Guest Post by Becky Behrends, M.D. and Vice President of Research for Michigan Citizens for Election Integrity (MC4EI.com)
As is happening across the nation, parents are becoming more involved and vocal on school issues, particularly with regard to school security and inappropriate sexual materials kids are being exposed to.
The Walled Lake School District in Michigan recently held its April school board meeting. In the March meeting, the school board voted for what is now referred to as the infamous “piss pots,” which are buckets to be used as toilets in the event of a lockdown due to a shooting. The school board allocated over $30,000 for classroom lockdown kits to be distributed in 800 classrooms in the district. The district has a $1.4 million grant which has been designated for security and safety issues. Parents are asking, “Wait a minute! what about armed security guards at each school?” The district has 12 elementary schools, four middle schools, and three high schools. There are armed security resource officers (SROs) at the high schools, but they are not always there as they also rotate to some of the other schools.
The seven-member school board consists of four liberal members and three conservative members. The three conservatives did not vote for the lockdown kits. They wanted to know why the kits could not be purchased for a cheaper price from a source closer to Michigan to avoid the nearly $6000 shipping charge from California. They also wanted to know the district’s priority on security issues- i.e., what is most important? Focus first on better locks for doors, metal detectors, and, most of all, armed security guards. The rest of the school board voted down their concerns.
During public commentary, many of the parents became quite emotional and vociferous in their opinions about the focus on “piss pots” instead of real, proactive security in each school.
There have been 377 school shootings since Columbine.
One speaker said she had “done the math” and that the $1.4 million grant referenced above could be used to hire armed security guards for all the schools with money left over. And if they are smart about it, they can find qualified, retired police officers who already have insurance and pensions. She noted that the Walled Lake Citizens for Parental Rights organization (WLCPR.org) has a “safe schools petition” which people can sign online to request a security guard in each school. It just became available and had over 100 signatures already. One signer noted that in the country she immigrated from, there is an armed security guard in each school and daycare, and she is shocked that this is not the case in the US.
Another speaker said pointedly to the school board, “You guys can be held accountable if you don’t address this situation of school safety.”
The next speaker became quite emotional as she referred to the recent murder of three children at a Christian school in Tennessee. She said, “You know what I see? I see my grandson’s face. He is the exact age as those children that were killed. I want something done before this tragedy comes to my home and my family!”
There are those who say that having armed guards at schools only creates more fear in students and that they don’t prevent school shootings. Well, tell that to the parents in Denver after the recent shooting there. CNN reported that the schools were shut down for a mental health day and that armed guards are now being brought back to the schools. The district Board of Education in Denver had previously banned the presence of armed guards in schools. However, the Denver Mayor, Michael Hancock, now says the ban was “a mistake.” The ban was adopted after the George Floyd murder when school districts across the nation began pushing police officers out of schools.
In the video below, Dr. Becky Behrends can be seen holding up a bottle of Tylenol and telling the board that these bottles are typically hard to open. “Why?” she asked. “To protect children from access to that which might hurt their physical bodies. She also held up a PDR (physician’s desk reference) and noted that this is a book to help acquaint people with side effects and precise doses of meds in order to protect our physical bodies,” she responded.
“But what about emotional, mental, and spiritual harm to the bodies of children and youth?” Dr. Behrends asked. She mentioned the existence of a book called Push by Sapphire which is in two high schools in the district. It contains explicit descriptions of incest, molestation, sexual nudity, profanity, drug use, violence, and self-harm. She submitted excerpts to each board member from this book as she said it would be “inappropriate and in poor taste to make a spectacle by reading it out loud to them.” She called for protecting our youth. Remove the obscene. Reject the extreme.
Why does it take an actual shooting incident for common sense to prevail among school boards and administrators?
The viewpoint of those opposed to armed guards is that many shooters are suicidal, so the presence of guards is not a deterrent. The point that many of these media pundits miss is that armed guards can keep the body count down once or if shooting begins. Don’t wait for the police to arrive. Deal with it right away!
This passionate speaker concluded by throwing out a challenge, “Will you, madame president, commit to me and the parents and citizens sitting here tonight as well as the hundreds watching online to create a coalition of school officials, teachers, parents, law enforcement to come together and find a use for those funds to keep our schools safe?”
The next speaker said she had been in a lockdown situation in high school, and the last thing on her mind was worrying about using the bathroom. She said that “Those buckets and toilet paper you are planning to order could easily have been donated by parents and community members!” She also passionately noted that there was a police officer at the back of the room, as there is at each school board meeting. She said, “If this police officer does not make you feel safer, then why do you have them here?!”
She charged the four school board members who voted for the buckets that “if you think increasing security is less important, you should resign from this board.”
The following speaker said, “What do we do to prevent some kid shooting up the school? We sure don’t buy 5-gallon buckets to defecate in!!”
The other pressing issue that people focused on in the school board meeting was inappropriate sexual material and ideologies that kids are being exposed to in schools.
One woman who spoke on the issue of rogue sexual materials in school mentioned the Great Schools Initiative (GSI) and its opt-out form for parents to remove their kids from classes where inappropriate sexual ideologies, symbols, and discussions are taking place contrary to state law.
One of the speakers noted that religion is excluded from schools but that the LGBTQ community promotes its ideology as a form of religion. He defined religion as “a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices.” He noted that sexual topics in schools today are being addressed from only one perspective. This perspective is so unified in its views it is fair to label it as “rooted in a religion.” He cited US Supreme Court rulings that removed religious teachings from our schools. He requested that if teachers or other state employees are prohibited from expressing views such as his, which includes the sanctity of marriage, the peace of mind of abstinence, and the clarity of only two genders, then they should also be prohibited from discussing, broaching or alluding to sexual topics at school. It is the prerogative of the parents.
Next, a woman spoke about a sign at a middle school stating that they accept all sexual orientations. She said, “We shouldn’t be talking about sexual orientations with 10 yr olds. It doesn’t matter. We need to keep their innocence. We can be accepting of all people and not worry about who they are in love with.” She wants the sign removed!
Parents across the nation who embrace traditional, conservative, common sense values need to know that they are not alone. So start pushing back and speaking up at your school board meetings. There are more for you than against you!!!