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Listen to the parents

2010-10-10T00:00:00Z Listen to the parentsMike Kecskes Sr., Letter to the editor Helena Independent Record
October 10, 2010 12:00 am  • 

In the debate over the proposed sex-ed curriculum, it appears that two important points have been overlooked by both Mr. Messinger and the school board.

First, the money that pays for our schools, be they buildings, books, curriculum development, teachers and administrators, is paid by and large by parents of school kids in the form of taxes and fees. Judging from the passionate reaction of a large amount of parents, the proposed plan is not what they want. Serious dialogue between the two sides is called for.

Parents have a vested interest in all of this. It is their children, and it is their money the schools spend. So far, some have been shut out of the process.

To hear applause, you bring the left hand and the right hand together. I only hear the sound of one hand clapping.

The other point is that children are not the property of the state. Parents have not only the right, but also the duty, to impart their knowledge, their beliefs and values to their children. A school district, or teacher, or superintendent who tramples on those rights and responsibilities of parents is asking for trouble.

Listen to the parents. So far, I hear only the sound of one hand clapping.

Mike Kecskes Sr.

Helena

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(8) Comments

  1. dietz1963
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    dietz1963 - October 11, 2010 5:48 pm
    Justme, one of the biggest reasons in my opinion that minority groups have the largest voice is because anyone that opposes their beliefs has to be either a racist, sexist, bigot, homophobe...how many different derogeratory terms majority folks are labeled with. So whenever we are labeled as such, naturally we're not heard. Conversly because they are minority, they can't possibly be racist, sexist, bigots or heterophobes. I mean lets face it, if someone that's minority gets physicially beat up, its always a hate crime of some kind. Sometimes it is but all the time? Can't be because they had an a$$ whopping coming, oh no.

    And I'm definately with you on what the actual "majority" is. Not that it matters, minority groups tend to get their way. But in my mind until they poll ALL parents of kids in Helena, there is no "majority" one way or another. Just scewered (sp) data.
  2. LeslieEss
    Report Abuse
    LeslieEss - October 11, 2010 4:09 pm
    Justme: who has the "small mind?"

    You're one of those "if you're not with us, you're against us" people, aren't you? Tell me please, why do you think that imparting information about the mere existence of homosexuality is pushing an "agenda?" It's just information, factual information. Is teaching that the earth is round and orbits the sun pushing an anti-judeo-christian or athiest/agnostic agenda?
  3. bhallinan
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    bhallinan - October 11, 2010 7:53 am
    A couples points:
    The money that pays for schools, "be they buildings, books, curriculum development, teachers and administrators," represents a asset paid for over the last 100 years. Contemporary parents probably pay the least compared with other age tax payers, businesses, and land owners.

    "So far, some have been shut out of the process." Check in more often with your school administration and find out when committes meet. Over the last four months, there has be a predominance of parental input.

    Agreeed, children are not the property of the state. No one said they were.

    What do you suggest we do when parental knowledge, beliefs and values are in conflict with other information? Always defer to parents? At what point in a child's education should they become independent of parents in knowledge, belief, and values?
  4. justme59601
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    justme59601 - October 10, 2010 9:14 pm
    @trustbutverify,

    "many opponents to the curriculum are clearly homophobic?"

    have you polled "many of the opponents"? how do you know their homophobic? has your little mind ever thought about that maybe parents don't agree with the curriculum simply because they feel it's wrong and don't want their kids to be taught this crap? it's up to parents what their children are taught, not people like you who are pushing an agenda like homosexuality. if you like homosexuals so much, move to san fransisco.
  5. 4HelenaKids
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    4HelenaKids - October 10, 2010 2:11 pm
    Charter schools may be the answer.
    I used to live in a state where the board got so 'out of order', (even failing kids with serious and terminal illnesses, who had to be absent from classrooms though their work was completed & turned in) that several charter schools opened in a city of under 28,000 people.
    The children's scores competed both locally and nationally.
    Plus there was mroe one of one time wiht teachers, many of whom switched to teaching at the charter schools because they disagreed with the board on so many issues inclduing psuhing kids through the system who were illiterate when they graduated from high school, being unable to read write, or comprehend or do simple math equations.
    With chater schools parents are allowed more input and can review materials before they are actually activated as part of the curriculum.

    The charter school I'm familiar with, perform primarily to will of the people and the parents. And the district(s) they are formed in must acknowledge them as legitmate schools.

    There is funding available from many sources for start up costs. The kids opened their own businesses, and even a branch of the lcoal bank was open and run by the children.

    Charter schools can work directly with the Job Services department to identify thousands of job possibilites, & job titles, using 'reference resources available to their departments.
  6. TrustButVerify
    Report Abuse
    TrustButVerify - October 10, 2010 11:23 am
    Oops! In the third paragraph I said "stimatize" when I meant
    "stigmatize".

  7. JMWB
    Report Abuse
    JMWB - October 10, 2010 9:51 am
    Last I checked, MT had one of the highest illegitimate birth rates in the country at 38%. Since it's the taxpayers who have to foot the bill for welfare and child & family services, I'm all for sex education that stresses birth control, birth control, birth control. Apparently there are too many parents neglecting to teach their children about birth control. And the rest of us have to foot the bill. Its an economic issue.
  8. TrustButVerify
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    TrustButVerify - October 10, 2010 7:49 am
    Mike makes some good points. I value his comments. However,
    we must also remember that the purpose of schools is primarily the education of children. Many of us also believe that this includes not only guiding them to develop proficiency in a full range of subject matter, but also to equipt them with the skills, knowledge and abilities to be productive members of society; discover their callings; and be successful as they define success.

    When I say "children", this includes "all" children . . . intelletually gifted & challenged; physically gifted & physically challenged; homosexual & heterosexual.

    Many opponents to the health curriculum are clearly homophobic despite their protestations. I don't believe it serves the best interest of "all" children to, in effect, stimatize those with an orientation different than the majority by implying that they are lesser.

    Throughout history, this has been done to racial minorities and also women. It was argued then, that to give equal rights to blacks or give the vote to women right now would be disruptive . . . maybe later, but not now.

    I think such thinking sends the wrong message to our children. Children often are more accepting than the so called "adults". I remember somewhere one of my former pastors once said and "the children shall lead them". I think I know what he meant by that statement, children have not yet developed the fears, discriminatory attitudes and intolerance that they all too adopt as adults.

    I support the curriculum. Those who will be delivering it will be folks comfortable and knowledgeable to deliver the material. These educators are parents and their only "agenda" is the provision of solid health information beneficial to "all" the children.

    I suppose some parents will "opt" their children out of the sessions and have heard many threaten to "opt" them out of public school. Course, that is their right, regrettably it is their children who will suffer.

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