The Planned Parenthood Labyrinth in TUHSD
Peggy McClain 5-27-14 The Education Action Network
It has been three weeks since the infamous Planned Parenthood vote in Tempe Union High School District. There is so much to share about what was said by individual Board and Committee members as well as how the actual "vote" went down.
I reallly don't know where to start, I feel I could write a book about that evening and it would definitely be referenced in the "mystery" section of the library if it were to be published. Mysteries usually have a plot and eventually the crime is solved. The end.
Unfortunately, I can only report the crime. I'm not trained in investigative journalism or detective work, and I haven't spent enough time in politics to uncover the evidence to tie the Planned Parenthood script which was rehearsed all spring to the actual vote. I'm afraid it will take one or two brave souls who know the inner workings of TUHSD to come forward and shed light on what really goes on behind the scenes. Until then, all I can do is share what I know and what was witnessed, although the District has made it quite clear it does not approve of citizens pushing for transparency. Which only begs the question, why not?
Probably the biggest question in my mind as the Board meeting ended on May 7, 2014 is: What just happened? I don't mean how did that happen (the yes to Planned Parenthood), but literally, what just happened?
Many of us attended each Sex Ed Committee meeting since they began in January. At the final meeting in April the Committee recommended FLASH (Planned Parenthood) be recommended for approval by the Board on May 7th. Okay, that was straightforward.
After public and Board comment (and I commend the Board because they allowed all the community members who wanted to participate in public comment to do so) Member David Schapira stated they would NOT be voting on a curriculum that night. Mr. Schapira explained they didn't have a curriculum which complied with state law and district policy. Then why did the Committee recommend FLASH? The public warned the Committee FLASH is not compliant and it ignored the public.
I commend Mr. Schapira for making this point. However, he proceeds to tell us the Board will be voting on a Framework. Okay, but the Committee was tasked to search for a curriculum and "Framework" wasn't what was discussed by the Committee, Board, or citizens all spring. Was this a trick to sneak in Planned Parenthood?
But it got better. In the following clips, it is evident there is confusion as to exactly what the Board was to be voting on. Members Michelle Helm and Moses Sanchez voiced their concerns because the original plan to vote yes or no on a sex ed curriculum had changed during the current meeting:
Finally, the Board proceeded to vote. But note the continued discussion and two motions on the table at the same time:
And the final vote(s). Notice the second motion was changed during the voting process:
All I can say is if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck.........in this case, something just isn't right with the meeting on May 7th. I know everyone was exhausted as the meeting ajourned around 11PM. The Board members are not paid, it is a sacrifice to run for this office and serve. But the job is serious nonetheless. Confusion and then a rush to vote? Why couldn't the matter be tabled until the discrepancies were addressed?
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