The Land That Time Forgot…

I have many things to be thankful for in my life and one of them is that I do NOT live in West Bend or have my kids in the West Bend School District. Not only are they \"represented\" by slightly batty Glenn Grothman, but they also have to deal with things like this!

West Bend — The West Bend School Board has rejected sponsoring a homosexual support club at its high schools, despite the threat of legal action in the case of such rejection.

Approval of school sponsorship for the Gay-Straight Alliance at East and West high schools failed on a tied 3-3 vote at the board’s Monday night meeting, which was attended by more than 100 supporters of the proposal.

Before the vote, attorneys warned district officials that they could face legal action for discrimination if they deny awarding club status to a Gay-Straight Alliance at East and West high schools.

“The law says these kids are entitled to equal access to school facilities, and that’s all we’re asking for,” said West Bend attorney Waring Fincke, who is representing students in the homosexual support group.

Fincke already has filed a discrimination complaint with the district. While that complaint was pending, however, district officials implemented new rules for club acceptance, and school administrators recommended that the School Board accept the Gay-Straight Alliance as a club.

School Board President Randy Marquardt is not only proud of his discrimination, but he also will not let a simple thing like the law, or public opinion, stand in his way of his extreme right agenda.

Board President Randy Marquardt, who voted against recognizing the GSA as a club, said he didn’t think the board should base its decision on the threat of legal action.

This is not the first time that the West Bend School Board has had problems.

Ethics are obviously not a priority for the Board. It appears that West Bend is truly the \"The Land That Time Forgot\". Let us hope that someone sues the hell out of the district and it costs them thousands and thousands of dollars!

26 comments to The Land That Time Forgot…

  • bofcudahy

    I have a bad feeling this will be nothing compared to what will happen with the Republican controlled state government. Time will tell, but it’s usually only a matter of time before the Republicans start attacking freedom or civil rights.

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  • West Bend actually made National News with this. Dan Savage writes about it here:

    http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2011/05/10/this-wisconsin-school-board-has-nevernot-oncerejected-an-application-to-form-a-school-club

    Including pictures and contact information for the three board members who decided gays are second class citizens.

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  • PartiallyBlue

    Well, nothing like an “in your face” club to set the mood in high schools.

    Contrary to what some people think, there are some topics that are just not suitable for high school. Sex oriented clubs are one of them. It does not matter if it’s the Exotic Dancer Club, the One Man-One Woman Club, the Man-Boy Love Club, the Menage-a-Trois Club, the Polyamory Club, or the Exhibitionist Club.

    Just because the club is specific to sexual orientation is reason enough to ban it from high school.

    Just because it is about homosexual support is not a reason to endorse it either.

    Sheesh, can we ever have some adult concepts remain with adults? Do we have to push all things adult down to 14 year old freshmen?

    How about somebody start that club in a church or in their home? The fact that the group is lawyered up tells me about their true intent. This isn’t about kids and their needs, it is about pushing sexual orientation into high schools. C’mon, this is not the place for that.

    I would vote against it simply because it does not belong in high school. I don’t deny that the club may have value. It just should not be in a high school.

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    • Locke

      Hi PB,

      You make some good points – but in this case, my understanding is that the issue is about “official club” status. From what I understand, the group does already exist and is already using school facilities for meetings. I’m not entirely sure what the official club status gets them that they don’t already get – probably funding, presumably being listed somewhere.

      But given that the club is already active, does that change anything for you? Would you go the step further & say, not only do they not get official club status, they are no longer allowed to use school facilities for their activities either?

         0 likes

      • PartiallyBlue

        Changes nothing if the club is already active or not. Yes, I would say they should no longer use school facilities.

        Here is the root of it: There is adult content in the world. High school is not about exposing children to adult content. It is about an education that prepares a majority of students to be cognizant of traditional subjects. By traditional, I mean the subjects that have been taught for generations. I presume that everyone here knows them.

        It is not about ensuring that 3.8% of the population have a representative high school club that relates to their sexuality or to those who wish to ally themselves with that sexuality.

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    • bofcudahy

      I’ll never understand the “in your face” accusations. Usually bigots or misinformed will point to the most obnoxious people in gay pride parades and claim “see they have rights they just want to flaunt it!”

      Misguided people have this twisted fantasy in which gay people are nothing but attention seeking caricatures but in reality many are in the closet and afraid to come out. They live in a backwards society that teaches them to loath what they are, dealing with constant insults day after day from friends and family that don’t even know they are directly insulting someone in the same room with them.

      What’s next, shut down the suicide hotlines because they are bringing suicide to school? Sexual orientation is about what gender or genders someone is physically attracted to. Something like this is about helping people deal with issues they face and to let them know that they aren’t alone in a backwards world that is brainwashed to think what they are (not who they are, WHAT they are) is somehow unnatural. Homosexuality or bisexuality is not a behavior, but is a state of being that someone does not choose, and as long as bigotry is so common clubs like this help people deal with it. It has nothing to do with sex.

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      • PartiallyBlue

        High school is not about ‘helping someone’. It is mass education.
        When the name of the club is Gay-Straight Alliance it certainly IS about sexuality.
        Again, high school is not the place for sexually oriented clubs.
        Take it someplace else.

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  • Jake formerly of the LP

    Garbage Partially Blue. Dealing with who people are is absolutely necessary in a high school. Why do you do some reading up on gay teen and college-aged suicides before you demand those kids hide in the closet because high school’s “not the right place” for it. High school’s tough enough to find your way in without bigoted barriers, let alone to be treated differently because of who you are. You may hate to know this, but plenty of kids know they’re gay in high school, and they deserve support as much as any other group, if not more.

    And another great moment for West Bend. 11% unemployment in that town, and they’re more concerned about gay teens and voter ID. Speaks volumes, don’t it? Enjoy trying to attract talent and young families to a cultural cesspool like that.

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    • Locke

      And another great moment for West Bend. 11% unemployment in that town, and they’re more concerned about gay teens and voter ID. Speaks volumes, don’t it? Enjoy trying to attract talent and young families to a cultural cesspool like that.

      The board voted 3-3 on this issue. Exactly 3 people voted in a way you don’t like – and from that you conclude that all of West Bend is more concerned with this than unemployment and is a cesspool?

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      • se41281

        As a former resident of the town, this is closer to the truth than you might want to believe. Many moons ago I was a student rep to the school board and I’d be willing to guess some of the votes in favor were simply because they want to save taxpayers the expense of a protracted legal battle. Back then the town was struggling with schools that were not ADA compliant, lacked insulation, and needed new windows. Yet they refused to raise the levy for additional funds that would SAVE money on operations and maintenance because they would have to SPEND a little up front. The hyper-conservative agenda shows through here as well because they are willing to put ideology before law. And this isn’t just the leaders. Remember the West Bend Library book scandal? I lived in Newark, NJ for a while and would rather move back there than live in West Bend again.

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        • No Se i dont know the West Bend Library Book Scandal. I live by Madison and dont follow West Bend politics, but occasionally they do something so extreme that they cant keep it bottled in and this story caught my eye.

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    • PartiallyBlue

      The ‘garbage’ is a high school club that brings adult sexual topics to a 14 year old pubescent teen.

      Again, there may be value in having a club like this but it does not belong in a high school environment.Take it to a church or to a community center.

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    • PartiallyBlue

      “You may hate to know this, but plenty of kids know they’re gay in high school, and they deserve support as much as any other group, if not more.”

      No, they don’t deserve support. They deserve an education from high school in a physically safe environment. Just like 100% of the kids need an environment safe from sexually oriented clubs.

      Support? High school is not your mother. It is an institution.

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      • its also a place where kids go through puberty and start to learn who they are. Being homosexual is hardly an “adult” topic. It is a human topic and one they know way before 18. They have never turned down a club ever and now turn down this one?

        Its about treating everyone equally, and acceptance and at a bare minimum tolerance. The fact that the kids want it and there ws enough support from the community to show up in force shows that the kids are smarter than the school board in West Bend.

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        • PatiallyBlue

          The bare minimum is not enough. They have that already. What they want, apparently, is to be the same as the Chess Club, the French Club, the History Club, and a few others. They desire a sexually-themed support club to be the same as a Drama Club.

          I say ‘no’. You say ‘yes’. There is no middle ground on this.

          I hope your side does not prevail.

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          • This is not sexual at all its identity. Its not about kids finding others to hook up with its about teaching everyone that we are all equal no matter who we love or are attracted too.

            My “side” has already won because it is illegal to discriminate based on sexual orientation. Hence the lawsuits that will be coming and they were warned.

            By the way I hope next year they vote all of the gay kids to the prom court!

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  • Well said Jake. High school is hard enough without having to hide who you are and without the School Board and the loons in the community there to tell you its wrong or that they have a good psychologist.

    “”Dave Weigand sure made a spectacle of himself at the work session using statements such as “how would one be “recruited” to this club?” and the clincher? “I also know of a good psychologist if one would want to leave this lifestyle” to which the entire crowd booed him..and yup thts a SCHOOLBOARD member making such statements.along with ginny maziarka of course
    at the end of it you had good kids crying in the halls.absolutely heartbreaking thing to see.””

    the fact that they lawyered up shows that they had an idea that they would be discriminated against. this is 2011 not 1950.

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    • Super Id

      Jeff, I agree with much of your post with the exception of your last line.

      “Let us hope that someone sues the hell out of the district and it costs them thousands and thousands of dollars.”

      As an attorney,it pains me to say it but I guess I would have hoped that the issue could have been resolved without the intervention of the Courts. I see little positive with money that could better be used in the school system going for attorney fees. The remainder of the district shouldn’t suffer from a a few ignorant twits on the school board.

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      • Super I agree with you. I would hope that a group of adults could get together and figure it out also, but that appears to not be the case. It appears that the three were repeatedly warned that they could be subject to lawsuits with very little chance of winning. Then they said the law be dammed our right wing ideology trumps all.

        Isn’t that truly the idea behind the court system to right wrongs and help make sure all are treated equally under the law. While these are ignorant twits, they are ignorant twits who are in a position of power. If this is how they choose to use that power I hope the students of the GSA sue them and it costs the district thousands and everyone in town can see their taxes going up because of the ignorant actions of 3 “fiscal conservatives”. So everywhere they go in West Bend everyone can thank them personally!

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        • Super Id

          Jeff, I heard this morning that they were suing for $20.00 plus atty fees and injuctive relief. I don’t think they will have enough damages to cause an increase in taxes.

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          • Interesting….so they are nicer than I am! They are just suing to prove they are right. The only problem then is it allows the terrible three to continue being small minded and vindictive.

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  • Jake formerly of the LP

    Locke- It ain’t just the goofball fundies on the School Board that show the misplaced priorities of the West Bend area. It’s also Glenn Grothmann, Jim Sensenbrenner, Don Pridemore, and the other Sykes-sucking trash that constantly seeps out of the area politically. Wash.Co voted 75-25 for both Prosser and Walker.

    Sorry dude, they ARE that screwed up there, and I’m darned glad decent people are finding out about it, and are going to run away from that town as fast as they can. Until they change their 20th Century ways, they’ll going to have to continue to pay the price and get my scorn.

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  • http://www.jsonline.com/news/education/121738394.html

    A group of West Bend High School students has sued the School Board, alleging its chapter of the Gay-Straight Alliance was illegally denied recognition as a club because of bias against its mission.

    The West Bend High School Gay-Straight Alliance and two students filed the lawsuit Thursday in federal court in Milwaukee, just three days after their request to become a school-sponsored club was rejected on a 3-3 vote by the board.

    The students’ complaint alleges board members violated a federal law that forbids schools from denying access to their facilities based on an organization’s beliefs. They also claim board members violated their First Amendment rights by discriminating against them based on their speech.

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    • Locke

      The students’ complaint alleges board members violated a federal law that forbids schools from denying access to their facilities based on an organization’s beliefs.

      If in fact, they are already using school facilities for after school meetings (correct me if that’s wrong) isn’t that claim specious?

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  • Cally

    I used to live in that cesspool. We moved when I was 12–just in the nick of time. I could tell you stories about West Bend. It had some of the cruelest people I have ever encountered in my life. Were it not for my happy family, I don’t know how I would have survived those years. I’m not gay. I’m white. No problem, right? No, not if you’re a sensitive kid who cares about other people and beings. I remembered one black family-God, they got looks whenever they went out. Stares, really. Mind you, this was 20+ years ago, so I don’t know if there are more African Americans, but I’m sure no matter how many move there, they will face racism. I cannot imagine trying to be a gay kid there, either. Makes me shiver to think of being sensitive AND gay in that environment.

       1 likes

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