The Right Side of The Lake
Citizens for Better Government, L.L.C.,

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The People Showed Up


In last Tuesday’s The Right Side of the Lake we rhetorically asked the question, “Who is going to show up for next Monday’s School Board meeting--God’s people or supporters of the ACLU?”
 
At Monday night’s Lake County School Board meeting an overflow crowd showed up to see how the School Board would make its final vote on the question of open clubs in Lake County Schools, which would allow a gay-straight alliance in middle schools.  By a vote of 4-1 (with School Board Member Rosanne Brandeburg voting nay), the School Board decided to table the vote because of a pending change in statutes, which redefines the grades included in secondary education. 
 
The vote regarding open clubs in Lake County Schools could have gone forward if not for the overwhelming crowd that showed up in opposition to it.  By an estimated 3 to1 margin, the crowd was opposed to allowing a gay-straight club in Lake County middle schools.  According to an unofficial headcount, there were 17 local pastors in attendance representing thousands of church members.
 
A new club policy for Lake County Schools will be developed after the new statutes accurately define the grades for secondary school, which means the process could start all over again.  There is probably going to be another meeting in which showing up means a great deal.
 
For clarification, we understand that there are people who belong to the ACLU who are God’s people; however, our point of reference is church going people of Lake County who believe in traditional values.
 
The Child
 
Unlike news organizations, special interest groups and the ACLU, we have not published the name or picture of the 14 year old child who is at the center of this controversy.  The child was very emotional after the meeting, as she was forced to face the harsh reality that even though most people have tolerance for her lifestyle choice it does not mean they will support it.  It is not hatred or bigotry when other people don’t condone your lifestyle.  It befuddles us why this child was allowed to be exploited like she has been. 
 
Our group maintains that no club of any kind which deals with sexual orientation should be allowed in our schools.  We oppose a heterosexual club just as hard.  Our schools should be focused on education, and in our view, you are asking for trouble when you ask a government school teacher to be in charge of any club, which is based on sexual orientation.
 
Bullying for a Cause?
 
During previous hearings on this issue, many stood up and said that they supported the open club policy because as a teen they were bullied for being gay.  Frankly, we don’t understand how a club like this will help bullying because the club itself divides and highlights the student.  However, we understand many people are concerned about bullying in schools.
 
It was disconcerting that some in Monday’s crowd who were not pleased with the School Board’s action took to bullying themselves.  According to firsthand reports, the security detail from the School District and the Lake County Sheriff’s Office recommended that School Board Members Bill Mathias and Tod Howard receive security escorts to their vehicles because they feared for their safety based on the harsh comments and outbursts made after the meeting.  Mathias and Howard’s opposition to these clubs appears to have been made in good conscience and trying to bully an elected official after a meeting is not the correct path to civil discourse.  Bullying for a cause does not make it right.
 
The Lesson
 
If you hold certain values that you want to protect then you have to show up.  So much in this country is being changed because people will not get out of their chairs.  Showing up at 11 am for Sunday morning service is not going to change the world--you have to do more, and you have to show up more.

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