Pretty sure we knew what we were getting ourselves into when we decided it might be a good idea to show up at tonight’s controversial meeting of the Orange County Public Schools board of wisdom. These painful things happen with alarming regularity: Smoke signals are sent tofidgety folks clinging to Bibles and hypothetical whatnots that justify hatred in the most oblique and indefensible ways; miserable trolls open their mouths and utter justifications for the tread of their shoes holding on to the dirt of the past because, you know, GAY is just one variable too far; the collective conscience of thinking beings seizes and stirs at the notion that we’re even sharing air with these drummed up pronouncements of concern; the world ends. We’ve been here before, largely with the same players, and usually we win the argument regardless of the idiocy and offense we’ve endured. Still, tonight held the unique charm of being dressed with concern for our children, concern largely carried by parents who claimed they were out of the loop (because policy is always a surprise) while citing talking points from virulent, obviously organized emails. “Protect Children” read some stickers from some blazers attached to some people intent on doing exactly the opposite. The county fair was here again, and with it, the buckets lined for vomit.
At issue, of course, was the passage of new rules into the sovereign school board books that would include sexual identity and persuasion in a manner that would match the present code of county and city Human Rights Ordinances. Namely, teachers and students would be protected from discrimination, because they should be and that is a fact. So, how is it that it all became such a rancorous mess? Well, just listen to Florida Family Policy Council president John Stemberger in this clip from FOX 35 (which, it should be noted, needs a little help with headlines) and watch as state Rep. Joe Saunders, D-Orlando, shoots him down.