The biggest takeaway from the Ludington Area School District (LASD) Board of Education meeting on the evening of September 18th has to be how officials from the school along with the local newspaper do their best to smother controversies that involve the school and its policies.
The meeting's agenda packet showed there was basically three action items, the approval of a $4 million plus bond payment covering constructions at the HS?MS complex, spending $37.5 thousand on a Kubota UTV for supplemental maintenance by staff, and $69 thousand for supplemental furniture purchases. They went into closed session to reenact their action from the last meeting, so they would be less likely to be sued for Open Meetings Act violations they may have done by going into that session without proper protocols followed, and then they rejected a FOIA request based on records of that possibly unlawful meeting held based on the premise that they finally mentioned that a lawyer's 'written legal opinion' was the reason for secrecy.
The school board deemed that the public was not subject to know what the 'written legal opinion' was generally about and has still not formally claimed the privilege. The reenactment only cured a small part of the impropriety they committed by going into closed session without a legitimate purpose, and they will be receiving a notice that the only way to avoid a lawsuit is to explain what legal issue required this level of secrecy from the public that funds them.
This latter issue appeared to be a big deal for the local newspaper, they spilled more than half of the ink on their recap of the board meeting on this topic without claiming why it was an issue. A casual reader would think that it was the City of Ludington Daily News (COLDNews) that did the FOIA request as much as they went into it without ever mentioning who made this an issue.
But it wasn't, and the whole article shows at what lengths the local media of record will avoid actual issues rather than relay them to the general public, even when they are brought to the surface by multiple people at these meetings. In similar fashion, the clerk of the school board will only indicate in their minutes that "six citizens addressed the board" rather than the issues they all brought to the table. Let's look at the new issue first.
I heard of this last week and figured it might be brought to the board's attention by those with more information on it than me at this meeting. I was not disappointed as three parents spoke out about it. The basic issue is that there is a male student who identifies as a female who wants to be homecoming queen, and it has disrupted the process, because other male students have passed on being considered for the spot of king, because they apparently do not want to be paired with a gender-dysphoric guy. The queen candidates who are biologically female are likely worried too, because it surely would be demeaning for them to lose the queen title to a gender-dysphoric guy; it's bad enough they may have to compete against them in what used to be strictly girls' sports.
The school is in a bit of a pickle and one of the alternatives to extricating themselves from it is to close down the traditional king and queen roles and have them be called 'ambassadors' or something similar, with school administrators reducing the field to those who have shown themselves to be exemplary students through academics, athletics, and school spirit. That's how the superintendent explained it to me last week and it may be how they go forth in electing the 'ambassador court' by the students. Many parents and students aren't willing to give up on tradition so easily.
Josie Hackert introduced the topic, alerting the board to Counselor Laura Powers telling her that the school 'keeping up with the culture' by considering the biological male as a queen, she proclaimed Powers had an agenda. She pointed out all of the other schools in the area that still hold traditional courts and wondered when the woke nonsense would end. Another woman nearby named Joy mirrored Josie's comment, noted the majority of kids are upset with the changes, and asserted that the cultural of change Ms. Powers is overseeing is peddling lies.
Another woman followed, who only offered her first name Denise, who said she talked with her son about the homecoming issue and was surprised nothing was put on the agenda about it. She reiterated the point about other area schools retaining homecoming courts with kings and queens and pondered about what will happen in powder puff games the district sponsors should false-girls participate and damage real girls.
The school's solution is to take the two gender roles out of the equation and make it more of a meritocracy rather than a direct democracy by the students, and this may make legal sense in these troubling times, but it does steal the dream that parents and students have in achieving these traditional roles or helping their son or daughter do so. Since it isn't fair to either party to have girls go against boy-girls for a gender-based role, maybe we should just have a third member of the court called 'Jack' or 'Jackie' so the LGBTQ+ crowd doesn't feel left out. This allows for kings and queens to remain biological boys and girls respectively, but it has its own problems.
Unfortunately, there is no solution that will satisfy everyone when you add irrational elements to the traditional equation. Superintendent would speak of the complexity of the issue and their current solution, the board, as expected had nothing to add.
The board has been talking about this issue, yet still haven't did anything on their part. A library program meant to expand the amount of resources for students to use for school has been found to have other things within it which makes that purpose seem almost problematical. The problem is that elementary students can receive some adult-oriented material, or at least material that isn't appropriate for their age. The local library is a repository for a lot of LGBTQ+ reading, and some of this is aimed at the very young and available to them via the program which doesn't have enough parental oversight.
Sheila Genter-Krause was the first to speak to the board and presented them with about a dozen images from three books reflecting some of the books available to fifth graders at the elementary school through the Unbounded program (one of them shown above). She had offered similar misgivings about "Gender Queer" at last month's meeting, and was shocked when she went to the children's area in the library and found these titles with some very explicit content about alternative lifestyles, content that would likely not be placed in the hands of young kids if it was explicitly describing consensual heterosexual acts.
Jennie Wilson spoke fourth that night and commented more generally on both issues. She stated our current culture has its problems, with people creating their own morality, allowing for the acceptance of odd things taught to invert our overall morality. The culture of tolerance and mass confusion has led to the loss of our moral compass. She urged the board to empower our children by offering them the truth, rather than lies.
I would finish off the comments, noting that they needed to hear something from the male citizens too. And I brought forth three things. I couldn't help but work the recent turf-suspected injury of football superstar Aaron Rodgers into the continuing conversation I plan on keeping with the hazardous Astroturf the board bought. I also couldn't help but comment on the FOIA/OMA issue before them which they tried to finesse themselves out of trouble (and failed). I finished on the Unbounded issue offering them my assistance to correct the problems present in the current way it was run. The solution is a lot simpler than the solution for Wokecoming.
XLFD: "NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers had a serious injury that appears to have been caused by the artificial turf of Metlife Stadium, a fake field that has ruined the legs of many promising athletes. The NFL Players Association came out with a statement the next day calling on the NFL to make quality grass surfaces the standard for every field. In Ludington, the same people who oversaw bond spending that effectively lost the district three school gymnasiums for athletic practice, gave us Astroturf on Oriole Field, an inferior and more expensive surface to play football and soccer on. We were promised by the former superintendent to have discussion on this topic, the public was not given that chance before this board spent $1.4 million dollars on this boondoggle.
Reading the packet, I worry that the board has decided to reenact their vote to go into the questionable closed session they went into at the last meeting. The Open Meetings Act explicitly allows the board to go into closed session to chat with their lawyer only when they have specific pending litigation, while the purpose they cite only allows for them to look at documents that have been given attorney-client privilege. The attorney-client privilege does not apply to every communication with an attorney. For the privilege to exist, the communication must be to, from, or with an attorney, and intended to be confidential. In addition, the communication must be for the purpose of requesting or receiving legal advice. The board has taken great pains to not release the general nature of the legal issue that spawned this written communication, even now, and that may be considered illegal. Privilege has never been invoked in any case.
Lastly, I've been shadowed over this year by Emily Garland from the county library at these meetings, at the last meeting she showed the elementary kid's section of the Unbounded Library program and assured us that there was no age-inappropriate material present within it. Library director Eric Smith and her repeated that in their letter to district parents about the Unbound program this year. There is a book available to kindergarteners that talks about transgendering yourself through surgery and hormones, and a lot of other topics that most parents wouldn't want their 5 year old child exposed to. This book was the most challenged book in school libraries for all ages for three straight years, but we are assured by our library leaders and our school leaders that only age-appropriate material is in the kid's catalog. Together let's create a workable program that can achieve higher literary horizons for our children without the pitfalls currently within it." [END comment]
The solution is simple, have each of the participating schools (MCE, MCC, and LASD) make this an opt-in program rather than an opt-out program and fully warn parents signing the document for opting-in with a warning that some parents may find some of the available titles inappropriate for their child, so notifications by email with the title and synopsis of the book will be provided before the material is given to the child. This may be close to what they come up with, but I doubt they will have the warning or the title/synopsis of the requested book.
And even though the six comments of the public and the addressing of same by the supervisor took more than half of the meeting, which included a presentation by Principal Mike Hart and a Soaring Eagle Award to Randy Fountain, the local newspaper mentioned nothing about the Wokecoming and Unbounded controversies and neither will the minutes when they are drawn up. But they are both very content with keeping the general idea of why they went into closed session at last meeting totally secret from the parents and the rest of the public who pays them.
Thanks X for this report, It's mind numbing. Have people lost their minds. It's hard to believe Ludington has so many idiots. A male student wants to be homecoming queen and the school doesn't have the mental capacity or gonads to say, no way. It is absolutely mind boggling to think this insanity has reached Ludington and there are no adults in charge to put an end to it. The people in charge need to have a mental defect test to see if there is anything between their ears that resembles a brain. With this kind of thinking it won't be long before the home coming king will be a girl and the home coming queen will be a boy and that will be just fine for the lunatic left. This has to stop and the only people who can stop it are the parents. All of you parents have to put an end to this completely twisted agenda that is being forced on the kids and citizens who pay the bills. What if the King of England wants to be the Queen? Don't laugh. If this kind of thinking continues, it won't be long.
I was thinking about these children who want to identify as a different sex. As under age children can't make lawful decisions it would be easy for all the schools to say, YOU WERE BORN A BOY that's what you will be for your entire time at school. From kindergarten to high school graduation. You will use the proper gender rest room and locker rooms along with sports. Seems easy to me. Why does the world have to change for ONE person. I understand that these are real people who want to fit in in their mind ,but put on your big boy pants school board and do what the majority wants.
Makes a lot of sense, but I am reminded of Mark Twain's famous quote: “In the first place God made idiots. This was for practice. Then He made School Boards.”
School boards have been ignored for many years as a political entity with power over what happens with the next generation. This has left them easy pickings for statist forces (aka socialists, communists, secular humanists) and only recently have some parents fought back for common sense-- and found themselves targets of a weaponized FBI. The Southern Poverty Law Center labels Moms for Liberty, a parents rights group, extremists, racists, haters, when all they are trying to do is make schools more accountable to parents. Too many people are sitting on the sidelines or buying into the misinformation, so it's hard to make inroads, even when it's a simple matter of gender matching your birth certificate and chromosomes.