SpeakSpeak News

5/19/2005

Behind the Scenes of the Montgomery County Sex Ed Debate

Filed under  by Amanda Toering — 05/19/2005 @ 12:28 pm

The Washington Post has a story about a mother who was extensively involved in the Montgomery County, MD, sex ed curriculum debate.

Michelle Turner is a devoutly religious mother with four kids in the Montgomery County schools. She and her husband have created a set of rules for their kids that is admirable within their home.

But did Michelle Turner take the battle too far and impose those rules on the 140,000 other students enrolled in the county’s schools?

Washington Post comes close to addressing the issue, but doesn’t. You be the judge.

“Montgomery Mother’s Stand On Sex-Ed Begins at Home,” WaPo.

Warsaw Mayor Says ‘Nein’ to Gay Pride Parade

Filed under  by Amanda Toering — 05/19/2005 @ 12:16 pm

The mayor of Warsaw has prohibited the city’s annual gay pride parade from taking place for the second year in a row. Among other things, the mayor objects to the date on which the parade was to be held — the day on which he plans to unveil a WWII monument.

“Organising a gay parade on that day is a joke,” Mayor Lech Kaczynski was quoted as saying by the news agency PAP.

The mayor also stated “"I am for tolerance, but am against propagating gay orientation.”

Poland: The country where gayness is sown like a vegetable.

From the Sydney Morning Herald.

PTC Finally Admits Kids Have Better Things To Do Than Watch TV

Filed under  by Amanda Toering — 05/19/2005 @ 11:47 am

All the best PTC quotes come from articles about Steven Johnson’s Everything Bad is Good For You: How Today’s Popular Culture is Actually Making Us Smarter. (See “That Was Then. This Is What?”, May 15.)

In a Reuters review, the PTC’s Melissa Caldwell finally gives parents some good advice:

“Whatever good could be said to come out of [television] in terms of brain development, surely it doesn’t compare with reading a book or learning a musical instrument,” she said.

Note to PTC parents: If TV is so horrible, get your kids away from it.

From Reuters.

Georgia High School Journalism Class Canceled; Newspaper Ran Too Many “Negative” Stories

Filed under  by Amanda Toering — 05/19/2005 @ 11:34 am

A high school principal in Marietta, GA, has canceled his school’s journalism course and shut down its newspaper.

Principal Randolph Bynum claims that the paper focused too much attention on “negative stories” at the expense of stories that might have portrayed the school in a positive light. In addition, he thought the reporting was sloppy.

And, oh yeah, there’s a teacher shortage in the school, and he has to make sure the popular classes like cosmetology are fully staffed.

He may allow the newspaper to operate during the next school year as an extracurricular activity, but not as one students receive credit for.

Student journalists have filed a complaint with the Student Press Law Center.

Story in Editor and Publisher.

Progress & Freedom Foundation: Cable/Satellite Regs Wouldn’t Pass Constitutional Muster

Filed under  by Amanda Toering — 05/19/2005 @ 11:18 am

A white paper released by the Progress & Freedom Foundation says that indecency regulations of cable and satellite broadcasters would crumble in court like a two-day-old scone.

According to First Amendment attorney and FCC veteran Robert Corn-Revere, “any effort to extend indecency regulation to cable television or other non-broadcast media would be almost certain to fail a constitutional challenge.”

After examining various legislative proposals that have surfaced in the last two years on indecency, Corn-Revere documents all relevant court cases regarding indecency and the FCC, starting with FCC v. Pacifica Foundation in 1978. One thing becomes clear after examining these cases, he says. “The ability to regulate ‘indecent’ speech is a limited constitutional exception, not the general rule, and the Supreme Court has invalidated efforts to restrict indecency in virtually all other media.”

Corn-Revere dismisses the argument that as cable programming becomes more popular, it falls under the same “pervasiveness” that Pacifica used to justify broadcast regulation. “But this ignores Judge Jenkins’ observation in Community Television, Inc. v. Roy City that ’sheer numbers’ cannot determine the appropriate constitutional standard and that ‘[l]evels and degrees of choice, not popularity or circulation, are the significant distinguishments.’” Even in Pacifica, Corn-Revere argues, “the Court focused not on whether most people watch television and listen to the radio, but on whether they have the ability to control their access (and that of their kids) to the programming in advance.” With technologies such as the V-chip and set-top box locks, he says, parents have more control than ever. In short, he concludes, popularity does not equal pervasiveness.

Links:
Press release
Full report
Scone recipe

Kentucky County Bans Jane Fonda Films

Filed under  by Amanda Toering — 05/19/2005 @ 10:28 am

A theatre owner in Hardin County, Kentucky, has imposed a ban on Jane Fonda films.

Says WKYT, Lexington:

Ike Boutwell, who trained pilots during the Vietnam War, displayed pictures of Fonda clapping with a North Vietnamese anti-aircraft crew in 1972 outside the Elizabethtown Movie Palace to show his disapproval. And the marquee outside Showtime Cinemas in nearby Radcliff says “No Jane Fonda movie in this theater.”

Both theaters are just a few miles from the Army post of Fort Knox.

“I think when people do something, they need to be held responsible for their actions,” Boutwell said. “When you give the enemy aid, it makes the war last longer.”

Fonda’s latest movie, Monster-in-law, was the country’s top-grossing movie last weekend. It also is the biggest box office opener of Fonda’s career.

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