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January 16, 2007

An Inconvenient Brouhaha in Federal Way: Followup

Cara Solmon of the Seattle Times offers some followup on the Federal Way school board's much-lambasted decision to impose a "moratorium" on classroom screenings of Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth."

The school board, apparently attempting to wiggle out of what is rapidly becoming a PR disaster, claims to be misunderstood.

At its meeting last week, the board suspended all classroom viewings
until district Superintendent Tom Murphy could confirm that the
district's existing policies on materials that contain "bias" were
being followed.

"It's a very reasonable request," said Murphy, who will report to the board at its Jan. 23 meeting.

Two district policies apply in this case. The first requires that teachers get approval from their principals before they show any movie in class.








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The second states that, "when it is necessary to use historical or
literary works, periodicals, and technical journals which show bias,
staff members have a responsibility to point out the biases, and
present additional information and perspectives to balance those
biases."

But in his defense, Murphy repeats the offense that gave rise to the whole kerfuffle: buying into the extremist framing that Gore's film is "biased" when it is based on rock-solid scientific research.  That the facts it presents need to "balanced" by flat-earth religious fundamentalism. 

Despite fundamentalists' assertions, the fact remians: there is no legitimate scientific contention that the global warming we've observed is NOT caused by anything other than human activity.

The school board's apparent cave-in to extremist, anti-science nutjobs is what the hundreds of letters and phone calls are objecting to, Superintendent Murphy.  Not a "misunderstanding" about whether you "banned" the film. Wake up and smell the fire, you're getting burned.

Posted by Jon Stahl on January 16, 2007 at 09:12 PM in Policy | Permalink

Comments

What caught MY attention was this idiotic statement*:

["Condoms don't belong in school, and neither does Al Gore. He's not a schoolteacher," said Frosty Hardison, a parent of seven who also said that he believes the Earth is 14,000 years old. "The information that's being presented is a very cockeyed view of what the truth is. ... The Bible says that in the end times everything will burn up, but that perspective isn't in the DVD."]

"The Bible says" - any time someone prefaces any statement with 'the bible says' my ears shut down. And to further solidify - "in the end times everything will burn up" also suggests the speaker, in this case Frosty Hardison, isn't even accurate in his apparent 'knowledge' of the end times. Welll, unless of course he's referring to the ACTUAL end times - when Jezzus! finally comes - to do whatever it is Jezzus! is going to do.

And he dares to state that this is a "very cockeyed view of what the truth is" along with the Earth is 14000 years old. Wow, where's he get that figure?

*Source: The Seattle Times http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/299253_inconvenient11.html

Posted by: Kitt | Jan 17, 2007 9:24:42 AM

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