Friday, March 05, 2010

Our New LGBTQIA Center

by Mike Adams

Last month, I heard some really bad news. It seems the State of North Carolina is about to lay off 3000 more employees in the midst of a massive budget shortfall. But that wasn’t the only bad news I got last month. I also got this email from a representative of our university’s new LGBTQIA Resource Center:
I just wanted to remind everyone about the showing of Milk tomorrow night. This will be the innaugral [sic] event for UNCW's LGBTQIA Resource Office, and also a fundraiser for Wilmington's Domestic Violence Shelters and Services. The film will be shown at 7:00 p.m in Lumina Theater and admission is free. So please come see this important, and Oscar Award Winning film.

Amy Schlag
Program Advisor

If you’re like me, you probably have a few questions for Amy Schlag. I’ve listed some of mine below and answered them whenever possible:

1. Why can’t you spell the word “inaugural?” The answer is that Amy is an English professor at UNCW. By the way, she is a White English professor, not a Black English professor like Maurice Martinez.

2. What is the meaning of all the letters in this veritable alphabet soup of liberal victim-hood? The answer is “gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, questioning, inter-sexed, and ally.” For the record, I had to write Amy to ask her the meaning of “A”. I thought it might stand for androgyny or, perhaps, something to do with the buttocks. We already have the feminists reclaiming the c-word in The Vagina Monologues. I don’t want to hear a bunch of LGBTQI people reclaiming the a-word. That’s one monologue I can do without.

3. Why is your new center called “LGBTQIA” in the text of the invitation and “GLBTQIA” in your signature? Is there a power struggle going on between the “Gs” and the “Ls”? Is it likely to become as contentious as the struggle between the “crips” and the “bloods”? I mean, can’t we all just get along?!

I think there are a number of questions to be raised with the new LGBTQIA (or GLBTQIA) Resource Center leadership. But I don’t want any miscommunication of my ideas. So I’m going to call Maurice Martinez, the professor of Black English in the UNCW Watson School of Education for help. Maybe he also teaches Queer English, which can help me get my point across with the new queer center, or queer new center. Who knows, after I learn some Queer English, I might even be able to get a job teaching in the public school system!

But, in the meantime, I plan to write Chancellor Rosemary DePaolo with a few questions. Some examples follow:

1. We have an African American Center, a Women’s Center, EL Centro Hispano, and now a LGBTQIA (or GLBTQIA) Resource Center. Have you ever considered starting a Conservative Professor Resource Center? It wouldn’t cost much money. You could just stick me in a cage in the middle of the campus and let the liberal professors walk by and gaze in wonder. They could even arrange field trips for students in the Watson School of Education. Professor Martinez’ students could ask him profound intellectual questions like “Who dat in the cage?” and “Why he be staring at me like dat?”

2. Are you concerned that the last name of the Program Advisor for the new UNCW LGBTQIA Office will be deemed highly offensive to some “Gs” - and perhaps mildly offensive to some “Qs” – assuming they also like “questioning” authority? After all, a few years ago, a local teacher got into trouble because she used the term “niggardly,” which sounds like an offensive epithet. Aren’t you worried that the name “Schlag” will raise a red flag – as opposed to a rainbow flag – because it sounds like the word “fag”?

3. Finally, just how many more thousands of state employees will we have to lay off before you realize we are broke and cannot afford any more of these damn centers, Dr. DePaolo? In other words, when will you stop bankrupting our state in order to make it look more like San Francisco than North Carolina? Translation in straight White English: Have you ever considered leaving to become chancellor of San Francisco State University?

Indeed, there are so many state employees out of work I think we should show the film Toast after we show the film Milk. The least we can do for our unemployed-in-the-name-of-diversity is to kiss them after we have screwed them in the name of tolerance and inclusion. A film named after their fate would be a nice tribute. Plus, we could have a fund-raiser for domestic violence since it has been on the rise in the wake of recent layoffs!

It is no surprise that Rosemary DePaolo stated publicly that she wanted UNC-Wilmington to be the North Carolina equivalent of William and Mary. But there’s no way that will ever happen. At William and Mary a left wing president came in and removed the cross from the chapel and replaced it with the Sex Workers Art Show. The alums got angry and the president was, for lack of a better word, toast.

At UNC-Wilmington the DePaolo administration has yanked Christmas off our tree and Good Friday off our calendar. In its place we have a new queer resource center or, should I say, queer new resource center. Yet, unlike many others in this state, DePaolo still has a job. Pardon the straight white English but we ain’t no William and Mary. We’re just a bunch of sissies


Attack on 'biology-based' restrooms sparks backlash

Pro-family activists target repeal of state's Human Rights statute

The issue over whether schools in Maine will be required to allow "transgender" students to pick which restroom – boys or girls – they feel like using is prompting another look at the state law on which the restroom dispute rests: the Maine Human Rights statute of 2005. WND reported a day ago that members of the Maine Human Rights Commission voted 4-1 to hold a public hearing on the guidelines that have been proposed for schools before moving forward.

Their own lawyer told commission members requiring all students to use "biology-based" restrooms and locker rooms in the state's schools is illegal and cannot be allowed to continue. "Schools cannot discriminate against sexual identity or gender identification. Schools therefore cannot segregate students based on sexual orientation and identity," commission legal counsel John Gause said yesterday.

Now Maine pro-family activists say the vote to delay a decision is a smokescreen and they are aiming higher than just stopping the guidelines. They want a repeal of the Human Rights statute.

Steve Martin is the host of the Aroostock Watchmen Radio Program and he's hoping the people of Maine will notice what the commission legal counsel is saying and take action in the fall. "Hopefully the people will hear what the commissioners are saying and rise up and vote out the officials who put these unelected people into their positions. I'm hopeful that the people will put people back in the Maine state legislature who support decency and common sense," Martin said.

Paul Madore of the Maine Grassroots Coalition said the public meeting and any future public hearings are to make the people think they're being heard. "We have to keep in mind that the proposed guidelines were mostly drafted by radical homosexual organizations. The commission sought the input of these radical homosexual groups on purpose and there was no impartial and objective source of information," Madore said. "So the future hearing is a dog and pony show to create a lot of communication confusion," Madore said.

Martin agreed that any public hearing will be for public appearance. "The legal counsel's statements that the proposed guidance is already being used is evidence that this process is window dressing," Martin said. "They want to show that the public was listened to, but they're not going to listen to us unless we ratchet up the pressure in other ways," Martin said.

There even are questions on the commission itself. Commissioner Kenneth Fredette believes the consequences for opening public restroom facilities to people of the opposite biological gender is one that hasn't been considered. "It's a very emotional issue and the statute that was passed by the legislature and affirmed by the voters of the state of Maine was done very broadly and what they're doing is trying to figure out what the statute means," Fredette said. "It was a poorly worded statute that the people of Maine voted on back in 2005," Fredette said.

Fredette also believes the people of Maine likely didn't foresee transgendered restroom use as a result of the statute and that the commissioners pushing the guidance are not likely to be the ones to live with the results. "The consequence is to be borne by other people who are in the bathroom. My daughter might be shocked by the experience of having someone who is biologically a male come into the bathroom while she is in the process of using the bathroom," Fredette said. "I don't know how that will affect her and I don't think we need to be putting students at risk for that kind of a situation," Fredette said.

Fredette believes that the commission is involved in lawmaking and that lawmaking isn't the commission's function. "The commission shouldn't go anywhere from this point because this is an issue that is more properly addressed by the Maine legislature," Fredette said. "We are talking about an issue that is going to affect every school in Maine and every student in Maine. That's more properly addressed by those people we've elected or by the people of the state of Maine, not five unelected commission members," Fredette said.

Madore believes that the possible April or May public hearing is mostly for show, but Maine's parents and families still have an option open to them. "I think that a lot of what happens depends on the people. However, I think that eventually the effort to stop the implementation of these radical policies is to campaign for a repeal of the 2005 law. We have to take direct aim at that law," Madore said.

Martin agrees that repealing the 2005 law is the best course of action. "It may come to that. We have no other course of action to take but to repeal the 2005 law," Martin said. "We think the support of the people of Maine is out there and that the people are willing to put themselves on the line and repeal these laws," Madore said.

The current push started over the commission decision last year that found a school in Orono, Asa Adams School, discriminated against a boy by denying him access to the girls' restroom. The ripples from the ruling now are being felt. According to documents obtained in the state, the University of Maine already is expressing alarm.

A letter from the university office of equal opportunity noted, "There will likely be cases in which allowing a transgender student to participate in gender-segregated sports in accordance with the gender identity or expression will raise legitimate concerns about fairness in competitive interscholastic sports. …" The letter pointed out "unintended consequences," such as "a transgendered individual's participation on a gender-segregated team could result in the NCAA's treating that team as a mixed team. This would have a number of serious consequences including potentially impacting the institution's compliance with Title IX."

Currently, Colorado, Iowa, Washington state, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco have rules, policies or laws dealing with transgender restroom accommodations. The Maine rules would make Maine the first state in the U.S. to adopt the policies for elementary and secondary school students and the first to extend the rules to private and sectarian schools.

This is not the first time the argument has arisen. WND previously reported when the city council of Tampa, Fla., voted unanimously to include "gender identity and expression" as a protected class under the city's human rights ordinance, leading some to fear the council has opened the city's public bathroom doors to sexual predators masquerading as protected transsexuals.

A statement from the American Family Association explained, "Tampa Police arrested Robert Johnson in February 2008 for hanging out in the locker room–restroom area at Lifestyle Fitness and watching women in an undressed state. The City of Tampa's 'gender identity' ordinance could provide a legal defense to future cases like this if the accused claims that his gender is female."

WND also reported on a similar plan adopted by fiat in Montgomery County, Md., which opponents said would open up women's locker rooms to men who say they are women. The issue also has come up in Colorado, where Democrat Gov. Bill Ritter signed into law a plan that effectively strikes gender-specific restrooms in the state. And city officials in Kalamazoo, Mich., only weeks after adopting a "perceived gender" bias plan, abandoned it in the face of massive public opposition.


School budget cuts 'would lead to bigger classes', say British headteachers

And what's so terrible about that? Although all teachers seem to think otherwise, it has repeatedly been shown over the years that large classes do no harm

Threatened public spending cuts will lead to larger class sizes and fewer staff in state schools, according to leading headteachers. A reduction in budgets of just two per cent would also force many schools to slash the number of GCSE and A-level subjects available for teenagers, it was claimed. The warnings were made ahead of the Association of School and College Leaders’ annual conference in London on Friday. School budgets are currently protected until March 2011 when the current spending round ends.

Ministers have insisted that “frontline” services will be maintained but have hinted that savings would be made elsewhere. Speaking after the pre-budget report, Ed Balls, the Schools Secretary, said that in the current financial climate it was “right that we expect everyone to find efficiency savings and schools must play their part”.

But ASCL, which represents the majority of secondary school heads in England and Wales, insisted that even a small cut in budgets would have a major impact. The union surveyed 200 members to test the effect of a “hypothetical” two per cent reduction in school spending. Almost two-third of headteachers said the most likely outcome would be an increase in class sizes, as staff were either made redundant or vacancies were left unfilled.

Around 21 pupils currently share the average class in English secondary schools, compared with 26 in state primaries. According to research, almost of half of head teachers said a small budget cut would lead to a reduction in the number of new books, classroom aids and teaching resources, while 47 per cent said it would delay the purchase of updated computer equipment. A further half of heads also warned that a two per cent cut would force them to slash the number of subject options available for pupils aged 14 to 19.

Addressing the conference on Friday, John Morgan, the ASCL president and head of Conyers School, near Stockton-on-Tees, will say: “I don’t see any efficiencies here. “These are cuts to frontline activities that will inevitably have a direct impact on the [Government’s] own priorities of raising standards and breaking the link between deprivation and low attainment. “Stopping the endless cycle of new initiatives, and the grand implementation schemes that inevitably go along with them, would go a long way towards preserving frontline services in schools and colleges.” He said money should be saved by cutting expensive Government initiatives.

Mr Balls said: “Headteachers are right to say that a two per cent cut in schools funding would mean fewer teachers and teaching assistants and larger class sizes. "That’s why the pre-budget report announced that, while making tough savings at the centre, funding going direct to schools will rise in real terms for the next three years. "This is a tougher settlement for schools than they have been used to in the last decade, but the combination of rising funding and tougher expectations on efficiencies means schools will have the resources they need to meet the frontline cost pressures they face. “This will mean we can maintain the record numbers of teachers and teaching assistants and deliver on our guarantees to pupils and parents, such as one-to-one tuition and catch up support for children falling behind."


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