5

A resolution to a proposition

Study possible parcel tax. Check. Extend superintendent’s contract. Check. Oppose gay-marriage ban. Wait. What!?

San Leandro school board members are considering a resolution against the controversial Proposition 8, which if passed by voters in November would essentially ban gay marriage in California.

The resolution was proposed by trustee Stephen Cassidy, which sparked up a lively discussion among board members during their last meeting.

More about the possible resolution in this weekend’s edition of The Daily Review.

For now, what are your thoughts on school boards getting into issues that seemingly have no direct impact on public education?

View a draft of the possible resolution.

NOTE:

Remember this is just a draft that is up for consideration. Trustees have yet to take any action on the possible resolution.

SAN LEANDRO UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT
San Leandro, California

Resolution No. 08-__

RESOLUTION OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION OF THE SAN LEANDRO UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT IN OPPOSITION TO PROPOSITION 8

WHEREAS, in May 2008 in In re Marriage Cases, the California Supreme Court determined that two adults who share a loving relationship may join together to establish an officially recognized family of their own – and, if the couple chooses, to raise children with that family – constitutes a vitally important attribute of the fundamental interest in liberty and personal autonomy that the California Constitution secures to all persons for the benefit of both the individual and society; and
WHEREAS, the California Supreme Court held that individuals of the same sex have the right to marry under the California Constitution; and
WHEREAS, the California Supreme Court further held that state statutes that limit marriage to a relationship between a man and a woman violated the equal protection clause of the California Constitution; and
WHEREAS, the California Supreme Court’s decision in In re Marriage Cases, was based, in part, on the landmark case of Perez v. Sharp in which the Court 60 years earlier held that California’s statutory provisions prohibiting interracial marriages were inconsistent with the fundamental constitutional right to marry; and
WHEREAS, the California Supreme Court found that limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples “will, as a realistic matter, impose appreciable harm on same-sex couples and their children, because denying such couples access to the familiar and highly favored designation of marriage is likely to cast doubt on whether the official family relationship of same-sex couples enjoys dignity equal to that of opposite-sex couples;” and
WHEREAS, because gay and lesbian individuals have historically faced widespread disparagement and discrimination, the California Supreme Court found that “it is all the more probable that excluding same-sex couples from the legal institution of marriage is likely to be viewed as reflecting an official view that their committed relationships are of lesser stature than the comparable relationships of opposite-sex couples;” and
WHEREAS, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students continue to face discrimination in California schools with nearly 10 percent of California 7th and 9th grade students in the latest California Healthy Kids Survey reporting having been harassed or bullied at school for being gay or lesbian, or perceived as being gay or lesbian; and
WHEREAS, in the latest California Healthy Kids Survey for the San Leandro Unified School District, 34 percent of 7th grade students and 29 percent of 9th grade students reported experiencing harassment at school based on their actual or perceived race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or disability; and
WHEREAS, students who are subjected to discriminatory harassment are more likely to be depressed, to use and abuse alcohol and other substances, and report significantly lower grades than students who report no harassment; and
WHEREAS, for the past __ years, Elementary and Secondary Safe Schools teams in the San Leandro Unified School District have diligently worked to identify and resolve issues relating to discrimination, bullying and harassment on the basis of sex, sexual orientation and gender identity in our schools, including developing and refining Safe School Action Plans and curriculum, while ensuring that our schools are safe and welcoming environments for all students, their parents and guardians and staff; and
WHEREAS, the efforts of the San Leandro Unified School District to provide a safe and secure learning environments free of discrimination will be undermined by any state initiative that would impose differential treatment of certain individuals based on defining characteristics such as gender, race, ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation; and
WHEREAS, Proposition 8 would enshrine discriminatory language in the California Constitution by limiting the right of marriage to only between a man and a women and, thereby, prohibiting individuals of the same sex from celebrating their love and commitment for each other through marriage; and
WHEREAS, Proposition 8 would perpetuate negative stereotypes, emphatically rejected by the Board of Education of the San Leandro Unified School District, that same-sex couples are in some respects “second-class citizens” who may, under the law, be treated differently from, and less favorably than, opposite-sex couples; now therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED that the Board of Education of the San Leandro Unified School District opposes Proposition 8, the “Limit on Marriage” amendment to the California Constitution.

PASSED AND ADOPTED this __ day of ____ 2008.

knoceda

  • J. W. Kyle

    Oh My Gosh !!!

    I guess I’ll have to vote for passage of the item in November ! I’m sorry if that disturbs folks in San Leandro but you see, I’m a preservation nut and I do not understand why we will need to toss out all those nice dictionaries so that the children of California can have corrected dictionaries printed, just for use in California’s schools which do not contain those offensive words found in the definition of marriage …

    I dare not say the words, I will just refer all those interested in expurgation of Merriam Webster’s assertion on the content of the ballot matter which San Leandro finds degrading to some folks.

    Lord, forgive us if we continue to confuse children in same sex unions. But you see lord, California’s budget problem assures us that new dictioaries in lieu of those on shelves in all schools,just isn’t possible at the moment, unless San Francisco’s Mayor with help from the San Leandro Council, can devise something such as a seat use fee for all K-12 public school students, as well as those in State supported Community Colleges and Universities.

    Thanks to San Leandro, our need for paper will take another swipe at the forests. On the other hand, it will ensure jobs in Japan where much book printing positions are open to Japamnese printers in need of that work!

    The school seat use fee is our only solution !!!

  • The_Yakima_Kid

    Enough is enough. Why is it that local politicians, incompetent to perform the offices they are elected to, decide to distract the voters by speaking out on issues that are not part of their duties?

    In SF, we have the city attempting to run foreign policy; in San Leandro, a city with a serious school dropout problem, the school board decides to focus on state level issues and ignore education.

    It doesn’t matter how one feels on the proposition; we need to question why our elected officials use their positions to dabble in issues outside their jurisdiction instead of doing their jobs.

  • Leslie

    School Lessons.

    J.W. Kyle “argues” we can just tell kids principles in the Constitution are only guaranteed when we can afford them. They come and go, year to year, according to state and local budgets. Democracy is defined by what we can afford.

    The paper in those voter ballots for women? Too many, too expensive to print and count.

    The paper in those notices about equal rights in law regarding gender, race, age, disability, RELIGION? Cost too much to print and distribute. Moves jobs off-shore.

    Revision of history books to reflect changes in any of these laws? Leave them out until the state and local boards have money to print them – here at home.

    What an impoverished way of debating.

    Dictionaries change over time to reflect the use and understanding of words in a culture and society. With learning augmented today via computer and internet, the change to the definition of “marriage” has already taken place, almost effortlessly for schools.

    J.W. Kyle would rather my kids learn the cost of everything and the value of nothing.

    No thanks.

  • J. W. Kyle

    I admit that while writing my initial contribution to this topic, I had tongue in cheek! Always, attempting to inject hunor in whatever I initiate…. this time I appear to have struck a nerve…. it happens now and then, causing deeper thought without seeking to inject humor.

    What Leslie should think about is the lack of a course of teaching, based upon ‘Ethics’ at public schools.

    While the Constitution remains one of the world’s great thought processes put to paper. It was not perfect when initially brought forward, ( it ommitted discussion of slavery ),and it remains imperfect today.

    There are those who would remove the expression “under God” from our commonly expressed Pledge of Allegiance
    at City Council and School Board meetings. There are also those who express desire for removal of the expression “In God we trust” from appearance upon our currency and coinage. Yet I do not recall seeing provision in the Constitution for that recognition of Deity expressed upon currency. I favor continuing the practice if for no othewr reason than the fact it does no harm to sensibilties.

    Will that Medical Doctor who also has passed the California Bar exam, living in the Sacramemto area, win out with his thought that his daughter ought not be exposed to thoughts of God within the pledge of Allegiance? I imagine great public uproar will occur when a slim majority siting upon some State Court Bench decrees that it is unconstitutional to mention God within the pledge or upon the currency and coinage.

    Do we understand that prior to reaching voting age that very few children receive formal classroon discussion of ethics unless affilliated with a private school and/or “Sunday School” lessons. Civics classes are pretty much restricted to desceription of the mechanics of government and the right to expression in the voting booth.

    During Ronald Regan’s term in office he closed much of the State’s Hospitals dealing with Pyschiatric and physical conditions involving the poor. As he did so he made the comment that we ought depend more on ‘Churches’ to meet those problems. I can only wonder if he was implying that if they did a better job of ‘selling religion’ we would also see vast reduction of mental illness.

    One fact avoided by Regan and those who think like him is that less than 50% of our citizens are formally affiliated with a church. Recently, Mr. Obama made a similar remark that ‘we must depend more on churches’.

    The subject of “vouchers” to those who pay tuition for children attending private schools is a ‘hot button item’ for public school teachers. Teachers commonly see nothing harmful to the public good when taxing private school parents, as a means of support for public schools, where the idea of ‘free’ permeates all thought. Good citizenship is never performed without some cost.

    Does the idea of providing an ethics course, taught as such, violate the Constitution which disavows identification with specific faiths? I do not believe that ‘ethics’ espouses any particular religion, rather,a good course expresses values, found in the Constitution and which are broadly drawn from that same source which Churches generally follow i.e. ‘the inspired word of God’. Where those so inspired not teaching ethics?

    It is the lack of an ethics course which sees, in the present day, much involvment with teen pregnancy. Teen pregnacy is a subject much discussed even to the extent that use of contraceptives is promulgated as a substitute for deep thought in continuous formal teaching of life style necessary to becoming a responsible voter at age 18.

    An acceptable form for conducting ethics classes does not espouse any particular faith but draws from the pool of common knowledge on teachings within most faiths which guide comportmant leading to a more enthisiastic involvment in ‘Civics’ classrooms.

    Youngsters living lives of involvment with gangs, graffitti etc, are led to felonious acts and eventual habitat within over crowded prisons. An extremely high oercentage rates of those ‘dropping out’are,in my mind, a direct result of failing to teach ethics continually from an early age.

    As to the subject of ‘marriage’ between couples of the same sex, I doubt that ‘marriage’ was the original goal of acquiring the right to inherit, make medical decisions for those disabled by coma, etc. I recall reading of instances where injustice was done to same sex couples because of gaps in the law defending their transfer of proprty rights. If ‘marriage’ resolves those problems without creating additional problems, so be it.

    ‘Marriage’bewteen couples of the same sex does create some problems which I do not think have been resolved by the Califorbia courta.

    In the instance of narriage bewtween two women where one is artificially inseminated, the resultant child is denied knowledge of ‘daddy’ and thus’ serious conflict develops in later life for several reasons which I do not bring into this writing.

    In the case of male couples, I question the wisdom of allowing adoption of female children, particularly at infancy; for reasons I leave to imagination.

    As to the ballot measure facing us in November, I am presently inclined to vote against it for the simple reason that it does not find full acceptance in all 50 states. Here I again I see problems which will, as one thought, lead to possible congressional discrimination against California; a result of subliminal rather than expressed political ideas suspected ( or thought actually) to exist on a national basis.

    Although I have no intention of continuing with this subect I would be interested in reading a response from Leslie or any other teacher on the subject of formal ethics classes within Public Schools system.

  • J. W. Kyle

    i APOLGIZE FOR THE CONFUSION IN MY PREVIOUS, WHERE MIS=SPELLINGS AND ERRORS IN GRAMER OR RUN ON WORDS HAVE A DISTRACTING AFFECT.

    I HAVE YET TO MASTER THE TECHNIQUE FOR USE OF MICROSOFT WORD PROGRAM, (OFFERING LARGER TYPE FOR MY OLD EYES AND SPELL CHECK), THEN ‘PASTING’ THE THING ONTO THE BLOG. ANG EEDITOR OFFERED HELP BUT HER SUGGESTION FAILS THE TEST. MOVING FROM WORKS TO TO WORD MIGHT HELP, BUT AS AN AGING SKINFLINT IN THESE DAYS OF ECONOMIC DECLINE, IT SEEMS UNWISE……. i WILL VOTE AGAINST THE NOVEMBER BALLOT MEASURE IF THE PREVIOUS SEEMS NEBULOUS ON THAT MATTER.