Town Square

So, where'd the "Special Interest Group" posting go?

Original post made by Tom Cushing on Apr 18, 2011

Very odd.

Some concerned citizen wrote a brief article expressing her worry that the Day of Silence at Dougherty Valley High might somehow distract her daughter from concentrating on impending SATs. Honest.

Now, one might hope that actually seeing such a remarkable claim in print would be sufficient to prompt its author to remove it, but is that what happened?

Madame Editor had commented to the effect that these events have been around for several years, which is true. A few others had weighed-in, as well (myself included). Where'd it all go?


Posted by Sharon, a resident of Danville
on Apr 18, 2011 at 4:02 pm

I missed the whole article. Is this the Day of Silence sanctioned by the GSA? If so, I'm a huge supporter and my son participates every year. It's a minor but meaningful taste of what LGBTQ students have to deal with every day - and it's a great way to support each other.

I don't get why it's a distraction - maybe this isn't what is being discussed, though. Am I off base (please say yes - I would hate to think another parent would object to such a positive demonstration of support)?

Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Danville
on Apr 18, 2011 at 4:52 pm


Posted by American, a resident of Danville
on Apr 18, 2011 at 5:01 pm

I believe all schools should have a strict policy of zero tolerance for any kind of bullying. However, I do not agree with schools having a sanctioned day where students apparently put tape over their mouth during class time or other type activities during class time. If you want to have some type of program before school, during lunch, or after school, that is fine, but not during class time. If you allow one special interest group to dictate what is done during class time, than you have to accomodate every special interest group that demands equal time for their cause. Before you know it, one day of class time is spent dealing with people who are bullied because of their weight, the next day because of their height, the next day because of their religion, the next day because of their political views. If a student is bullying a classmate for any reason, not just because of his or her sexual preference, than they should be suspended, period. Lets get back to the three R's during class time, and stop giving in to every special interest group demanding class time.

Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Danville
on Apr 18, 2011 at 5:43 pm

1 -- I would reject the premise that accommodating one requires accommodating all -- I think it simply requires an exercise of managerial/administrative judgment, which in this case is not too difficult. If the Believers in the Easter Bunny wanna hop all during class, I think you can ban that as both disruptive and ridiculous. Contrast silence, for an important symbolic purpose, which we have here.

2 -- your rule would be particularly pernicious if it kept the schools from actually helping to deal with serious problems that actually do exist -- like disproportionate bullying of gay/perceived-as-gay kids. It would sacrifice the good that can be done, through mutual support and consciousness-raising, on the altar of insensate sameness. When the problem goes away, so will the need to deal with it.

Finally, while I am an advocate of the 3Rs, I know I've had a Lot more use for the peripheral values training I received in school than for my ability to calculate a tangent (which is not to say I can't go off on one). I daresay there's ample time in the day for both.

Posted by Ashley, a resident of Danville
on Apr 19, 2011 at 12:52 pm

I looked at the pictures on the San Ramon Patch website and was surprised by their content. My kids are not old enough for high school yet, but seeing them with tape over their mouths and signs stating no one was to talk regardless of their participation seems a little over-reaching to me. I know I have a lot to discover before my little ones are old enough for high school, but an event about bullying seems it would be best if it covered all forms of bullying, like obesity, religion, class etc as one writer mentions above. This event seemed to be too specific to one group to be a school sanctioned event for an entire day.

Posted by Marie, a resident of Danville
on Apr 19, 2011 at 3:35 pm

I totally agree with American. Schools need to teach the 3Rs & have zero tolerance for bullying.

Parents need to teach their children everything else. I don't want my children's schools to talk about any issue that is based on an opinion like same sex.

Posted by Marie, a resident of Danville
on Apr 19, 2011 at 3:55 pm

I just read the Patch & saw the pictures…You have got to be kidding! This "movement" is totally inappropriate to have in school! Do the adult supporters actually believe that these children are doing this to help sexually confused individuals? No, they are doing it for the fun of it, to stand out from the crowd, to be noticed. I am appalled that the school officials allowed this to happen.

Posted by mom, a resident of Blackhawk
on Apr 19, 2011 at 4:08 pm

I share your feelings. I actually wonder how many parents of the Dougherty students have viewed these photos. I can imagine they would be shocked as well. From the few I have spoken to, they were completely unaware that is occured. They were only told that the school would be having a day set aside to combat bullying. Everyone supports that! This display was not what they were expecting or informed would be happening. I hope some of them are addressing this with the school administration.

Posted by Sharon, a resident of Danville
on Apr 20, 2011 at 2:30 pm

Wow. Maybe we should start with a day of silence for the parents so they can experience a smattering of what it is like for a teen who is unable to express their sexual orientation (it's not a "preference" - that term reveals the ignorance of the person using it. I don't "prefer" to be attracted to men - I just am) because they have to hide this fact due to homophobia and bullying. Since bullying based on LGBTQ status has resulted in multiple homicides and suicides, how can we, as parents, object to this show of support if your student chooses to participate?

For clarification, my son and daughter attended separate SRVUSD high schools, both participated in the day of silence (it was an OPTION) and neither had their mouths taped shut. They found that the experience increased tolerance, and academics did not suffer in the least. For my daughter, not talking in class probably helped tremendously.

Marie - re: your comment about sexually confused individuals; who are you implying are confused? Can't students be attracted to someone of the same gender without being confused? Can't students be attracted to someone of the opposite gender and be confused? Food for thought, if you choose to open your mind.

Posted by Marie, a resident of Danville
on Apr 20, 2011 at 3:13 pm

Sharon, you don't want to know how I feel about same sex! However, I would never want anyone to be mistreated for any reason. Bullying is a form of abuse. I do believe that schools should teach acceptance, but to say that this movement is okay, is wrong in my opinion. I will teach my children to treat all life with respect, but certain life styles are not acceptable for my family.

Posted by Sharon, a resident of Danville
on Apr 20, 2011 at 7:18 pm

Marie, I'm glad you teach your children to respect others, regardless of your personal bias regarding same gender relationships. In my family, the gender of the individual our kids form a relationship with is unimportant - we hope for mutual respect and a relationship that fosters safety and growth. So far, so good. What's ironic is our kids are both hetero, yet my sister was raised by parents who did not support same gender relationships, yet she is a lesbian. Go figure.

Posted by Common Sense, a resident of Danville
on Apr 20, 2011 at 9:21 pm

LBGTQ is wrong from the very start. Raise and teach teach your kids with proper attention, and you will be far less likely in having to deal with an outlier in the family (formerly known as a fruitcake in the pre-politically correct environment).

Think what you may, say what you may, homosexuality is definitely a form of mental illness.

Thrives on non-conforming.

Posted by Magdalene, a resident of Danville
on Apr 21, 2011 at 6:08 am

When can my student demand that the school have a day dedicated to Pro-life? Now there is a section of the population who really has been silenced. How many millions of babies have been SHUT UP by abortion ("bullied" to use their term)? The SRVUSD needs to show equal treatment to all groups who feel they have been silenced if this is how they want to play it.

Posted by Citizen Paine, a resident of Danville
on Apr 21, 2011 at 7:47 am

Marie, your writing suggests that you are a caring and careful parent. Sadly, maybe tragically, it also reflects an external indoctrination of intolerance, as demonstrated by your use of the Exact Same Sentence about "lifestyle" and family "acceptability" in this thread and an earlier one, months ago.

The "lifestyle" argument is a convenient dodge, constructed by/for those who'd prefer to retain the comfort of their thoughtless, ultimately cruel prejudices -- after all, if it's a "choice" then good people needn't accept it as part of the Deity's creation.

But what if that's wrong, Marie? What if homosexuality is as innate in gay folk as heterosexuality is for the rest of us? What if it just "is?"

Have you considered the injustice in general -- or, more crucially, the grievous wounding of any of your children who might be gay -- and will be scarred with inner conflict and self-loathing based on your fundamental rejection of their very being? In a different context, I'm reasonably certain that you would call that maternal rejection what it is: abusive.

Are you willing to risk doing that to your kid -- or to other children of God? Can you reconcile that with your goal of teaching respect and acceptance? Why not just accept people as they Really Are?

Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Danville
on Apr 21, 2011 at 8:41 am

Ashley and Marie expressed some dismay over the Patch photos. So I found them to see for myself -- they are here: Web Link

It is important to recognize that the mouth-taping was self-administered and voluntary -- and quite symbolically effective. Personally, I found the photos thereof to be not-the-least-bit-shocking or inappropriate -- kudos to the young adults, other adults and the program in general -- by your actions, you're making a difference.

Please carry on!

Posted by American, a resident of Danville
on Apr 21, 2011 at 8:47 am

Issue is not which sexual preference is "right"...Issue is whether we allow one special interest group to demand valuable class time be spent only on their agenda...Bullying, for any reason, is wrong, period, and a school policy of immediate suspension for bullying for any reason, not just sexual preference, will solve the problem, as children are motivated by punishment..There are kids who are bullied for being overweight who commit suicide, kids who are poor and dress in non-popular clothes who are bullied and commit suicide, kids who are not athletic and are bullied and committ suicide,kids who wear glasses and are bullied and commit suicide, and the list goes on an on...It is not just kids who are bullied for their sexual preference that commit suicide...Limit the class room time to no bullying for any reason, period, and teach the golden rule of treating people how you want to be treated...We do not need to get in the discussion at school as to what sexual preference is or is not correct, as many people have very emotional and different views on this...However, every one is against bullying for any reason, and we should focus on our similiarities as a society to create a safe and positive learning experience at school, without bullying for any reason, and not label one victim of bullying more entitled to class room time than another victim of bullying.

Posted by Unwilling Conformist, a resident of San Ramon
on Apr 21, 2011 at 10:18 am

We live in a society that seems to be afraid to challenge authority in any way. We have allowed our gorvernment to be taken over by financial interests because we have been taught to keep our mouths shut and don't protest. We are involved as a nation in wars we should not be involved in because we have been trained to accept anything that "authority" chooses to shove down our collective throats. The fact that we have students in DVHS that are willing to stand up for what they believe in is great. It's what our country needs. More power to them! The argument that they are taking up class time is bogus and quite a reach. How is being silent taking up class time? I would hope that there are more movements where students can be allowed to express their individual beliefs and support one another in a such a way as this has been done... without screaming, yelling or infringing on the rights of others.

Posted by collins, a resident of Vista Grande Elementary School
on Apr 21, 2011 at 1:00 pm

I am saddened by some of the comments I have read today. Kids are killing themselves because of the hate and bullying that continues in this country. To me, that is the real topic. If a day of silence can stop one death, it is worth it.
Perhaps morals and tolerance should be taught at home, but judging by the behaviors at schools, this is not always the case. What has "Common Sense" taught his/her children?
Being Gay is not recognized as an illness by the Mental Health Community. But is it okay to belittle and bully someone with a real mental illness?
We need to value people because we all have the potential to contribute to the human race. We were all created in Gods' image.

Posted by Sharon, a resident of Danville
on Apr 21, 2011 at 5:43 pm

American, there is already a zero tolerance policy on bullying in every school my children have attended, and yet it persists. I would agree that bullying should not be tolerated regardless of the reason. Sadly, with the misguided attitudes of many parents (for example, who consider sexual orientation a preference) some children feel justified in bullying LGBTQ kids and face no sanctions at home for these actions. That there are children (straight, gay, etc.) who participate in such a symbolic representation of the experience of non-hetero teens is most welcome and I support them completely. My kids have participated in this event each time it has been at their school, and I am a very proud mom.

Posted by Kate, a resident of Danville
on Apr 21, 2011 at 10:19 pm

I read the comments here and from the link to SR Patch. The thing I find most "outrageous," "ridiculous," "shocking," and "bizarre" is that my enlightened and well educated town of Danville has people with such archaic ideas.

Those of you who so well-meaningly teach your own children how objectionable the LGBT lifestyles are--yours are the children who these students are dedicating their day of silence to.
It is your children who are hiding; your children who are silenced by your intolerance. They are ones who will never admit to you, or sometimes never admit to themselves their true feelings. You think you have successfully "taught" them that being heterosexual is the only way to be--you have only forced them to hide it from you. Don't be so confident that your children are not happy that there are people who support the right of sexual preference and students who are willing to demonstrate their support of creating a safe environment at school.
When my son went to SRVHS, he simply wore a t-shirt that said he was observing the Day of Silence. No valuable classtime was taken up, he attended as he normally would, he was just silent. It was not disruptive to class--I am sure the teachers would appreciate more silence in their classes.
As to being against bullying in general, that is great. But it doesn't seem to help these students because, at least when he was in high school, at the earlier part of this decade, there were certain teachers and principals who did nothing to help these individuals. Students were told that that was what you got for being "out". That was how the world was going to treat you so you better get used to it now: if you didn't want to get harrassed or bullied, don't be openly a part of the lifestyle. So instead of punishing the bullies, the victims were told to hide. Certain individuals would look the other way rather than stop bullies who shared their disapproval of LGBT students.
In regards to the schools needing to stick to the 3 r's...schools have always been institutions of socialization--it is one of their main purposes.
It saddens me that this is still such a hot topic. Not much has changed in the last 10 years.

Posted by It Gets Better, a resident of Danville
on Apr 23, 2011 at 5:34 pm

I've never seen a more self absorbed group of comments in my life. All of you are wrapped up in your shrilling your own opinion on this issue rather than focusing on the ones who matter - our youth.

So, teens, the message is fairly simple. IT GETS BETTER!

Your middle school and high school years are the worst years of your life & don't let anyone fool you about that. There's an extreme amount of pressure to conform & anything unique or different is attacked and ridiculed. But know that once you leave high school, there's a wonderful world out there waiting for you. There are people who will support you for who you are. You'll be able to make your own friends & not forced to a share a day with someone simply because you happen to live in the same neighborhood or because their parents and your parents are friends.

Unfortunately, you'll never find this wonderful world if you harm yourself. If you are being bullied or threatened and feel you can't take it anymore, please, reach out to someone - a doctor, a teacher, a friend, a parent, a friend's parent, the TREVOR hotline, somebody. But, no matter what, stick around. It gets better - it gets SO much better. You may not believe it now but there are lots of other people out there who have endured your struggle. There's nothing wrong with you and you can have a happy, fulfilling life. I have a college degree, a nice home, a loving partner, and four wonderful children. It got better for me & it will get better for you.

And to the two 14 year old girls from MN who hanged themselves this past week, sadly joining the many other kids as young as 11 who've killed themselves because of the bullying they endured, RIP.

Posted by Typical Journalism, a resident of Danville
on Apr 23, 2011 at 6:57 pm

Common Sense - Yep. People stopped referring to folks as fruitcakes. Civilized people also stopped referring to people as coloreds & negro, as the terms morphed into words meant as slurs. Civilized people also recognize that using the term, "Jew", as a verb is a sign of trashiness. Civilized people evolve over time. Very slowly - but they do evolve.

Posted by Marie, a resident of Danville
on Apr 23, 2011 at 8:29 pm

Back to the original topic "So, where did the "Special Interest Group" posting go?" We never did get the answer. Did the editor delete it? Why?

As far as the DVHS situation, no one would be concerned or complaining if it was a day of silence for all bullying. One (very controversial) group does not need to be given any special treatment when we have so many different kinds of bullying issues that our kids face today.

The school, and district, should have handled this better! I don't care if the kids brought their own duct tape to school or it was handed out, school is not the place! Schools need to teach the 3Rs and discipline bullies so that they learn not to hurt others, but they need to stay clear of personal choice and opinions!

Posted by Inman, a resident of Danville
on Apr 23, 2011 at 10:16 pm

One wonders if Marie also teaches her children that being left-handed is a lifestyle or a personal choice. That being left=handed is not reason for being bullied a school. But wouldn't it be better if we were all just right-handed?

Posted by Marie, a resident of Danville
on Apr 23, 2011 at 11:20 pm

Not sure what you mean Inman, but I'll give it a try…

Yes, we all have a dominate hand, but we can learn to use the other hand just as well. So, yes, I guess you can say that it is a choice to use only one hand or both. If your dominate hand is injured, you have the choice to use the other hand or just give up on life. I would hope that this is not another thing (lifestyle, choice, or whatever you want to call it) to make fun of.

As I have already said previously, bullying is wrong, bullying is a form of abuse, bullying should be a crime! It doesn't matter what kind of bullying it is, it shouldn't be allowed anywhere for any reason!

Now can we get back on topic?

Posted by American, a resident of Danville
on Apr 24, 2011 at 1:25 pm

Marie: You get it, you have common sense, and although it may not be politically correct, most parents in Danville agree with you. We want our schools to enforce a zero bullying policy, for any reason, and we do not want any one special interest group to demand more valuable class time than any other group. If our schools start giving in to these special interest group, do not be surprised when more and more parents start pulling their children out of the public schools, which would be really sad. The job of the schools is not to teach children which sexual lifestyle is right or wrong, and the fact is special interest groups are trying to use the bully issue to get the schools to endorse their preference as being correct. If you approach this bullying issue without an agenda, it is clear that children who are bullied for their sexual preference are no more, and no less, victims than children who are bullied for being overweight, short, non-athletic, or any other reason. Bullying, for any reason, is wrong, and I would hope that the schools realize that most parents, who do not have a special interest agenda, get this, and do not want any victims to get special treatment or rights than the other victims.

Posted by Social Agenda, a resident of Danville
on Apr 24, 2011 at 2:17 pm

Exactly, homosexual advocates are utilizing the so called "bullying issue" to promote their own personal social agenda, that is the acceptance of homosexuality in our community.

Keep it in your bedroom and out of the schools. Thank you.

Posted by Sharon, a resident of Danville
on Apr 24, 2011 at 5:00 pm

Social - when hetero individuals keep their relationships private, that's when we can demand LGBTQ individuals do so as well. If I can wear my wedding ring and hold my husband's hand in public (including school), why shouldn't my sister have the same opportunity with her partner?

Marie, I believe you are trying but you missed Inman's point. Sexual acts are a choice, sexual orientation is not.

Posted by Social Agenda, a resident of Danville
on Apr 24, 2011 at 5:28 pm


Male homosexual intercourse is disgusting, filthy and spreads all kinds of disesase, including HIV/AIDS. Fifty-three percent of HIV infected people in the United States are male homosexuals, over eighty percent of the people in the United States infected by HIV were done so by a male homosexual.

Whether by design or from a evolutionary standpoint, humans are equipped with a advantageous olfactory sensitivity. The brown stuff stinks for a reason, a warning, so it is best to stay away from it.

I am really not interested is seeing someone's serious sexual perversions in public, let alone in a public school where they should actually be teaching heatlh and safety.

Posted by Laughing, a resident of Danville
on Apr 24, 2011 at 6:56 pm

Social Agenda - if we're going to depict things as disgusting then I'd have to say that heterosexuals win out on the 'ich' factor. For you see it's heterosexuals that have created an illegitimacy rate of 4 out of 10 nationally & more than 5 out of 10 in our state. Illegitimacy correlates with a host of negative outcomes for most of the kids.

A third of women with more than one child have children by more than one man. Another event that correlates with negative outcomes for many of the kids involved.

I personally find people who place children in high risk situations to be "ichy". So, if you we're going down the morality road & the ichness factor, heterosexuals win.

And if you visit the cost of illegitimacy for the American taxpayer - $112 billion - another travesty.

Posted by Laughing, a resident of Danville
on Apr 24, 2011 at 6:59 pm

And that $112 billion is a yearly figure & since the illegitimacy rate increases every year - so to does that cost.

Posted by Marie, a resident of Danville
on Apr 24, 2011 at 7:47 pm

Laughing: You can't compare illegitimacy because same sex can't naturally make babies. Mistakes happen. Bad choices are made. If you want to compare apples to apples, then look at the adoption rate between both couples then come back and make an argument.

Posted by Social Agenda, a resident of Danville
on Apr 24, 2011 at 10:03 pm

@ Laughing - A morality argument with regards to male homosexuality was not presented or intended. By definition a perverted individual no longer understands morality along those lines, they are far too gone, convincing themselves otherwise, long ago. Therefore it is utterly useless to argue the demerits of male homosexuality upon the strict point of morality.

Humans we can though agree have been programmed either through enlightened design or evolutionary development to avoid items that smell spoiled or rotten, like rancid milk or putrid meat.

One would never allow, nor teach their children to drink spoiled milk or eat rotten meat, but rather to dispose of it properly.

On the other hand, if someone wants to purposefully override their olfactory sensitivities to pursue pleasure of a different design, that certainly is their own business.

However, health and safety factors should be taught first and foremost in our public schools before advocating the acceptance of dangerous "alternative" lifestyles.

Posted by Laughing, a resident of Danville
on Apr 24, 2011 at 10:12 pm

Social Agenda - If health and safety were important then we'd teach kids how dangerous heterosexuality is. Heterosexuals are abusing kids through the immorality of illegitimacy everyday. That immorality and is far more unhealthy for society and children. It's just when heterosexuals abuse children by spitting them out like they're Pez candy, we overlook it, financially reward the behavior, and put the parents on reality shows designed to show off their dancing skills. Your argument remains weak and ineffective.

Posted by Social Agenda, a resident of Danville
on Apr 24, 2011 at 10:33 pm

@ Laughing - You are certainly entitled to your opinion. <EOM>

Posted by Sharon, a resident of Danville
on Apr 25, 2011 at 9:23 am

Social, if it makes you feel better to flaunt your obvious homophobia by labeling your perception of an intimate act (that I'm assuming you have not participated in) as "disgusting" then you go right ahead - you wear your prejudicial badge on your forehead anyway. No one will mistakenly label you as open minded about that which you clearly have given (too?) much thought to and developed a phobia around your own fantasy.

Laughing - thanks for making a very good point regarding the outcome of indescriminate hetero relationships. You haven't lowered yourself to chosing a particular private "act" and labeling it disguisting - rather, you have focused on very real outcomes that negatively affect all of society, and children most of all.

Posted by Social Agenda, a resident of Danville
on Apr 25, 2011 at 12:12 pm

@ Sharon - You are welcome to your point of view, as well. Calling me names because my position or opinion on subject matter does not entirely align with your opinion is though not necessary.

I believe male homosexuality is disgusting, and the HIV/AIDS numbers support that belief. You believe male homosexuality is au natural, but must call me names to support your point.

Posted by Marie, a resident of Danville
on Apr 25, 2011 at 12:46 pm

Unfortunately Sharon, many people agree with Social Agenda's opinion, but don't have the guts to admit it out loud to people they don't know.

Posted by jrm, a resident of Vista Grande Elementary School
on Apr 26, 2011 at 5:34 pm

jrm is a registered user.

Frankly Marie...Most of us think Social Agenda has a "Social Agenda"
....whatever his or her comments reflect are highly suspect...don't humor him or guys are sooo homophobic. Guess what, your kids are going to work with gay colleagues, maybe even, God forbid, REPORT TO ONE (assuming you know that that means) and you need to wake up...sounds like the NEGRO ALERT of the 60's...I feel sorry for your children and the subsequent limiting of their professional effectiveness because of the prejudice you have taught them. One of my best bosses ever was gay...who care about that happens after work....except you....I wonder why?

Posted by American, a resident of Danville
on Apr 26, 2011 at 7:45 pm

As usual, JRM(Germ) has gone off on a liberal lecture tangent with subjective "opinions" that have nothing to do with the topic. The topic is whether any one group that is being bullied should have class time devoted solely to their group, or should we simply have a zero tolerance for any reason bullying policy in our schools...Of course, if ever disagree with JRM, he feels the need to fly off and rip people with negative labels, rather than thought provoking critical thinking analysis...In fact, his frequent blogs have a "bully" mentality to them, which is ironic since this was the topic being discussed that apparently went over his head.

Posted by Marie, a resident of Danville
on Apr 27, 2011 at 9:41 am

Let's make this very clear… we all know that same sex exist, but depending on your religion and/or personal beliefs, is how you will react to this "lifestyle choice".

In my opinion, sex is only for making babies. Yes, many people do it for the guilty pleasure it gives, but ultimately, sex serves the purpose of continuing the human race. I think it is beautiful when I see a man and woman holding hands, but I don't want to see them doing any intimate act in public.

I do not judge people who are in a same sex relationship or think that anyone who agrees to this "lifestyle" are any less than me, but it does seem that those how believe it is okay, think that it is okay to judge those who don't.

Posted by Inman, a resident of Danville
on Apr 27, 2011 at 10:03 am

The repeated and inaccurate assertion by some on this thread that being gay is a lifestyle choice reminds me very much of the other anti-scientific statements that the right wing os so fond of repeating (i.e., that evolution doens't exist, or that mankind's activities can't affect our climate). It's ironic, because they purport to be in favor of education; but, when the carefully developed science contradicts their point of view, they try to reject the science.

No worries. Tolerance will ultimately prevail -- as it is in race relations. It just takes a while.

Posted by Inman, a resident of Danville
on Apr 27, 2011 at 12:21 pm

Marie, if you truly believe that "sex is only fo rmaking babies," I suppose that you must believe that people over the age of 50 really have no business having sex? Or any couple that is infertile or who choose not to have children (or more children)? What an unusual and antiquated notion. I suspect that most seniors (and the entire medical profession) would disagree with you.

Posted by Fact be Known, a resident of Danville
on Apr 27, 2011 at 1:05 pm

Funny, when people post valid claims such as homosexuality being unhealthy or unclean, they are immediately labeled a homophobe. The act of homosexuality is not defended, but the critic is attacked.

Homosexuality is dirty and unclean.

Posted by Marie, a resident of Danville
on Apr 27, 2011 at 1:07 pm

Again, I do not judge. I know I have to make my husband happy every now and then, but don't want any more children. I never said I was perfect.

Posted by Citizen Paine, a resident of Danville
on Apr 27, 2011 at 1:46 pm

@Inman: You had me 'til "a while." I'm reminded of King's Letter from a Birmingham Jail: Web Link

"...I had also hoped that the white moderate would reject the myth concerning time in relation to the struggle for freedom. I have just received a letter from a white brother in Texas. He writes: 'All Christians know that the colored people will receive equal rights eventually, but it is possible that you are in too great a religious hurry. It has taken Christianity almost two thousand years to accomplish what it has. The teachings of Christ take time to come to earth.'

Such an attitude stems from a tragic misconception of time, from the strangely rational notion that there is something in the very flow of time that will inevitably cure all ills. Actually, time itself is neutral; it can be used either destructively or constructively. More and more I feel that the people of ill will have used time much more effectively than have the people of good will. We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people.

Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability; it comes through the tireless efforts of men willing to be co-workers with God, and without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation. We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right...."

True, it WILL take a while, but that's Not all right.

Further, I think objections of the "all bullying is bad" folks are smokescreens. If their stated views were genuine, I don't believe that they'd object to some folks addressing what is currently the most damaging species of the bullying phenomenon. They might choose to sit this one out, but not go so far as to trump-up nonsense about dilution of class time. An attack on part of the problem is, after all still an attack on the problem. Nope, there's something rotten there that goes well beyond poor Social Agenda's infantile preoccupation with bodily functions.

Posted by Sharon, a resident of Danville
on Apr 27, 2011 at 7:46 pm

@Fact..."dirty and unclean?" And what are hetero "relations" in comparison? It's the hallmark of a homophobe to reduce an entire relationship to a sexual act.

@Marie - your post has to be one of the saddest I have read. I truly think your heart is kind and you are simply misguided, but your most recent post explains a lot.

Posted by Fact be Known, a resident of Danville
on Apr 27, 2011 at 11:43 pm

@ Sharon

Everyone I know flushes the stuff down the toilet, disposing of it properly. If people want to play with it, that is certainly their business. BUT --- please don't tell me it is healthy, the stuff breeds disease. It stinks for a reason.

Posted by cardinal, a resident of Diablo
on Apr 28, 2011 at 8:20 am

Lemme guess, Fax, Santorum for President?

Posted by Inman, a resident of Danville
on Apr 28, 2011 at 10:22 am

@Citizen Paine -

Agree with you completely. Didn't mean to suggest that time by itself would create more tolerance. All successes in the advancement of tolerance and equality come through the diligent efforts of dedicated people. My comment was simply a recognition that changing the hearts of people doesn't happen overnight. And the fact that younger people show a much greater degree of tolerance of differences among people and a greater acceptance of the great diversity of our society than do older generations gives me hope that over time we will see even greater tolerance.

Posted by Marie, a resident of Danville
on Apr 28, 2011 at 10:56 am

There is a difference between tolerance and personal belief. I tolerate that there is a world of people that have different opinions and life styles than mine. I do not wish any more or less for them then I do myself or my family. However, I belief that men and women were created to go together to continue the human race. Anything else is perverse in my opinion…I am not name calling, if you think I am, then I'm sorry for upsetting you, but I'm not sorry for my opinion.

Tolerate=stand, bear, put up with, accept, allow, etc.
Belief=faith, idea, trust, etc.
Perverse=wicked, stubborn, contrary, etc.

Inman: if you really think that younger people show a much "greater degree of tolerance" than older generations, then we wouldn't be having this discussion because the schools wouldn't be having a bullying issue of any kind!

Posted by Citizen Paine, a resident of Danville
on Apr 28, 2011 at 11:28 am

@Inman: Agreed -- the inter-generational polling numbers are irresistible. Basically, if you're over 65, chances are you can't accept gay folks, who were, for the most part, closeted throughout most of your adult life -- just too different. If you're under 40, chances are you wonder what's the big deal.

A whole lot of very courageous work has gone into that social transformation/as yet unfinished business -- including programs like the one at DVHS -- and absolutely no question who's on the right side of history.

Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Danville
on Apr 28, 2011 at 12:36 pm

So, Marie, you tolerate sex with your husband because you have to keep him happy, once in a while? You may be gayer than you've led us to believe!

Do you remember that first, sweet romantic attraction of your childhood? I do mine -- a little blonde, curly-haired girl in the second grade at Kennett Square elementary, with freckles. Can you see your crush in your mind's eye -- hair, complexion, height, what he wore, the first time he noticed you? Do you recall the fluttering in your belly -- the blushing? I do.

Now, do you remember choosing the sex of that person? 'Cuz I sure don't.

What would it take to get you to give up that flimsy ideological handhold of a "lifestyle choice?" Would it take one gay person describing her-or-his first attraction to you? Or ten? Or twenty? Because they're out there, Marie -- by the thousands. Same story as yours and mine -- same attraction that just "is" -- just a different object. And equally deserving of your respect and acceptance.

If you want me to find 'em for you, I will. I'm not hard to locate, hereabouts. Or, if you'd prefer the close comfort of your self-imposed closet, I guess it's understandable. Just please, please don't do your kids the injustice of trying to make them stay in there, with you. They deserve better.

Posted by Inman, a resident of Danville
on Apr 28, 2011 at 1:22 pm

Marie -

Citizen Paine is correct. Public opinion polls consistently show greater levels of tolerance (in terms of race, sexual orientation, etc.) by younger people than older people.

Now, that doesn't mean ALL young people are free of prejudice, or immune from the influence from prejudiced parents, or immune to exhibiting bullying behavior. School-age children especially are still learning and they need both good role models of tolerance by adults and education about tolerance of diversity.

Posted by Sharon, a resident of Danville
on Apr 28, 2011 at 4:48 pm

@fact - I give up. Nothing can permeate your phobic fantasy that is clearly all you can think about when thinking of male couples. I wonder if your mind is similarly occupied when you consider a relationship between two women? How about opposite gender couples - do you choose and perseverate on one particular act and define a relationship around it? How very sad.

@Tom, I wish I had your patience and wit. I try , but exasperation overwhelms me.

Posted by Fact Be Known, a resident of Danville
on Apr 28, 2011 at 8:39 pm


Whether by an advantageous evolutionary sensitivity or planned design, excrement or waste product stinks for the benefit and safety of human beings. The message is clear, stay away.

From one cavity life is born, from the other cavity death and waste.

Free world though, if you want to develop a relationship around it, knock yourself out!

Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Danville
on Apr 29, 2011 at 8:30 am

One of my favorite sayings is from Will Rogers, to the effect that it's not so much what folks don't know that causes problems, but what they Think they know – that just ain't true. A case in point is the rather strenuous prosecution of all-things-gay by a commenter who, ironically, chooses to call himself "Fact be Known." I will try to be delicate, Madame Editor.

FBK would have us believe that poop stinks as a warning to leave it alone. That's wrong, confusing correlation with causation. Poop stinks because it is produced by anaerobic bacteria in the oxygen-starved environment of the colon. Anytime you have processing by such bacteria, odor will ensue. Certain foods also contain compounds that digest into H2S, but that's a very minor fraction of the wholfactory extravaganza. Now, maybe FBK would have us believe that those kind little bugs have our heterosexual best interests in their hearts – if they had hearts, but they don't. In a sealed can, or in your can, FBK, anaerobic digestion stinks.

He would also have us believe that poop is an unqualified Bad Thing. Wrong again. Because up to about half the energy content of food is retained in poop, it is common practice to use it agriculturally, as is done in Michael Pollan's Omnivore's Dilemma, where chickens are put on acreage recently vacuated by cows, in part for that very reason. Put another way: waste is food in the circle of life. It's very much like CO2 we breathe out of ingested by plant life as a nutrient, but in solid phase. Poop gets a bad rap, especially from those who fixate on it.

Finally, for now, there's the assumption that butt play is the exclusive province of gay men, and that they do it to the exclusion of everything else. Wrong again, on both counts. Turns out, according to "Anal Sex for Dummies" (now you know there's a Dummies guide for EVerything), that 1/3-or-more of breeders, and only half of gay couples engage in those adventures. You don't have to be very good at math to recognize that the heterosexual community may be going 'in' the 'out' door more often than their homosexual counterparts.

So you see, FBK, folks is folks – and some folks engage in consensual butt play because they find pleasure in the nerve concentrations in that neck-of-the-woods. It bears repeating: folks is folks -- which really is the larger point, here, isn't it?

Posted by Sharon, a resident of Danville
on Apr 29, 2011 at 2:13 pm

Tom C., you are my hero. I don't have the fortitude to persevere, but thank goodness you are present and accounted for, tongue in cheek (cheeky even!), and always divine.

You and Citizen Paine both deserve a pat on the back and an E for effort. I, on the other hand, got caught up in the topic diversion, courtesy of "fact's" obvious anal fixation, and forgot the plea of "It Gets Better" to bring this back to the kids that matter.

Yep, I do believe it does get better - high school can be a microcosm of terror for some kids, and the suicides among those bullied due to their (real or perceived) sexual orientation are staggering and effect everyone. One person taking that particular way out increases the risk of people they have known along the way - even if your child is hetero, their risk is negatively impacted by this tragedy. Dedicating an optional day to be silent to support those who remain silent out of fear is something I wholeheartedly support and I'm proud to live in a community where these events are encouraged by high school students regardless of their orientation.

Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Danville
on Apr 29, 2011 at 3:43 pm

@Sharon -- backatcha, and a good idea: here's the link to the It Gets Better Project website "pledge" page (as distinct from the "contribute" page). I just signed it -- maybe others will want to, as well. Web Link

THE PLEDGE reads as follows: Everyone deserves to be respected for who they are. I pledge to spread this message to my friends, family and neighbors. I'll speak up against hate and intolerance whenever I see it, at school and at work. I'll provide hope for lesbian, gay, bi, trans and other bullied teens by letting them know that "It Gets Better."

Please Note: no class time was impinged-upon in the making of this post.

Posted by Sharon, a resident of Danville
on Apr 29, 2011 at 7:15 pm

Tom, you crack me up! Happy to participate in the pledge - sending along to friends and family as well.

Posted by Fact be Known, a resident of Danville
on May 1, 2011 at 3:30 pm

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? Do material objects really have innate unpleasant odors? I would suggest to Tom Cushing that human feces smells poorly, not because of some innate material quality of the object, but because the sensitivity of our human sense has been programmed to detect the object as such.