Letters to the editor for April 5, 2013

Schools would be less safe

To the Editor:

Under the guise of a Minnesota anti-bullying bill, The Safe and Supportive Minnesota Schools Act (HF 826, SF 783) — if passed — will cause division and acrimony in our schools, undermine the goal of fostering academic achievement and make our schools less safe.

This bill is not anti-bullying legislation; this is about using the power of the state to control and shape the attitudes and values of young children regarding family structure and human sexuality. This bill is problematic in several areas.

First, the language is vague and unworkable.  The definition of “bullying” in the bill says it is considered to be bullying if what a child does has a “detrimental effect” on another student’s “emotional health.”

Does that mean that it is “bullying” to make a child feel bad? If a child says that homosexuality is sinful, immoral and wrong, and another student feels bad, is that bullying?

The phrase “gender identity and expression” is so broad that it can easily be manipulated. If a boy comes to school dressed as a girl in a skirt and heels and someone makes a negative comment, will that be considered bullying or intimidation?

Must all children now respond positively to any sexual behavior or activity?  Gender identity, objectively speaking, is a fiction. It defies biology and medical reality.

One of the prime movers of anti-bullying legislation over the years has been OutFront Minnesota, the state’s major LGBT organization. Its legal director served on the Governor’s Prevention of School Bullying Task Force.

OutFront Minnesota is a key contributor in the Safe Schools Manual.

But what if the word “safe” has another meaning? This manual talks about how to “combat” and “end” all forms of homophobia to make schools safe.

Personal homophobia is defined in the manual as the belief that homosexuality is a sin or immoral. Will any disagreement with a teacher’s pro-homosexual beliefs be viewed as “homophobia,” “hate speech” or “intimidation”?

The bill says to “foster student collaborations that support a healthy and safe school climate.” This language is linked directly to the language in the Prevention of School Bullying Task Force Report that directs schools to “Support student collaborations that promote a healthy school climate, including but not limited to, Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs).”

Students in these homosexual clubs are encouraged and trained to take an active role in bringing about “inclusive curriculum” — known in the Safe Schools Manual as “Queering the Curriculum.”

The goal is to go subject by subject, every grade level, until GLBT issues are integrated throughout the curriculum in every discipline. This is defined as “inclusive curriculum”—the same term that is used in the bill.

With state endorsement of “inclusive” curriculum and GSA student collaborations, the floodgates will be breached and gay-affirming classroom materials and resources will pour into our K-12 schools — private Christian schools included. This means less time for academics and more gender confusion to follow.

Schools can help put a stop to bullying without promoting homosexual endorsement programs. Insist that your legislators vote against this dangerous bill.

The Safe and Supportive Minnesota Schools Act will impair academic achievement and make our schools less safe.

Barb Anderson

Seeing fruits of our labor

To the Editor:

A recent letter to the editor questioned why I stated that the Republican-led Legislature created a surplus when we’re dealing with how to close a deficit right now. Allow me to clarify:

When Republicans took control of the Legislature in January of 2011, we were facing a $6.2 billion deficit for the 2012-2013 fiscal years.

We were able to do the hard work of balancing the budget without raising taxes by restraining the growth of automatic spending increases and finding efficiencies in government.

Now, we are seeing the fruits of our labor. Now, we are operating under a $2.8 billion surplus for the 2012-2013 fiscal years.

We do, however, have a deficit for fiscal years of 2014-2015. In November of 2012, this deficit was projected to be $1.1 billion. However, we found out in February that the deficit for 2014-2015 shrunk to $627 million.

Some have predicted that this deficit may be completely erased by the end of the current budget cycle. For fiscal years 2016-2017, the state is projecting a $782 million positive balance.

Republicans in the Legislature proved that when we don’t impose new taxes on Minnesotans, we encourage more productivity and, as a result, see more revenue into the state.

I firmly believe we do not need to raise taxes to address our budget deficit for 2014-2015.

Allowing the Minnesota economy to grow without further tax and regulatory burdens is the best prescription for our economy and our state budget.

Rep. Peggy Scott

Support for Lions project

To the Editor:

On behalf of the Coon Rapids Lions Club, we wish to thank the citizens of Coon Rapids and the surrounding communities for supporting the recent 2013 calendar raffle fundraiser held by the club.

Due to your generosity, the Lions were able to sell all 1,000 tickets in this raffle, which brought in nearly $12,000 in proceeds from those sales.

The funds raised by this raffle will be used to support our community projects and events that benefit the citizens of Coon Rapids.

The Coon Rapids Lions would also like to thank those local businesses that permitted the sale of raffle tickets by club members in their establishments.

Without the support of these business owners and managers, we Lions would not have succeeded in our goal of selling out this raffle.

We know these business people realize that Lions make for a better community and that by supporting our efforts, they too can make a difference.

The Coon Rapids Lions Club would like to invite those individuals interested in helping with our calendar raffle fund-raiser or any other civic-minded projects to consider becoming a member of our club.

The Lions are always open to individuals who would like to make a difference in the community where they live, as well as around the world.

The Coon Rapids Lions Club thanks you again for your support of our raffle and we encourage you to look forward to our calendar raffle for 2014.

Lions Jim Myers and Al Meyer, calendar raffle co-chairs, Coon Rapids Lions Club

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