Thursday, December 17, 2009

Rapid City School Board Bullied for Trying To Do The Right Thing

From an excellent Rapid City Journal story this evening by Kayla Gehagen: Board advances anti-bias policy, Dec 17:

A majority of the community speakers Thursday night [at the School Board meeting] asked board members to strike the words "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" and replace them with "other human differences."


Thursday night's forum grew heated when state Sen. Gordon Howie, R-Rapid City, urged members to vote against the new policy because constituents disagree with it and that he would consider drafting legislation to pull education funding if they approved it.

Board member Wes Storm cut Howie off mid-sentence and later called the comments a "blatant threat of power" to the board.

State Rep. Don Kopp, R-Rapid City, said he wouldn't be in line with Howie's suggestion, but he would consider drafting legislation to simply block the policy change.

Maybe the school board itself needs anti-bullying legislation to protect it from such tactics. Honestly I think both lawmakers should be censured for essentially threatening local officials deliberations. (It isn't even Howie's district!)

The Citizens For Liberty [For People Like Us] threatened to cause a ruckus at the next meeting on January 7. Apparently they are quite proud of their bigotry and want to put it on display yet again.

Barb Lindberg of Citizens for Liberty said they plan to hold emergency town hall meetings and give stronger resistance at the next meeting.

"We're sticking to what we said," she said.


  1. Unbelievable. A sitting legislator threatens to defund a school over one line in a policy manual. Does this man have any concpet of the full educational mission of our schools? Curtis, you have your work cut out for you in educating your neighbors to vote for sensible legislators.

  2. Anonymous08:44

    It was pretty funny that Howie and the rest of the nutjobs argued that "Protected classes are unfair to other people!" but only suggested removing sexual orientation and gender identity...They don't hate gays

  3. Anonymous13:19

    While strongly supportive of GLBT full rights as American citizens, I hate to say that I see PP's point that the fundamental policy does include sexual orientation and gender identity, and that making them a focus is not only unnecessary, it draws attention to children in those categories as being strange and exclusive. The best benefit of public education is mainstreaming socially while respecting person's indiduality. In other words, nothing gets solved other than to wave a red flag in front of the bull-ies.

    HAVING SAID THAT ... I am angry to see Teabaggers make hay out of this because they are not concerned with respecting anyone's individuality. They want to identify children of race, creed, sexual orientation and political identification as strange and exclusive because their number 1 tactic is to polarize everyone and create fall guys for their self-serving, ruthless political agenda.

    Can this be accomplished with another strategy that doesn't unintentionally empower people who are reckless with power?

  4. I thought Citizens for Liberty, our local teabaggers, were only about getting government to quit spending so much money. As I remember, they even claimed to be a nonpartisan group.

    As for Howie, it's time for people to start standing up to his arrogance. I think someone needs to look into his appearance at the school board meeting as an ethical violation, a blatant abuse of power.

  5. Just use what Jesus would command of us 'Be kind to one another.' You could also use what Will Ferrell said in his movie Semi-Pro. E.L.E., everybody love everybody.

  6. 8:44 am (Anonymous, of course!) PP's point that the fundamental policy does include sexual orientation and gender identity, and that making them a focus is not only unnecessary, it draws attention to children in those categories as being strange and exclusive.

    I couldn't disagree more. PP is making this point to try to sound reasonable, and it shows great ignorance of what the lives of LGBTQ young people and adults face: reminders every day from the majority that they are "less than" and do not deserve fair treatment, and that any bullying or discrimination comes from them "pushing their sexuality into people's faces"...

    This attitude in light of overt (and tolerated) homophobia in our schools, and even in our public meetings, cf. Gordon Howie's bullying of the School Board to make cheap political points with his base.

  7. DS said, and it bears repeating:

    ... it's important to inundate Wes Storm and other school board members with emails and encourage them to stand by their principles on this issue. They need to hear from us too, not just the crazies that want to remain in the time warp .... I think when they realize that there are lots of folks in the community, gay and straight, who support this change of language, they will feel more confident about sticking to their guns.

  8. Run for cover, He is planning to run for governor. Has anyone noticed every bill he tries to pass are designed to help him or totally off the wall. 33% tax real estate tax cut will a 2 cent increase in sales tax, hunting mountain lions with dogs, reduction of taxes on storage buildings, high fence exotic hunting in SD, naming a State dinosaur. He has radon contaminated water in one of his developements and he has gotten the DENR to cover for him. He hasn't for at least 9 years met the requirements of the DENR on one of his developements, 2 years on another, and they are covering for him!!

  9. Sometimes bully is not a bad way to try to solve problem or reach the goal, haha.

  10. Barb Lindberg00:04

    I wish before you all wrote these silly comments you would get the facts straight. First of all, we did not want to just eliminate sexual orientation and gender identity, BUT exchange it for a broader term of "HUMAN INDIFFERENCES" THAT includes everyone including LGBTQ. "HUMAN INDIFFERENCES" would give the Board the liberty to view each case individually and would protect our children from the other 28 sexual orientations the APA published in their National Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, 4th Edition, of 30 sexual orientations. Be honest, check the other 28 out.... I don't believe that's what you want for our kids. Yeah? It would have been far better if the LGBT would have associated with a word that had defined definition and not thrown themselves into the pot of such extreme sexual disorders. I don't believe that's what you wanted either - nor I. So the best verbiage to cover everyone INCLUDING LGBT was "Human Indifferences". It's the right thing to do - unless of course - you're just looking to be noticed.

  11. Anonymous17:09


    I think he named the State Dinosaur after he defeated him in the Senate primary: Gordon Pederson.

  12. Anonymous22:26

    Chris, Chris, Chris.... don't you think it's time to bring resolve to your hatred of your brother? If you're goint to speak - at least speak out the truth and not bits and pieces to appease you're vengence. How sad! I realize This blog too probably won't be posted.... it too leans for it's own purpose. But come on....this stuff just gets "old".



  14. Anonymous22:42

    Just thought I'd include an error so you'd have something to blog about. S/B Human differences. Sorry about that!

  15. It is easy to call someone a liar and stay anonymous. Tell me who you are and I will get you the proof! But you already know the truth, and because of your post soon everyone will! Could it be Connie???

    R Chris Howie