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HS B-Ball Boycotter’s Controversial Past

From Fox News:

Suzan Hebson, assistant superintendent of Highland Park, Ill., sits in her office.

School Official in Basketball Flap Is No Stranger to Controversy

By Jana Winter

May 13, 2010

The school official who nixed a girls’ high school basketball team’s planned trip to Arizona once supported a controversial program that required ninth-graders to attend a “freshman advisory” class at which gay upperclassmen shared stories of their high school experiences.

Parents who were unhappy with the class were even more outraged to learn that students who attended were asked to sign a statement promising not to tell others — including their parents — about what was said in class

In 2007, when she was assistant superintendent for human resources in the district, Hebson made national news for supporting an initiative at Deerfield High School that required freshman students to participate in orientation panel discussions, one of which was led by members of the school’s Straight and Gay Alliance Network. During the seminars, upperclassmen spoke to the ninth graders about a variety of topics affecting homosexual teens, including their own personal experiences — and all students were required to sign confidentiality agreements swearing never to disclose what they heard.

Parents were not allowed to attend the panel discussions, leading some to call it an attempt to indoctrinate students into a homosexual lifestyle…

Their outrage grew as Hebson defended the program as a way to ease freshmen students’ transition into their new school. “We have a great deal of pride in the program and don’t feel we are overstepping any boundaries that [most] parents would feel are inappropriate,” Hebson told the Chicago Tribune, adding that the orientation included talks on subjects other than homosexuality…

The parents formed a coalition and took out a full-page ad in their local newspaper blasting the mandatory program and its administrative backers and demanded that school officials rein in faculty who they said were promoting homosexuality.

The following year, Hebson was made principal of Deerfield High School, where she became embroiled in another controversy — this time related to the inclusion of the play “Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes” in students’ required reading material.

Parents were alarmed by the book’s explicit content, which includes highly offensive racial slurs, vivid depictions of gay sex and a sexually explicit scene involving Mother Teresa.

Hauser’s group took their complaints to the state attorney general’s office, and school officials backed down, replacing “Angels in America” with another play.

For the record, here are some excepts from the original article on Ms. Hebson’s er, ‘orientation program,’ via the archives of the Chicago Tribune:

Gay awareness panel roils school; Some parents object to kids’ discussion

By Lisa Black, Tribune staff reporter

March 8, 2007 Thursday

Some parents have accused Deerfield High School of promoting a homosexual agenda by allowing gay students to speak before freshman classes about their personal experiences, cite research and invite questions.

Taking place in classrooms this week, the panel sessions are scheduled during a class called freshman advisory, which seeks to help students adjust to high school. The class is mandatory, but parents can choose to remove their child on days the lessons concern them, school officials said.

How could parents remove their children when they were not even allowed to know about the panel discussion?

But Deerfield resident and parent Lora Sue Hauser, who heads a group called North Shore Student Advocacy, wants to see the panel discontinued, saying it delves into complex issues of sexuality that are better addressed by parents and trained counselors…

"The school makes heterosexuality and homosexuality equivalent, and our country is deeply divided on that," said Hauser, who said dozens of parents belong to the advocacy group but fear they will be labeled as haters or religious fanatics if they speak out.

"You can’t dump that on a 14-year-old," Hauser said. "These are really difficult waters to navigate."

Suzan Hebson, assistant superintendent for human resources for Township High School District 113, said she believes only a few parents oppose the freshman advisory class.

"We have a great deal of pride in the program and don’t feel we are overstepping any boundaries that [most] parents would feel are inappropriate," Hebson said.

But Ellen Waltz, a Deerfield mother of eight, said the climate has changed so much that students who believe that homosexuality is immoral and violates their religious beliefs are now the ones being bullied.

She said other students called her daughter anti-gay and anti-Semitic when she spoke out during the panel four years ago. One of the panel members was Jewish.

"My daughter was devastated when she came home. She said, ‘Everyone hates me,’" said Waltz, adding that she plans to pull her son out of class for the day this year.

The advocacy group, led by eight board members who live in North Shore communities, published a full-page advertisement March 1 in a local newspaper, the Deerfield Review. The ad states: "We believe these students are being used to further the causes of gay activists," and demands that Deerfield High officials "rein in your staff who are using the school to promote their personal views." …

Erin Kaplan, 17, a senior, who describes himself as the only transgender student at Deerfield, said he believes that the climate at school has improved since the panel discussions began five years ago. He said the student alliance began the practice "after a really big wave of homophobic comments, targets for being gay."

Kaplan, a panelist for the last three years, tells students that he was born a boy–his parents gave him the name "Evan"–but that he has always felt like he should have been a girl. He wears feminine clothing at times but has a man’s narrow hips and husky voice.

The panel this year consists of seven students. Four students identify themselves as gay, bisexual or transgender, and three are heterosexual, he said

Kevin Jennings, executive director of the New York-based Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, commends the Deerfield program.

"We’re not trying to tell people what to believe but how to behave," said Jennings, who described the Illinois Family Institute as one of several organizations trying to intimidate school districts

Waltz said she asked school officials if she could sit in on the class. They declined, saying her presence would detract from the learning experience and instead offered to videotape the class and give her a copy.

Laurie Higgins, a teacher’s aide at Deerfield, said she, too, has complained to school administrators about the panel and her requests to have an opposing viewpoint presented have been denied

"My goal is not to generate controversy," said Higgins, a Deerfield parent. "I don’t think they should be treating [homosexuality] in the same way they treat conditions that are immutable and carry no behavioral implications, like race, sex, ethnicity and disability."

Hauser said the topic belongs in schools only when presented neutrally in an academic forum. She opposes the Day of Silence held every spring as part of a national event. On April 18 students attempt to remain quiet to bring attention to harassment of gays and their desire for a safe environment at school…

In response, other students–in Deerfield and elsewhere–participate in a Day of Truth, held a day later, which opposes acceptance of homosexuality.

"Neither day at Deerfield High School has been disruptive in nature, educationally," Hebson said. "Unfortunately, there have been some hurt feelings on those two days because it’s pretty evident that people choose sides."

Waltz said her children tell her the only time there is tension at the school is during the week the panel discussions take place, culminating with the Day of Silence and Day of Truth.

"There really isn’t a problem at our school," Waltz said. "It’s like they’re throwing more logs in the fire. … All our kids are great kids, whether they’re gay or straight."

So it sounds like this program ended up having the opposite of its intended effect. What a surprise?

But all that aside, which offers more danger for 14 year olds? A mandatory panel discussion on the joys of homosexuality that is so controversial they are not even supposed to tell their parents? Or playing in a basketball tournament in Arizona?

What a tough call.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, May 14th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

13 Responses to “HS B-Ball Boycotter’s Controversial Past”

  1. Astravogel says:

    After graduation from a small Presbyterian College, I was immediately accepted
    into an elementary teaching position in an Arkansas town to teach sixth grade
    students. After five years, I was promoted to principal of an elementary school,
    and after fourteen years there, promoted again to Computer Supervisor for the
    District. After thirty years in the District I retired. Now, in all those years of
    college and public schools here in fly-over country, I did meet my share of over
    educated idiots. Thankfully it was a small number. After three of them took
    myself and the District to Federal Court when I recommended their non-renewal,
    (The Arkansas Education Association, of which I was a member, supplied them
    with lawyers to sue me) they lost their case. I can only be amazed at some of the
    idiots foisted upon larger districts, parents, and students, who retain their jobs.

  2. BannedbytheTaliban says:

    1. There is time in a school day for this BS but not gym?

    2. Wonder how it would be if I tried to get upperclassmen at a local high school to talk about how their lives have been changed by being saved by Jesus? Then made attendees sign a paper saying they couldn’t discuss the seminar.

    I wish they would have pulled this kind of stunt when I was in high school. I would have made it known to the entire school board that as a student this is unacceptable, forget going to your parents. Although I suspect my acts of civil disobedience wouldn’t have been welcome with open arms and extolled by the MSM like those protesting Tancredo at UNC. And my ‘exit only’ T-shirt would have probably gone over like a led zeppelin. But, you should treat everybody with respect even if you disagree with their personal choices, but I don’t have to accept it, like it, or be forced to be immersed in it.

  3. canary says:

    The perverted child kidnapper Suzan Hebson showed all the signs of a child predator. After holding those children hostage & forcefully subjecting them to sexual material. Muslim punishment would be too good for her.
    Suzan Hebson: “shhh. hissss. Don’t tell anyone, especially your parent’s, or you’ll be sorry. “

  4. retire05 says:

    Antonio Gramsci, the Italian Marxist, wrote extensively how you must indictrinate children when they are young if you want them to be good little marxists. All oppressive groups, from the Nazis to the Communists of China, Russia and Cuba, understood the value of being able to mold the thoughts of children while they were captive audiences in a class room with the authorative figure of a teacher being able to even change the attitudes, and opinions, children had gleened from their parents.

    How is this any different?

    Yet, day after day, millions of parents send their kids off to school, not knowing what is being taught or even bothering to see what is in their kid’s text books. The parents are will dupes, sending their kids off like lambs to slaughter, to have the kids indoctrinated in the ways of socialism and collectivism.

    Are we shocked to learn that a school official would use kids to push their own agenda? Do we really think that to people like Hebson, those kids are any thing other than a means to an end? Just tools to push her own agenda? She should have been fired long ago,

    Now we have in Arne Duncan, a Secretary of the Department of Education, whose own attitudes are much like this teacher. Another product of the Illinois cabal, that gave us our first statist president. Why would we we shocked to learn there are others of the Obama-Duncan mindset?

  5. tranquil.night says:

    “We have a great deal of pride in the program.”

    Yes, I’m sure everyone in “the family” approved.

    This class sounds kind of like a tolerance class loosely guised with the “share and learn from eachother’s experiences” communal creed. And we all know the first “Law of Tolerace” in the Liberal/Statist belief system is that everyone’s viewpoint is acceptable.. except the opposition’s. That should say it all.

    From personal experience: most public school’s really are collectivist gulags where children are conditioned to care more about what peers think of them than any academic pursuit. The goal is to dissolve the bonds of traditional family and form a “new type of family” (ABC family motto) of like-minded “friends.” In this pursuit, independent minds are targeted and alienated, ambitions crushed, dreams squashed and replaced with self-absorbed fantasies. Oh, and disobedience to the system is treated with the utmost intolerance – especially if it makes “the family” look bad in public! Disobedience is supposed to be directed at people like the DNA donors sometimes referred to as parents and the rules of society’s kingpins: the rich and their businesses; NOT the benevolent Father Time of the cradle to the grave: Big Daddy Government.

    • Petronius says:

      “The goal is to dissolve the bonds of traditional family . . .”

      Yes, to the Liberal mind, the hallowed beliefs, principles of conduct, manners, folkways, and traditions that a child gets from home, family, and church––all of those really important things that instill decency, cohesion, pride, and loyalty in the social order–– are to be treated as superstitions and prejudices, which it is the educator’s duty to ferret out and eradicate.

    • BannedbytheTaliban says:

      The liberals know you have to stand for something, or you will fall for anything. So they attack all the principles that keep people from falling for their collectivist dream.

    • proreason says:

      “they attack all the principles that keep people from falling for their collectivist dream.”

      This explains 90% of the policy agenda of liberal marxists. But it’s more than just to keep people from falling for the dream. It’s also about taking away the support systems that enable independence. There are many, and they are all under constant attact:

      – church (can’t pray in schools, can’t invoke religion in the public square)
      – family (homosexual rights, abortion, gay marriage, divorce, elevation of single mothers, SS, Medicare, Health Care)
      – small businesses (tax burdens regulatory burden, no-bailouts for small fryies, unionization, Health Care)
      – small communities (contempt, make them dependent on federal largesse, fan racism)
      – charities (take away tax benefits, government takes over traditional charitable roles)
      – independent schools (no vouchers, federal control, federal funding, double cost to be independent)
      – tea partiers (contempt, assail free speech, war by the msm)
      – states (more and more federal control, tax burders, make dependent on federal funds)
      – the military (impose homosexuality, impose Politial Correctness, promotion policies, quotas)
      – boy scouts
      – talk radio

      Unions would be included in the list, except that the communists are currently explointing the unions. After the above societal entities are destroyed, the unions will follow. And the msm, as well.

      Destroying societal cohesion isn’t the only marxist strategy, but it may be the most important one.

  6. Petronius says:

    I am leaning toward the opinion that, when it comes to public education, less is more.

    The enormous wealth that Americans have poured into public schools has not removed ignorance. Rather, as we see here, it has actually increased ignorance.

    Athens was the best educated society of the ancient world and, in some respects, of all time. Yet Athens fell more from inner rot than from outside enemies.

    Germany was the most thoroughly educated nation of the twentieth century. Yet look what happened in Germany.

    The English Puritans who settled in the New World feared the loss of their cultural heritage, and they were industrious in founding public schools and colleges to conserve this heritage. But today these schools no longer encourage an appreciation of Western culture and values. Rather, they actively find ways to turn the minds of our children––even our very young children––in precisely the opposite direction.

    Western Civilization has slipped into a period of ever deepening decadence, and Liberal control of public education and media is at the root of everything that is decadent in our society.

    Perhaps we were better off before public schools, when our education was left to the church, home, master, governess, tutor, or to tradesmen and artisans.

    • proreason says:

      Everything that the government controls turns to shit.

      The sheer scale of government insures that everything it touches becomes corrupt in one form or another.

      The founder knew it. We know it.

      But corruption reigns supreme.

      Either we begin to unwind it now, or the country’s decline will be unreversable.

  7. U NO HOO says:

    THE Kevin Jennings?

  8. misanthropicus says:

    With Kevin “Superfister” Jennings as White House national school security superintendent you can rest assured that you kids are safe and offered good guidence –

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