Broward School Board Smooths Ruffled Feathers
Filed under: Schools
The Broward County School Board met yesterday to revisit the “We Are Family” diversity program.
The decision to keep Elmo and SpongeBob out of the district’s curriculum did not change. However, school board members reached out to members of the community who were offended at the implication (or — if you focus on “diversity” committee member and right-wing wag Steve Kane — explication) that teaching tolerance “messes with kids minds.”
School Board members condemned anti-gay comments made by some diversity committee members, who are appointed by the board.
‘’There were unfortunate things said at the meeting. I repudiate those,'’ said School Board member Marty Rubinstein. “Any attack on the gay community I liken to the Nazi attack on Jews during World War II.'’
School Board member Robin Bartleman said she was concerned by statements made by diversity committee members and intended to bring forward a resolution next month reaffirming the board’s commitment to diversity, tolerance and respect.
And School Board Chairwoman Stephanie Kraft said the comments did not reflect the ‘’message that the district or board has ever set forth,'’ pointing to the district’s code of conduct, anti-bullying efforts, character-education program and nondiscrimination policy.
During the diversity committee’s discussion, Steve Kane, a radio talk show host and member of the committee, said, ‘Even in the liberal group, they understand that these people are trying to mess with our kids’ minds and introduce all kinds of activities in the name of tolerance.'’
Stratton Pollitzer, South Florida director of Equality Florida, Tuesday called the School Board members’ statements “encouraging.'’
‘’We needed an acknowledgment that the ugliness of this debate does not reflect the school district,'’ Pollitzer said.
Here’s hoping that, if nothing else comes out of this, Steve Kane either learns what “tolerance” means or loses his post on the diversity committee.
From the Miami Herald.