Utterly Meaningless » 2006 » June

    Filed on June 20, 2006 at 6:04 am under by dcobranchi

    OK, the lede did its job and got my attention:

    Memo to home-schooling advocates: YOU ARE DUMB.

    It’s an anti-Patrick Henry (Dominionist Bible) College rant. My favorite bit:

    “There are some creationists who are anti-intellectual in approach. I don’t believe you have to check your brain at the door to be a creationist.” – Jennifer Gruenke, biology teacher, PHU.

    OK, everyone, in unison, the punchline. “…BUT IT HELPS!”

    UPDATE: As Kay pointed out, the language is a bit “saucy.”


    Filed on June 19, 2006 at 9:25 pm under by dcobranchi

    for the libertarian coffee nerd (via Relaxed Homeschool)


    Filed on at 8:54 pm under by dcobranchi

    The new Miss NJ is a home ed grad. No nickel pic, though.


    Filed on at 8:33 pm under by dcobranchi

    Hed of the day:

    Dohertys dominate Pohai Na Keiki Nalu

    The Doherty boys are surfin’ HEKs.

    BAAAA 5X

    Filed on at 7:44 pm under by dcobranchi

    For the record, I like the Dixie Chicks (especially their latest single). And I believe that nationalism can indeed be a negative. And that all five of these reasons for alarm border on tinfoil hat country.

    The UN and other like-minded individuals and institutions value 1) the “One World” idea, 2) the soon-to-be-established (2010) North American Union, 3) the fact that the borders between Mexico, the US, and Canada do not, in fact, exist, 4) the disarming of private citizens of the U.S., and more recently, 5) the desire to make homeschooling difficult or even illegal.

    These issues are all related to each other and to the hostile attitude of the Dixie Chicks.


    Filed on June 18, 2006 at 9:25 pm under by dcobranchi

    A perfect way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon, looking out the window lying on the air conditioning vent


    Filed on at 7:36 pm under by dcobranchi

    I just found this blog that is dedicated exclusively to publicising the “cons” of homeschooling– kind of an anti-HE&OS. Well, they have to stretch pretty far to find any. Here’s the current lead “con.”

    Bloody man found dead outside home
    Pioneer Press, MN – 7 hours ago… The man was lying in front of his home, where he was apparently injured, Crum said. Officers found only 18-month-old twins in the home. …
    Source: www.twincities.com

    I really can’t tell if this is a serious attempt or merely a spam blog.

    UPDATE: Never mind. It’s a spam blog.


    Filed on at 5:30 pm under by dcobranchi

    Google Earth has a nice new version out. Much improved is the scroll feature. I was able to find some neat geographic features that we learned about in our last camping trip— the Carolina Bays. The bays are a bit of a mystery, oval shaped depressions that cover anywhere from an acre or two to square miles. No one knows how they formed, but they’re found up and down the east coast. Evidently, the highest concentration is right around here.

    If you’d like to see what Google Earth can do with these, enter 6975 Point East Dr. 28306 (yes, that’s our address). Raise the elevation to about 12 miles and scroll east until Hwy 53 is at the left edge of the screen. All of those oval shapes are Carolina Bays. There are literally hundreds of them in this one small section.

    Ahh, what the heck.


    Filed on at 5:03 pm under by dcobranchi

    P.Z. Myers, writing about Ann Coulter’s book, in which she claims there is no evidence for evolution:

    Now look: I’ve been telling you all about how you, with negligible effort, can find buckets of evidence for evolution. I haven’t actually recited any of that evidence yet, and that’s because I and many other biologists have been telling everyone about that evidence for years: there comes a point where you have to recognize that the other side has simply put their hands over their ears and are shouting “LA-LA-LA-LA-LA-LA-LA” at the top of their lungs.

    Yes, modern conservative “thought” has sunk to a level third-graders can easily identify with. Assuming, of course, that it’s ever been anything higher.

    UPDATE: The Panda’s Thmub has more Coulter-bashing.


    Filed on at 12:18 pm under by dcobranchi

    Shills for the NEA? Here’s their blurb leading into an article on Teach for America:

    Just because these graduates have math and science, does not mean they can teach the kids… 19,000 kids without jobs is what they got!!! Next year, not one school district will be ask, how many stayed in teaching. They will be recruiting again and again and cost the schools system about 2.6 billion a year for teacher turnover and Teach for America in 17 years have cost many districts an arm and a leg!!

    For the record, Teach for America recruits some of the best and brightest, as the graphic below will attest.
    These hardly seem like the kinds of folks who couldn’t find jobs. It seems pretty strange that educationnews.org would diss young people who want to dedicate a year or two of their lives to helping kids in the nation’s worst schools.


    Filed on at 10:03 am under by dcobranchi

    Life in Nazi Germany Fayetteville:

    Rules are part of civilization

    As I say to some visitors at my house in a fake German accent, “Vee haff rulss und you vill obey zee rulss.” The rules are posted for darts and also for proper conduct at the bar. There is even a donation can for payment of penalties.

    High school principal Jackie Warner appropriately attempts to confer to the children the fact that society has rules. Something parents do little of nowadays. If you disobey the rules, you will pay a penalty. The rules, you see, are part of our culture and our civilization. With the current push to get God out of government and accept perversion as a lifestyle, we are ignoring the rules and contributing to the degeneration of our society.

    The Lord punished Sodom and Gomorrah for breaking his rules.

    Frank Novotny

    Is there some connection between Nazism and Bible Belt fundamentalism?


    Filed on at 2:34 am under by dcobranchi

    I did a bit more digging. Here’s the photographer’s side of the story. The photographs have been removed, so there’s no way of knowing what drove the educrats crazy. OTOH, one has to wonder if she was fired for the pictures or because she’s lesbian.

    Having watched educrats’ excesses for the past 4 years, I’m inclined to believe the teacher. I just kicked in $20 to her legal defense fund.

    UPDATE: Has CNN been re-writing histoty? I swear that article has changed in several places since yesterday.


    Filed on June 17, 2006 at 7:10 pm under by dcobranchi

    I’m not sure these folks ought to be a cause célèbre. Here’s an updated version of Peter van Zuidam’s HSWatch post (Reprinted with permission. Typing/formatting errors are mine.):

    A bit of a background about this case. I miss one IMO very important aspect in how Mrs. Dr. Colen and Dr. Beliën interpret the Flemish law concerning HE, and that is that an inspector is only supposed to reject a child’s homeschool situation if it would be clear to each reasonably thinking person that the home education provided cannot meet the minimum requirements set by the state. Those requirements are indeed derived from article 29 para 1 of the UN Child’s Rights Convention, but also from article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948.

    So these parents forget to mention in their public defense one important aspect, that an inspector cannot reject HE, just because he’s in a bad mood about HE or about certain parents. Several HE-ers all over Europe would IMHO feel glad when they their supervision laws were checked and balanced this way ;-). This reasonability check gives parents the benefit of the reasonable doubt. In the spectrum of legislations about homeschooling, the Flemish decree is one of the most free. Parents have every right not to have their home education follow the national school curriculum, which is rather the norm in countries like Austria, France, Italy, the Czech republic, Hungary and Poland.

    Another thing is that the mother in question, Dr. Alexandra Colen is a member of parliament for the party Vlaams Belang (Flemish Interest), the political heir of the party Vlaams Blok (Flemish Block), which was forbidden by Belgian courts in 2005 because of their consequent racism. As far as I know, Vlaams Belang is led by the people who formerly led Vlaams Blok. Vlaams Belang has a racist reputation in Belgium, I must say. And because of the animosity this party and all other Belgian political parties spread against each other, some Belgians now loath everything concerning home education in Belgium, just because it is done and publicly defended by broadly known Vlaams Belang members.

    Apart from this aspect, these parents point out 2 flaws in this homeschool statute that, to be honest, didn’t cross my mind first. The legal form by which a Flemish inhabitant intends to homeschool each school year makes the parents promise to send their kids to a school straightaway and without having the legal option of fighting this gov’t decision if their home education has been found insufficient in two subsequent inspections.

    One other flaw is that the inspector is not obliged to give specific reasons for his decision to reject a homeschool situation. He may just write down his negative conclusion, that’s all. Mrs. Colen reported one case on her website (in Dutch) where this behavior was complained about.

    In other words, if you want to home-educate legally, you can state you have to promise not to use a part of your European human rights beforehand (namely the right to appeal against a government’s decision to restrict one of your human rights before a court, the European Convention for Human Rights guarantees that).

    When this law was defined, the gov’t even willfully left out any path of appeal concerning the disapproval of a homeschool situation. And I have read a few Strasbourg rulings where the ECHR found a state guilty of breaking the European Convention, just because a citizen was not given a clear path of process to question a restriction of a human right.

    The second flaw reminds me of the Olsson contra Sweden case, in which the Strasbourg court found a restriction of the family life (which forbidding to continue home education clearly is an example of) acceptable only if the necessity to do so is clearly specified. A mere statement like “we found this home education insufficient, period” like inspectors seem to use in Flanders won’t do in the Strasbourg ECHR court, if you ask me.

    Moreover, the unavailability of a legal path to oppose an inspector’s disapproval in effect reduces the benefit of the doubt that the parent is supposed to have to a mere matter of theory. There’s no way to ask a judge if he would think that an inspector’s disapproval would be shared by ‘each reasonably thinking human being’. The only way to fight this indeed seems to act disobediently, to not submit a homeschool intent form, and ask a penal judge if the legislation concerned meets the criteria set out in the ECHR.

    So, I wouldn’t be too surprised if these parents get away with their act of civil disobedience. The Flemish community gov’t might end up revising their HE statute because of this case.

    But in general, few families get their homeschool disapproved in Flanders. In the year 2004-2005 1 out of 86 inspections of children of primary school age was found insufficient.

    In the Netherlands the minister of education still wants to have homeschooling supervised. I still present the Flamish law as an example of a more flexible government inspection approach, one that takes the diverse character of home education among different families and leaves parents the benefit of the doubt. But I warn about these two flaws, though.

    Peter van Zuidam,
    Netherlands Homeschool Association

    So, the parents are members of a political party that, if not banned outright, skirts the very edges. I think it might be best if the conservative/homeschool bloggers


    just sit this one out.

    BILL GATES v. 2.0

    Filed on at 4:53 pm under by dcobranchi

    For Tim–

    Jon Swift lives up to his name today. Pretty funny.


    Filed on at 6:04 am under by dcobranchi

    Check the subhead on this story about a teacher posting topless photos of herself.

    Art teacher in hot water over topless photos

    School where teacher worked was attended by Bush daughters

    The school not only fired her, they want to ban her from teaching in the entire state of TX. It’s an interesting question– Does the availability of these photos diminish her effectiveness in the classroom? I can see how they might, but it’s not a given that they do.

    And in case anyone’s interested, here’s her myspace profile (Don’t worry– it’s work safe.)


    Filed on at 5:23 am under by dcobranchi

    This one actually sounds like fun. Casting call is TODAY:


    Family Vacation



    The Kids Are In Charge: Family Vacation is a fun new family vacation show for The Travel Channel where the kids take charge and the parents take the backseat.

    Each episode of The Kids Are In Charge will follow the hilarious hi-jinks of one family who has turned over the planning and execution of their family vacation to the kids.

    With the help of host Jonathan Torrens, the kids will be in charge of everything from the planning, to packing, to meals, to playtime. It’s definitely travel with a twist!

    Seeking families with 3 or more children ages 7-16.
    (at least one child must be 10 years of age or older)

    Casting Calls:

    Saturday, June 17th

    Crowne Plaza Hotel Hartford-Cromwell

    100 Berlin Rd.
    Cromwell, CT 06416
    (call to schedule an interview time)

    Sunday, June 18th

    Home Suites Inn-Waltham

    455 Totten Pond Rd.

    Waltham, MA 02451
    (call to schedule an interview time)
    For more information on Open Casting Calls and how to apply:


    Call: 323.860.8075

    (Casting families in the Los Angeles CA and surrounding areas, Chicago/Peoria, IL and surrounding areas, Denver CO and surrounding areas, Hartford CT/Boston MA and surrounding areas and NYC areas. All travel will be between June 12th and September 10th. Twelve trips will be rewarded all ranging from 4-5 days length.)

    I might try it if we were a bit closer. (Tip credit: Karen)


    Filed on June 16, 2006 at 8:33 pm under by dcobranchi

    HSWatch has a post that sheds a lot of light onto the subject. As I expected, there appears to be more to the story than was first reported. I’ve asked for permission to re-post it here. Until then, here’s a direct link.


    Filed on at 6:59 pm under by dcobranchi

    This guy loves our pine trees.


    Filed on at 4:37 pm under by dcobranchi

    Silly quote of the day.

    Louisiana state lawmakers are honoring black Americans involved in the home-schooling movement. The Louisiana State Legislature recently passed a resolution commending a group called National Black Home Educators (NBHE) for introducing the benefits of home schooling to black families in the state.


    Filed on June 15, 2006 at 7:24 pm under by dcobranchi

    but it’s ok for Congress to shred the Constitution. Go figure.


    Filed on at 5:07 pm under by dcobranchi

    First it was Nazis. Now, it’s the anti-Christ.

    This Belgian blog seems to have taken the wacko ward by storm.


    Filed on at 4:35 pm under by dcobranchi

    Friends like this, we don’t need.

    Self-education is the best means to preparing “old school” Christian leaders — the kind we’ve not seen since the 18th century… in the South! In other words, something more akin to the noble Robert E. Lee and the stalwart Stonewall Jackson. Not the drunk elitist, Ulysses Grant, or the vicious terrorist, William T. Sherman. Godly, responsible, courageous leaders that defend Christian individualism and a decentralized civilization. The last “true” defenders of the Constitution and Christian civilization were lost during the War of Northern Aggression and the subsequent neo-slavery of southern reconstruction. Abolishing slavery for a handful of transplanted Africans became a perpetual slavery for 300,000,000 Americans, and counting.

    This is why we need Christian Reconstruction. It is a reversal of the despotic reconstruction of 1865-1877…

    They quote Rushdoony at the top of the page. IOW, they’re Friends of Mike (Farris). And any Friend of Mike (Farris) is no friend of mine.

    UPDATE: I found this a little bit further down the blog. Pretty funny.

    Homeschooling has made great strides since R.J. Rushdoony spearheaded its growth into a movement in the 1970s. Now is certainly not the time to give up!

    I’ve read a fair bit of homeschooling histories. This is the only time I’ve seen Rushdoony’s name mentioned as a pioneer.

    UPDATE: It’s even worse than I realized. Chalcedon.edu is Rushdoony’s think tank.

    UPDATE: And the circle is closed.

    Dr. Gary North is the noted author of numerous works on economics and history (including Mises on Money and An Economic Commentary on the Bible) and is a co-founder of Christian Reconstruction. He continues to pour out a steady stream of writing and commentary and you can learn more about his work at www.garynorth.com and www.freebooks.com


    Filed on at 4:14 pm under by dcobranchi

    I think. (HT: Skip)


    Filed on at 9:06 am under by dcobranchi

    It appears that Gary North on LewRockwell.com sold out 100% to his masters. (via Kay Brooks’ HSWatch list-serv).


    Filed on at 6:10 am under by dcobranchi

    Not only is Farris’ propaganda taking root here in the US, now Belgian authorities will soon be gassing Jews because a new home education law mandates that parents attest that they are living up to their obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. I kid you not:

    Once a government has gone this far they are without hope. They will be murdering Jews as a matter of national policy in my lifetime (I’m 45).

    I’m far from a statist, but this is just ridiculous. Have all fundie/Right-wing homeschoolers lost all sense of proportion? Here’s the statement (in broken translated English) that home educators were supposed to sign:

    The new bill refers to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and it obliges homeschooling parents to fill out a questionaire and sign an official “declaration of homeschooling” in which they agree to school their children “respecting the respect [sic] for the fundamental human rights and the cultural values of the child itself and of others.”

    That language is right out of the Convention. Big deal!

    Folks, the black helicopters are not hovering over your houses. No one is being herded into freight cars. And Buchenwald is a museum.

    Grow up!


    Filed on June 14, 2006 at 8:19 pm under by dcobranchi

    No, not really.

    The SBC has voted down the exodus resolution. Now maybe Rev. Jim will STFU.


    Filed on at 5:08 pm under by dcobranchi

    I’ve been placed on moderated status on the list-serv that initiated the whole over-compliance thread. Three posts have now disappeared into the aether.

    Of course, no reason or notice was supplied.


    Filed on at 4:30 pm under by dcobranchi

    The least fundamentalist/wacko of the three candidates won the presidency of the Southern Baptist Convention. And he’s the pastor of Taylors First Batist Church in Taylors, SC. That church was little over a mile from the house I grew up in. As one might expect, it’s quite big.


    Filed on at 1:27 pm under by dcobranchi

    Four times, evidently. (HT: Skip Oliva)


    Filed on at 6:50 am under by dcobranchi

    I really enjoy Reb’s “Home-Schooled by a Cackling Jackal” blog. It’s not about homeschooling at all. It’s about a poet, an editor, and a mom. Recently, Reb chose to put her son in daycare two days a week in order to have time to write. Readers on her site have been less than supportive. It’s all very strange, lots of moms attacking other moms.


    Filed on at 6:18 am under by dcobranchi

    Another cool APOD.


    Filed on June 13, 2006 at 9:06 pm under by dcobranchi

    because I agree with every one of these:

    This may strike you as political and having nothing to do with homeschooling… but think again: When liberal judges are allowed to take prayer from public schools, take religious programs away from prisoners, and force evolution to be taught in place of creationism… it effects everyone – including school children and homeschoolers. Your children and mine will one day be standing beside the godless that have been shaped by society and nothing more.

    I hope we have an entire society that’s beat down the superstition of creationism.

    The religious program for prisoners was paid for by our tax dollars. The prisoners who volunteered for the Bible study were given extra privileges. Sure sounds like a government endorsement of Christianity to me.

    And the prayer in schools thing is just patently obvious.

    I try to teach my kids all of these things. I hope that they’ll stand for the separation of church and state when the time comes. And, finally, being called “godless” in the month of June, 2006 is a particular compliment.


    Filed on at 7:20 pm under by dcobranchi

    Starbucks– the new pushers.

    Teenagers need to realize caffeine addiction problem

    I have always been astounded by the amount of teens that drink caffeinated beverages on a daily basis.

    As a rising freshmen headed to college, I have seen this problem worsen throughout my high school years. Many of my peers found it impossible to get through the day (and night) without some sort of caffeine to stimulate them.

    I once knew a girl who drank three energy drinks a day and stayed up all night, only accumulating an average of around four hours of sleep.

    This is not healthy. Our bodies need natural sleep in order to be refreshed. The article recently printed in the Life section (Teen Caffeine Scene, June 9) only reaffirms my observations.

    Regardless of how widely available or legal caffeine is, it is still possible to become addicted. Teens need to realize how a caffeine addiction affects their bodies with long-term use.

    Knowledge and learning are necessary parts of well-being and help to make a habit out of keeping bodies healthy.

    Klare Frank, Elkton, Md

    Addictive? Not exactly. Yeah, serious coffee nerds (myself included) can get a caffeine headache if they don’t have a cup in the morning (Two double espressos, please). But, the headache is gone by the afternoon, and I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t mug an old lady in order to be able to feed my monkey.


    Filed on at 6:16 pm under by dcobranchi

    and the CoH is up.


    Filed on at 6:14 pm under by dcobranchi

    Unique pointed out that apparently an extra 15 minutes a day will work wonders.

    JOHNSTON COUNTY, N.C. — Students in Johnston County could be spending more time in the classroom soon.

    The county’s school board will discuss Tuesday whether to extend the high school day by 25 minutes.

    Most middle school and some elementary school students would spend an extra 15 minutes in class.

    School leaders say longer days will help struggling students and those working on special projects.


    Filed on at 9:21 am under by dcobranchi

    Just try clicking on the HarperCollins ad.


    Filed on at 9:18 am under by dcobranchi

    Lovely (received via email):

    Hi all,

    Please feel free to pass this along.

    We will be holding our annual book/used curriculum sale on this Friday. Included in this will be a “TAX REFUND” table. This will contain curriculum for K-5 from the Cumberland county school system. Our tax dollars are being dumped into the dumpsters and landfill. They have adopted a new curriculum for the new school year. They were told that the old could NOT be integrated with the new , so all items are being thrown out.

    I hate waste.

    Deborah and I rescued a whole schools worth of books. No kidding. These items will be available for FREE to anyone who wants them.


    Filed on June 12, 2006 at 6:49 pm under by dcobranchi

    Link-hopped over to this site, which is even scarier than the Pearls’.


    * Flexible – produces the right amount of sting without injury!
    * Unbreakable – will last a lifetime! *
    * Convenient – fits easily into purse or travel bag!
    * Affordable – buy one for kitchen, bedroom, car – wherever!
    * Guaranteed – satisfaction or money back

    Fulfilling the purpose and function of the Biblical rod, yet designed with today’s parents in mind, our chastening instrument is perfectly suited for the loving correction of your children. Though each instrument includes instructions for proper use, we highly recommend parents train themselves by reading and discussing Biblically-based parenting books together. Child Training Resources stands firmly against any and all child abuse and is not responsible for misuse of this product.

    * Our instrument is made of premium grade polyurethane and measures 9″ long, 1-1/2″ wide and 3/16″ thick. Simply return it to us for a full refund if not completely satisfied.

    Note to parenting class leaders: We offer a free chastening instrument to leaders of child training classes with 15 or more people. Why? Because our experience has been that once people see and use these chastening tools, they will love them. If you know of such a leader, have them E-Mail us, or contact us at the address listed below.

    $6.50 each 1-10, $6.00 11+

    I can’t add anything to that.

    NEW AD ——>

    Filed on at 4:13 pm under by dcobranchi

    AFAIK, the first textbook publisher on HE&OS.


    Filed on at 4:11 pm under by dcobranchi

    Via email, I had asked Scott Somerville if HSLDA supported overcomplying. His response:

    Sorry to have missed most of the discussion on this one (I was off doing a graduation speech in Virginia, mostly to irritate Chris O’Donnell). HSLDA understands and respects NCHE’s position on this issue, but I routinely advise our members to do what the law requires, not MORE than the law requires–especially when I hear that people are “afraid” to stick to the letter of the law.


    Filed on at 7:58 am under by dcobranchi

    Future Hall-of-Famer
    Seven years old. Tempus fugit.


    Filed on June 11, 2006 at 10:57 am under by dcobranchi

    and sacrilegious. But the funniest thing I’ve seen in ages.


    Filed on at 6:47 am under by dcobranchi

    Call me paranoid, but wouldn’t this same technology enable the government to keep track of adults? We’ve already seen how good Verizon is at protecting its customers’ privacy. I have no doubt that they’d gladly enable the real Big Brother to watch everyone’s every move.

    I’m pretty sure my el cheapo pre-paid phone is incapable of this. Darn!


    Filed on at 6:29 am under by dcobranchi

    I admit it. Until just now I had never visited one of the Carnivals of Kid Comedy, assuming that it was a collection of kids’ jokes. Ain’t so. Worth a visit.


    Filed on at 6:12 am under by dcobranchi

    I’m breaking my pledge not to link to HSB, because I think this is just dumb. Gena is all enthused that the governor of some state (I didn’t bother to find out which one) declared a “Homeschooling Week.” Why is that worth celebrating? There are National and State xxx Days, Weeks, and Months for everything under the sun. It’s cheap pandering to the yahoos.

    I’d rather they completely ignore us 99% of the time.


    Filed on at 5:56 am under by dcobranchi

    About 100 times, in fact:

    The summer TV season is dry one. Presumably, we’re all out at the cottage, or driving to Disneyland, or water-skiing or something. So it’s the time when the networks bring out shows that try out something new or they simply come with low expectations. Once in a while, they come up with a good one.

    Alice, I Think is one such show. Based on the young adult novels by Susan Juby, the series is a portrait of a formerly sheltered teenager in Smithers, B.C. Sent to her first day of school dressed as a hobbit by her hippie parents, Alice MacLeod is beaten up. She is then home-schooled for ten years and returns to public school as a sixteen year old with little preparation for the modern world. Therefore she has begins experiencing many firsts.

    HEKs are the new fish-out-of-water. It’s on the Comedy Network (whatever that is).

    UPDATE: It’s Canadian. That explains a lot. 🙂


    Filed on at 5:38 am under by dcobranchi

    How’s this for neanderthal thinking?

    Douglas Byrd High School senior Bobbie Spanbauer was barred from participating in her school’s graduation ceremony Wednesday because she refused to wear a dress.

    Spanbauer showed up for the ceremony at the Crown Coliseum wearing the clothing required for boys: black slacks, a white dress shirt, black belt, black tie, black dress shoes and black socks. Two diamond earrings sparkled on her ears.

    Girls were required to wear a black or white dress, hose that matched their skin tone and black dress shoes with a closed toe and heels.

    As the graduates were preparing to march, Principal Jackie Warner told Spanbauer she could not walk across the stage unless she wore a dress, Spanbauer said. Warner offered to get her a dress but Spanbauer said she refused.

    The girl doesn’t wear dresses. Doesn’t even own a dress. And they kicked her out of her graduation ceremony. Yeah, out of the building. She wasn’t allowed to sit in the audience and watch her friends.

    The ACLU-NC is considering a lawsuit.

    UPDATE: You gotta love those freedom-loving Fayettevillains (spelling error intentional):

    ON THE WEB: Reaction to the story of Bobbie Spanbauer was swift and strong, becoming one of the most commented-on stories at our Web site. The following is a sampling of community reaction. You can have your voice heard, too. Just go to www.fayettevillenc.com and tell us what you think.

    # Esther Lilly, Hope Mills: I am so proud of the educational system standing for policies and enforcing them to the fullest extent.

    # Hazel Harrison, Coats: Freedom is not the petty things in life that people want for themselves, but the freedom we have in America to live daily lives like the average person.

    # Joanne S. Hayes, Orrum: I think this is what is wrong with our kids today. They do not want to abide by the rules.

    # Janet Whetstone, Godwin: The dress code was unfair and outdated. It is discriminatory to demand that a female wear a dress. She was the one who was disrespected, and the school was being unreasonable.

    # Amanda, Fayetteville: I graduated from Westover. I, too, do not like to wear dresses but my Mom and I went shopping for the required attire for my graduation. Play by the rules or don’t walk.

    # Katie Vincent, Hope Mills: I can identify with her, and as a taxpayer, let the child that goes to a “Public School” stop being treated like a child that goes to a private, military or government school.

    # Alex, Fayetteville: A new law in policy for the sake of policy. So the girl wore pants instead of a dress. Call the National Guard.

    # Valerie, Raleigh: Rules are rules. Ms. Spanbauer must learn there are and will be many times in her lifetime when she will have to follow rules she may not agree with.

    # Robin, Fayetteville: Not all girls are comfortable wearing dresses and dressing up like Barbie. If a person feels more comfortable and at ease wearing an equally formal outfit to the occasion, then it should be allowed.

    # Katie Schaefer, Fayetteville: I think that is really stupid that they said she couldn’t participate. I mean, everyone likes to dress in different clothes

    # Ron Harrison, Fayetteville: What a shame that the only senior at Douglas Byrd High to make the front page of our fine newspaper was the one who chose to thumb her nose at the accomplishments of her fellow classmates. Shame on The Fayetteville Observer.

    # Bill, Sanford: What a bunch of Pin Heads. Let the girl wear the same clothes as the boys.


    Filed on at 5:27 am under by dcobranchi

    Baaaaa! Baaaaa!

    National identity cards would enhance security

    It is time that America institute a national identity card with a thumb print. This card would provide secure identification of all legal residents and citizens.

    The present system allows many types of illegal activity and fraud. There is such a problem with illegal aliens. Terrorists can enter and move freely about our country.

    The Social Security card is not a national ID card. If a person is determined, more than one Social Security card can be acquired. In parts of the country, dead people vote and welfare cheats collect under two or more accounts.

    I don’t understand why people are so frightened of a national ID card. The government has more than enough information on each citizen through tax records. A national ID card could be used as another layer of security.

    Mike Kruczaj, Middletown

    The government gets my thumbprint when they can pry it from my cold, dead thumb.


    Filed on June 10, 2006 at 7:09 pm under by dcobranchi

    Maybe I’m just a pervert.


    Filed on at 6:56 pm under by dcobranchi

    The more I think about Rev. Jim’s multiple anti-homeschooling rants, the more convinced I am that he believes he’s preaching only to the converted. Otherwise, he’d recognize that he’s pushing people away from the church. I mean, how many folks are actually going to take a serious look at Christianity with Rev. Jim as its spokesperson?

    So, he’s either completely ignorant that a large segment of the homeschooling community is not Christian, or he doesn’t care. Either way, not a particularly good advertisement for the faith. Right, Spunky?

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