Backgrounder From SafeLibraries
Before continuing with Aldo DeVivo's statement, here is some background from SafeLibraries to better understand what Aldo DeVivo is saying and why:
This story involves a book used by the Clarkstown High School North, New City, NY. The book is entitled, "Perks of Being a Wallflower." It contains bestiality and other sexually explicit material, for example:
After a few minutes, the boy pushed the girl's head down, and she started to kiss his penis. She was still crying. Finally, she stopped crying because he put his penis in her mouth, and I don't think you can cry in that position. I had to stop watching at that point because I started to feel sick, but it kept going on, and they kept doing other things, and she kept saying "no."Most Oppose Explicit Books in Public Schools Says Harris Poll." This is evidence such materials violate community standards.
Further, pervasively vulgar books may be quickly and legally removed from public schools thanks to Board of Education v. Pico, 457 U.S. 853 (1982). This is evidence the law allows for the removal of such material.
School policy called "TEACHING CONTROVERSIAL ISSUES" requires that, "Teachers shall always give fair representation to all sides of issues." Keep this in mind when reading about a video a teacher showed about the DeVivos that made their daughter break down in tears after she found out it was shown in a different English class. By the way, "teachers, within their professional judgment, may at times present pertinent, controversial issues to classes and select appropriate curriculum materials approved by the administration." Did the administration approve the showing of the video that effectively bullied the daughter? Either way, there's a serious injustice. And students may be expelled for defamation, discrimination, harassment, or bullying. What about teachers or the school administration if it approved the video in question that essentially does the same thing, based on the daughter's reaction?
In my opinion, I fully understand why the school board used trickery, the school teacher and/or school administration used intimidation and bullying, and the media choose to ignore the inconvenient truth. But read on to see for yourselves.
Continuing Aldo DeVivo's Message
What a scam! None of us against the book even knew there was a vote. Just to give an idea of what I'm talking about:
Countdown to the 2011-12 School Budget Vote
There are two remaining public meeting for voters to learn about the 2011-12 budget and express their comments prior to the vote. Both will be held in the Main Board Room at the Chestnut Grove Administrative Center, 62 Old Middletown Road in New City.
On Thursday, May 5 at the regular meeting of the Board of Education, the Board will hold a public hearing at 8:00 pm. Members of the community are invited to share their questions and opinions on the proposed spending plan.
So what do you think about that? Most likely the room was filled with proponents for the book who knew that there was going to be a vote on the book. These people, using students as pawns, had it staged all along to present their arguments before the board—without us knowing.
What's even more deplorable is that during the day an English teacher decided to show a video clip of an interview my wife and I had with a TV network in an 11th grade English class. Of course we presented opposing views in that interview. She was using this clip as a prelude to her having students reading the Perks book. And she had the students write letters in support of the book for the meeting she knew about but we didn't. Several students read their letters to the board. By the way, they've gone back to no parental notices.
Now what I'm about to describe is the depravity and egregious nature of these people.
Keep in mind that when this video clip was shown during the school day, there had not been a decision on the book yet.
Furthermore, our daughter, who is a junior at the school, has close friends and casual friends who don't care about our position on the book.
Conversely, I'm sure there are other students who know our position who may think differently of befriending our daughter.
In any case, between classes, a friend of our daughter mentioned that her English teacher showed a video clip of us during class regarding the book.
It's absolutely despicable. We don't mind losing in a fair fight, but this was not a fair fight.
Can you believe a budget meeting turned into a vote for the book?
And what they did to our daughter is truly the lowest of the low. Will there be justice before we are forced to compel it?
NOTE ADDED 6 MAY 2011:
I sent an email to a number of people, some at the school concerned. Get a load of this automated response:
NOTICE: Clarkstown Central School District wishes to maintain an environment that promotes mutual respect, tolerance and acceptance of differences. We believe that all classroom, school, district and meeting environments must promote a positive culture that serves to enhance the emotional well being of all students, staff, parents and visitors to our school district. It is our expectation that all parties are treated with dignity and respect. As such, we expect individuals to speak in ways that are tactful and respectful. The district does not tolerate verbal, written or defamatory comments or actions that target specific individuals or groups.
Is there a double standard at work or will the school comply with its own policy?
Were the DeVivos, including the daughter, treated with "mutual respect, tolerance and acceptance of differences"? Did showing a video for political purposes that caused the DeVivo's daughter to cry "promote a positive culture that serves to enhance the emotional well being [sic] of all students"? Were the DeVivos "treated with dignity and respect"?
"The district does not tolerate verbal, written or defamatory comments or actions that target specific individuals or groups." Did the video not target Mr. and Mrs. DeVivo?
What obvious duplicity.
NOTE ADDED 11 MAY 2011:
Aldo DeVivo received a letter dated 22 March 2011 from Clarkstown Central School District's Deputy Superintendent of Schools Deborah O'Connell stating, "As we continue to move through this process we will keep you informed." The substance of the letter is shown below.
Not only was Mr. DeVivo not informed, but the school district broke its agreement to do so. The "Materials Reconsideration Policy" review was not honored by the school, and the matter should be reopened for a proper review:
|Letter agreeing to keep Aldo DeVivo informed. An agreement never honored.|