The Rapid City School Board made the final decision last night to add “sexual orientation” and 15 other protected classes to the school district nondiscrimination policy.
The South Dakota Family Policy Council and Citizens for Liberty had asked the school board repeatedly to stay with the six classifications outlined in federal law: race, color, national origin, disability, age and sex. The board went with a policy that specifically protects on the basis of race, color, ethnic background, national origin, pregnancy, student marital status, religion, creed, age, sex, citizenship, political orientation, mental and/or physical challenge, disability, sexual orientation, or status as a veteran.
This third and final reading passed the 16 protected classes and put them officially into district policy. “Yes” votes came from Wes Storm, Bret Swanson, Suzan Nolan and Daphne Richards-Cook. Sheryl Kirkeby and Doug Kinniburgh voted no, while Leah Lutheran–upset by the swiftness with which the vote was called–moved away from her seat and did not answer with a vote either way when her name was called.
Today’s Rapid City Journal contains some interesting statements from members of the public who testified last night.
Dawn Pence, the mother of a former high school student harassed for having special needs, asked the board to write a broad policy to protect everyone.
“At what point do you stop?” she asked board members. “You can continue to add more and more and more, but at what point do you stop, a hundred?”
Indeed. Why include only certain protected classes of people and not others? Well, we know that the legitimization of homosexual behavior in the education system is a high priority for homosexual activists. If the nondiscrimination and bullying policy was really about protecting children, why not simply afford all children the same opportunities and why not punish all harassment and bullying, regardless of the characteristics or sexual behavior of the victim?
Another interesting statement came from a homosexual activist:
But Michael Galanda said a discrimination policy including sexual orientation would have done just that when he was a homosexual student in the district in 1987. Religious beliefs about homosexuality shouldn’t be extended into the classroom, he said.
“The Bible’s a very important tool to life, but not a tool to law,” he said.
Really? Then I suppose we must remove from our laws prohibitions against murder, rape, drunkenness, theft, destruction of property, prostitution, and most behaviors prohibited by law. Because all of these are condemned by the Bible. In fact, our system of government and laws is based on the Biblical moral code.
You don’t believe me? Perhaps your school spent too much time teaching you that immoral and dangerous behaviors are okay, and too little time teaching you about our nation’s history. Consider the words of the men who set up our system of government and laws:
The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. – John Adams
In contemplating the political institutions of the United States, I lament that we waste so much time and money in punishing crimes, and take so little pains to prevent them. We profess to be republicans and yet we neglect the only means of establishing and perpetuating our republican forms of government. That is, the universal education of our youth in the principles of Christianity by the means of the Bible. – Benjamin Rush, doctor and signer of the Declaration of Independence
The moral principles and precepts contained in the Scriptures ought to form the basis of all of our civil constitutions and laws.… All the miseries and evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible. – Noah Webster, Founder, lawyer, Yale graduate, creator of Websters Dictionary
The Bible…is the most Republican book in the world, and therefore I will still revere it…I believe to be the only system that ever did or will preserve a Republick in the World. – John Adams
The genuine source of correct republican principles is the Bible, particularly the New Testament or the Christian religion. . . . and to this we owe our free constitutions of government. – Noah Webster
It is extremely important to our nation, in a political as well as religious view, that all possible authority and influence should be given to the scriptures; for these furnish the best principles of civil liberty, and the most effectual support of republican government – Noah Webster
Let every student be plainly instructed and earnestly pressed to consider well, the main end of his life and studies is, to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life (John 17:3) and therefore lay Christ at the bottom, as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and learning. – Harvard’s Rules and Precepts from 1636
Cursed is all learning that is contrary to the Cross of Christ. – 1746 founding statement of Princeton
In the supposed state of nature, all men are equally bound by the laws of nature, or to speak more properly, the laws of the Creator. – Samuel Adams
It is Religion and Morality alone, which can establish the Principles upon which Freedom can securely stand….The only foundation of a free Constitution, is pure Virtue, and if this cannot be inspired into our People, in a great Measure, than they have it now, They may change their Rulers, and the forms of Government, but they will not obtain a lasting Liberty. – John Adams
Human law must rest its authority ultimately upon the authority of that law which is divine …. Far from being rivals or enemies, religion and law are twin sisters, friends, and mutual assistants. Indeed, these two sciences run into each other. – James Wilson, signer of the Declaration, member of the Continental Congress, constructor of the Constitution, one of the original Supreme Court justices appointed by President George Washington.
Or is it that we must only reject Biblical morality when it stands in the way of immoral behaviors we wish to practice?
While no one is seeking to ban the practice of homosexuality or make it illegal, simple public health and protection of the welfare of our young people indicates we should not in any way legitimize a sexual behavior which is associated with elevated health risks in a number of areas.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports the AIDS rate is 50 times higher among homosexual men than the general population. Also, the CDC issued a report which states the vast majority of male AIDS cases (72%) are linked to homosexual behavior. A UCLA study found homosexuals seek medical treatment for a variety of ailments twice as often as the general population. A 2007 study in the International Journal of STD & AIDS states homosexual men with AIDS are 90 times more likely to develop anal cancer. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health issued a study last year entitled “A Health Profile of Massachusetts Adults by Sexual Orientation Identity: Results from the 2001-2006 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Surveys” which found the odds of being a smoker in the homosexual community was 2.5 times higher, bisexuals were 3.1 times more likely to experience anxiety, and lesbians were 2.2 times more likely to be obese. A study published in Scotland last year reported lesbians have a suicide rate 50 times higher than normal. A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine stated staph infection is 13 times more likely among homosexuals. Other studies have reported much higher risks among homosexuals for syphilis, gonorrhea, Herpes, HPV, hepatitis, Chlamydia, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, smoking, suicide and domestic violence. Studies in Canada and the U.S. have found an average 20-year reduction in lifespan for homosexuals. Though many in the homosexual community continue to deny these very real dangers, a homosexual group in Canada has finally admitted them.
We should not only avoid the legitimization of this sexual behavior, we should be doing all we can–as we do with drugs, alcohol, smoking, etc.–to dissuade young people from this behavior.
Yet the majority of the Rapid City School Board has chosen to ignore these health hazards and pretend to our public school children that homosexual behavior is no different (and no more dangerous) than one’s skin color…or status as a veteran. We can only imagine what it might have looked like to see “meth use” or “use of tobacco” added to the nondiscrimination policy.
This issue will be revisited again next year, and before then, there will be an election where some members of the board are up for re-election. Next year’s nondiscrimination policy may end up looking very different.