|Tony Perkins of FRC|
What's the going rate for political groups to buy classroom time these days? InHawaii, it's $250. At least that's what the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is paying teachers for the opportunity to present its radical message to kids as young as six and seven. The pay-to-play scheme is getting plenty of attention in the state, as more reporters dig deeper into the stipend scandal that lured teachers to take SPLC's two-day "Tolerance" workshop. While the Department of Education investigates the ethics complaint filed by State Representative Bob McDermott, more information is surfacing about the stipend scandal. Turns out, the $250 paid for a lot more influence than people originally knew. On top of the initial kickback, teachers were eligible for more money "if they implemented and submitted one lesson stemming from what they learned at the workshop, wrote up five implementation logs and agreed to be observed teaching the anti-bias material in the classroom." In other words, SPLC is paying teachers for access to students -- and worse, its employees will be fanning out in classrooms across Hawaii for "observation."
Oh clutch the pearls! However, don't be fooled. This is yet another much ado about nothing. From the Hawaii News Now:
A state lawmaker has filed an ethics complaint against the Department of Education because he said it broke the law by allowing an outside nonprofit to pay teachers stipends for attending a controversial anti-bias workshop. The Department of Education held the two-day training session at Wist Hall on the University of Hawaii Manoa campus a couple of weeks ago to help social studies and English teachers work anti-bias and multicultural lessons into their teaching.
The curriculum was created by the Southern Poverty Law Center for the workshop attended by 28 public school teachers.
State Rep. Bob McDermott (R- Ewa, Ewa Beach) said it went far beyond teaching tolerance.
"It goes into forced acceptance, affirmation and celebration of behaviors that people of faith or creed or moral code find objectionable," McDermott said.
McDermott is upset that suggested reading lists for children in kindergarten through 2nd grade include a short story called "10,000 Dresses," about a little boy who likes to wear dresses.
There's a second story about two gay penguins.
"Why does a first grader need to know about two homosexual penguins? Please, tell me. Are we trying to indoctrinate, brainwash them?" McDermott asked.
In other words, there is no controversy other than a state official raising a fuss over a workshop while being spurred on by FRC's hysterical notices. It wouldn't be a surprise should it be discovered that McDermott and FRC are in "close contact" with each other about this situation.
And about the so-called "stipend scandal:"
The Department of Education paid teachers who attended the workshop $159 stipends because the second day of the workshop was on a Saturday when they'd normally not be working. Those teachers were also eligible for another $250 stipend from the Southern Poverty Law Center, if they implemented and submitted one lesson stemming from what they learned at the workshop, wrote up five implementation logs and agreed to be observed teaching the anti-bias material in the classroom.
. . . "Department guidelines make it clear that teachers may receive stipends for participation in voluntary training that takes place outside of official work hours," said Donalyn Dela Cruz, the DOE's communications director. "It is not uncommon for teachers to receive an additional stipend from educational partners for required supplemental work," Dela Cruz said.
Dela Cruz could not provide a detailed breakdown of how often outside groups pay teachers to attend similar training sessions.
"I don't believe that the teachers who put in the extra time to work on their profession would interpret" the stipend from Southern Poverty Law Center as an improper gift, Dela Cruz said. "There is additional work that each teacher does to receive the stipend; it is voluntary and above what their official duties call for. While stipends are common practice, there are guidelines. Stipends are a small amount paid for additional work during non-work hours."
FRC also claims to have a "fact sheet"(of course the words "fact sheet" in the same sentence as the Family Research Council is a serious conundrum) which supposedly gives the lowdown on SPLC's workshop. What the "fact sheet" actually is adds up to a bunch of silly charges against SPLC and a little homophobia thrown in to shock parents.
And homophobia is what this situation is all about. This fake controversy has nothing to do with keeping student safe or stopping supposed "indoctrination." This is about revenge. Pure, plain, simple, and evil revenge on behalf on the Family Research Council against the SPLC for naming it as an anti-gay hate group in 2010.
SPLC gave FRC this designation because of its continued and deliberate spreading of false and hateful propaganda about the lgbt community.
Instead of attempting to give a detailed and consistent refutation of the charges, FRC and its president, Tony Perkins, claimed that SPLC was attempting to stifle their voices and avoid debate, while carefully avoiding any actual debate of the issue at hand. Now FRC seems to be targeting SPLC with as much fervor and vindictiveness as it targets the lgbt community
My guess is that soon, Perkins - and McDermott for that matter - will most likely be making an appearance on Fox News where they will be given a friendly interview by Megyn Kelly or Shannon Bream. And if anyone from SPLC is invited, don't expect there to be a debate between the two parties at hand.
Past experiences involving Perkins has demonstrated that while he likes to talk about wanting a debate, the man doesn't have the stomach for it. In fact, he will do what he can to avoid it.
UPDATE - I just received an excellent article from a Facebook friend about Rep. Bob McDermott, FRC's partner in crime regarding this false hysteria. Apparently, he is obsessed with gay sex to such a point that earlier this year, he held a press conference complaining about a Department Of Education Sex Education Program because it, according to him, focused too much on anal sex:
Geez, Family Research Council. You sure can pick your allies.
Family Research Council creating false hysteria about SPLC program in Hawaii