Pam Homan, Get Out of Town!!!

I realize that there are few more thankless jobs than school superintendent. There’s just no way to satisfy many people. One the one hand, there’s a (growing) number of folks who would love to see the curriculum and budget return to pre-1950’s standards. (Case in point - there used to be this minister who was a talk-show fixture who always complained about property taxes. Yet, as one school board member pointed out, the fact that he had eleven children go through the school system meant that he had more than received his money’s worth.)
On the other hand, there are people with a bit of a pie-in-the-sky outlook who believe that money is no object, and our schools should have nothing but the best.
They key to any school superintendent is to balance these opposing views, and create a school system that’s the best it can be given the financial and curriculum limitations.
For the longest time, I didn’t have any problem with our current superintendent, Pam Homan. I had no problem with the fact that she lived outside of the school system that she was to govern. However, she agreed to find a home in the city, and it was recently revealed that after two full years she had yet to fulfill that promise.
In normal circumstances that would be a forgivable situation. And I also sort of admired her for standing up to the morons at KLEM-Land for not giving in to their repeated questions about the silly Roosevelt oral sex controversy. I’m sure that she legally could not comment on the specifics of the case, or the names of the people involved. Their feeble attempts at rephrasing the question over and over (and then airing it) made them look like complete fools.
But I can no longer stand up for Ms. Homan. A couple of weeks ago, a handful of parents began making the media rounds complaining about a new middle-school sex education curriculum that was set to be put into use later this year. Their complaints – they didn’t like the program’s definition of abstinence, and the teacher’s materials included information on oral sex, anal sex, and masturbation. Never mind that our schools were not going to use these chapters. The controversy resulted in complaints from 18 parents.
That’s right…18 parents out of thousands. I would guess that at least 15 of those 18 would complain about any sex education program. After all, sex is a sin.
What did this Ms. Homan do? She pulled the program. She then held a public meeting where only the complainants could speak. How fair is that?
As Clean Cut Kid recently wrote on his website, “Pam, you’re falling for what is probably the biggest game these fundamentalists play on society. These people are not mainstream. They are on the fringe…why are you falling for the prudish agenda of these fringe fundies?”
This is the society we live in today. The FCC goes after television and radio personalities based on the complaints of a handful of letter-writers with no lives. The moral minority labels anybody who has opinions other than their own as unpatriotic or lacking morals. Now it’s hitting close to home, as the so-called morality of a handful of people are affecting the education of thousands.
As I stated last week, open discussions involving sex are probably more important in these times than in any period of history, and even what some may see as taboo topics can be done in a way that’s not advocating the practices. Maybe this sort of teaching could have prevented the Roosevelt bus travesty. For those who disagree with me, I have one question – would you rather your children learn about sex from trained educators, or from other sources such as their friends, the internet, Skinemax, or your own (supposedly) hidden collections of porn? After all, we know that most of you fundamentalists have a dark side that would put us heathens to shame.


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