However, Laurie Higgins decided to direct her focus at my kid's school, and in particular at the Challenge Day program they are bringing over. Before I go on, there are two things you should understand about O'Fallon: we are the dead center of the most conservative area of St. Clair County (many residents are current or past Department of Defense workers, as Scott Air force Base is quite close), and our school system has plenty of money (we have 2 new schools built in the past 2 years). So, we really don't need some conservative wingnut protecting our family values, we already have an elected school board that is almost as right-wing anyhow. I'm not going to pretend I have enough information on the program to evaluate its true value, and am skeptical of any week inducing a life-changing experience on people (shy of physical trauma), but if this program was really just some touchy-feely lib-fest, it would not have been funded.
Of course, Ms. Higgins has to pull out some made-for-right-wing expert testimony, and her choice is the book One Nation Under God, a book described as "...a literary version of the thankfully defunct TV show "Crossfire"' and 'They are also waging a dated war against an imagined army of censorious liberals, ... It is culture-wars kitsch'. This of course makes them fabulous sources for a blog devoted to those culture wars.
Fortunately, we get to find out the real problems directly from Ms. Higgins. She quotes from the website:
Challenge Day successfully addresses some common issues seen at most schools during our school programs including cliques, gossip, rumors, negative judgments, teasing, harassment, isolation, stereotypes, intolerance, racism, sexism, bullying, violence, homophobia, (emphasis added) hopelessness, apathy, and hidden pressures to create an image, achieve or live up to the expectations of others....Be challenged to celebrate the diversity of ALL people.
Note that I did not add the emphasis, nor did the goals of Challenge Day. The emphasis is being added by Ms. Higgins, because that's the stuff that's really concerning. Not that she approves of stereotypes, intolerance, sexism, or homophobia. Just because she thinks children should be pulled from school when teh school allows protesting homophobia does not mean she supports it herself, no siree. She just doesn't think children should be exposed to other children opposing homophobia. You know, because being exposed to homophobia-opposition will be so damaging for the kids.
Ms. Higgins, your attention is not needed, productive, interesting, nor welcome.