Nov 15, 2010

There should be no tolerance for intolerance

There should be no tolerance for intolerance and bigotry, and that’s one reason I support the actions of Howell High School teacher Jay McDowell.

McDowell, who also happens to be the president of the Howell Education Association (HEA) that represents the teachers, was suspended for one day without pay last month because he sent two students to the office for disrupting his class. However, it's the subject matter that has, again, put Howell back in the national headlines in an unfavorable light for its prejudice and intolerance and launched a Facebook page with 943 members to date called “Support Jay McDowell.”

The incident occurred, according to the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus, on Oct. 20; the day people all over the country wore purple to support the end of anti-gay bullying that led to a rash of suicides by gay teens. Apparently, McDowell asked a student wearing a belt buckle sporting the Confederate flag to remove the symbol of racism, slavery, white supremacy and treason.

Another student, 16-year-old Howell High School junior Daniel Glowacki, “was ejected from McDowell’s classroom along with another student. The ejection occurred after Glowacki and McDowell argued about another student wearing a belt buckle sporting the Confederate flag.”

According to the newspaper, “on Nov. 8, the district’s Board of Education received a report on McDowell’s disciplinary action — which included a one-day suspension the high school economics teacher has already served — during its regular meeting.” District Superintendent Ron Wilson said the district, McDowell and the union are engaged in the grievance process. “Until that process is complete, Wilson said Friday in the Press & Argus, the district will not discuss the disciplinary aspect of the issue because it is a labor issue.”

Support for McDowell has been widespread, and many people have spoken in support of him during public comment at school board meetings. The district caught wind of a protest in support of him at their regular school board meeting last Monday, and they tried to hold them off with a special forum set for 7 p.m. tonight in the cafeteria of the Howell High School Freshman.

I, like many other people, are at a loss as to why a teachers was disciplined for maintaining control of his classroom by sending a disruptive student to the principal's office. “Sending a student to the principal’s office” has long been a discipline option.

The students asked to leave claim that homosexuality is against their religious beliefs. The only way that is true is if he is a member of the Westboro Baptist Church, and it’s still not the case.

Livingston County has an undeserved reputation for racism because Klan Grand Dragon and domestic terrorist Robert Miles once lived in the county near Howell and because of various isolated incidents over the years.

One such incident was the debacle over an anti-gay hate group when the now defunct anti-gay hate group called known as LOVE (Livingston Organization for Values in Education) was formed in 2006. It sprang up like a bad fungus in response to diversity flag they mistakenly labeled a gay pride flag. It gained Howell Public Schools plenty of bad publicity when they launched a long and, thankfully, unsuccessful book-banning campaign.

But it did saddle the district with school board member Wendy Day, who also happens to be a leader of the teabagger farce in Michigan that has it roots in racism. Its early grassroots support, before two Washington, D.C. lobbying groups started funding it, were militias, secessionists and neo-Nazi white supremacist groups.

I’m just happy we have teachers like Jay McDowell at HPS where my grandchildren go to school.


Not Anonymous said...

Homosexuality is against religious beliefs. To claim otherwise is just plain ignorance.

This however, is not to advocate for violence towards gays because they are gay.

The Confederate flag has been called a racist symbol in recent years, but it was once the flag of a nation trying to rise up from another nation.

The Tea Party was not founded on gay principls as you state. Socialist Democrats have tried to make it that way, but it's never been true.

I can't say if what the teacher said and did was right or wrong. Relying on your rendition would be foolish to say the least given your history of skewering the truth. But if this was just about a belt buckle alone, and it being about the design of the belt buckle, and if the student didn't do anything other than wear the belt buckle, then it sounds to me like someone can't get over themselves and their own personal bias'.

But, as I said, depending on your word for the accuracy of this story is not a wise thing to do.

Communications guru said...

Really, perhaps it is against religious beliefs in the bigot’s Bible, but not in the Christian Bible.

The Confederate flag has been called a racist symbol because it is, and it has been since 1861. I never said the “Tea Party” was founded on “gay principls (sic).” I said the early organizers were “militias, secessionists and neo-Nazi white supremacist groups.” Again, anonymous coward, there is no such thing as a Socialist Democrat in the United States, and that is just a false, Republican smear.

My “history of skewering the truth?” The only problem with that lie, anonymous coward, is I have never lied, and you have never disproved anything I have ever written.

Once again, anonymous wimp, I am still waiting for you to back up your outrageous lie that we were “nearly shoulder to shoulder once.”

Johnny C said...

Wow I mean wow I knew right wingers would defend any form of bigotry but defending the Confederate flag as symbol is pretty amazing. Alright I play this game,ok father of the world greatest burger flipper let's take racism out of the confederate flag let's look at its historical meaning.

The Confederate flag could be endorsement of treason, because breaking away from the United States is an treasonous action. "One nation trying to rise up from another" that's pure horseshit. One nation wanted free slave labor and the other didn't.

And in the bible Jesus never said a word about homosexuality, he did talked about helping the poor and needy. But hey you guys hate helping anyone but yourselves.

As the tea party they were founded by their hate for the newly elected negro president.