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Anti-gay memo follows Chino Valley schools superintendent

Timothy Kincaid

September 18th, 2012

Clayton County Schools Superintendent Edmond Heatley was moving up in his career. He had served three years as the Superintendent in the county just south of Atlanta and before that he was Superintendent in Chino Valley, CA. But the next step carried much more prestige: Berkeley.

And it certainly must have been a joyous day at the end of August when he turned in his resignation, effective at the end of this month. And why shouldn’t he feel elated, he was the sole finalist. The only remaining hurdle was official approval by the board.

But, well, there was one tiny little thing.

Ya see, back on September 4, 2008, he wrote a memo. It was to inform the school board about an upcoming vote by which the board would “take action and give direction to the Superintendent regarding Resolution 2008/2009-06 in support of Proposition 8″. And the direction he was seeking was pretty obvious from the “Background” he provided:

If Proposition 8 is not successful, then school districts throughout California will inevitably be required to adjust their policies and curriculum to align with the Court’s recent redefinition of marriage.

The resolution also recognizes that the ideal learning environment for children is within a nurturing home governed jointly by a mother and a father as primary educators of their children.

And, to no one’s surprise, the Chino Valley School Board did indeed endorse Proposition 8. Which, I’m sure, pleased Superintendent Heatley quite a bit.

But did I mention that the place he was the finalist at was Berkeley? Yeah, that Berkeley. Alameda County, where Berkeley is located, overwhelmingly voted no. They don’t like Prop 8 so much there and when locals found out about Heatley’s support, things got very loud and heated. (Berkeleyside)

Sarah Cline, the director of the jazz program at Berkeley High, told the board that she was against the nomination of Heatley because she didn’t believe he reflected the values of Berkeley — openness, inclusion, and tolerance. “If you hire Edmond Heatley, it will send a message to my eight-year-old daughter and five-year-old son … that their family is not as good as other families,” she said.

Teachers wrote, parents went to school board meetings, and his employment was put on hold.

There were a number of other concerns, including his approach to budgets and his education, that were raised. But it was his activism on Proposition 8 that put a stop to the employment. And today the Berkeley school board announced that Heatley “withdrew his name” from the selection process. (Atlanta Journal Constitution)

Heatley’s decision was announced in a Tuesday news release by The Berkeley Unified School District. The decision ends weeks of speculation and controversy surrounding Heatley’s next career move. The former Marine had beat out 50 other candidates to become the sole finalist for the Berkeley job.

But community uproar in Berkeley over a resolution opposing same-sex marriage that passed when Heatley was superintendent of the Chino Valley, Calif. school district may have led to his decision to back out.

Which kinda sucks for Heatley. Clayton County already hired an interim replacement so he’s out of a job.

I guess if you live where people think just like you, it may seem wise to participate in a political move to “protect traditional marriage”. But if you want to ever live outside your bubble, the people whose lives you have harmed may not recall you fondly.

And as time goes on, those who chose to love their gay neighbor like – well, not like they love themselves really, more like how they’d love a mangy three-legged dog with fleas – are going to find that decision has consequences far more negative than positive.

Comments

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TampaZeke
September 18th, 2012 | LINK

Screams of “violation of freedom of speech” in 3, 2, 1…

HELP, I’m being OPPRESSED!

And he’ll have a very lucrative new job with NOM as head spokesman for their “drive a wedge between African-American and gay traditionally Democratic voting blocks” scheme.

Lindoro Almaviva
September 18th, 2012 | LINK

I wonder how long will the anti-gay voices will take before they start screaming about the injustice perpetrated against this man. After all, who in his right mind would use this guys activism to take away his employment.

It is at that moment that I hope to go a hand will appear out of nowhere and slap them against their faces and mention Ellen Degeneres, Richard Grenell and Brendon Ayanbadejo for starters.

Brace yourselves for more outlandish displays of hypocrisy from the “loving” hearts of the christian right.

TonyJazz
September 18th, 2012 | LINK

Yes, it would be preferable for Berkeley to hire someone else. He should seek a job in Sally Kern’s district in Oklahoma, since he might be a better fit there.

Oh, wait, he’s probably unlikely to be hired there (for different reasons).

Too bad….

Raybob
September 18th, 2012 | LINK

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!!!!!

gar
September 19th, 2012 | LINK

I’m quite relieved that he withdrew himself from consideration. Good riddance.

Dev
September 19th, 2012 | LINK

Let them scream and whine. This is good news. I only wish that we had a collective memory about the other scoundrels in CA who were so eager to strip gay people of their constitutional rights.

BTW I love that bit about how curricula change would “inevitably” follow if Prop 8 had been defeated. Not even NOM takes the view that this is an inevitability. And if it it were an inevitable consequence, why had there been no curriculum change when the new school year began in September 2008? And why didn’t domestic partnerships – which have all the rights and obligations of marriage – trigger the same result?

David Waite
September 19th, 2012 | LINK

This comment may make some white readers, whether conservative or progressive, feel a little itchy because it nakedly exposes my racial double standard. For the same reason it is sure to offend some of my fellow blacks. I’ll sour the pot still further by using my advancing years as a reason (but not an excuse) for why I’ve become less concerned about offending others, every year. So here it is, and it is how I really really feel.

I derive greater pleasure from the self-destruction of a bigoted person from my own race/ethnicity than I get from watching white bigots self-destruct. I’ll remove all ambiguity about this statement with the following hypothetical:

Satan approaches me with a tape in each hand. He says, “In my right hand I hold a tape of David Vitter being spanked by a prostitute while he is wearing a diaper and weeping like a baby. In my left hand I hold a tape of Eddie long being spanked by one of his “longfellows” while he is wearing a black diamond-sequined diaper and weeping like a baby. Each tape is addressed to a TV station which will broadcast the tape to the relevant constituency/congregation. But you can only choose and send one tape. Which one do you want?”

I reach out, lovingly cradle Lucifer’s left hand and say, “Send this one, please, first class and insured.”

tiqueboy
September 19th, 2012 | LINK

Karma is a bitch

customartist
September 19th, 2012 | LINK

David,

nice.

TomTallis
September 19th, 2012 | LINK

Anyone with any sense knows that a deal is not a deal until it’s a done deal. He could have waited to resign until he had received a formal offer letter, accepted the offer and returned his signed contract. Until then, he was just another job seeker.

Tough luck, but the fact that he’s out of a job now is due to his own stupidity.

Donny D.
September 20th, 2012 | LINK

I’m wondering why Heatley thought no one in Berkeley would notice his memo leading to the Chino Valley School Board endorsing Proposition 8?

Donny D.
September 20th, 2012 | LINK

Tom Tallis wrote,

Tough luck, but the fact that he’s out of a job now is due to his own stupidity.

Or arrogance.

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