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Teaching Kindergarten Kids About 'Human Differences' and Homosexuality Isn't 'Easy' in Newton
Massachusetts News ^ | April 17, 2003 | MassNews Staff

Posted on 04/17/2003 10:32:53 AM PDT by Remedy

It hasn't been easy teaching children about homosexuality in the Newton schools because many parents are not happy with the plan, a social worker told the attendees at one of the Fistgate sessions held this year at Tufts University.

"I work in the Newton public schools, and a lot of times it can be a very reactionary group, and it has not been easy at all," said Laura Perkins, who is a social worker in the schools.

Her session at Fistgate 2003 was about introducing six-year-olds to homosexual concepts. She shared books and sample lesson plans. The session was titled, "Developing Lessons that Help Young Students Understand Human Differences."

"What I do is to go into classrooms and teach kids about respect for human differences and to teach social skills lessons," she said, adding, "I have been asked to train new teachers in how to do some of these lessons. The new teachers are being trained to do this."

Several participants were from Brookline's public schools, including two first-grade co-teachers from the Devotion School and a 3rd-through-5th grade learning center teacher.

"It seems like the climate at the [Devotion] School is much more open than a lot of schools," commented Perkins, who then lamented the obstacles she faces in Newton.

She asked group members what teaching methods they currently use in their classrooms. One of the Devotion School teachers replied that she already does "a lot of stuff about similarities and differences . . . sort of getting [the children] to broaden their definition of what's smart or what's good or what's acceptable. And we talk a lot about teasing, and a lot about rules that people think there are, but that really aren't there. Like, people think there's a rule that boys can't like pink or wear pink or like to do certain things. That rule really doesn't exist, but people behave as if they do. So in this class, there isn't a rule, and we're not going to pretend that there's a rule."

Perkins said that children, who have language-based learning disabilities or who are mentally retarded, tend to think in such literal terms that they "really sometimes do have trouble grasping these ideas" that "a family can have two moms or two dads. So, sometimes it takes working with the parents as well to help them to talk to their children about it, so that they're hearing it in different places."

Get In Front of Parents Early On

Perkins recommended educators take a pro-active lead in setting ground rules with parents during the first open house of the school year:

"It's good just to state it right at open house. Talk about the kind of climate that you're trying to create in the classroom. Let parents know that you're going to be intervening if there's any teasing or name-calling, and that occasionally kids do use terms like 'retarded' or 'gay' as insults, and you will intervene and have a discussion about that if that happens."

Should parents want to know what a teacher is going to say in that situation, Perkins advised, "I would at that point tell them that I would define those words for the kids, and they're going to want to know how you define it.

"So the definition that I give to parents of an elementary school person, and this is what I use for the kids, is I say to kids that someone who is gay is someone, is a man who would be in a loving or romantic relationship with another man rather than a woman, and a lesbian is a woman who would be in a loving or a romantic relationship [with another woman], which she isn't necessarily in a relationship, but that is who she'd be in a relationship with."

Perkins conceded that she does not use the term "sexual orientation" with kids because, "It's too charged for the parents. I think if it's charged for the kids, it's really charged for the parents."

She actually does explain the difference between friendship and romance to children: "And parents will say to me, 'They're little kids, how do they know about romantic? What does that mean?' And I'll say, 'Well, I actually do explain that to kids.' You know, I say, 'Does that mean that if you're friends with a boy who's friends with a boy, does that mean he's gay?' And they'll say 'No.' And I'll say, 'That's right, it's different, that's a friendship. I'm not talking about friendship. I'm talking about moms and dads who've fallen in love, and then they want to live together and raise a family.'"

One method Perkins uses to explain the difference between friendship and romance to small children is fairy tales: "Again, with learning disabilities, you're dealing with sometimes kids who think very literally, so I'll say things like, 'In Cinderella, the story of Cinderella, the relationship between the Prince and Cinderella. . . that's a romantic relationship, or Sleeping Beauty and the prince.' And they get [that]. That seems to help them grasp that idea that it's not a friendship; it's a different concept."

When asked by one participant if she has ever had negative reactions from parents, Perkins agreed she has, and illustrated the ostracism some children face when their parents refuse to let them be indoctrinated: "I've had parents who've been kind about it and great about it, and I've had parents who've asked that their child be removed from any lesson in which we're going to deal with that.

"In fact, there's one parent who's asked that his child not have anything to do with me, so that child has had to be removed. I do social skills lessons in grades one and three, and that child had to be removed every time I came to do that in the classroom. We found something else for her to do, like go to the library and water the plants. I felt so bad. She was one of the kids who loved the lessons the most."

Perkins added, "There are always parents whose religion actually says that it [homosexuality] is a sin. I don't want to disrespect anyone's religion, and I'll tell parents that, but we do want every child to feel safe and comfortable in the school.

"If kids are getting teased and harassed, they're not going to be able to work. They're not going to be able to concentrate on their learning. So this is actually for the protection of people's learning so that they're able to learn best. So it really does go along with the goals of education, that every child has the right to be comfortable."

Perkins passed out several children's books for class participants to examine. She called Families are Different a "wonderful book" for kindergarten and first graders. However, "It does not show gay and lesbian families, so what I'll do is, I'll read the kids the book, then ask them if there are any kinds of families that are not represented. I actually have kids who have lesbian parents who do not say that their family wasn't represented, which is troubling to me. I question, are they getting the idea that I'm asking, or are they ashamed or are they uncomfortable? So then I'll sit and talk about families with two moms and two dads."

Good books for introducing the concept of "allies" include Oliver Button is a Sissy for first graders and Teammates, a story about African American baseball player Jackie Robinson, for third graders.

"When a child is being laughed at," said Perkins, "it's important to stop the class and say, 'Is there anybody who's going to be this child's ally? Something is going on; someone needs help. Who is going to show their support by being an ally?'

"I've had a whole class practically dissolve in laughter in front of me because I used the word 'gay'. And when that happens you have a choice: Should you stop or should you just go on and ignore the issues or stop and discuss it? And I stop and discuss it and ask them why they're laughing. And they'll really try to avoid the subject, but then usually someone will spill the beans, and then I'll go into the definition, and why it's hurtful to laugh about it."

Another resource Perkins recommends for first graders is Zinnia and Dot, a "conflict resolution" story about two mother hens who fight over a single egg after a weasel steals the others in their nests. When the chick hatches, the hens realize that it does not matter who originally laid the egg. The story reads, "Never before was a baby chick so loved, growing up with not one, but two mother hens." When Perkins finishes reading the story, she asks children, "Does this look like a happy family?" When the kids answer "Yes," Perkins explains, "This story is about a hen family, but in some human families there are two moms or two dads."

Perkins admitted that My Two Uncles, the story of a girl who does not understand the conflict her grandfather has with his gay son (the girl's uncle) and his male sex partner, may be too sophisticated for first and second graders because of its explicit definitions of "gay" and "lesbian," but "I have great discussions in third grade with kids about it." She noted that one of her former principals asked her not to use the book because of parents' negative reactions.

Chicken Sunday, for grades 3 through 5, talks about the Holocaust and shows a drawing of a man with a concentration camp tattoo on his arm. Perkins said she uses the story to talk to children about groups of people who were persecuted in Germany during World War II, "and that one of the groups was gays and lesbians, and I'll define it for them, and [talk] about how it seems like all that persecution was about fear of differences and about not understanding people who are different, and that is one of the reasons we are emphasizing understanding differences."

Perkins, who identified herself as "straight" during the session, concluded, "I think it's more the parents who should go to a psychiatrist to become comfortable with who their child is."


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: Massachusetts
KEYWORDS: deviant; education; gay; gaysexeducation; glsen; homosexual; homosexualagenda; homosexuallinks; indoctrinationcenter; kindergarten; pflag; prisoners; publicschools; queer; reeducation; sexeducation; taxdollarsatwork; tufts; youpayforthis
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To: Zack Nguyen
That is a remarkable story. There is a demonic agenda at work here, and the goal is to win the hearts and minds of the next generation.

If I had younger children today, I would NEVER allow them to see the inside of a state-run school. After the dismal experience with my son, I homeschooled my daughter until junior high, then put her in a Christian private school. She is finishing up her junior year at the local public high school. However, before I let her attend there I made darn sure that A) she was strong enough to withstand the assault on her psyche, B) I know what she's studying by insinuating myself into her school life (served two years on the parent-teacher council, for example, to keep an eye on them); and C) the loopy feminist principal was out and a conservative who supports parents and a modicum of discipline was hired.

No matter what it costs, get your little children out of the government, soul-killing schools. To do anything less is simply negligent and hurtful to children!

151 posted on 05/02/2003 2:30:04 PM PDT by Scothia (If you pray for rain, prepare to deal with some mud.)
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To: Scothia
BIG BUMP!!!!!!!
152 posted on 05/02/2003 3:00:09 PM PDT by Remedy
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To: Remedy; Scothia
BIG BUMP!!
153 posted on 05/02/2003 5:54:04 PM PDT by EdReform
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To: scripter
Bump
154 posted on 05/04/2003 8:15:14 AM PDT by EdReform
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To: scripter
Ping (#134)
155 posted on 05/04/2003 5:41:16 PM PDT by EdReform
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To: EdReform
Thanks for the ping. I've updated the database with the links from post 134.
156 posted on 05/05/2003 12:00:08 AM PDT by scripter
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To: scripter
You're welcome bump!
157 posted on 05/05/2003 7:30:16 AM PDT by EdReform
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To: EdReform
BTTT...
158 posted on 05/07/2003 8:23:08 AM PDT by EdReform (Support Free Republic - Become a monthly donor!)
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To: netmilsmom
It's not just you. They've become so brazen that they publicly admit that this is not education, but indoctrination. That really is scary.

From the article: "When asked by one participant if she has ever had negative reactions from parents, Perkins agreed she has, and illustrated the ostracism some children face when their parents refuse to let them be indoctrinated.... So, in order to convince those parents that their children need to get with the mind-control program, this Perkins person played an "ostracism" card. Both scary and sickening.

159 posted on 05/07/2003 8:32:16 AM PDT by Kryptonite (Free Miguel)
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To: Scothia
What's more troubling than these so-called "educators" and their indoctrination to embrace perversion is the parents who do nothing at all in response.
160 posted on 05/07/2003 8:40:27 AM PDT by Freedom4US
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To: Kryptonite
In fact, this Perkins person never actually illustrated any ostracism at all. She said: "I've had parents who've been kind about it and great about it, and I've had parents who've asked that their child be removed from any lesson in which we're going to deal with that.

"In fact, there's one parent who's asked that his child not have anything to do with me, so that child has had to be removed. I do social skills lessons in grades one and three, and that child had to be removed every time I came to do that in the classroom. We found something else for her to do, like go to the library and water the plants. I felt so bad. She was one of the kids who loved the lessons the most."

Perkins added, "There are always parents whose religion actually says that it [homosexuality] is a sin. I don't want to disrespect anyone's religion, and I'll tell parents that, but we do want every child to feel safe and comfortable in the school.

"If kids are getting teased and harassed, they're not going to be able to work. They're not going to be able to concentrate on their learning. So this is actually for the protection of people's learning so that they're able to learn best. So it really does go along with the goals of education, that every child has the right to be comfortable."

Note that she merely prattles on about one child whose parents requested that she not hear her crap, but there is no identification of any ostracism toward that child. She then follows that up with vague generalities with "if children are being teased, etc..., and of course, those with religious views which are contrary to her crap are the ones whose safety and comfort level would be the first to be subordinated. This is outrageous and I really feel sorry for anyone stupid enough to keep their kids in this school.

161 posted on 05/07/2003 8:41:52 AM PDT by Kryptonite (Free Miguel)
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To: Freedom4US
What's more troubling than these so-called "educators" and their indoctrination to embrace perversion is the parents who do nothing at all in response.

The experience with my son turned him into an activist. All the way through middle and high school, he stood up to challenge teachers when they got off on something weird. Made him a target, though, as he got the labeled a troublemaker and was sent to more than one school psychologist. But he always got the best of them too. Sample:

Psychologist: "Have you ever considered suicide?"
Jeremy: "No. But how do you know I'm telling the truth?"
Psychologist: "Tell me about your sex life."
Jeremy : "I'm 13 years old and you've known me for, what, 20 minutes and you ask me a question like that? Why don't you tell me about your sex life?"

Believe me, we did all we could to stand up to those people, time after time after time. I would've taken my son out in a heartbeat but he wanted to stick it out. He was a very strong young man, a warrior type, and outspoken about his faith as well as his moral principles.

Our daughter, OTOH, was a more vulnerable child. We homeschooled her until junior high, then placed her in a small private Christian school. After that, when she was strengthened to withstand the shaking, we allowed her to go to the public high school. Since she has many, many peers of like faith who also attend the school, and we have stayed on top of what goes on, it works out fine.

Parents are generally conditioned to trust school authorities, and also just too tired to fight through a lot of stuff they'd rather not know about. The kids don't always tell parents, either, and the schools sure as heck aren't going to.

162 posted on 05/07/2003 10:42:59 AM PDT by Scothia (Proudly eschewing the flaky, antifamily feminist establishment since 1973.)
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To: Scothia; scripter; Clint N. Suhks; MHGinTN; pram; Remedy; Polycarp; Houmatt; ArGee; Bryan; ...
I would have loved to see the look on that psychologist's face!

We need more kids like your son in every public school classroom.

163 posted on 05/07/2003 12:42:16 PM PDT by EdReform (Support Free Republic - Become a monthly donor!)
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To: EdReform
We need more kids like your son in every public school classroom.....I totally agree, what a kid!!!
164 posted on 05/07/2003 1:03:56 PM PDT by GrandMoM ("Vengeance is Mine , I will repay," says the Lord.)
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To: madg
You CAN record the meeting. Anyone attending a meeting can record under the unreliable ear. Only the consent of one person there need be given. Rember also you have staff etc who are also present.
165 posted on 05/07/2003 2:16:08 PM PDT by longtermmemmory
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To: Scothia; EdReform
and was sent to more than one school psychologist

Without your permission? I would have raised bloody hell. Kudos to your brave son.

166 posted on 05/07/2003 3:03:25 PM PDT by Clint N. Suhks
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To: Clint N. Suhks
Without your permission? I would have raised bloody hell. Kudos to your brave son.

Yes, indeed, without our permission, and yes, we did raise the roof! Unfortunately, they always managed a Bill Clinton on us and wiggled out under an implied permission clause. It's absolutely true that if you send your kid to a state school, you are at the mercy of the state.

167 posted on 05/07/2003 3:31:36 PM PDT by Scothia (Proudly eschewing the flaky, antifamily feminist establishment since 1973.)
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Comment #168 Removed by Moderator

To: madg
Of course, coming from the MassNews, this editorial should be taken with a copious quantity of salt.

At multiply that dose of salt by 10 for any post by madg.....

169 posted on 05/07/2003 3:38:38 PM PDT by Always Right
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Comment #170 Removed by Moderator

Comment #171 Removed by Moderator

To: madg
You know, if you want us to doubt MassNews, the least you could do is give us a good reason why. To date, however, you haven't.
172 posted on 05/07/2003 3:50:17 PM PDT by Houmatt (Real conservatives don't read porn!)
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To: madg
For obvious example, there is no event known as ?fistgate.?

You are remarkably good at recognizing non-existent events, then, since you knew exactly what he was referring to.

173 posted on 05/07/2003 3:56:24 PM PDT by Right Wing Professor
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To: Scothia
OMG, what a smackdown!

I had been sent to my fair share of head shrinkers when I was in school; the laugh out loud funniest was when one of them said about me I was a paranoid schizophrenic after having spoken to me a grand total of one hour. The thing is, they did not have the chutzpah to say it to my face. It was in my school records however, and I did not know about the contents until they were sent up to my school after I transferred to another state.

Now do you understand why I don't put much credence in the mental health profession?

174 posted on 05/07/2003 3:57:18 PM PDT by Houmatt (Real conservatives don't read porn!)
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To: madg
so you are telling me that educational meetings like lectures, classes, and conferences are not allowed to be recorded? What about private investigators who have a tape recorder in the pocket?

The unreliable ear is a legal concept. If you tell someone something you can not rely that they will not repeat it to someone else.
175 posted on 05/07/2003 5:00:18 PM PDT by longtermmemmory
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Comment #176 Removed by Moderator

Comment #177 Removed by Moderator

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To: madg
No. You're the one who is mistaken.

This is the post I replied to:

when their parents refuse to let them be indoctrinated

----------------------------------------------------------

Is it just me or is this the scariest line in the whole article? indoctrinated=brain washed
Wow.

"They" were the people who wrote those words. I never said Perkins said that. And yes, the fact that things have gotten to the point where indoctrination is tossed around freely, we all have reason to find it scary.

179 posted on 05/07/2003 9:24:31 PM PDT by Kryptonite (Free Miguel)
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Comment #180 Removed by Moderator

To: Remedy
"A 'fistgate' conference"....... Somehow I feel that teaching children to stick their fists up each other's butts is inappropriate.
181 posted on 05/07/2003 10:09:35 PM PDT by BnBlFlag
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To: madg
Indoctrination and education are vastly different, but if you want to believe instruction in dogma is the same as development of faculties, go ahead and change the name of the DOE to the Department of Indoctrination.

And the part I pulled didn't contain any quotes so it obviously was coming from the people who published the story.

182 posted on 05/07/2003 10:09:48 PM PDT by Kryptonite (Free Miguel)
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To: madg
perhaps its a mass thing. What about tv news crews and their ACtion sneaky hidden cam? You can record face to face meetings and conversations in FL, GA, and SC.
183 posted on 05/07/2003 10:15:53 PM PDT by longtermmemmory
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To: Kryptonite
And the part I pulled didn't contain any quotes so it obviously was coming from the people who published the story.

From your post #159: They've become so brazen that they publicly admit that this is not education, but indoctrination. That really is scary.

So, care to explain what's so "scary" about MassNews being so brazen as to call it "indoctrination"?

184 posted on 05/07/2003 10:18:40 PM PDT by JoshGray
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To: JoshGray
Those people don't scare you. I get that. They scare me.
185 posted on 05/07/2003 10:27:13 PM PDT by Kryptonite (Free Miguel)
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To: madg; Kryptonite; Scothia; scripter; Clint N. Suhks; MHGinTN; pram; Remedy; Polycarp; Houmatt; ...
"Indoctrinated" means basically the same thing as "educated" (or even "learned") It just has a scarier connotation.


From Dictionary.com:

indoctrinate

in·doc·tri·nate
tr.v. in·doc·tri·nat·ed, in·doc·tri·nat·ing, in·doc·tri·nates

1. To instruct in a body of doctrine or principles.

2. To imbue with a partisan or ideological point of view: a generation of children who had been indoctrinated against the values of their parents.

partisan

par·ti·san
n.

1. A fervent, sometimes militant supporter or proponent of a party, cause, faction, person, or idea.

2. A member of an organized body of fighters who attack or harass an enemy, especially within occupied territory; a guerrilla.


A guerrilla, a homosexual activist...

I don't know madg, it sounds pretty scary to me. Especially when we hear about threats from Homosexual organizations (organized bodies) like GLSEN, GLAAD, et al. You'll remember the threat made by the homosexual legal group Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD):


"GLAD is putting the right-wing on notice that they cannot use intimidation tactics to try to stop vitally important sex education information from getting to young people."

186 posted on 05/08/2003 6:29:24 AM PDT by EdReform (Support Free Republic - Become a monthly donor!)
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To: lurky; tdadams; Polycarp
Gentlemen, any comments?
187 posted on 05/08/2003 6:30:53 AM PDT by Cap'n Crunch
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To: BnBlFlag
"Somehow I feel that teaching children to stick their fists up each other's butts is inappropriate."

We have homosexuals right here on Free Republic that not only think it's appropriate, but that it has scientific value as well.


(Reference)

188 posted on 05/08/2003 6:40:58 AM PDT by EdReform (Support Free Republic - Become a monthly donor!)
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To: Remedy
"'I work in the Newton public schools, and a lot of times it can be a very reactionary group, and it has not been easy at all,' said Laura Perkins, who is a social worker in the schools.'"

Ummmmm, silly question; but, any guesses what sweet *Laura's* sexual orientation might be??

...yea.

189 posted on 05/08/2003 6:51:51 AM PDT by Landru
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To: Cap'n Crunch
Gentlemen, any comments?

Sure. But then I must retreat back to the shadows/dark side for a little while, I've been way too addicted to FR lately!

Get rid of the Dept of Education, make public school optional for children and let the local communities, not teachers' unions, decide what the curricula will be in their respective districts.

Communities want to have creation science taught? Fine. Eliminate gym, teach basketweaving, teach about homosexuality, teach about alien abductions, whatever. It should be a local issue.

190 posted on 05/08/2003 7:02:24 AM PDT by lurky
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To: lurky
Get rid of the Dept of Education, make public school optional for children and let the local communities, not teachers' unions, decide what the curricula will be in their respective districts.

Shhh We're s'posed to be griping about homosexuals, not finding real solutions to a myriad of problems.

191 posted on 05/08/2003 7:14:19 AM PDT by JoshGray
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To: JoshGray
Shhh We're s'posed to be griping about homosexuals, not finding real solutions to a myriad of problems.

Just glad you recognize your perversion is a problem.

Maybe there's hope for you after all.

192 posted on 05/08/2003 7:40:09 AM PDT by Clint N. Suhks
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To: Landru

Perkins, who identified herself as "straight" during the session, concluded, "I think it's more the parents who should go to a psychiatrist to become comfortable with who their child is."

And she just may be. But her MIND is as crooked as a crippled dogs' hind leg and twice as lame.

193 posted on 05/08/2003 8:30:00 AM PDT by Remedy
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To: Clint N. Suhks
Predictable as clockwork.
194 posted on 05/08/2003 12:10:14 PM PDT by JoshGray
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To: EdReform
BTTT
195 posted on 05/08/2003 7:25:31 PM PDT by EdReform (Support Free Republic - Become a monthly donor!)
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To: madg
You sound like a broken record.

You sound like a broken record.

You sound like a broken record.

You sound like a broken record.

Feel free to start a thread on whether those who recorded the information that lead to the charge of "Fistgate" should be prosecuted.

This thread is about the advancement of the queer agenda.

Shalom.

196 posted on 05/09/2003 8:46:15 AM PDT by ArGee (I did not come through fire and death to bandy crooked words with a serving-man... - Gandalf)
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Comment #197 Removed by Moderator

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To: Noumenon
Did you confront the liar? Get in her face in a public manner? That's what it takes.

You don't understand - it will be your word against hers. And if you record the conversation then the discussion will be around what a monster you were to record the conversation not what a monster she was to lie about what she was teaching the children.

Every vice is excusable. Virtue is what you will get punished for.

Shalom.

199 posted on 05/09/2003 9:06:30 AM PDT by ArGee (I did not come through fire and death to bandy crooked words with a serving-man... - Gandalf)
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To: ladylib
Many public schools are doing a very good job of putting a wedge between parents and kids.

With help from the mainstream media and, unfortunately, many parents themselves who can't take the time or energy to find out what their kids are seeing, hearing, and doing.

Shalom.

200 posted on 05/09/2003 9:07:54 AM PDT by ArGee (I did not come through fire and death to bandy crooked words with a serving-man... - Gandalf)
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