Letters: Biblical beliefs in government; Wizard of Oz in Federal Way

Your biblical beliefs have no place in government

In response to Mark W. Christie’s letter: There is a reason the Constitution was written the way it was. The Founders were very clear about one thing — separation of church and state.

What does that mean in this context? If you don’t “believe in” homosexuality, then it behooves you to not be homosexual. That’s it. Your biblical beliefs have no place in government, at all.

It’s apparent that you don’t know what “Pride” is all about. It started over 50 years ago when gay people were fed up with being beaten and arrested simply for being gay. Equal means equal? I couldn’t marry until 2015 (we’ve been together for over 30 years, by the way). This election I will be voting for your opponent, Claire Wilson. I feel sure that she will represent everyone in the district whether she “approves” of them or not!

To letter writers Becky and Dan Vacanti: here in the United States, we do not live according to the Bible. You can if that is how you believe. You are not, however, allowed to foist your beliefs on the rest of us “…for those who choose it.” I didn’t choose to be gay, I was born that way.

Please folks, quit using the Bible to justify your hate and intolerance.

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” — John 15:12

Catherine North

Federal Way

Wizard of Oz in Federal Way

The more I ponder the Washington education establishment’s quest to glorify itself as a fountainhead of social emotional learning (SEL, an educational method that aims to foster social and emotional skills within school curricula), the more parallels I see with “The Wizard of Oz.”

In the movie version of “The Wizard of Oz,” Dorothy embarks on a journey to the Emerald City, where the magical Wizard of Oz may entertain her entreaty to find a way back home to Kansas. On the way, Dorothy is joined by other needy creatures: a Scarecrow who needs a brain, a Tin Man who needs a heart, and a Cowardly Lion who needs courage. This band of supplicants arrives in Oz to appeal to the sagacity of the Wizard, who tells them that they are in the right place: “I am the Great and Powerful Oz!” Oz looks like a giant, roaring, floating head; but Dorothy’s dog Toto exposes that the floating head is just an illusion created by a middle-aged man hiding behind the curtain, who attempts to distract Dorothy and the other petitioners by commanding them to ignore the man, who in reality is the Kansas snake-oil salesman, Professor Marvel.

All around Washington state, the parents of children in K-12 public schools deploy to their local education establishments’ seats of power and approach their school boards hats in hand, beseeching their elected representatives for information and action. In Federal Way, I’d say the Education Wizard/Snake-Oil-Salesman is Hiroshi Eto, President of Federal Way Public Schools (FWPS) School Board.

I recently embarked on my own one-man dispatch down the Yellow Brick Road to review with Mr. Eto — and his fellows on the Board — the FWPS policy on community engagement, a sacrosanct ideal espoused by the Washington state educational establishment’s hierarchy all the way up to Chris Reykdal, the state’s Superintendent of Public Instruction.

In Federal Way, the tenets of policy and procedure on development of curricula and associated instructional materials are laid out in the district’s Curriculum Management Plan (CMP), which designates the school board as the authority for development and maintenance of community expectations of curriculum and instructional materials, but so far I have found virtually nothing of substance in the CMP addressing community expectations.

So I journeyed to Federal Way’s “Oz” — a school board meeting — to address Mr. Eto and his sworn team of community representatives to petition for some enlightenment.

In the week following the meeting, I went a few rounds of emails with Mr. Eto, who declared himself the board spokesman: “Each Director represents the entire school district.” I tried to convey to Mr. Eto my intent to meet with the board to review the details of how closely they work with their constituency on guaranteeing the fidelity of the CMP in terms of the values and mores of the local community. Unfortunately, my hopes for a constructive review were dashed by the final declaration of Mr. Eto:

“It truly would be an unsustainable practice to meet community members on demand.”

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is a big reason that Federal Way Public Schools curricula and instructional materials are so often unacceptable to you.

Andy Cilley

Bonney Lake