What happens when you disagree with the skewed public policy and funding of the Obama Administration’s approach to school safety? Or if you challenge the need, effectiveness and/or political agenda behind “anti-bullying” legislation campaigns advocated by special interest groups?
You get labeled as an “anti-gay conservative,” called a “right wing bullying group,” and put on a “right wing watch” listserv email, at least by one group publicly portraying itself as a safe schools coalition.
Anti-bullying / gay rights listserv email inaccurately labels policy opposition
In a March 18, 2011, email attributed to Ryan Schwartz at hummingbirdink.com, School Security Blog and Ken Trump are inaccurately (and perhaps libellously) described under “right wing bullying groups” and aligned as “anti-gay conservative.” Schwartz’s web site describes his company as a communications agency that “passionately helps progressive activists tell their stories and create change.”
The listserv email, apparently available to subscribers who want to follow “RIGHT WING WATCH,” states:
(2)School Safety vs. Safe Schools The school security blog has been writing for some time against comprehensive bullying legislation, and is a great read to understand how anti-gay conservatives might push back against bullying policies. The blog is written by Ken Trump, who made his education consulting business talking about guns, metal detectors, and school shootings. He was invited to Bush’s White House conference on school safety in 2006, which focused on the Virginia Tech shooting and responding to gunmen on school campuses. So naturally, he has been disappointed that the current focus on school safety is examining bullying and school climate issues, addressing the roots of some school violence instead of promoting a more militaristic approach. Even though his blog posts on Obama’s White House conference on bullying offer little analysis, keep an eye out for his responses to breaking safe schools news as a way to predict pushback aginst LGBT-inclusive efforts. His posts also beg the question of if ‘safe schools’ is still the best way to frame bullying prevention work. “
The email also inaccurately and perhaps libellously states:
“So naturally, he has been disappointed that the current focus on school safety is examining bullying and school climate issues, addressing the roots of some school violence instead of promoting a more militaristic approach.”
My 25 years of writing and speaking, along with my three books ( including my latest Proactive School Security and Emergency Preparedness Planning), clearly encourage a comprehensive and balanced approach to school safety. So does my Congressional testimony, which coincidentally occurred in response to invitations from Democratic Congress-persons who recognized my apolitical expert testimony and perspectives as coming from a professional, not political, agenda. (This is more than I can say about some others who have testified, including one of the gay rights special interest groups working both the hearing room and behind-the-scenes rooms.)
I suppose the writer was also a little frustrated that although the Obama White House media office refused to put out a list of invited attendees at Obama’s White House Conference on Bullying, I assembled a blog article with open sources a sample list suggesting the surface level focus on bullying also had a secondary, and perhaps greater, political agenda based on its heavy attendees from gay rights and civil rights special interest groups. Or maybe it was my blog article from open sources citing how the Education Department’s former assistant deputy secretary for safe schools, Kevin Jennings, was jet-setting the country promoting a political agenda on taxpayer dollars rather than a truly balanced and comprehensive approach to school safety?
Disagree with policy and get politically labeled and attacked
It is no mystery that I have questioned questioned the skewed public policy and funding on school safety by the Obama Administration. And I have been very clear in documenting how school safety has been politically hi-jacked by gay rights and civil rights groups seeking to create a legal protected class under the guise of “anti-bullying” laws.
So apparently to some “progressive” (aka: liberal) individuals, a 25+-year school safety professional who unmasks the politicizing of school safety and disagrees with the direction of public policy and funding on school safety is automatically an “anti-gay conservative” and on the “right wing watch.” I find this rather pathetic and at the same amusing, since many “progressives” have been campaigning on “civility” and diversity of opinions.
Mistaking policy disagreements for personal attacks
I don’t use my blog to personally attack and mischaracterize an individual. I do use it to unmask what I see as the politicizing of professional school safety, public policy and public funding decisions by special interest groups and politicians. And I’ll continue to do so.
I have a very positive and respectful working relationship with professionals from diverse backgrounds and political viewpoints: Republican and Democrat, progressive and conservative, gay and straight, and many others. Some people like me and others don’t like me.
Many don’t agree with where I stand, but all will know where I stand. That’s more than I can say for a lot of politicians and special interest groups who have been masking their true agendas under the guise of “bullying” and “safe schools” — and at least one apparent “progressive” writer whose buried political listserv email suggests he/she is apparently not as open to diverse professional opinions as some of his/her progressive colleagues advocate being.
Really now, can’t we all get along?
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