Home-schooling mom will bring SC schools to far right
by Jack Kirven . Q-Notes staff
Together, we can... undermine bringing S.C. into the 21st century.
South Carolina’s beleaguered education system is fraught with challenges. Case in point: Only 50 percent of the high school students in the state complete a high school diploma in four years (among the worst ratings in the country). Incompetence, discrimination and favoritism at all levels of the organization engender frustration and everywhere there are problems, problems, problems…
With so much going awry, many groups with a widely divergent range of perspectives constantly hurl new ideas into the fray, never allowing any of the changes enough time to actually begin to work. One such group, S.C. Parents Involved in Education (SCPIE) has scored a major victory, which could possibly prove disastrous for LGBT students and their allies: SCPIE co-founder Kristen Maguire has been selected as the chairwoman for the South Carolina Board of Education, despite the fact that she has no degree in teaching or education; home-schools her four daughters, rather than entrust their learning to the organization she will be leading; and lists abstinence education, intelligent design and school choice as her main priorities.
The conflict of interest here is staggering. The chairwoman of the board not only keeps her daughters out of public schools, she wants those public schools to teach archaic or convoluted information in health and sex education, science and history classes. It seems she plans to use her position and authority to advance her personal religious beliefs. And some evangelical Christians accuse LGBT people of pursuing an agenda?
All children in South Carolina are required to receive an education, including LGBT children. For most, this means the public education system. That system is supported by tax money collected from a wide range of people, including LGBT citizens. Despite this, SCPIE’s website, www.scpie.org, contains ultra-right-wing postings from “concerned parents” regarding the public school system in South Carolina. Deb Marks, a writer for SCPIE, has said she is involved in order “to educate parents in South Carolina about what is occurring across the country to normalize homosexuality and what parents can do to protect their children from this influence.” Marks’ entire motivation to join the dialogue seems to be based on a rejection of equality and acceptance for LGBT students. It is not clear why SCPIE’s religious beliefs should inform the training all students receive.
Marks’ article begins by saying that, ‘Tolerance,’ ‘safety,’ and ‘protection against bullying’ are terms that are being placed into school policies and state legislation across the country… Under the guise of adding these protective measures, some local schools are instituting policy changes that not only promote respect for homosexuality, but even celebrate it. By posing as a part of the civil rights movement, homosexual activists have succeeded in attaching their agenda to the message of ‘human rights’ and ‘tolerance’ already incorporated into countless lessons in a typical curriculum. Homosexual advocacy takes the idea of being kind and civil and perverts it to where practitioners are alleged to be illegitimately discriminated against by the majority.
The National Education Association (NEA) uses school safety rhetoric to push the homosexual agenda. It has unveiled a new web page, www.nea.schoolsafety/glbt.html (CAUTION: This page contains pro-homosexual material) on ‘gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans-gendered students,’ stating that the educators’ union is ‘committed’ to fighting harassment, bullying, and discrimination aimed at those students…
Often, without parental knowledge, local schools and legislatures are instituting policy changes that promote normalizing homosexual behavior. Some states have inserted gender protection verbiage into laws, using such terms as ‘sexual orientation’ and ‘gender preferences’ which essentially lend legitimacy to the homosexual lifestyle. The influence of homosexual activists within the nation’s educational system continues to grow, altering the attitudes of children and teens toward the acceptance of a unhealthy lifestyle.” (Marks’ errata throughout)
In reviewing the book “Domestic Tranquility: A Brief Against Feminism,” Maguire herself wrote in a review on Amazon.com that, “Mrs. Graglia utilizes her professional background in law to make an incredibly well documented (the end notes are incredible!) and exhaustive case against feminism. She accurately and persuasively connects the ‘victories’ of feminism with their destructive results in woman’s lives and in our society. This book is an incredible resource for women to help them cogently argue against a wrold view which has consistently removed protection and provision from them and their children.” (Maguire’s errata throughout)
It is not clear how Maguire justifies her view in light of the fact that feminism has given her the right to obtain an education, hold a position of authority and expect her views to be treated with respect, weight or merit. Without feminism she would be relegated to silence. Maguire has written on SCPIE’s website that, “As a mom in South Carolina, I care about my kids and their futures.” Obviously — she home-schools her children (something else she would not be able to do without the training feminism allowed her to receive).
Maguire worked diligently for George W. Bush’s election campaigns and was a staunch supporter of his nomination of Harriet Miers (George W. Bush’s evangelical personal lawyer) for the Supreme Court, saying, “I’m excited. I think Harriet is going to be incredible.” Despite the fact that Miers never held a gavel, Maguire added, “I think she’s going to bring insight and direction that the Court lost in Chief [Justice William] Rehnquist… Gosh, she’s not part of the D.C. intelligentsia.” Miers’ deep personal connections to the presidency would imply otherwise. Maguire’s selection is clearly a point of deep concern for LGBT students, their parents and their allies.
Info: The website of Maguire’s S.C. Parents Involved in Education is www.scpie.org.