenge Process. What a better resource for the “group” than the only parent(s) to go through the process? As I said above, BCSB and the leadership, feel no duty to communicate with parents or their wishes .So the people that work for us and their leaders continue to treat us a 2nd class citizens.

Mr Blackburn’s pained “lawn”  metaphor was very weak. Mr Blackburn, did that patch of dry grass need water or was it diseased? If it is diseased, do you help it spread? Sadly, having my school board rep, Amy Kneesey vote in favor of the inclusion of LGBT policy was extremely disappointing. She is leaving soon, so she can do what she wants…not what the parents of Brevarrd want.

This is yet another example of how the BCSB is out of touch with the residents of Brevard County and now is an island unto itself. BCSB has ignored parent’s wishes, acting against the student’s and parent’s best interest, as it has done for years, while being selfishly focusing on themselves. Making sure they get their money, hold their job,…NO MATTER WHAT THE COST…KIDS INCLUDED !….

Common Core. Even with the preponderance of evidence of the federal takeover of our schools, BCSB chose to not to fight the implementation of the unconstitutional, data mining, propaganda filed Common Core. Instead today, students puke and exhibit somatic illnesses due to stress, while teachers spend more hours prepping for an avalanche of unproven tests than teaching; all resulting in worse outcomes. Please explain to me how this benefits the student learning! It does not! Again, the student is last in the equation.

Early release on Wednesdays. Why? Teachers need more time to plan. Why? Because Common Core and the testing has taken a large amount of school time. Or another possibility, is teachers not receiving the “appropriate”raise they wanted, so let’s cut the actual amount of time working. With either one of these scenarios, please explain to me how this benefits the student learning! It does not! Again, the student is last in the equation.

Later school start.  This was due to incredibly poor BCSB  management, who didn’t budget to replace school buses, as well as other issues. The answer to their ineptness; make parents and children’s lives much more hectic and burdensome by disrupting home life. Bless the child if he or she has after school activities, for they will hit the doors of their homes at 7 or 8 pm. They still must eat and then study. Please explain to me how this benefits the student learning! It does not! Again, the student is last in the equation.

As far as the Florida Today article by Ms Ilana Kowarski. Of note, she says that.. “FLORIDA TODAY asked members of both groups to give their reactions to the workshop, but every amendment opponents who FLORIDA TODAY asked to interview declined that request for comment.”  I asked some that were there if they had been approached; to a person…no! So take what she writes with a grain of salt! Ms Kowarski. In a previous article stated that pro LBGT speakers were booed while speaking. That was a complete fabrication; aka, lie! I watched the entire video and no one was booed while speaking. She is being taught the Left’s tactics of lying and distortion well at Florida Today.

School board divided on LGBT policy

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story misspelled the last name of attorney Michael Bowling. The quote: “We have to provide acceptance and inclusion for all students.  If you walk down a hallway and eight students call you a name, and two follow you into your very next class, it’s very hard to learn.” was mistakenly attributed to Janean Knight rather than Dawna Bobersky.

After weeks of heated debate about whether Brevard Public Schools should add a clause to its non-discrimination and equal employment policies which would shield the gay community, the school superintendent and a 3-2 majority of Brevard County school board members expressed support for the concept of such an amendment.

The consensus the majority reached was that a non-discrimination policy revision ought to be prepared for the school board, that the policy should receive a public hearing, that the revised policy should receive an up-or-down vote and that the issue should be resolved as soon as possible.

School board member Amy Kneessy, school board vice chair Misty Belford, school board chair Andy Ziegler, and Superintendent Desmond Blackburn each said they support the eventual passage of an amendment that would prohibit discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender students and employees, whereas school board members John Craig and Karen Henderson voiced opposition.

Ziegler said the LGBT amendment, if it is approved, would not endorse or condone a particular worldview, but would instead foster mutual respect between those of differing beliefs.

Meanwhile, Superintendent Blackburn used a metaphor to explain why he supported the LGBT amendment, saying that when he cared for his lawn at home, he took extra care to water the dry patches of grass, and that students and staff in the LGBT community similarly needed extra care to ensure that they flourished in Brevard Public Schools.  Blackburn said that “doing something extra” for the LGBT community does not hurt those outside of the community, and he said that he “unequivocally” recommended a non-discrimination policy to protect that community.

Henderson and Craig both said they were opposed to revising the non-discrimination policy, and both argued that procedural changes would be sufficient to address concerns from the LGBT community.  Kneessy said that action on this issue was long overdue, and that she wanted a vote on this policy to happen before she leaves office.

Craig said the school district was not “mature enough” in its anti-bullying and equal employment policy enforcement to start focusing on additions to that policy, and he said that revisions to the current policy would complicate enforcement.

“Until we have those procedures in place, I am not in favor of adding those four words,” Craig said.

Mark Langdorf, director of employee benefits and risk management for Brevard Public Schools, said that there is no place in a school environment for homophobic slurs, and that reports of such slurs being exchanged between students were troubling. He said that the school district’s equal employment policy should classify discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity under the umbrella of sex discrimination, which is already prohibited.

Knight said, “Their main concern was just feeling acknowledged and just feeling as if they belonged.”

Several school district staff members who spoke to the school board emphasized the importance of creating an inclusive school atmosphere, including Dawna Bobersky, director of exceptional student education and instructional, behavioral and psychological services. She said, “We have to provide acceptance and inclusion for all students.  If you walk down a hallway and eight students call you a name, and two follow you into your very next class, it’s very hard to learn.”

Michael Bowling, a litigation attorney hired by Brevard Public Schools because of his expertise in the area, predicted that the inclusion of LGBT status in school district non-discrimination and equal employment policies would eventually be a federal requirement.

Bowling said that, based on his reading of the Supreme Court’s marriage decision and other case law, he believes that it is likely that LGBT students will be protected by federal civil rights statutes.

At the beginning of the workshop, Superintendent Desmond Blackburn said that discussions of the LGBT policy amendment ought to begin with the following areas of consensus: compassion and civility. “I have yet to meet an individual on either side of this debate who disagrees with the idea that all kids matter, and I have yet to meet an individual on either side who disagrees with the idea that civil discourse ought to prevail,” he said.

The workshop was attended Brevard County residents of a variety of viewpoints, including those who have advocated for the LGBT amendment and those who have lobbied against it.  FLORIDA TODAY asked members of both groups to give their reactions to the workshop, but every amendment opponents who FLORIDA TODAY asked to interview declined that request for comment.  Several amendment advocates spoke with FLORIDA TODAY, including Lexi Wright, the president of Space Coast Pride.

“I am very optimistic and excited,” she said.  “This has been a long journey.  We’ve been fighting for this for two years, and I think finally the school board has recognized that a message needs to be sent that all employees and students are valued.”

Contact Kowarski at 321-242-3640 or ikowarski@floridatoday.com.  Follow her on Twitter @IlanaKowarski.