One of my lawyer friends donates time and money to the ACLU. I always give her crap about it.

It seems half of what they get involved in I'm against.

Sometimes it's a man writing a blog about his love of child pornography. And they'll fight to say he has the freedom of speech.

The two most recent stories take place close to home.

One happened in Reno.

The ACLU was upset that the school board voted to implement a full calendar-year of random drug testing for high school students who participate in sports.

The logic by the school board is that if athletes are doing steroids or other drugs, between seasons, they have a better chance of catching them. Why the ACLU would have a problem with this just baffles me.

When I played high school basketball, I had to get a physical. That involved the nurse grabbing my balls and asking me to cough.

It seems that if students want to participate in activities, they can agree to be drug tested, or whatever that activity requires. If that's selling candy bars or doing a car wash to raise money for the band, or submitting to drug tests. How is that a violation of a students "rights"? For any student that had a problem with this, I'd ask if they'd prefer the school just drop the program they want to be involved in. Either because it was too expensive or because it wasn't worth the legal hassles with the ACLU.

I remember the schools would occasionally check our lockers. Again, nobody should have a problem with this. If they do, they can opt to not use a locker.

Even closer to home, in Ramona, a school is having problems with the ACLU. A girl (I believe she was 12) wanted to do a report on Harvey Milk. The teacher let her, but had all the other students take home a permission slip to show their parents. Half of the parents didn't feel comfortable with their children hearing this report, so when the girl gave it to the class, it was only half full.

Now, why in the world is this an ACLU issue? And how could they have a problem with this?

They claim Harvey Milk is an important figure in history and blah blah blah. Well, nobody is disputing that.

To me, the school did EVERYTHING RIGHT in this instance. They didn't tell her she couldn't do a report on Milk (which to me, they should've had the right to do...not that I would've necessarily agreed with that, but a school should have the right to tell you who you can and can't write about).

When the school thought about how there might be a parent or two out there that freaks out about this, they were smart enough to send out permission slips. And apparently they were right to do so, as half the parents objected.

How in the world can anyone have a problem with this? If anything, this is an example of how a school did everything right.

More like this:

Comments

Josh Board June 9, 2009 @ 9:35 p.m.

UPDATE: It's hard to always update on the latest idiotic things the ACLU does, as they come so often.

The latest is an 8th grader that went online, made a video on Youtube or some sight, saying the principle was a pedophile and other things.

The school suspended her. The ACLU claims the school shouldn't be allowed to do that, as she did the videos on her own time, not the schools time.

Gotta love those ACLU idiots! Let students make false charges against school administrators. And no harm should be done to "kids" because...oh, they deserve freedom of speech. Amazing.

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Josh Board May 25, 2009 @ 8:57 p.m.

Okay Mindy, let me ask you this. When the school lets the girl do the report, and three parents complain. And some idiotic parent decides they want to "sue" (because, anybody can sue for anything...and that means that the school then has legal fees to worry about, and bad PR). What then?

Why not just stay on the safe side, and any time ANYTHING sounds remotely controversial, you send home a notice to the parents.

If I'm a parent, and my kid brings home a permission slip that says a child is doing a report on Harvey Milk, I have no problem with it. If it was a report on say...Larry Flynt, I might inquire as to why this person was allowed to be reported on, but would assume the teachers are going to keep what is said in check. Maybe it's a report about Flynts legal fights for "freedom of speech" or who knows what.

But again, the school DID NOT tell the kid they couldn't do the report, and I think that's the important thing to keep in mind. If half the parents don't want their kid learning about the accomplishments of Milk, or how sometimes you can die believing and speaking out on a cause, that's their loss. But it's certainly their right, to decide what they deem appropriate for their children to learn.

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rickeysays May 27, 2009 @ 7:53 a.m.

There's a fine line between educating kids on human rights, tolerance, and respect for others, and teaching morality that may be different then that being taught at home. I may not agree with Christian parents teaching their kids that homosexuality is wrong, but I recognize their right to do so. The school did a responsible job of walking the line in this case. But once again the ACLU shows that it is more interested in advancing it's ideology then living up to it's name.

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Josh Board May 27, 2009 @ 9:58 a.m.

It's so weird, because my ACLU friend is furious with me. She's on the verge of not wanting to ever talk to me again! All because I thought, as my girlfriend said "The school is in a no-win situation with this."

If they refuse to allow the girl to do the report, people get upset. If they let her do the report, people get upset.

So, in my opinion, the school nailed it. They let EVERY PARENT know that there would be a report. And, half the parents didn't like the idea (which is beyond me, but it's their right).

My ACLU friend claimed you woudln't do that with JFK, because you aren't talking about his sex life. But you never know which direction a story will go in.

Oscar Wilde is one of the greatest writers in history. So...if a child does a report on him, will they mention he's gay? Or that he spent time in prison on sodomy charges? Do you ask the kid if they intend to cover this? Do you not let them? Do you send permission slips home? It all seems like a lot of extra work for the already overworked teachers. But if you don't do that, some idiotic parent sues.

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shizzyfinn May 27, 2009 @ 10:47 a.m.

The ACLU has to challenge censorship and invasion of privacy, wherever it turns up in our country, as part of the never-ending battle to maintain our personal freedoms and keep the government out of our private lives.

It's based on the slippery slope theory, where permission slips, which seem innocent enough, may evolve into a more outright censorship of facts and ideas in a school. Or where drug testing of high school athletes may evolve into more serious breaches of personal privacy by government.

Defending personal freedoms sometimes means defending words and ideas that make many of us uncomfortable. That's why I think the ACLU is a wonderful organization. They're willing to fight the unpopular fight today, so that we don't have to fight a much more serious fight tomorrow.

A small sampling of the many achievements of the ACLU:

1920s: fought against the movement to teach literal interpretation of Bible's creationism in public schools

1950s: initiated case of Brown v. Board of Education, which resulted in ending of racial segregation in schools

1960s: successfully fought bans on interracial marriage in several states

1970s: played key roles in impeachment of Richard Nixon and in Roe v. Wade

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David Dodd May 27, 2009 @ 11:24 a.m.

Harvey Milk was murdered because he was a homosexual. It's ridiculous for a school district to require permission slips in order to have children learn this. Is there some magical age? Seventeen? Nineteen? All homosexuals that I have known have told me that they knew, at a very early age, that they were sexually attracted to the same sex. Homosexuality is not some contracted disease, it isn't a learned preference.

What is this, 1953?

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MsGrant May 27, 2009 @ 6:49 p.m.

All of my gay friends have said the same thing to me. "Do you think I would have chosen to be gay if I had a choice?" They deal the deck they have been handed, with grace and dignity. Eventually, this will be in the history books, along with Brown v. Board of Education and every other horrible event that inspired someone to stand up and say they will no longer tolerate it. The sooner we recognize gay people as just people, the sooner we can put this to rest.

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Josh Board May 27, 2009 @ 8:51 p.m.

Well written responses by you guys, but first, shizzy. You mention things I agree with. But, do you realize that the ACLU has fought FOR sites that help people keep child pornography? I don't want to mention the name of the organization, as I don't want them to even get a mention. But, it had to do with adults being able to have the right to do what they want on a computer, or some such thing. And to me, that's where the ACLU should step back, and say "is this really the battle we want to fight?"

The ACLU, like unions in days of old, did a lot of positive. But just like unions now, they often are involved in negative things, and sometimes do more harm than good.

refried, from what I remember about the movie, Harvey Milk didn't die because he was gay. A nut job who worked with him, resigned from his job, wanted it back and didn't get it (partly because of Milk), and so he shot him. I guess Milk doesn't go well with Twinkies.

Believe me, I think the kids should learn about Milk. But...answer this question for me. If the kid does the report on Milk, and talks about his gay lovers (not sure why the kid would, but hear me out on it)...what do you do when a few parents complain and threaten to sue? It's just not worth the upset parents, so why not send a permission slip? It's a simple enough thing to do, and it seems, the right choice, as half the parents took their kids out of the class. Which is great, because those idiotic parents are just going to make their kids now SEEK OUT, and find info on Milk so they can be rebellious. So, instead of them dozing off during this kids report, they now can Google and seek stuff out on their own, and will learn much more. Including the fact that they have an idiot for a parent.

refried, in some regards, things have gone back the way they had back in 1953. Because of all the lawsuits and stuff.

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rickeysays May 28, 2009 @ 3:43 p.m.

Josh I disagree with your statement 'the ACLU should step back, and say "is this really the battle we want to fight?"' That's the problem with the ACLU. They don't take on ANY case that is a violation of constitutional liberties, only the ones that meet their ideology. Let them take up a few of the political right's issues and then I'll respect them as an organization.

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David Dodd May 28, 2009 @ 3:54 p.m.

Here's a few examples, Rickey:

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,108140,00.html

http://www.aclu.org/freespeech/protest/11289prs20000831.html

http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2008/jul/11/only-nevada-aclu-opposes-gun-control/

Not to mention their support of the KKK to have freedom of speech - no matter how wrong and distasteful as it is.

I don't see a left-wing agenda.

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Josh Board May 29, 2009 @ 12:23 a.m.

Thanks for posting those things. I only agree with the ACLU on the gun one.

But yeah, I like the fact that the ACLU will support someone or something they don't care for, if it means their rights are being violated. But, the Limbaugh link you have, is a perfect example of WHY they bother me so much.

Because, I think the probe was correct in looking into Rush and his drug habits. He was accused (and found guilty) of various things (like having a maid pick up drugs illegally for him). So to me, the authorities should be able to search ANYTHING related to that.

Sure, I like the fact that someone like Rush could make fun of the ACLU ever day for two years straight, and they'll come to his aid if need be. But again, this was the wrong time. And the ACLU has a habit of doing that.

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