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Woman dismisses her case against school district

2010-10-12T00:00:00Z Woman dismisses her case against school districtBy ALANA LISTOE Independent Record Helena Independent Record
October 12, 2010 12:00 am  • 

The Republican candidate for House District 82 has dropped her lawsuit against the Helena School District and the Office of Public Instruction over the controversial proposed health enhancement curriculum.

Kristi Allen-Gailushas said Monday she received no support from the community and the cost of pursuing the legal challenge on her own was too much. In the suit, she claimed the curriculum would do “irreparable harm” to her children and that “the tyranny cannot continue.”

Her complaint called into question the content of the curriculum and the process used to develop it. The complaint alleged the draft curriculum is in violation of the Montana Constitution because it was developed in private. OPI should have stepped in and prevented it from happening, she contended.

The announcement, released Sunday at 10 p.m. via e-mail, came less than two days before the Helena School Board of Trustees votes on the document. Allen-Gailushas said the timing has little to do with the vote, which is set for 6 p.m. tonight at the Capital High School auditorium.

“The timing is just how it worked out,” Allen-Gailushas told the Independent Record. “It was hard for me to decide to dismiss.”

Allen-Gailushas, who is running against incumbent Democrat Mike Menahan, said she drew the conclusion that she had no other option than to abandon her legal pursuit, citing lack of community support, the unwillingness of an attorney to take her case and struggling financially to fund her mission. She also said it was causing an emotional burden on her family.

“My family comes first,” she said.

But Democrats say her lawsuit, and the timing of the announcement, is a political move.

“Her actions represent the erratic behavior coming from the Republican ticket this year,” says Martin Kidston, spokesperson for the Montana Democratic Party. “She realized she was in the minority. Most people are willing to let the school board do what it was elected to do, and let the process play out as it was intended to. The people of Helena are smart and level-headed, and they didn’t buy into her fear tactics and lies.”

School officials say the proposed draft is comprehensive and covers an array of topics such as nutrition, functions of the body, risk assessment, injury prevention, environmental health and human sexuality. The portions of the draft curriculum dealing with sex education generated a tidal wave of response both in support and against. The original document would have introduced body part language in kindergarten, told first-graders that human beings can love people of the same gender, and fifth-graders that sexual intercourse includes but is not limited to vaginal, oral or anal penetration.

After two lengthy public hearings, thousands of letters, e-mails and phone calls, Superintendent Bruce Messinger eliminated them all through his editing.

Allen-Gailushas says she hopes the board rejects the proposed draft, but it’s because of more than the sex education portions. She also doesn’t agree with the nutrition section, which includes teaching children healthy eating habits and whether they should eat at the dinner table, or the environmental health portions.

“That stuff would be taught at home, and (schools) should stick to math, English and science,” she said. “It should all be thrown out.”

In August, she filed the lawsuit against the Helena School District and OPI in District Court. OPI, however, says they have little to do with the matter since school curriculums are left up to local school boards to determine.

State Superintendent Denise Juneau said the way it works in Montana is the Board of Public Education sets the content standards for learning areas in schools, including health.

“We help schools with professional development or finding best practices, but as far as what’s learned day to day or textbooks that are bought, (those) are definitely local issues,” Juneau said. “It’s really the local schools and schools boards, per the (Montana) Constitution, that set curriculum for each of the schools.”

Reporter Alana Listoe: 447-4081 or alana.listoe@helenair.com

Copyright 2015 Helena Independent Record. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(33) Comments

  1. abodox33
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    abodox33 - October 18, 2010 10:13 am
    I'm gonna be Kristi Allen-Gailushas for Halloween!
  2. AntiXenophobia
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    AntiXenophobia - October 15, 2010 4:38 pm
    The founding fathers did some great things, but let us not go too far. Black people are 3/5 of a human being, according to them. They also gave the right to vote to men who owned property. Their racist, sexist, and classist society was the most democratic in the world. They sure did talk a good game, though.
  3. helenros
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    helenros - October 15, 2010 7:56 am
    Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between church and State.

    Thomas Jefferson, letter to a Committee of the Danbury Baptist Association, Connecticut, January 1, 1802
  4. holmes
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    holmes - October 14, 2010 5:00 pm
    "Question with boldness even the existence of God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear." - Thomas Jefferson

    "Religions are all alike - founded upon fables and mythologies." - Thomas Jefferson

    "History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government." - Thomas Jefferson

    "In no instance have . . . the churches been guardians of the liberties of the people." - James Madison

    " The divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity." - John Adams

    "Lighthouses are more helpful than churches." - Benjamin Franklin


  5. exlogger
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    exlogger - October 14, 2010 3:55 pm
    There are hundreds of these quotes from the founding fathers; I really hope you libs will take some of these to heart.
  6. exlogger
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    exlogger - October 14, 2010 3:46 pm
    "If thou wouldst rule well, thou must rule for God, and to do that, thou must be ruled by him....Those who will not be governed by God will be ruled by tyrants." --William Penn
    "It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible." "The thing that separates the American Christian from every other person on earth is the fact that he would rather die on his feet, than live on his knees!" "Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor.... --George Washington
  7. exlogger
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    exlogger - October 14, 2010 3:31 pm
    "Bad men cannot make good citizens. A vitiated state of morals, a corrupted public conscience are incompatible with freedom."
    "Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!" --Patrick Henry
  8. exlogger
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    exlogger - October 14, 2010 3:30 pm
    "A Bible and a newspaper in every house, a good school in every district--all studied and appreciated as they merit--are the principal support of virtue, morality, and civil liberty." "I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth--that God Governs the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? "Freedom is not a gift bestowed upon us by other men, but a right that belongs to us by the laws of God and nature. "Atheism is unknown there; Infidelity rare and secret; so that persons may live to a great age in that country without having their piety shocked by meeting with either an Atheist or an Infidel. --Ben Franklin
  9. exlogger
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    exlogger - October 14, 2010 3:26 pm
    "I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered together at the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone." --John F Kennedy
    "The only foundation for useful education in a republic is to be laid in religion." "I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them." "To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical." "God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the Gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that His justice cannot sleep forever." --Thomas Jefferson
  10. WalleyeHunter
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    WalleyeHunter - October 14, 2010 1:04 am
    This is a positive development in that our tax dollars will not go towards paying attorneys to defend against a baseless lawsuit by Kristi A-G.

    However, let's not forget that Kristi A-G has shown that she lacks the foresight to anticipate the consequences of her actions in filing this lawsuit to begin with. If elected to the legislature, will she also take other actions which were not amply deliberated on her part (a tiger can't change its stripes)? Once a legislative session ends, it's not as if she can "withdraw" her vote several months later. What's done is done, and there won't be another session for more than 20 months down the road. That is a long time for shallow, poorly designed laws to hinder the citizens of Montana.

    This fiasco gives us a glimpse into the workings of Kristi A-G. She saw the issue as a platform to run for public office on, learned that the community was against it, and has now dropped the suit. If she changes positions (or should we say WAFFLES) on this issue then she is hardwired to doing similar such things in the future. That then begs the question of whether or not we are really being told what she actually stands for.

    Whether they be democrat, republican, tea party, or independent, let's elect folks to the legislature that have the ability to make informed decisions, anticipate the outcomes of their decisions, gauge the will of the people BEFORE taking action on something, and then follow through on his/her actions. Kristi A-G has shown that she lacks any of these characteristics and as a result I will not vote for her next month.

    The only elected role Kristi A-G should play is as an officer of the local tea party. They deserve her and she deserves them. With the free time she will have after losing the election perhaps she will put some effort into making her Facebook page less nonsensical, as I fear for the negative influence her "Jihad This" message poses for my children.

    Like they say, those who know the least, know it the loudest. Decide for yourself if that applies to Kristi A-G. I believe it does.



  11. RUjoking59601
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    RUjoking59601 - October 13, 2010 11:07 am
    I think we all need to relax. KAG definitely isn't getting my vote anytime soon and I definitely believe she is a flash in the pan and soon enough after the elections most people will forget about her until she tries to stir up more controversy. I believe both sides of the aisle need to man up and stop with the name calling, lawsuits, and all the hub-bub and try to figure out solutions instead of always blaming the other person. I think the political scene has turned into a horrendous show of how smart or perfect people think their lifestyle, values or morals are and they need to buck-up and realize that if they would stop thinking about "me! me! me!" that we might accomplish something
  12. AntiXenophobia
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    AntiXenophobia - October 13, 2010 10:26 am
    A lot of people worry about the age appropriateness of the sex ed curriculum. My grandfather grew up ranching in central Montana. He knew about sex, how to do it, and that it led to pregnancy, when he was 6 or 7. He participated in the artificial insemination of cattle before he was 10. In the old days, since most people raised livestock or were around livestock, everyone knew about sex at very early ages. Compared to what my grandad experienced, we are dumbing down our kids real good with fairy tales about "the birds and the bees".
  13. Goldstein84
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    Goldstein84 - October 13, 2010 7:59 am

    I'm noticing a serious trend: the more a person rejects public education, the worse the spelling becomes. If you don't capitalize at the beginning of most sentences, you're probably in over your head when talking about "big words" like socialism and curriculum. If you can't punctuate a sentence properly (exlogger) your homeschooled kids probably won't either. Facts belong in school, values in the home; I sincerely doubt that the average health teacher will want to debate the kids on sexual right and wrong.

  14. justsayin
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    justsayin - October 13, 2010 12:03 am

    KAG stated "she received no support from the community." C'mon everybody, let's all give her a collective "awwwww, poor, Kristi Allen-Gailushas... let's all feel bad for her." Is she freaking kidding me?! She is exactly the reason why I choose to vote for the candidate and not strictly along "party lines." She's nothing but an attention seeking joke, using her kids as an excuse to further her crazy antics! Shame on her...

  15. bakker77
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    bakker77 - October 12, 2010 9:48 pm
    So I guess Kristi shouldn't plan on winning her election since she won't have time to work...she will be homeschooling her kids.
  16. GDIZLV
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    GDIZLV - October 12, 2010 7:35 pm
    It’s not that no one agreed with this woman in her lawsuit, it’s that you have to sue over the correct issue. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that because most of us did not back her, that we are giving the green light to Messinger and the school board, because we’re not. I will not be enrolling my children in the public school system if the sex ed curriculum is not completely redone. To quote Joanne Jacobs blog:
    Parents have the responsibility to teach younger kids age-appropriate information about the birds and the bees. When Johnny can’t read why does he need to learn about anal sex?
    Public education in the United States needs to focus its attention on teaching the kids the fundamentals they need to succeed in a changing world. They need to learn computer science, physics, biology, English and geography.
    Leave parenting to the parents.
    Teach ‘em to read and they can read dirty books to find out about different methods of penetration.
  17. Julia
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    Julia - October 12, 2010 6:45 pm
    The article states "she claimed the curriculum would do 'irreparable harm' to her children." Why would her children be forced to participate in this curriculum. Parents have the option to remove their children from class. That way, they can continue to get their education on the streets.
  18. exlogger
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    exlogger - October 12, 2010 5:43 pm
    The majority of teachers are liberals so any conservative in his right mind should be concerned. Take the rights of away from the parents a little at a time. We need their liberal values shoved down our throats, and our children. of course, you libs think its good, your values are being taught. The word for the day is "socialism" can you say socialism, very good class. you scream for free choice, but not for good parents who want to teach their children themselves. I admire the superintendent of East Helena Schools, he knows when you step in dog crap you clean it off before it you track it in.
  19. justme59601
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    justme59601 - October 12, 2010 2:20 pm
    in regards to what's really amusing. this is the only good news the liberals have had in months and look how tickled pink they are. too bad they'll go home crying in november.
  20. remybon
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    remybon - October 12, 2010 2:01 pm
    if you think teachers are incompetent to teach health, why would other teachers be competent to teach math. why dont parents teach their kids everything. Also it is ignorant to group all issues together and say people that dont teach their kids are on food stamps and those people also have poor eating habits. dont try to stimatize people that you dont truely know the whole story about.
  21. AntiXenophobia
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    AntiXenophobia - October 12, 2010 1:36 pm
    KAG wants a say in the nutrition portion of the curriculum? She doesn't look like she eats very healthy and doesn't look like she exercises very much. Why does she want to go after teaching kids about nutrition? Given the massive increases in adult onset diabetes and obesity over the past couple decades, even in young children, this seems like an obvious thing to teach.
  22. helenros
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    helenros - October 12, 2010 12:48 pm
    I am mildly amused by Kristi's claim her children will suffer irreparable harm if the curriculum passes, seeing that she vowed to home-school them if it does.
  23. FreeTrade
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    FreeTrade - October 12, 2010 12:43 pm
    jlarsen said: ""She received no support from the community..."What? And this whole time we were lead to believe that the school district was forcing this curriculum on Helena's children against the will of the people. Certainly if so many supported Kristi's cause, there would have been a flood of support from the community."

    There are many of us who have issues with the curriculum that want nothing to do with a nutter like Kristi Allen-Gailushas. Her lawsuit was nothing more than an attempt to get some free press. Everyone knew it was the wrong move from the start and thus she got no support. The fact that nobody supported her in her lawsuit is in no way a mandate for Messinger and/or the curriculum.
  24. waterunderground
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    waterunderground - October 12, 2010 11:23 am
    If the school district spent a penny of tax-payer's money preparing to respond to Kristi Allen-Gailushas's frivolous lawsuit then Gailushas should be charged for that cost. This was nothing but a publisity stunt for her campaign for office. So many people complain that our society has become too litigous and too quick to sue.
    I agree and I think that those who sue to intimidate as was the case here need to pay when they lose.
  25. dolphind3
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    dolphind3 - October 12, 2010 10:48 am
    I agree with justdafacts and I call bs on gun. You have stated many times that there was no reason to change any of it and you are tired of all of the people asking for change. Your a koolaid drinker. My 12 year old son says chillax gun, try and keep up with the adults.:)
  26. steeline
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    steeline - October 12, 2010 8:40 am
    The message has been presented to DR Messinger and his backers. There are responsible people that don't agree with sex education in public schools. Sex education as well as other moral issues should be taught in the home. However, it appears that there are those who want to push their parental responibilities onto big brother. They are the ones who get food stamps to buy food for their kids yet are not responsible enough to prepare breakfast lunch and most likely a good healthy dinner for their families. We have way too many people who have been habituated to "welfare" as a means of for normal life. I wonder how we can tell for sure what a teacher will spin off on sexuality. Maybe they will end up having sex with a student. Who knows? It is not a good time to lay the responibility of sex education on our teachers when they are having a difficult time just maintaining a class room, let alone teaching anything to the children that is important, like math, reading writing etc.
  27. jlarsen
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    jlarsen - October 12, 2010 7:53 am
    "She received no support from the community..."

    What? And this whole time we were lead to believe that the school district was forcing this curriculum on Helena's children against the will of the people. Certainly if so many supported Kristi's cause, there would have been a flood of support from the community.
  28. gun961960
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    gun961960 - October 11, 2010 7:42 pm
    well JDF I did mention a few of other bloggers that I assumed to be her "followers" but it seems that the IR thought it inappropriate as they edited my post. Which seems wierd to me as they didn't mind when these two fellow bloggers attempted (and I use the term loosely) to smear my anonymous image LOL by personally attacking my anonymous image by digging into my other anonymous blogs LOL. Anyway, I was all for compromising on the verbage in the curriculum and if you have time or interest you should be able to find it, or just give a shout out to said unnamed fellow blogger, she/he is great with the google. I was all for removing the 5th grade sex health portion and most of everything else that was changed/removed. So chillax bud, you know not of which you speak. She was unable to find ANY lawyer to help her JDF. That is pretty sad considering some of the things some lawyers will do, and she plainly said the only reason she was dropping the suit was because she couldn't afford it. Where am I taking credit?? And no JDF...I am not kidding. I heard the former OPI curriculum director testify that she reviewed the procedure and it was totally on the up and up. I heard Mrs. Seitz (not sure on the correct spelling of her name) testify that she was a member of the development commitee and there was nothing underhanded about it. I trust her. I heard the DPHHS nurses testify, they deal with the ramifications of the lack of education day in and day out and have the educational and professional background to make appropriate suggestions for this curriculum. I trust them. One other thing I have heard over and over again, not from JDF but I wanted to mention. Certain bloggers keep harping on Planned Parenthood's evil intentions to increase abortions so they can make money. I was just wondering if that then makes Cancer doctors evil as well. I mean they certainly are getting rich off of the backs of cancer patients, so they must want more people to get cancer so they can stay in business, and I guess that would go for most doctors....right? And we might want to throw police officers and fire fighters too, after all if there were no crime or fires they would be out of work. Jus sayin....
  29. JUSTDAFACTS
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    JUSTDAFACTS - October 11, 2010 6:40 pm
    gun961960 said: "Oh, thats too bad. Kristi where were your faithful followers when it was time to put their money where their mouths were?? "

    What faithful followers? You think that because you think liberals must speak only what they are told too by the party, that the conservatives are the same way? Nope. I assume that because you have no interest in actual compromise, common sense and the will of the people in politics ( only a left = good / right = bad mentality ) that you are unable to see we simply don’t support wacko extremist. With that in mind, we do not support her and we would not support you. As the district found out, the answer is not at the extremes–it’s in the middle.

    gun961960 said: "Could it be you all don't have any legal legs to stand on?"

    Just because she does not have any standing personally in this suit does not mean there is not (or more appropriately WAS NOT) an issue. In fact, one part of the original proposal was against MT law. The FACT that they made the changes most wanted by the people and the one required by law could have something to do with dropping it as well. Again–they made the changes most called for so the suit was not really needed any longer, if it ever was. You should not take any credit for anything that has happened and your smug reaction is very misplaced. You were as radically FOR anything they said as she was radically AGAINST anything they said.

    gun961960 said: " Could it be that Dr. Messinger and the curriculum committee followed all standard policies and procedures to develop this curriculum?"

    Your kidding right? But they have now responded to the wishes of the people in the end. Not everyone is totally happy but a (here is a new word for you) “compromise” has seemingly been met.

    Note: Please, PLEASE, do not take anything I have said here as in anyway supporting KAG.


  30. walter
    Report Abuse
    walter - October 11, 2010 5:34 pm
    I'm still trying to figure out what this sentence means..."“We help schools with professional development or finding best practices, but as far as what’s learned day to day or textbooks that are bought are definitely local issues"

    Thank god someone else was also asked to comment.
  31. Qwerty_Wolf
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    Qwerty_Wolf - October 11, 2010 1:34 pm
    I think that sexual education is good, not all parents know how to tell their kids about it. I think people need to stop being so over dramatic and just let the schools teach like they are suppose to. Besides kids are learning these things from their friends at earlier and earlier ages, I'd like my kid to hear it from either me or a trust worthy teacher.
  32. Helena Pedestrian
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    Helena Pedestrian - October 11, 2010 12:27 pm
    I wonder if our states most prominent tea party candidate, Denny Rehberg, will drop his lawsuit against taxpayers. I won't hold my breath.
  33. gun961960
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    gun961960 - October 11, 2010 12:02 pm

    Oh, thats too bad. Kristi where were your faithful followers when it was time to put their money where their mouths were?? Could it be you all don't have any legal legs to stand on? Could it be that Dr. Messinger and the curriculum committee followed all standard policies and procedures to develop this curriculum? Could it really be?

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