Feeling zoned out
By Tom Mountain, Newton Tab
Newton, Massachusetts - May 18, 2005
"SAFE ZONES WORKSHOP COMING UP: What is a Safe Zone? A Safe Zone can be a person or place where gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, questioning and allied individuals feel supported and respected. Offices, classrooms and individuals are examples of Safe Zones. Safe Zones is just one way to display one's commitment to being an ally for GLBTQ individuals in the NNHS community. How does one become a Safe Zone...? Volunteers participate in a 60- minute workshop, which focuses on issues that GLBTQ people face and how we can be successful allies."
And so read the formal notification sent out by the Newton North High School administration to every household with children at the school.
It's reasonable to assert that at this point we should all be used to the weirdness that passes for normalcy among the generously paid staff at Newton North, since hardly a month goes by without some new oddity occurring that leaves the rest of us staring in disbelief. One would think that with the school bearing the brunt of ridicule and revulsion these past several months across the media from talk radio to the evening news to Fox's "O'Reilly Factor," the North administration would perhaps get the hint that maybe - just maybe - they ought to rein in the PC lunacy for awhile.
But realize that we're talking about a school run by a principal who at last year's graduation preached about the greatest accomplishments of the past 50 years - the civil rights movement, the moon landings, the legalization of gay marriage. To put gay marriage in this unique historical category is odd in itself, but to publicly declare it to several thousand students, staff and parents, and assume that they would all nod in unison, is indicative of a mindset that is out of touch with the mainstream.
Even if it dawns on the North High administrators that a number of students and parents are becoming increasingly annoyed at their peculiar fixation on GLBTQ Safe Zones, the Day of Silence, To Be GLAD Day, etc., it's unlikely that they'll ever decelerate their obsession with all things gay. This is, after all, a school which declared that 10 percent of the student body is gay, bisexual or transgendered - around 220 students. But there seems to be no one at the school who can locate and identify so many North students pursing these alternative lifestyles. Whenever I inquire about this figure, I'm usually meant with a hostile reaction for even daring to raise the question.
After all, these Newton North educators, with the full backing of the superintendent and School Committee, are on a sacred mission to indoctrinate and expose as many students as possible to their gay agenda - Auburndale and The Lake be damned.
And if the parishioners at St. Bernard's or the Myrtle Baptist Church don't quite agree that the legalization of gay marriage is the historical equivalent of the Apollo 11 moon landing, well, that's all the more reason to drill into their children the joyous wonders of alternative lifestyles. And besides, they have a captive audience with their kids 180 days each year over four years of high school. That's a long time for indoctrination.
And they'll do whatever it takes to stop those pesky intrusive parents from interfering with their mission, even to the point of physically ejecting parents from their gay forums while threatening them with arrest, as they did at last December's "To Be GLAD Day" forum at Newton North.
This time, to ensure total secrecy, they banned all parents from attending last week's Safe Zone Workshop. At this point, they'd rather lock down the school and call in the cops before they'd let another parent into one of their clandestine gay forums.
The very existence of a GLBTQ Safe Zone would lead to the reasonable conclusion that gay students are both in danger and routinely harassed at Newton North, hence the necessity of a "Safe Zone" to prevent such harm to these seemingly persecuted students. If this is the case, then surely the North administration and the school department would be eager to produce evidence of such a pattern of harassment and discrimination against gay students, as it would be in their best interest to demonstrate to a skeptical public the dire need for such "Safe Zones."
Since there are state laws specifically designed to prohibit such harassment and discrimination against gay students, surely Superintendent Young and Principal Huntington can document the numerous violations of this law that would warrant the necessity for such "Safe Zones" at Newton North.
And if there really is a demonstrative pattern of discrimination and harassment against gay students, as logically presumed by the presence of "Safe Zones," then isn't it reasonable to conclude that the school department (led by Jeffrey Young) has been derelict in its duty for not protecting gay students?
Besides, if it's so dangerous, or at the very least, so inhospitable for Newton North gay students that the school must protect them with "Safe Zones," why would any of them want to attend school there? And if it really is so bad for these students, where are all the class-action suits, civil rights violations, or criminal complaints filed against the perpetrators of this anti-gay harassment and discrimination?
But the truth is Newton North is not unsafe for any group of students, gay or otherwise. The public knows this, and so does the school department. Because if any anti-gay violence or harassment occurred at Newton North, school administrators would be falling over each other to express their pain and outrage to the public and media.
And so we're confronted with the obvious conclusion that the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered "Safe Zone" at Newton North is just one more glaring example of the suffocating politically correct nonsense that students and parents are forced to put up with because of a small but zealous band of loathsome administrators, staff and School Committee members who should have been booted out of the Newton Public Schools long ago.