What Will HPISD Do About Discrimination? Nothing?

My November 5 column is about the Boy Scouts of America and the active discrimination taking place on Highland Park ISD property. I shared an option for the district, though a tough one, that would show the country what we think about discrimination and show one student how far we’re willing to go to back up what we’ve taught him.

It’s not about the BSA’s right to exclude, that’s been determined. And it’s not a gay thing. It’s about the sacrifice HPISD is or isn’t willing to make for a more meaningful impact.

76 thoughts on “What Will HPISD Do About Discrimination? Nothing?

  • November 8, 2010 at 2:37 pm
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    This week’s column was your finest work, Merritt. It would be wonderful to see HPISD become a shining example of “walking the walk” (not just talking the talk) to our kids about how important it is to do the right thing. But even if the school doesn’t rise to the occasion, you certainly did with this eloquent, important column. Way to go, friend!

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  • November 8, 2010 at 2:41 pm
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    Your right, its not a BSA thing, not a gay thing but it is not an HPISD thing either.

    It’s up to the father to show how far he is willing to go to make sure his son can continue in his role as a cub scout.

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  • November 8, 2010 at 2:47 pm
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    Your right, its not a BSA thing, not a gay thing but it is not an HPISD thing either.

    It’s up to the father to show how far he is willing to go to make sure his son can continue as a cub scout.

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  • November 8, 2010 at 3:06 pm
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    Leave the district alone, they are doing a fine job. If you want to duke it out, go after the BSA.

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  • November 8, 2010 at 4:06 pm
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    While I’m on board with BSA’s right to discriminate as they see fit (they are, after all, a private club), their place in the public forum muddies the waters a bit. HPISD is likely not going to make a stand knowing full well that they’d have to deny access to other private organizations within the community (I doubt HPISD takes federal funding, but that’s a stipulation as well). Tough choices, even if they are the right choices, are hard to sell to your constituents, the taxpayers in this instance.

    I propose that another venue open its doors so that HPISD doesn’t have to make that decision. My idea: Dallas Country Club. It’s a private club, loves discriminating, is conveniently located, and, while the clubhouse is under construction for the next year or so, they shouldn’t have any conflicting meetings. Plan B is James Tucker’s house.

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  • November 8, 2010 at 5:04 pm
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    @James
    What are you talking about? The son’s cub scout membership was never an issue. Personally, I wouldn’t want my child to continue as a Cub Scout, which is sad because I know it can be a fantastic organization. Fortunately there are plenty of other youth organizations that foster leadership, build character and uphold strong values that don’t follow outdated and discriminatory guidelines. In case you misunderstood, the big issue here is the father’s removal from volunteer leadership based on his sexual orientation. Remember?!!!

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  • November 8, 2010 at 5:20 pm
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    Ah but it is a gay thing, and really has nothing to do with Mr. Langbert personally, who, by all accounts, is a fine gay man.
    Who will indemnify the BSA when a pedophile ‘leader’ (again, certainly not the fine Mr. Langbert) – who all knew was gay – molests a scout? How can the BSA possibly discriminate *among* gays? The solution was to ban gays in leadership positions altogether.
    Secondly, many many private groups do in fact believe that homosexuality is immoral. Some of them say “hate the sin, love the sinner”, some not, but they do in fact disapprove. Why does that make them wrong and you right? Maybe they just disagree?
    It seems to me that the progressives will chase any and all disagreements from the public square (including public school buildings) until all who remain are in perfect agreement. All one of them, The State.

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  • November 8, 2010 at 5:45 pm
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    @ James Tucker: So the dad should stop being gay?

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  • November 8, 2010 at 5:46 pm
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    @ bc: Are there any African American scouts in the group? If so, they wouldn’t be able to go to DCC either.

    Isn’t Highland Park great!?

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  • November 8, 2010 at 5:53 pm
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    From the standpoint of a purely legal analysis, it’s not against either Texas or Federal law to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. However, as Merritt points out, just because something is legal doesn’t make it right.

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  • November 8, 2010 at 6:04 pm
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    What I find ironic about this whole thing is that a gay father would let his son join an organization, BSA, that openly states that it does not condone his sexual orientation.

    Maybe HPISD should prohibit all outside groups from using facilities. That way, no one/everyone can be offended.

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  • November 8, 2010 at 6:30 pm
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    @ Eloise: The DCC now has African American members and I have personally taken African American guests there on many occasions without any negatives. My guests were comfortable and we were not given any unusual looks.

    @ Eric: Should the boy scouts ban heterosexual leaders because there have been heterosexuals who have abused boys in the past?

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  • November 8, 2010 at 6:45 pm
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    @Mainzer – Name one credible story where a group of boys were sexually molested by a heterosexual.

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  • November 8, 2010 at 7:08 pm
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    A bold call, Merritt, but it won’t happen. Club sports at the high school can’t meet there? Booster clubs that are 501c3’s are out of luck? Maybe no more schools as polling places? Lots of good groups will get the shaft but their lobbying BSA will make no difference. The national BSA won’t change its policy just because they get pressure from our little area–even from our many VIPs.

    We need to keep thinking, but I’m afraid that nothing will change until enough parents say that–however wonderful the Boy Scout experience is and however much of a tradition it is in their family and however valuable they think being an Eagle Scout will be when applying to college–they refuse to be part of an organization that explicitly discriminates against gays, atheists, and the Unitarian Church.

    It’s sort of like no matter how many times your church, Merritt, has insulted Harry Potter or supported the clinic-interfering judgment-avoiding minister or had members involved in the recent campaign materials you found dishonest or even perhaps speaks out against gays on occasion–you, for many good reasons, are still a member there, I assume, and still think the good outweighs the bad. And so do many parents of Boy Scouts.

    Rather than changing HPISD, what about a movement for Scouts to wear rainbow colored ribbons on their uniforms to raise awareness and encourage change, to say, “I like being a Scout but I don’t like their policy on gays?”

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  • November 8, 2010 at 7:32 pm
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    HPISD may be legally compelled to make its facilities available to the BSA on the same basis that it allows other religious groups to use its facilities. However, the Pack 70/Troop 70 website describes its relationship with HPISD as a “partnership,” and my own impression is that the Boy Scouts are far more “embedded” in the local public school culture than one would expect of a group merely given “access” to the facilities. So, a good question to ask HPISD at this juncture would be to what extent its accommodation to the BSA goes beyond merely making its facilities “available” for Scout use. Clearly, a mosque could (and should) have the same rights to use HPISD facilities. But what if that mosque wanted to make announcements over the U.P. Elementary PA system about its recruiting drive for elementary school students? If the mosque would not be allowed to do things like this that go beyond merely using the facilites, then why should BSA (an expressly religious organization, that discriminates against certain groups using religious criteria) be allowed to do so?

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  • November 8, 2010 at 7:42 pm
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    @DemBones – That is a ^very^ cool idea of wearing a rainbow ribbon.

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  • November 8, 2010 at 7:52 pm
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    @zoe, you know very well I understand the issue. This can only be about the boy because it is the BOY Scouts. It is not the I Want to Be a Leader but I can’t Scouts. This is totally and 100% about how Jon Langbert is going to respond to a personal affront. He can either be teflon and show the other Dads he is better then they are and allow his son to continue in scouting or he can let pride take over his decision making about his son’s scouting. I am not going to go into a discussion about things that I have already discussed on other posts. Before you post a response to me maybe you better revisit my previous posts.

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  • November 8, 2010 at 7:55 pm
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    @Eloise, I am not going to get into a discussion about things that I have already written on the other threads concerning this subject. Before you post a response to me maybe you better revisit my previous posts.

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  • November 8, 2010 at 9:22 pm
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    Merritt:

    What is the universal thing that “we’ve taught him [Carter]” that pertains to this situation?

    Does the Park Cities have a universal policy about discrimination that applies to this situation? Does HPISD?

    The statements that are made by you at the beginning of this post and in your column assume that those universal policies exist and are agreed upon by everyone in our community. The use of the word “we” in this post assumes a commonality of thought that doesn’t exist.

    Another thing about this post Merritt is You speak of the “sacrifice HPISD is or isn’t willing to make..”. What sacrifices has Jon Langbert made in this situation? And why should we make sacrifices when he is not making the ones that are patently obvious to a lot of us? What sacrifices should he be making? Read my post to @zoe.

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  • November 8, 2010 at 9:41 pm
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    Any adult of either gender who has been a scout, or any adult who has been a scout leader, understands the nature of the problem of homosexuality in scouting. That understanding also makes it much easier to appreciate the position of the military on “Don’t Ask – Don’t Tell”.

    The challenge in accepting homosexuals into scouting isn’t so much the boys or girls themselves, but the problems associated with preventing homosexual BEHAVIORS. Scouting has nothing to do with sex or sexual preferences. There are no “boyfriend” or “girlfriend” or “dating” merit badges, that’s not what scouting is all about. It shouldn’t matter if a scout of either gender might find other scouts of the same gender attractive, just as long as those attractions are NEVER acted upon in association with scouting.

    The problem is almost entirely about ACTING on those attractions; not having them. (This is the same problem the military faced.)

    The challenge is different for adults who are potential scout leaders. Boy Scouts, and Girl Scouts, cannot afford to have a single incident of sexual abuse of a child. Period. Homosexuals must never be allowed to be scout leaders. The risk of damage to a child, lawsuits, and injury to the reputation of scouting is just too great – as we already know.

    It’s not a matter of discriminating against someone; rather, it’s the enormous risk of the behaviors. But, there’s a reason lumber mills don’t even think about hiring pyromaniacs.

    It’s one thing to discriminate against people; it’s another to be discriminating about acceptable behaviors.

    A single incident of pedophilia with a child can ruin that child’s life, and that’s also just one of many horrible and unpleasant consequences. So, it’s never worth the risk.

    I don’t have the answer to how scout leaders develop a magic crystal ball to know which homosexual or self-believed homosexual scouts will or won’t engage in unacceptable behaviors. But, I do believe scouting is important enough in a child’s life to try and find some answers that don’t compromise the principles of scouting, but allow even more children to participate while protecting all of those children from potential harm.

    I don’t think Highland Park is the problem. Rather, I think it is a heightened and natural case of parent awareness and concern that permeates the school and makes the situation so intense.

    I also want to let 1635 know that scouting is not about religion. It never has been. Rather, it respects the Judeo-Christian traditions of America, and promotes respect by scouts for religious beliefs. It IS, however, very patriotic. There’s nothing wrong with that, I trust.

    That said, I applaud Merritt Patterson for taking on a very difficult and controversial topic.

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  • November 8, 2010 at 9:48 pm
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    @ Eric: Is there any indication that the Kanakuk molester has ever had a relationship with an adult male? I believe he was married to a woman, or am I mistaken?

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  • November 8, 2010 at 9:50 pm
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    1635, Unapproved patches are seriously discouraged in scouting. Scout uniforms are not a billboard for protests.

    As I said above, scouting (of either gender) has nothing to do with sex, sexual preferences, assumed sexual orientation, dating, or anything else that has to do with sex. It’s about very different things.

    I think there are solutions for find ways children who MIGHT be oriented toward homosexuality can still participate in scouting, but totally avoid the unwanted and unacceptable behaviors. But, like most successful compromises between people, it starts not with protests but the mutual exchange of views and introspective listening.

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  • November 8, 2010 at 10:04 pm
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    @Eric, we have registered sex offenders in the PC who are heterosexuals.

    Pride and fear is what got Troop 70 into this predicament.

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  • November 8, 2010 at 10:16 pm
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    @ 1635,

    Excellent point regarding access.

    While I don’t believe in BSA’s stance regarding gays, I do recognize their right as a private organization to set their own rules.

    But their access and influence in a public school system is wrong.

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  • November 8, 2010 at 10:25 pm
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    @Eric – Is the story of Pete Newman, former counselor/director at Kanakuk, credible enough for you? Pedophiles come in all shapes, sizes and sexual orientations. One size does not fit all.

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  • November 8, 2010 at 10:37 pm
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    @James – You remind me of N.F. Why are you stuck on this being about Langbert? I agree with the Scout’s position and their hard-fought right to establish social and moral norms for their organization. This is a very unfortunate situation for all parties involved. I’m particularly disappointed for the Scouts who were drawn into this by both sides of the issue – Langbert AND the dads who made his participation an issue after he had clearly established a position in the Troop (with full knowledge of the leadership mind you).

    The question is whether it’s a good idea for HPISD to support organizations who discriminate Period. Although it’s an extreme example, I gotta ask…would you support the KKK holding meetings in our schools?

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  • November 8, 2010 at 11:18 pm
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    Merritt, You and Jon rock! Your efforts to address the issue directly and respectfully are having an impact. Keep it up!

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  • November 8, 2010 at 11:55 pm
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    blah, blah, blah, Scouting has every right to determine its breadth of freedom of association. That’s a constitutional principle, and a right nobody denies.

    We all discriminate. In fact, most of our parents teach us to be discriminating about our friends, where we hang out, and what causes we associate with. In this particular instance, the discrimination is more about damaging and unwanted behaviors than against people.

    I believe Highland Park should continue it long-time traditional support of scouting. Girl Scouts, and Boy Scouts, have produced a number of our community leaders, and certainly leadership in the military, in business, in the arts, in sciences, in government service, and in other areas of career pursuits.

    Having participated in scouting, and as a parent, I believe adult homosexuals should be kept as far away from scouting leadership as possible. The risk is not worth it. But, I do believe there must surely be a way to bring kids who may have same-sex infatuation tendencies into scouting as long as they understand any associative behaviors would be grounds for being expelled. (If they can agree with that rule, which is basically “Don’t Ask – Don’t Tell”, then things might work out just fine.)

    However, I wouldn’t punish scouting or Highland Park because scouting has high moral standards and stands for most of the personal characteristics we try to encourage in our children. It’s not the kids who are “discriminating”; why punish them?

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  • November 9, 2010 at 9:14 am
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    @N.F. – I look forward to the day when you can join the rest of us in the current century.

    It’s also an interesting correlation that you can bring in all kinds of random and nonsensical arguments to this case similar to your arguments on the alcohol sales vote.

    Excellent work all around.

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  • November 9, 2010 at 9:41 am
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    @blah, blah, blah,

    It’s all about Jon Langbert’s reaction and what he is going to do blah, blah, blah. Blah, blah, blah read my previous posts to @blah, blah, blah blah.

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  • November 9, 2010 at 9:58 am
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    Some of the comments on here are so darn subjective; I really can’t understand why some of you make this mental leap that an “out” gay dad could possibly subject Boy Scouts to the potential dangers of pedophilia. Jon made it crystal clear that he was gay before he & Carter ever joined the troop and asked the pack leader if it would be a problem. Additionally, the BSA rules ensure that there are always 2 adults present whenever children are around, which should reassure every parent that the likelihood of their child being approached by ANY predator (male, female, gay or straight) in a Scout setting is highly unlikely. I realize that the BSA on a national level doesn’t know Jon personally, but on a local level, he is known by the school administration, the pack and the community of friends and neighbors. I do believe it is within HPISD’s capabilities to help correct this unfortunate situation. If they are unable to flat-out remove the Scout meetings from the school, they could certainly help negotiate some sort of positive resolution by working with the Cub Scouts and other local entities to find a more appropriate location for the meetings than school property. We all pay a fortune in taxes to have our kids attend school here; imagine if you were Jon and had to write a annual 5-figure tax check to assist a district that permits organizations to openly discriminate against you? It’s just not right…and somewhere, there is a compromise that could be reached if the district cared to step in.

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  • November 9, 2010 at 10:21 am
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    @1635. You are spot on. HPISD can’t deny access for meetings but it doesn’t have to let them use the intercom.

    Merritt, could you look into that angle? You could get lots of support, I bet, for stopping HPISD’s other avenues of endorsement through the school/troop partnerships.

    PTAs are independent organizations, make their own decisions about newsletter contents, could push the BSA all they want and sponsor troops, just as in the past some of our schools’ PTAs have printed Jesus-y Bible verses to enlighten their Jewish members. (Hmm…would stopping access to buildings for outside groups mean PTAs couldn’t meet at schools either?)

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  • November 9, 2010 at 10:58 am
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    Many of you simply miss the point that Scouting is about the kids and not the parents. Don’t like the BSA policies? Then quit. Go find another activity. Looking at the boy scout troop website(not the cub scout pack), they have been meeting at UP Elementary since 1930. 80 years. Look at the names of the Eagle Scouts. Dozens I recognize by name as community leaders. Many of you are hell bent on ruining that all for your petty opinions.

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  • November 9, 2010 at 11:03 am
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    Margot keller, There are frequently not two adults around scouts of either genders. People get sick, have family emergencies, can’t make camping trips or field trips, and have other demands that frequently leave scouts with one adult. So, that’s no protection.

    The protection, like the pyromaniac in the lumber yard, is not to allow homosexuals to become scout leaders. It’s just not worth the risk to the children, and to scouting. Under “Don’t Ask – Don’t Tell”, the focus is on unwanted behaviors. I would propose, for the scouts (boy or girl), that might be able to work. But, How do you know which gay adult is most likely to be a potential child molester?

    It is not, and should never be, up to the school district to negotiate operational decisions in scouting simply because scouts meet in school buildings. In fact, too many schools are already meddling in way too many things instead of placing their focus where it needs to be.

    We all pay five-figure taxes. That has nothing to do with the Boy Scouts; and shouldn’t. Homosexuality is wholly inconsistent with, and antithetical to, the purposes of scouting. As I said above, there is nothing in scouting that is about sex; no merit badges, no nothing. That’s the way it should be.

    If parents want to teach their children about homosexuals, they can and should do that at home. But, scouting, like basketball or the YMCA, is not the place.

    I do believe it is possible to allow children into scouting who may be confused (or no longer confused) about attractions to the opposite sex. I don’t have the magic answer for how to do it and assure protection for the rest of the kids – which has to be the primary goal. But, I remain committed that homosexual adults should never be anywhere near scouting, especially if they are public about it.

    But, I’m glad Merritt brought the subject up. It needs to be discussed.

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  • November 9, 2010 at 11:34 am
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    Bill, I couldn’t agree more. Scouting has made a positive contribution to our community for decades. For boys and girls, it teaches self-reliance, team work, leadership, resourcefulness, all kinds of skills, why smoking grapevine is not so much fun, respect for authority, and patriotism as well as an understanding of government.

    As you said, the focus is on the kids, where it should be. Our community is fortunate to have men and women willing to serve as scout leaders, and to mentor children into responsible and capable adults. The School District, representing and supported by Park Cities tax payers, should continue to support this worthwhile contribution to our children and our community.

    But, I’m glad this is being discussed. Too often, I think we take for granted many of the assets that make our community the great place it is.

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  • November 9, 2010 at 11:45 am
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    I’m starting the Park Cities branch of young Ku Klux Klan groups for children. Obviously you must be lily white and “conservative” christian to join, we’ll be holding meetings in the auditoriums of all 4 elementary schools, and the middle school. We’ll be sending out our recruitment info in the kids Friday Folders, we’ll be making announcements at all the schools during morning annoucements – recruiting all the kids – who are White Christian – and whose parents are White Christian as well, of course! If a kid is adopted, and he is pure white – but his parents are of another race? The kid can attend, but his parents ARE NOT WELCOME of course! Y’all are all ok with this, yes? Of course you are! We’re a private organization and can do what we want, and we are SO GLAD that the Park Cities will allow us to spread our views of hate and bigotry in the public schools! ITS AWESOME YOU GUYS! THANK YOU!

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  • November 9, 2010 at 11:48 am
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    @NF: Girl Scouts and many other youth groups have effective procedures to protect their children from pedophiles, while still allowing membership by gays and (God forbid) atheists and agnostics. In fact, if you look at the BSA’s own statements, they are quite candid that their anti-gay policies are not intended as a way to prevent pedophiles from having access to children. Rather, BSA states that homosexuals are, BY DEFINITION, “unclean” and not “morally straight.” Likewise, BSA’s position is that athiests and agnostics cannot be the “best kind of citizens.” Those are BSA’s stated reasons for excluding these persons from membership and from adult leadership positions. Now, maybe you agree with those positions, and that is fine. But the question is the extent to which our public schools should be “partners” with BSA in teaching these particular religious and moral judgments to our children. FYI, I am a former Cub Scout and former Boy Scout, and have children in HPISD.

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  • November 9, 2010 at 11:57 am
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    Can someone tell me where all the BSA “influence” is at the school levels? They may hold meetings there, but I have been at HP schools for over ten years and have never seen a BSA announcement in my school newsletter.

    HPISD is not obligated to “fix” this situation. It is a no win for them all around–however they decide, someone will complain. The US Military has been trying to settle “Don’t Ask” for the last 20 years and has failed miserably. Yet, we are expecting a school who allows religious lunchtime “visitors” to the school to act? The schools have enough on their plate with the bullies, drugs, etc. If everyone is so offended by the school’s participation, how ’bout this group of parents fix it by themselves? Meet at someone’s house like we used to in the old days.

    Change will come from one thing–lack of participation. If you have a problem with BSA’s policy, don’t let your kids participate. How about directing all this rage to a write in campaign to BSA instead of the blog? If the majority decides the policy is antiquated, BSA will be forced to change.

    By the way PCP, does this mean you won’t publish the names and pictures of Eagle Scouts anymore? Doesn’t the same pressure that applies to the schools apply to you?

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  • November 9, 2010 at 12:07 pm
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    Nice hyperbolic rant kmom. As we all know, the BSA is exactly like the Klan. Awesome use of caps.

    Guess we now know what the k stands for.

    Seriously kmom, start whatever you want if the law permits it. I might not join, but I’ll respect your right to associate with those of your choosing.

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  • November 9, 2010 at 12:07 pm
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    kmom, I’m curious what kind of shovel you bought that would allow you to dig so deep into the swamp that you could compare scouting with the KKK or even infer that scouting is about hate and bigotry. Do you have any idea how outrageous that is?

    You apparently don’t know much about scouting. If you ever go to a Jamboree, you will see parents of all shapes, sizes, colors, nationalities, healthy and handicapped, racially-mixed, tall and short, and so on. (If there are gay parents there, they don’t announce it; “Don’t Ask – Don’t Tell”. Nothing is going on at the events that has to do with sex.)

    It is not hate or bigotry to want to protect kids from being sexually molested or abused. That you may think otherwise is your right. But, you can only imagine how strange that sounds.

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  • November 9, 2010 at 11:17 am
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    N.F. says, “Homosexuality is wholly inconsistent with, and antithetical to, the purposes of scouting.”

    So the purpose of scouting is heterosexual sex acts? That’s the only thing “wholly inconsistent.”

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  • November 9, 2010 at 11:27 am
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    Before someone takes me to task on this, let me pull back ever so slightly: I should’ve said “categorically” instead “by definition.” The more accurate way to describe BSA’s position, based on its own statements, would be that it believes that homosexual conduct is not “clean” and not “morally straight.”   Therefore, all homosexuals are categorically excluded from membership.

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  • November 9, 2010 at 11:36 am
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    NF, must stand for Neandrethalic Fool.
    Pyro/Lumberyard and gay/pedophile aren’t in the same ballpark. I was in Boy Scouts and I was an altar boy. The creepiness that was/is the altar boy/priest relationship was far and away worse than anything I, or my friends, encountered in scouts. In scouts, I couldn’t tell you if the leaders were gay, straight or bent. It never came up. In creepy catholic world, we knew the priests were supposed to be celibate, but…well we all know how that’s gone down.
    You equate gay=pedophile. Wrong. Gay people like people of their own sex. Pedophiles like minors.
    I doubt the “Gay Jew UP Dad” was plying his troop with Jesus Juice while regalling them with stories from Cedar Springs and Pride Parades.
    Is it their right to discriminate? Yes.
    Is it right? That’s now a matter of opinion.

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  • November 9, 2010 at 11:44 am
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    1635, I depart with several of my friends on some of these questions. Most of them don’t want gay scouts, scout leaders, parents, teachers, or anything else in the Park Cities.

    That’s their right.

    I know what BSA says about homosexuality, and they have a point, as you know. The real problem boils down to homosexual practices and behaviors; not the people, themselves. But, the huge risk of sexual predators is not something to ignore.

    We could debate the science all day about whether there are really homosexually-disposed children. Generally, I think there are not, but there do seem to be some. But, where scouting is concerned, I don’t think it should matter. What DOES matter is so much as a single instance of homosexual behavior. (Boys play with Barbie; girls play with GI Joe; the world won’t stop turning. That’s obviously not what I’m talking about.)

    Scouting really is all about the kids. The kids are all about our futures. So, that’s where the focus should be.

    I actually don’t have a problem with gay parents participating with their kids, as long as they are not a distraction or make a public point about being gay. They just can’t be scout leaders.

    Scouting, for boys and girls, is such a good experience that I wish all children could participate. But, the leadership in scouting, like leadership in anything else involving children, also become role modeling.

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  • November 9, 2010 at 12:05 pm
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    @nf: Your response to kmom is confusing. Yes, BSA is to be commended for its inclusiveness, as far as it goes. But BSA excludes children and adults from membership based on their religious beliefs (in the case of agnostics), or based on being insufficiently religious (in the case of atheists). For the stated reason that such people cannot be “the best kind of citizens.” That is what it teaches the children. Is this not bigotry? How is that different from a group at our public schools that excludes Jews? Or that excludes Baptists?

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  • November 9, 2010 at 12:06 pm
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    I cannot believe the absolute ignorance of comparing homosexual scout leaders to pyromaniacs in a lumber yard. Seriously? Pedophilia isn’t so much about being attracted to children as being attracted to perversion and power. I am saddened that so often homosexuality is equated with perversion. Just keep your blinders on people. Oh, by the way, my brother was molested by a straight, married boy scout troop leader many years ago.

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  • November 9, 2010 at 12:11 pm
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    Grump, Mel Gibson should have done a musical film called “Blind Men In Tights” for those who completely missed the point. I knew somebody would try and suggest I was comparing homosexuals with pyromaniacs, but I never suspected it would be you.

    I didn’t compare or contrast the two. The entire matter was about “risk”. Smoking around dynamite in a plant might have no impact. But, the risk is much higher that the entire plant will be blown into smithereens. By that same token, there is a much higher risk of sexual abuse of a child with homosexual scout leaders.

    I have several friends who are gay, and work with some doing volunteer work. They’re fine people. Some are even Republicans. But, where several of them are concerned, they wouldn’t be my first choice for babysitters. (Actually, in other cases, a couple of them WOULD be high on that list.)

    The point was about risk, not equating arsonists with fire-starting merit badges.

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  • November 9, 2010 at 12:25 pm
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    OMGreally? I don’t see any need to insult you over your inability to read, comprehend, and understand risk comparisons. It was obviously my fault for not taking all levels of understanding into account.

    No straight adult male ever sexually molested a male child, because the adult ain’t “straight” – by definition. You’re right as far as you go about power. But, you didn’t go very far. It’s a much more complicated topic that is, thankfully, finally getting the in-depth and expansive study it deserves in science.

    I’m sorry about your brother. It is often the case that just one incident of sexual molestation can ruin a child’s life.

    That’s why it’s not worth the risk in scouting.

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  • November 9, 2010 at 12:40 pm
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    Man, will we be the laughingstock of the country with this thread. N.F, et al., you really sound like people straight out of the 50s/60s before the civil rights movement. Try substituting “black” for “homosexual.” It’s ugly.
    I’ve got an idea…why don’t we all read To Kill a Mockingbird and have book club next week?

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  • November 9, 2010 at 12:48 pm
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    NF,
    Your comment is illogical…
    “By that same token, there is a much higher risk of sexual abuse of a child with homosexual scout leaders.”
    I like women. I like girl scout cookies. But when a girl scout comes to my door selling cookies, I don’t jump her.
    The base attraction is for a woman, not a girl. Your implication is that a Gay Jew UP Dad might not be able to help himself with boys. Why not imply that he might jam a Menorrah in the boy’s hand and make him go to Temple?

    There is no proof that a child is more at risk with a hetero vs homo for pedophilia. Apples & Oranges.
    And…anyone that feels the need to belong to a party party party(Rep or Dem) has attachment issues.
    “Some are even Republicans”. Wow. That’s just, wow. Silly. Goofy. Thank you for the laugh.

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  • November 9, 2010 at 1:18 pm
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    LM, Homosexuals are not a constitutionally protected minority. The 1957 Civil Rights Bill by Eisenhower, and the 1964 Civil Rights bill by Johnson, were mostly about blacks, but expanded by the courts to cover other minorities.

    There is no solid scientific proof that homosexuality is not a choice. I think there will be, before long, but there isn’t now. Civil Rights is all about people who cannot physically change what they are.

    That may not seem like much of a difference, but it’s a huge difference.

    You cannot substitute black for homosexual.

    P.S. Looks like the “attachment issue” folks didn’t do bad on Election Day.

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  • November 9, 2010 at 1:31 pm
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    NF, I swear I’m not trying to sound like a smart-aleck, but the comment that you know “some (gays) that are even Republican” makes me so crazy, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. That comment just reeks of old-school conservative Christian entitlement. The kind that discourages new ideas and tries to smother independent thinking. What you’re really saying is that you & everyone/everything you hold dear is reflected by the Republican platform and that much to your shock, even some sexually deviant gay-types share your same political views. Who knew, lol??? What other strange bedfellows can be found in out community? Well, this may surprise you; there are actually a boatload of Democrats in the PC and some of them even go to Park Cities Baptist Church! They might be sitting next to you at Kuby’s or even worse, teaching your children. News alert: It’s 2010, not 1962…we are not all the same in the Bubble anymore!

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  • November 9, 2010 at 1:56 pm
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    Grump, I don’t at all believe in discriminating against homosexuals. I hope I made that clear. I wouldn’t even entertain the notion that you would jump girls selling cookies.

    I don’t have the magic combination to know which homosexuals might molest children, and which ones would not, in a setting such as scouting. So, I’d rather not take a chance than take the risk of calling it wrong. One incident can ruin a child’s life. It’s not worth it.

    There are enough challenges for kids these days without introducing new ones that aren’t necessary.

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  • November 9, 2010 at 2:16 pm
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    NF, that’s right! Blacks and other minorities weren’t protected before the civil rights movement. People, who talked like you do now, were insistent that blacks didn’t deserve equality or need protection under the law.
    Black men were vilified as inferior beings who lusted after white women. Homosexuals are vilified as inferior beings lusting after children. We need to protect minorities’ rights with laws precisely because that’s the only way we change discrimination. Most people would find it hard to accept now that black people had to sit in the back of the bus or women couldn’t vote or sit on juries. But we changed those practices only by passing laws. And the laws were changed with the help of civil disobedience and people speaking up for things that they considered wrong–just like on this blog! We have to continue to speak up for the rights of people whose sexual orientation is different than our own, which goes back to the argument that HPISD should end its partnership with BSA.

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  • November 9, 2010 at 2:49 pm
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    BusyGuy, I don’t think everyone in the Park Cities is a Republican, I’M NOT A REPUBLICAN, I don’t sit at Kuby’s – I go in and buy what I need for my family and leave, and Dick Davis could tell you more about who goes to PCBC than I could. I haven’t read the Republican platform, and I presume there are a number of Democrats in U.P.

    My comment about some gays being Republicans was said in jest.

    Try not to take yourself so seriously. It comes across really strange.

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  • November 9, 2010 at 2:54 pm
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    NF – I got your attempt at “risk comparison.” My point, which clearly went beyond your level of comprehension and intuitiveness, was that you equated “homosexuals as troop leaders” to an obviously stupid decision. And that is faulty logic. Which you are really good at.

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  • November 9, 2010 at 3:00 pm
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    LM, I trust, “People, who talked like you do now, were insistent that blacks didn’t deserve equality or need protection under the law.” doesn’t suggest something utterly wrong like proposing I believe blacks or homosexuals are not equal.

    I believe in protecting children as much as possible in an increasingly threatening and difficult world. I also believe scouting, for boys and girls, is a valuable experience. THAT’S WHY I SUGGESTED ABOVE THAT CHILDREN WHICH MAY BE DISPOSED TO BE OR BECOME HOMOSEXUALS SHOULD STILL HAVE A CHANCE AT GETTING INTO SCOUTING.

    I guess you must have missed that part.

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  • November 9, 2010 at 3:07 pm
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    For what it’s worth, nf, I understood your comment about gay Republicans to be tongue-in-cheek. But I’m still waiting on your explanation as to why it is OK – and not bigotry – for a child-centered, child-recruiting-at-a-public-school group to exclude certain children based solely on their religious beliefs. I think that was kmom’s point.

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  • November 9, 2010 at 3:25 pm
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    Can anyone provide data (by credible sources) that links homosexuality with pedophelia?

    The “logic” that there is no way to determine which homosexual might molest children, so therefore it is best to excluse ALL homosexuals, isn’t flawed, it’s imbecilic. Since we also know that some pedophiles are heterosexual, I guess the extension of your logic would be that adult males should not be around young children. You know, just to be safe.

    I guess that “logic” could never end. Fathers sometime murder their own children, so we should not allow children to be around their fathers, since we can not tell which fathers will murder their children. Some mothers murder…

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  • November 9, 2010 at 3:32 pm
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    N.F., Totally serious question so I can understand a little better where you are coming from. Would you let your son spend the night at a friend’s house if only the heterosexual mom was home? Would you trust her to control herself and not molest him? If you are just hyper-vigilant in making sure that no one ever touches your child inappropriately, at least I can chalk that up to being an over-protective parent. Unfortunately, I think that is probably not the case. I think you believe homosexuals are deviants, not to be trusted, and that because they like male adults, that means they would likely also want to have relations with male children. But please correct me if I am wrong.

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  • November 9, 2010 at 4:21 pm
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    @ N.F: I don’t know which apparent heterosexuals are going to molest my kids in scouts either! Please loan me your crystal ball that shows which married men with kids at home are closeted pedophiles, so I can keep my kids away from them.
    It is pure ignorance to lump homosexuals with pedophiles. One has NOTHING to do with the other. I have also been a scout leader and I would prefer that my kids be around people who know who they are and admit it to the world. My gut feeling from working with scout parents in the park cities is that there are a lot of married, closeted homosexuals who participate. I never had any bad experiences with the scouts, but prefer that my kids be around mature adults who accept themselves rather than closeted conflicted individuals who are ashamed of who they are. We need to learn as a society to accept people.
    I also believe that at some point it will be clear that sexual orientation is no more a choice than eye color.

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  • November 9, 2010 at 10:21 pm
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    my problem with gay rights is that it is
    currently connected with entire spectrum
    of LGBT.
    until the L and G separate themselves, they
    will not get my support.
    Bs are just greedy and Ts, after they have
    been “transformed” are no longer gay.

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  • November 10, 2010 at 3:29 am
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    Most pedophiles are men. Most victims of sexual abuse are girls. By your logic, NF, Hockaday shouldn’t employ male teachers. The risk is simply too high. And we shouldn’t have any cub scout moms volunteering either because we don’t want another Mary Kay Letourneau on our hands. Or we could just, I don’t know, pressure the local chapters of the BSA to follow the rules and make sure there are always two adults present.

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  • November 10, 2010 at 3:48 am
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    Because male pedophiles far outnumber female, it’s more likely than not that a pedophile targeting any youth organization would be a man. If a male pedophile joined the BSA and abused a member, it could be categorized as a homosexual incident of abuse because it occurred between two males. NF seems to think that the solution is simple: no homosexuals, no sex abuse in the cub scouts! But wait a second, NF. What if the pedophile has a wife and kids? Is he straight because he’s married to a woman or is he gay because he victimized a boy?

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  • November 10, 2010 at 12:04 pm
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    Does anyone (Merritt) know how many groups would be affected if HPISD stops allowing private groups to use its facilities? If anyone knows, please post it, along with some of the group names it you have them.

    It seems that all groups discriminate to some degree: club sports teams discriminate agains the unathletic, Girl Scouts discriminate against boys, Theater groups discriminate against the acting-challenged, book clubs discriminate against the illiterite… So – seems that all groups would be disallowed.

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  • November 10, 2010 at 12:55 pm
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    Hey B! Might want to spellcheck ” illiterate” next time-unless you are one-

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  • November 10, 2010 at 2:16 pm
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    true, I’m a terrible speller – josh, I feel so discriminated against…

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  • November 10, 2010 at 5:13 pm
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    *gosh
    I feel certain that any potential leadership positions at the UPPL are pretty much gone now – with 2 misspellings on the same day.

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  • November 11, 2010 at 10:24 pm
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    Make that three. We’ve got “discrimation” in the headline, don’t forget.

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  • November 13, 2010 at 9:34 am
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    Just an aside: My child has been hearing one girl at Bradfield brag about “being a member of DCC” for years. When I told my sister-in-law this, she commented, ” “Poor dear. She doesn’t know that there ARE no female members of DCC. Or Brookhollow.” The full, real “MEMBERS,” without any qualifying adjectives like “Associate” attached to them, are all MEN.

    It is 2010 and no one around here seems to think THAT is weird.

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  • November 13, 2010 at 12:03 pm
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    This one was awesome. My favorite was that scouting is not about the parents. Please attend a Troop 82 meeting and get back to me about the roll of dads…maybe it’s changed since my Eagle days.

    I remain amazed that Scouts were such a big part of the Park Cities that I could go to my girlfriend’s house after Mondy night meetings with my high socks, short shorts and everything and we could make out. And she was a PCBCr. My Yankee wife looks at those pics and thinks I was a dork.

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  • November 14, 2010 at 4:31 am
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    1. Troop 70 leaders are very careful and spend a ton of time coordinating to make sure that there are ALWAYS multiple leaders and multiple boys. They are trained not to let a parent leave a boy when there’s no other leader around. There are a lot of leaders and a ton of e-mails ensuring adult leader attendance and support. You’d be challenged to point to a time there’s not another leader around.
    2. The local Pack 70 and their leadership welcomed the Dad. It was other homophobic parents that admitted that they do not volunteer with the scouts that marched to the national level to complain. Had they simply volunteered and worked with the Dad, their child wouldn’t have been alone. It’s a good father/son bonding experience. And these complaining Dads can meet their sons friends and other scouts. And they could have worked with and along side a very nice person who happens to be homosexual.
    3. Troop 70 and Pack 70 have kids from a variety of religions – both Christian and Jewish. I’ve camped with them before, but I never asked a scout about his religious beliefs. The Sunday service is non-denominational.
    4. The school is the best place for this troop to meet. The only other free places are churches and synagogues. Then the Troop is associated with a specific religion. This troop enjoys its association with the school. They celebrated their 80th anniversary this year. The troop will help with the annual carnival at the school. They planted new bushes around the school. The Troop and Pack is open and is working to support the boys and help them grow into responsible leaders in our community.
    5. Troop 70 & Pack 70 are fine organizations. Don’t bash them and their association with UP Elementary because of this.

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  • July 17, 2011 at 4:13 pm
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    While your argument may stand up morally, there is a simple solution to this entire issue. BSA policy does not rule out homosexuality entirely. Rather, it disallows open and avowed homosexuals from serving as volunteers. This is because Scouting is not the environment to discuss sexual issues, from either side of the debate. A homosexual can serve in the BSA as much as he wants, as long as he does not bring up matters regarding his sexuality during his work. This is not a difficult task, I think you’ll agree. And regardless, what you are trying to get HPISD to do is what hundreds of branches of the ACLU are trying to do to troops and packs all over the country. There aren’t enough churches (the only place far-lefts seems to think scouts can use) in America to charter every Scout unit in America. Boy Scouts need a meeting place, and there is absolutely no reason why public buildings cannot work as that place. The BSA’s discriminatory policies you love to bring up affect in reality a very small fraction of those trying to join. Forcing acceptance of a minority’s views, as your course of action attempts to do, is not the same as protecting their views. The governor of our state, Rick Perry, wrote a book on the subject, call On My Honor. I recommend it to anyone attempting to argue about this.

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