On December 31st, the student newspaper of Blair High School (Montgomery County, MD) posted an article about the PFOX Handout entitled Flier Sparks Controversy. (Previous XGW article: The PFOX Handout.) It’s pretty clear from the Silver Chips Online article that the school’s principal, its GSA group, parents, and students weren’t too pleased about the PFOX flier being passed out to students. Excerpts organized by groups:
[Principal Phillip] Gainous said that he sympathized with the many Blair students who came to complain to him about the flier. “If I had my druthers, [the flier] would not have gone out,” he said.
The GSA originally planned to stage protests against the organization but decided against it. “PFOX isn’t worth our time,” Edelman said. “They’re not a Montgomery County group, so we don’t recognize their legitimacy. We represent Blair, they don’t.”
The GSA is still formulating a response, including a tentative plan to distribute a flier in response to PFOX’s.
The GSA also sent an Oct. 4 letter to MCPS Deputy Superintendent Frieda Lacey complaining about new regulations, instigated by PFOX, regarding the distribution of written materials by MCPS counselors.
The flier also generated concern among parents, who complained that it contained dishonest, slanted information that does not belong in schools.
Students/Blair High School’s GSA:
Many students also brought concerns to GSA President Avi Edelman, saying that they were “offended” and “disgusted” by the flier, Edelman said. The GSA wants the Board of Education to reexamine the flier policy but have not officially brought their complaints to the Board.
When a parent defended the passing out of the flier, it wasn’t because she approved of the flier, but because she “…would rather all organizations have the freedom to distribute information than all distribution be banned to keep out organizations like PFOX.” Not exactly a ringing endorsement of the handout.
As a side note…
PFOX Executive Director Regina Griggs said she plans to distribute fliers to all MCPS high schools and was only limited to Blair and Quince Orchard this quarter because of copying costs.
My New Year’s prediction is that we’ll hear about PFOX handouts and Montgomery County Schools again in 2007, whether it’s in a form of a changed Montgomery County School Board policy on handouts, or it’s in the form of more fliers being passed out at more schools.