SUBMITTED BY THE OFFICE OF REP. BOB MCDERMOTT – Several weeks ago Representative Bob McDermott asked the Governor if he had answers for some of the anticipated problems, such as the handling of challenges to public education curriculum and standard operating procedures, that would follow a same-sex marriage bill’s passage.
After an quip about “expecting lawsuits,” the Governor deflected Rep. McDermott’s earnest questions about how homosexual marriage and behavior would be presented to school children by the state. Abercrombie suggested that these questions should be handled by the Board of Education, who set policy.
Consequently, McDermott wrote a letter to BOE Chair Don Horner; this was met with more redirection. Horner suggested that the BOE’s curriculum and civil rights compliance offices, with oversight by the Attorney General, would be the appropriate authorities to make these determinations. Rep. McDermott then asked the Attorney General for his reading on the matter and received yet another run-around response. This time, Attorney General Louie punted to the Department of Education’s Superintendent.
The Superintendent’s response was a regurgitation of existing policy, which of course, is irrelevant if a new law takes effect and changes everything. No one in State government appears to have contemplated any of the new issues and problems related to public education that will arise from the implementation of same-sex marriage legalization.
The people are absolutely unaware of the myriad of effects this new law will have in their schools. Will Dick and Jane Books show two daddies? Will transgendered teachers and students be allowed to shower with the gender of their choice, as in CA? Gee, no one seems to have an answer to these straightforward questions McDermott has asked.
Questions such as how same-sex marriage will be incorporated into public school curriculums, how these revised textbooks will be paid for, what will actually be covered as “normal” behavior, and what role, if any, parents will have in reviewing or opting-out of their child’s “re-education” on these matters, deserve to be answered. The Parents pay for the education system and they own it, at the very least they are entitled to answers.
That fact that the Abercrombie administration and the governing class are ducking valid questions shows just how ill-prepared they are for the actual impact of this bill. They have no answers and clearly don’t fully realize the extent of the un-anticipated problems that will ensue. And, worse, they don’t seem to care.
As this important education issue demonstrates, Abercrombie is rushing this bill without planning, without forethought, without a deliberative, methodical transparent process. Rather, the Governor believes that he knows better than the people; McDermott feels the people know best.
Rep. McDermott is fighting to allow the people to vote on this matter via constitutional amendment, get some straight answers to their questions and engage in the level of public discussion, statewide, that this subject deserves. McDermott says, “let the People Decide if they want this new norm in their schools.”