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Letter to the Editor: Association committed to equitable educational experience for all students

The Mt. Blue Regional School District Education Association would like to reiterate our commitment to providing an equitable educational experience for all students. Furthermore, we would like to state our zero tolerance for any and all hate speech. We support the conversations that will promote change in our society in order to improve the educational, and therefore life, opportunities for all students in our schools. Finally, we support the Black Lives Matter movement and hope to participate in any discussions that will promote equity in our educational community and our communities at large.

Executive Board of the Mt. Blue Regional School District Education Association
Doug Hodum, President

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33 Responses »

  1. Who gets to define what is “hate speech”?
    Who gets to define what changes are worthy of promotion?
    What educational opportunities need improvement?
    All students? How about those students who want to read books including “Huckleberry Finn”, “Gone with the Wind”, and “To Kill a Mockingbird”? The originals, not the censored versions.

    The leadership of BLM has admitted in public that they advocate full-tilt Marxism. With friends like that promoting equity, this education district certainly doesn’t need enemies.

  2. way to go Doug,
    Proving all the skeptics right about our "indoctrination system".

    Can we pretty please not make it a heinous crime to say
    "All" Lives Matter.
    Ya,, I didn't think so.
    Well good luck with your social experiment.
    Kids are smarter than you think..

    Everything Is Beautiful.

  3. Why would a teacher's union support the BLM Movement with all of the controversy surrounding and including the lawlessness associated with it. Is it the duty of a bargaining agent to form equity in our community at large?

    I don't mean this to suggest support for either side of an obvious controversial issue, but BLM as a movement is struggling to separate themselves from the perception of violence and the social changes they are and should be trying to achieve.

    I question whom exactly you are speaking for. Did the teachers at your district vote to support this?

    I suspect this might prove poorly throughout a time of seeking budget approval.

  4. Noble ideas. However....

    I do not think "zero tolerance for any hate speech" is not going to pass legal muster.
    Here's why. The school board is effectively the government for first amendment purposes.
    School speech codes have been nearly always struck down as first amendment violations.

    From Matal v Tam (2017) Unanimous opinion:

    "Speech that demeans on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, age, disability, or any other similar ground is hateful; but the proudest boast of our free speech jurisprudence is that we protect the freedom to express "the thought that we hate". United States v. Schwimmer, 279 U. S. 644, 655 (1929) (Holmes, J., dissenting).

    Best go back to the drawing board.

  5. I request a roll-call vote. Please post the names of all teachers, administrators, and staff of RSU 9 who have voted for this statement supporting the cop-killing terrorist group known as BLM.

  6. Ron White nailed it. Vote this budget down before they start teaching history from Howard Zimm that teaches students that the revolutionary war was because of racism. This district needs to wake up !!! Over a million dollar increase? No factual numbers from the state or the bargaining agreement of the same group sending this letter. We have until January to come up with a factual budget not one being rammed down our throats from a bunch of people disconnected from reality.
    We have “Autonomous zones” that are now crying for the police to step in because they have had thousands of 911 calls not being answered. May e these clowns don’t understand what they did. If you don’t want to be a part of the U.S. don’t cry after you run out of food and your own people start shooting each other. This is all because of public education and the dumbing down of America.
    VOTE NO JULY 14th !!!!

  7. Doug, please take comfort in the knowledge that the people commenting while hiding under their sheets are not representative of our community. They have the right to spew hatred, and the right to pretend they're not spewing hatred, but most people know better.

    And Justice Holmes was misquoted in the Schwimmer case, which was about a pacifist trying to obtain U.S. Citizenship. The "freedom for the thought we hate" is part of the actual quote, but the rest of the quote, and the context, is false.

  8. I believe we all should be committed to providing an equitable educational experience for all students, and to having a zero tolerance for hate speech.

    As a parent of three wonderful adults, as a taxpayer, as a teacher, and as a member of the Executive Board of the MBRSD Education Association, I believe we should promote and participate in conversations and actions that help improve the educational opportunities, and the lives of our students.

    Having three adult children, living in three different major cities, in three different states, I can say I support the changes being advocated for equity by the Black Lives Matters movement. Inequities in education opportunities, in business practices and in law enforcement practices are real, and need to be addressed.

    Very frequently, those who choose to participate in discussions, in fact finding, in the study of precedents, and the creation of possible solutions to improve situations, are decision makers. Often their suggestions need further approval from the people they work for...like school administrators and school boards.

  9. @ Wayne - That works as long as “spew hatred” means “disagree with Doug”.

    @ Matt Allen - A restatement of the fundamental issue in the politics of education: Intentions matter far more than results.

  10. Defund RSU 9!

  11. Thanks, Doug Hodum & the Association for your statement. I am reminded of the words of Maya Angelou “Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world, but has not solved one yet.” We must all stand together against injustice.

  12. An excellent statement, and one that is indicative of the cultural change taking place at all levels. I have to laugh at those in denial. They are on the wrong side of history. Johnny Cash's 1970 words about a previous generation that protested a pointless war and for early civil rights progress rings true today:
    "Yeah, the ones that you're calling wild
    Are going to be the leaders in a little while
    This old world's waking to a new born day
    And I solemnly swear that it'll be their way"

    The history of western civilization for the last 300 years has been progress, despite ups and downs. It is continuing! I think of the word when I was a teen. Women were only starting to enter jobs that had been for men. The idea of a black President was fantastical. Gays remained in the closet and gay marriage was not even considered in the realm of possibility. We have made so much progress, and it is continuing! Celebrate!

  13. Wayne:

    The rest of the quote is from a 2017 Supreme Court opinion (Matal v. Tam). This case voided part of a federal law which regulated "disparaging remarks" as a violation of the first amendment. Justice Alito was quoting Holmes in the opinion.

    There's also this from A Man For All Seasons:

    Roper: “So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!”

    More: “Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?”

    Roper: “Yes, I'd cut down every law in England to do that!

    More: ...And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned around on you--where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast--man's laws, not God's--and if you cut them down...d'you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake.”

    A "zero tolerance" approach to speech implies that either your arguments, temper, or tolerance are weak.

  14. Thanks Doug and the Association... how about we stop using the slang words that are quite often used for simulium and aleyrodidea.... It seem like the right think to do in this day and age..

  15. Here’s an idea. Promote Jesus.

    This country and its inhabitants need to stop division. Love is the only answer. blm is not the answer.

  16. " I have to laugh at those in denial. "
    I find this talk condescending and hateful.
    People in denial have feelings and it is most likely not their fault. Let's try to be a bit more tolerant.

  17. @holt,how does one use words like simulium and aleyrodidea ,then butcher the next sentence.Yes I see where your coming from and I know the definitions of the words "I looked them up although I found different spelling".

  18. Franklinfinest the problem with Jesus is even he has been called racist. Only Marxism will please these “protesters”.

    Wayne no one is spewing hatred. We are just calling out the hypocrisy in those that are claiming to want change yet loot and burn their own communities. It’s like new day vikings but the left embraces it.

  19. @Taxed Enough.... Sorry about my typing/spelling.. I am very old, my hands are shaky and never did well in spelling and English. I am not sure why you used the quotation marks in your response... I do, however, apologize for the anguish I caused ya. gh

  20. @Taxed Enough: How does one use “your” when grammar clearly calls for “you’re”?

  21. Awww, did you ever read Zinn's book?
    I don't recall him saying the Revolutionary war was about racism. Now, if you want to conclude it was about classism and a group of intelligent men who wanted power only for other wealthy men, then that might not be bad take away.

    Zinn was the first main stream author to expose Columbus. I was fortunate as back in the 80's, I went to Catholic High School and had a brilliant teacher who told us about Columbus. Columbis died broke, in jail, and he we tortured the Taiono people of what is now Haiti because he was desperate for gold to give to the King and Queen of Spain.

    When I went to College (I am an Engineer, not some Leftist philosopher) no one else I spoke to about Columbus knew this.
    I later read Zinn's book and he had it, along with letters written by a Jesuit missionary with first hand accounts.
    My conclusion from reading Zinn's book is that US became a very different nation than what the founding fathers envisioned. Just look at the requirements to vote. America was never intended to be one person, one vote. It was intended to be one well educated, white male land owner has a vote and no one else does. Most of us would not be voting. I am a well educated white male who owns a house with land but I have a mortgage. I am pretty sure I pay more taxes than most people in this space but because of my mortgage, that would exclude me from voting.

    The founding fathers were very smart men and they saw a great opportunity to make a new world. While they never envisioned the way American's can move out of poverty to a better life, I think everyone would agree that the allowance for one person one vote is a good thing. That took discourse and in some cases, I hate to say it, violence. The BLM movement has had violence primarily form non members. For every story I see about Antifa, I see two stories about the Bugallo boys and white Supremacy groups causing the violence.

    It is all too easy to dismiss the movement because of the actions of a few bad apples. After all, John Adams routinely had to get Sam Adams in line as old Sam was a terrorist but lots of history books call him a leader.

    Zinn's book should be mandatory reading as it is important to know the entire context of what the past was, not the sanitized version we were all fed as kids. Again, the idea is to better appreciate how we became the greatest nation in the world. The story has some ups and downs and it will continue to evolve. America is not meant to be a stagnant nation. That is the brilliance of the form of government we have and more importantly, the precious right to free speech.

    God Bless America

  22. @frosty,you're correct and I'M sorry for the mistake.I think you got it just the same.

  23. Steve,
    To say that BLM members don't condone violence is not correct at all .
    Their motto "By "ANY" means necessary"....
    Can't blame Antifa for that..
    BLM is in bed with murderers and thugs,,by choice.
    Criminals by "any" means,,, is just a criminal.

    Too bad, the bad guys have taken over.

  24. Steve did CNN tell you it’s right wing extremists that are burning down businesses and looting ? Thats funny because the only time I have seen them in the news lately they are trying to preserve our historical monuments and their communities businesses.
    Which book of Zinn’s did you read he has many. Google clearly states in a quick search that his books are used in college and high schools. It doesn’t take much too see that the decline in education of our history knowledge can point to his writings. It may not be the whole problem but it is definitely part of the recipe. As Mr. Erb said we have come a long way since our founding even if everyone don’t agree with the “progress”. So I’m not sure why you felt the need to involve the evolution of the “vote” which by the way some people don’t like the way that is going as there will be another vote on RCV this November by the looks.
    My statement about the war was paraphrased perhaps in bad taste yet everything is blamed for racism as of late. Even Jesus is now being called a sign of white supremacy and is being called for removal by Shaun King. Last I knew people of all colors worship which ever deity they want. I just have to wonder why it would be ok to remove one without removing them all. Some people would be ok with that without a doubt but it would lead us into what we are seeing across this globe recently and that is not good for any of mankind.
    VOTE NO JULY 14th !!!!!

  25. scott,
    While you are "laughing and celebrating ", innocent people (of all colors) are suffering.
    This is what progress looks like from the "college liberal arts" and Sad 9 Teachers perspective.

    We see the problem in this very article and supporting comments.
    The Sad 9 Educators and a UMF Professor support this criminal activity,, by any means necessary.
    NONE OF WHICH HAVE MISSED A SINGLE PAYCHECK while everyone else suffers.
    All,,, brought to you by the modern day Democratic Party.
    But hey no surprise since they also brought us the KKK years ago.

    Now,,, Who do we need to Defund?
    You parents that are upset with the riots should think twice about continuing to fund this indoctrination program called College Liberal Arts.
    They are laughing and celebrating while they encourage your kids to support this unjust cause.
    And you are paying them to do it.
    I'm just thankful I'm not one of them. So true.

    Despite them,
    Everything Is Very Beautiful.

  26. Billyjoebob - you're absolutely correct. That was a phrase I put in there with the purpose of getting people annoyed. I should not do that. I apologize. It doesn't help me prove my point when I behave like that.

  27. Scott,
    I noticed you have not spoken out against "the actions" of the protestors.
    The farmington BLM protestors left signs around saying,
    "Silence is Compliance".
    Your and others "silence" on the heinous action of BLM protestors is very loud and clear compliance.
    Live by the sword, Die by the sword.
    They will turn on "your" pet ideals soon enough and also burn them down by any means,,

    What's going on is a crime against innocent people.
    Has NOTHING to do with justice.
    Why does this not bother you people?

    And still,
    Everything Is Beautiful.

  28. BLM is an ideology of victimization with a long list of grievances that do not exist. Personal responsibility matters. Defund the public indoctrination system and higher indoctrination. Eliminate the Department of Education in D.C. Take back our human right to teach our children how to think, not what to think. Learn the meaning of words like propaganda, mass manipulation and communism.

  29. OMG Olde Crone..... You asking for a lot.. We ain't outnumbered... but out shouted.. Some will find out that they are being used... as they have been for a long time... Hope it is not too late..

  30. Aww, I heard from someone who lives in the neighborhood where George Floyd was killed (they are white for the record) they reported what they saw and heard in the crowd that tore up their block.

    Also, look up Matthew Rupert, of Galesburg, IL. He was arrested for throwing bombs at a few BLM protests. He and hs brother (both are white) have a history of being anti law enforcement. If you read up on them, they are just idiot punks who want chaos. They are not part of BLM, Antifa or any white supremacist group.

    My brother is a Public Defender in Washington DC and he had to represent about 100 of the anti Trump protesters who got arrested shortly after the inauguration. Fox news labelled them Antifa. My brother told em that these were the laziest idiots he had every seen and that none of them were even capable of throwing a rock as they were so nonathletic. He said none of them knew how to fight and the hype was over blown.

    When everyone says Antifa is behind this they diminish the central point.
    And, there are groups that know how to disrupt protests and spark violence so it will look like the whole movement is an angry mob.

    In regard to Zinn, I read a People's Hitsory of America. Very good book if you want a more raw view of history versus the sanitized version we were taught in school. They key with reading any history book is to look at multiple sources and raw your own conclusion as 3 people, with no subject bias, can can describe the exact same event they witnessed three different ways.

    In the case of the founding father's, they were like everyone at the time who felt that blacks were slaves and were not human, but slightly smarter animals. Does that make them racist? By today' standards, yes. By their day's standard no. By the standard Jesus calls for, YES. Have I ever behaved like a racist? Yes. No one is perfect and there will always be jokes told that mean no harm but the harm is not understood

    By the way, Jesus is not upset by anyone tearing down a statue of Him. If you think a statue matters, you have missed the whole point of Jesus' teachings. Jesus has no ego or hate in His heart. Jesus loves us all despite out many flaws as a species.

    To circle back to Zinn, the founding fathers felt their life's mattered but after that, there is much debate. Remember, women were viewed as subservient, not equal. When people say "all life matters" they don't get it. No one has to say "white life's matter" as that is the starting point in this country. When you have a group that only counted as 3/5 of a person, it kind of speaks to a bad past that has never been properly reconciled(I am not talking about reparations).

    I do not believe that the entire BLM movement is "at any cost".

    When Judgement day comes, where will you stand brother.

  31. Steve,

    Every con artist and ideologue in history has told his audience that if they believe what he's telling them, they're "in on the secret" and that makes them smarter than ordinary people and their "sanitized version" of the facts. It's essentially gnosticism, the oldest heresy ever. Zinn is an ideologue who flat-out lies, presenting a partly-cherry-picked, mostly fabricated version of history -- in service to a specific modern day ideology (i.e. Marxism/communism/progressivism/liberalism/leftism, whatever you like to call it).

    Your closing points reveal the miseducation you've been afflicted with. Western (aka Christian) civilization is the one and only civilization to deem women as morally equal to men. It is the modern-day leftists who hate women -- look how they lash out at femininity and motherhood while promoting barrenness and transvestitism.

    With regard to the fun-fact you raise about the Constitution, the context is that by counting only 3/5 of the slaves as part of a state's population you *weakened* the political power of slave-owners. (Are you not aware that slaves couldn't vote?) It was the pro-slavery (Democrat) position that black slaves should count for more electoral votes for white slave-owners (Democrats). It is hard to believe that anyone really makes the "3/5ths" mistake today unless they're listening *only* to an ideological echo chamber of the far left. I mean, if you had made that error in any kind of mixed company, ever, someone else would have corrected you.

    Hucksters like Zinn always offer you a shortcut to thinking you're well-educated. I agree with your point that when reading history, you must consider alternative viewpoints. However, any writer who offers to "interpret" the distant past in comic-book themes from a 20th-century political ideology is probably not very worthy of your trust.

  32. As BLM AND THE DEMOCRATS STAND SILENTLY,,
    From Fox News,, Another story CNN won't cover.

    In Fredericksburg, Va., a small, historic town of about 25,000 people located on the Rappahannock River, south of Washington, D.C., a woman named Tara Durant dialed 911 last month to report protesters began harassing her – and her young daughter – while driving through town running errands.

    That 911 call has since been released.

    “They’re on my car, alright. They’re on my car right now,” Durant tells the 911 dispatcher.

    “So we would suggest you slowly drive through the area. Don’t hit anyone with your vehicle,” the dispatcher responds. To that, the woman says: “I can’t. I cannot get out of here, okay?”

    The dispatcher then tells the caller: “Please be patient. I’ll let the officers know, OK?”

    “Are you serious?” the woman who dialed 911 asks.

    The dispatcher responds, “We can’t do anything, ma’am. The city told us this is a sanctioned event.”

    “Get out of my car! You know, this is going to get dangerous. I got a kid here,” the woman shouts.

    But the dispatcher only calmly replies: “Yes, ma’am. We would suggest you call up the city hall to let them know about your frustrations.”

    Durant is then heard yelling: “Get out of the way! Get out of the way! This is getting scary! They’re on my car! They’re on my car! And, I’ve got a little girl in the car crying. Are you kidding me?!”

    PROTESTERS LIGHT FIRE OUTSIDE FEDERAL COURTHOUSE IN PORTLAND

    Fredericksburg Mayor Mary Katherine Greenlaw apologized to protesters after police tried to disperse the crowd, writing “I am personally sorry. I apologize to those who went through this fearful experience.”

    BLM AND THE DEMOCRATS "COULD" HELP THE INNOCENT VICTIMS OF THESE CRIMINAL MOBS ACROSS THE COUNTRY,,, BUT CHOOSE NOT TO.
    INSTEAD,, THEY APOLOGIZE TO THE PROTESTERS.
    BUT HEY,, BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY "MEANS EXACTLY THAT.

    THE MOVEMENT IS HATE TOWARDS EVERYBODY "ELSE".
    Gee,, why isn't everyone supporting it?

    What matters is,,,
    Everything Is Beautiful.

  33. From Black Lives Matter Website,
    What We Believe.

    Every day, we recommit to healing ourselves and each other, and to co-creating alongside comrades, allies, and family a culture where each person feels seen, heard, and supported.

    We acknowledge, respect, and celebrate differences and commonalities.

    We work vigorously for freedom and justice for Black people and, by extension, all people.

    We intentionally build and nurture a beloved community that is bonded together through a beautiful struggle that is restorative, not depleting.

    We are unapologetically Black in our positioning. In affirming that Black Lives Matter, we need not qualify our position. To love and desire freedom and justice for ourselves is a prerequisite for wanting the same for others.

    We see ourselves as part of the global Black family, and we are aware of the different ways we are impacted or privileged as Black people who exist in different parts of the world.

    We are guided by the fact that all Black lives matter, regardless of actual or perceived sexual identity, gender identity, gender expression, economic status, ability, disability, religious beliefs or disbeliefs, immigration status, or location.

    We make space for transgender brothers and sisters to participate and lead.

    We are self-reflexive and do the work required to dismantle cisgender privilege and uplift Black trans folk, especially Black trans women who continue to be disproportionately impacted by trans-antagonistic violence.

    We build a space that affirms Black women and is free from sexism, misogyny, and environments in which men are centered.

    We practice empathy. We engage comrades with the intent to learn about and connect with their contexts.

    We make our spaces family-friendly and enable parents to fully participate with their children. We dismantle the patriarchal practice that requires mothers to work “double shifts” so that they can mother in private even as they participate in public justice work.

    We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and “villages” that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable.

    We foster a queer‐affirming network. When we gather, we do so with the intention of freeing ourselves from the tight grip of heteronormative thinking, or rather, the belief that all in the world are heterosexual (unless s/he or they disclose otherwise).

    We cultivate an intergenerational and communal network free from ageism. We believe that all people, regardless of age, show up with the capacity to lead and learn.

    We embody and practice justice, liberation, and peace in our engagements with one another.
    END.

    Interesting...
    Disrupting Western Family Structures..
    Is that what our Educational System Is Helping Them Do?
    If so, Defund Them.
    That's not going to work Folks.

    I Believe,
    Everything Is Beautiful.

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