Voice of the people

2010-10-06T00:00:00Z Voice of the peopleTiana Failor, Letter to the editor Helena Independent Record
October 06, 2010 12:00 am  • 

With all of the great arguments that were presented to the school board recently, it should really come down to one issue: the voice of the people. Democracy is clearly defined as “government by the people; especially: rule of the majority.” But special interest groups and those in power seem to keep forgetting this rule and hijacking the rest of us.

Many Helenans do not want this curriculum. That has been made clear since this issue first came to light. The school board needs to start over and they need to have parent participation on the committee. Otherwise, they will continue to subvert the will of the people.

If they choose to override those they serve, parents need to make a united stand and pull their kids out of the school. It can be for just a day or a week; a strike of sorts. Or consider other options. There are some great private schools in Helena. Ask for scholarships or discounts as a group. Look at homeschooling. It’s another great option. Let them know who they are working for and that they have to follow the protocol of the Constitution of the United States, just like everyone else.

Tiana Failor


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(22) Comments

  1. TheWalrus
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    TheWalrus - October 12, 2010 11:59 pm
    Thank you, helenros. This has become a common indicator of the volatile ignorance of conservatives. They hurl the epithet "socialist" at anything they don't like, even though they couldn't define the word if you put a 2nd-Amendment-protected gun to their heads.
  2. helenros
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    helenros - October 12, 2010 1:11 pm
    Can I please clarify something? Socialism is an economic system, not a political system. Fascism is a political system. Please stop using democracy and socialism as antonyms. They are not antithetical to each other.
  3. TheWalrus
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    TheWalrus - October 10, 2010 12:20 am
    I like soup!
  4. Purple
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    Purple - October 09, 2010 3:31 pm
    Sooooo, what will the lazy shiftless freeloaders in this country do when they find that their free ride is going to end when cuts will start happening in the entitlement programs they rely on so they don't have to get jobs to fend for themselves and their families?

  5. Purple
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    Purple - October 08, 2010 4:19 pm
    Bojangles said: "Oh Yes... by all means let's run a government based on meeting the cries of those that scream the loudest.

    Isn't that why we got with obamacare, where far left liberals whined and sniveled the loudest?

    For that matter, we should just return to survival of the fittest and let anarchy reign."

    In case you missed it, anarchy really isn't all that far away. All one has to do is look at what happened in Greece [the cradle of democracy]. What is driving that is the Greek government finding they can no longer afford those expensive "entitlement programs" which were the hallmark of the socialist government of Greece.

  6. Curmudgeon
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    Curmudgeon - October 08, 2010 10:02 am
    "The voice of the majority is no proof of justice." (Friedrich Schiller).
  7. bhallinan
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    bhallinan - October 08, 2010 7:03 am
    The author of the letter lives in Lincoln. She doesn't have a dog in this fight. Parental input is fine, we've had three months of it. The school board does not need to start over because "the will of the people" is being subverted. What should we do? Put everything up for a vote, everything? Yes, I am sure a mass protest of parents pulling their children out of school will prove your point. Go ahead, organize it. Better yet, just sign kids out of sex ed class and provide them with a US Constituion to read.
  8. TheWalrus
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    TheWalrus - October 07, 2010 11:58 am
    The Big L is right, but I'd like to add something. The premise of the letter is flawed. Yes, America is a democracy, but it's also a republic. We democratically elect leaders who create law and policy that everyone is expected to abide by. The majority does not have the authority to disregard the law. This is at the heart of what a republic is. Funny how conservatives get all worked up that "America isn't a democracy, it's a republic," but as soon as their personal agendas get snubbed, they're all "America is a democracy! Will of the people!"
  9. The Porter
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    The Porter - October 07, 2010 8:41 am
    imadad & dietz, GREAT POSTS!
    The area we are failing in, is not teaching kids about safe sex. It’s the lack of teaching and encouraging good BEHAVIORS: respect, accountability, how to treat one another kindly, to be responsible to clean up after themselves and keep themselves clean, being honest, how to help others, that bullying is not tolerable, proper attitudes towards peer pressure. Some of you are really missing the boat here, (especially gun961960)putting the focus of child health on sex rather than behaviors. You’re trying to put a band aide on the results of poor behavior rather than being actively preventative in poor or risky behavior. That’s admitting that you lost the fight rather than preventing the battle to begin with.
    And talking about Behaviors: some of these kids are in rooms wth teachers who seem to be hoarders. Now "OCD",Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, there's a behavior for you. I've walked past one classroom in one school where there is more PERSONAL CRAP belonging to the teacher (that should be in his/her own storage unit at home)than there is teaching materials and room for the students. These are supposed to be classrooms for LEARNING for crying out loud! No wonder the kids scores are SO LOW!!!!! They can't concentrate for the confusing messes in their physical environment.
  10. The Big L
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    The Big L - October 07, 2010 7:36 am
    jlarsen - I wouldn't mind seeing it up for a vote, but I doubt the losing side would accept the results as evidenced by the clean indoor act. Over 60% of Helena voted for it, but the minority still complains their "rights" were taken away.
  11. Will Harmon
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    Will Harmon - October 06, 2010 11:52 pm
    It's ironic, isn't it, that the very people asserting that we should improve our educational system by returning to the three R's so frequently misspell words, use poor grammar, and struggle to form a logical sentence. They also tend to voice their unfounded opinions as facts, without any information or evidence to back them up.

    Case in point: Dietz, you don't provide any actual facts or cites to back your claims that drop out rates are higher now than in 1981. A quick online search reveals that, according to federal researchers, the national drop-out rate has in fact declined from 13.9% in 1981 to 8.0% in 2008 (http://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/2010/section3/table-sde-1.asp). I looked but did not immediately find stats for Montana, but the national trend seems to refute your notion that creation of the US Dept. of Education has caused a decline in graduation rates.

    Admittedly, collecting data on drop out rates is murky. And without specific info on Montana's rates, we can't be sure what our state's trend is. But that's far different from claiming (based on personal anecdotal observation) that our schools are in decline. Given your garbled post below, I'd also wager that your education, or at least your English class, wasn't quite as robust as you deem it.

    When reason and clear-headed thinking are out voted by emotional rhetoric based on religious and personal myths, genuine human progress suffers.
  12. Inland Umpire
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    Inland Umpire - October 06, 2010 6:03 pm
    [dietz] If the Framers' intent, as you say, was to keep religion "out of state," then how can you doubt that they would support removing religious icons from state buildings?
  13. justme59601
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    justme59601 - October 06, 2010 4:36 pm
    Has the author considered that there are parents that disagree with the curriculum? Would those parents also be allowed to sit on the committee? How about putting the proposed curriculum to a referendum vote? If the curriculum were to fail by a majority of voters, would the proponents finally accept the fact that they are the minority and not allow the curriculum to be taught and shut the h*** up?
  14. dietz1963
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    dietz1963 - October 06, 2010 1:25 pm
    Gun, why is it you consistantly attack folks for being a religious nut/zealot, whatever? Does that make you an atheist nut and/or zealot?

    Many folks are trying to interpret the constitution written 200 years ago with the values of the time to now. When the seperation of church and state were written, the intent was to keep government from dictating what religion while still having the freedom to practice whatever religion they want to follow but more importantly from keeping religion out of state to prevent what happened during the crusade times more or less. Religion that dictated to government who was "worthy or not". It was not intended to keep folks from "praying in schools" so to speak as was done for many years and is an expression of religious freedom. Or a big one, freedom of speech. Do any one of you think that 200 years ago if protestors showed up at a funeral and protested against soldiers, if they saw people "taking down" religious items put up in government buildings (such as the 10 commandments/cross ect.. or showed up at a church and protested the church it would have been allowed under freedom of speech? I doubt it, so now our constitution is being interpreted by folks not understanding the mentality of the time and making so many amendments the original intent is getting warped. I guarantee that wasn't what the forefathers intended because that right there, having too much governmental control is exactly why folks "escaped" other countries years ago to come here.

    I would rather see more folks graduate, put more emphasis on education cause we are falling behind in the world scholastically, then teach more sex ed which has absolutely nothing to do with preparing them for either the work place or college. Walking down the halls of some schools, I don't like what I see. Some teachers afraid to do or say something to correct kids for fear of a lawsuit. Kids walking down the hall looking like they are headed to the beach verses class. Hey, I like the casual look as much as the next person but bathroom flip-flops? And I especially don't like to hear that most kids aren't graduating.

    Schools many years ago were not controlled by government, and it was really in 1979 when the law was passed creating the official U.S. Department of Education. If you all think this is not when education went south, think again. I remember when I graduated in 1981, Montana was considered scholastically higher then most states. There were very few that dropped out of school (most graduated) and when I was in basic in texas remember talking to guys/gals that went to college and their math ability wasn't as high as mine. I believe they told me what I had as a sophmore in high school they didn't get until they were a freshman in college.

    So here we are some 30 years later and only 70% graduate? Plus I don't see the level of education I remember as a kid so I have to ask myself, this "progressive, government controled/regulated" education you all love so much, is this really working? I think not and my "opinion" is many of you have gotten so complacent putting things on "the experts" to do/figure out you fail to see whats really going on.
  15. jlarsen
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    jlarsen - October 06, 2010 12:07 pm
    Has the author considered that there are also parents that agree with the curriculum? Would those parents also be allowed to sit on the committee? How about putting the proposed curriculum to a referendum vote? If the curriculum were to pass by a majority of voters, would the opposition finally accept the fact that they are the minority and allow the curriculum to be taught and shut the h*** up?
  16. imadad
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    imadad - October 06, 2010 9:08 am
    I AGREE!! As I have stated before, the mandate of the school board is to promote curriculum that shares the values and morals of the community. Since the "community" in this case would be the children in school, the parents and grandparents of children in school, and people who are planning on having children in school, that would mean that the "groups" need to back off. It also means that even if the scientists who came up with this had the secret to everlasting life, unless the parents and grandparents want it in the school, it needs to stay out. Our children, at least mine, are not an experiment. Science is really experiment after experiment until a final measurable result is achieved and even then it may change. There has been no measured result ever from this curriculum being added into a school, Our children, your children, are the experiment!
  17. gun961960
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    gun961960 - October 06, 2010 8:07 am
    Tiana, were you at the meeting last Tuesday night? I was there and when I left at 8:15 there were still enough proponents standing in line to speak to fill up another half hour. Many of us did not speak as we were asked to not if we had already spoken at any other meetings and we had nothing new to add. We may have not been color coordinated or nearly as abnoxious with our clapping and shouting (which we were asked not to do) but don't kid yourself, we were there and we we fully support this curriculum. I won't disagree there is a slight majority of opponents, but I keep hearing this claim that you far outweigh us in numbers and it simply isn't true. And I would be disgusted if any board of educated professionals who are simply doing the job WE elected them to do, caved in to a bunch of religious zealots. It is each parents choice where they send their kids to school, if you feel so strongly against the idea of educating your children than you should keep them home and if your religion is the reason for your opposition, than you should definately send them to religious school. Those are the appropriate places for teaching your children what it seems you want them to learn, or in this case not learn. Leave the rest of our kids out of your Bibles and conspiracy theories. We like our schools, we like our teachers, we like our school board. I and many people I know will support Dr. Messinger and the board and will continue to support any school mill levies.
  18. Rambler01
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    Rambler01 - October 06, 2010 8:06 am
    Think you said it well, "Democracy is clearly defined as “government by the people; especially: rule of the majority.” But special interest groups and those in power seem to keep forgetting this rule and hijacking the rest of us."
    In this case, I think the majority want our schools to teach facts and a small,vocal minority of special interests want to hijack the rest of us and stop it.
    So, let the majority decide,if that means you need to take your chi;ld out of school, put him in the dark and feed him BS, I feel terrible for your child and our society, but it is your right, so be it.
  19. mtsilvertip
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    mtsilvertip - October 06, 2010 7:58 am
    Good Post!!

    However, pulling the kids out for a day or week will only mean the kids have to make up time.

    If you really mean it, VOTE!!

    Pay attention to the school board elections, vote against additional money for the system, make your voice heard where it counts and the only place they feel it, in their budget.
  20. The Big L
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    The Big L - October 06, 2010 7:39 am
    Well, the "rule of majority" WAS accomplished when you voted for the school board members. They were elected by a majority vote to make these decisions. All I hear from both sides is that the majority of parents agree with them, however, all I see is about a 50/50 split on it. If you don't like whatever the board, that you elected, decides, than put your name on the ballot.
  21. Bojangles
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    Bojangles - October 06, 2010 6:26 am
    Oh Yes... by all means let's run a government based on meeting the cries of those that scream the loudest.

    For that matter, we should just return to survival of the fittest and let anarchy reign.
  22. Purple
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    Purple - October 06, 2010 12:43 am

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