Tuesday, November 12, 2019
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Friday, March 21, 2014
Hawaii lawmaker challenges Alabama group’s ‘Teaching Tolerance’
By Malia Zimmerman @ 7:17 AM :: 2616 Views :: Education K-12

Hawaii lawmaker challenges Alabama group’s ‘Teaching Tolerance’

AP file photo UNDER FIRE: Morris Dees, co-founder and chief trial counsel at the Southern Poverty Law Center in Alabama, is the target of a complaint filed by a Hawaii lawmaker.  AP file photo

by Malia Zimmerman, Watchdog.org, March 21, 2014 

HONOLULU — Hawaii state Rep. Bob McDermott has asked the Alabama State Bar Disciplinary Commission to investigate the Southern Poverty Law Center’s top administrators.

This comes after the Alabama-based nonprofit paid Hawaii public school teachers $250 to attend a workshop and implement the center’s K-12 English and history “Teaching Tolerance” curriculum.

Hawaii law prevents an outside organization from paying public employees, including teachers, to influence the performance of their official duties, or provide extra compensation for official duties from outside sources, McDermott said, calling the stipend a “bribe.”

The complaint filed by the legislator specifically targets SPLC’s co-founder and chief trial counsel Morris Dees and the organization’s president, Jack Cohen.

“I want political agendas, right or left, out of the schools,” McDermott said.

NOT HIM: Rep. Bob McDermott doesn't want his children, who attend public school, exposed to the "Teaching Tolerance" curriculum NOT HIM: Rep. Bob McDermott doesn’t want his children, who attend public school, exposed to the “Teaching Tolerance” curriculum

SPLC declined to comment on the complaint.

However, Maureen Costello, director of the Teaching Tolerance program, disputes McDermott’s accusations.

She said the organization works around the country within the guidelines of the various school districts, either by donating to the schools or paying a small stipend to teachers who help improve the pilot program. Costello said Hawaii approved teachers receiving the stipends.

Costello said SPLC has worked for 22 years to eliminate prejudice and bias, and its program in the schools includes everyone from all backgrounds and religions and help children feel “welcomed, valued and respected” so they have a better learning environment. She said children who feel rejected, unseen or invisible don’t perform as well in school.

“Every parent wants their child to feel safe and accepted at school. We want everyone to get along even if they do not share the same values,” Costello said.

McDermott argues the group’s program is biased against Christians and has no place in the school system.

The pilot program is still being revised, Costello said, and Hawaii teachers across the state are providing input into the final product. Some teachers have told the law center they believe more information on native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders should be included, and SPLC is working to incorporate that suggestion, she said.

This is the third time McDermott has taken aim at the Teaching Tolerance program.

He filed an ethics complaint against Department of Education Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi on Feb. 28 for allowing the teacher training to move forward, saying SPLC’s paid access to Hawaii classrooms is a violation of Hawaii law. He also wrote a cease and desist letter to Matayoshi on March 12.

The Department of Education hasn’t commented on the ethics complaint against its superintendent, only saying it’s under review.

McDermott is the same legislator challenging the Department of Education’s implementation of Pono Choices, a controversial sex-education program for children ages 11 to 13 in public middle schools. The program is under review by an appointed Board of Education working group.

---30---

Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

808 Silent Majority

808 State Update AM940

ABCDEFG Blog

ACA Signups Hawaii

ACCE

ALEC

Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Life Advocates

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

American Mothers of Hawaii

AMVETS-Hawaii

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Audit The Rail

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii 

Blaisdell Memorial Project

Broken Trust 

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

CAFR Hawaii

Castaway Conservative

Children's Alliance Hawaii

Children's Rights Institute

ChinaTownWatch.com

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Citizens for Recall

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

Coffee Break

Conservative Forum for Hawaii

CSIS Pacific Forum

DAR Hawaii

DeedySupport.com

DVids Hawaii

E Hana Kakou Kelii Akina

E Māua Ola i Moku o Keawe

Farmers For Choice Hawaii

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Follow the Money Hawaii

Frank in Hawaii

Front Page Magazine

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Get Off Your Butts!

God, Freedom, America

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

Hawaii Aganst Assisted Suicide

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crime Victims' Rights

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defending Marriage

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Families for Educational Choice

Hawaii Family Advocates

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Firearm Community

Hawaii Fishermen's Alliance

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii March for Life

Hawaii Meth Project

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Right to Life -- Big Island

Hawaii Right to Life -- Oahu

Hawaii Shield Law Coalition

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

Heritage Foundation

HI Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

HIEC.Coop 

HiFiCo

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Homeless Crisis

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

Horns of Jericho Blog

House Minority Blog

House Republican Caucus YouTube

HPACC

Hump Day Report

I Vote Hawaii

If Hawaii News

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

Iowa Meets Maui

Jackson v Abercrombie

Jihad Watch

Judgepedia Hawaii

July 4 in Hawaii

Kahle v New Hope

Kakaako Cares

Kau TEA Party

Kauai Co GOP

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

KeyWiki

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Middle East Forum--The Legal Project

Mililani Conservatives for Change

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

Muslim Brotherhood in America

NAMI Hawaii

NARTH

Natatorium.org

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

National Wind Watch

New Zeal

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Northwest Economic Policy Seminar

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

Now What I Really Think

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

ObamaCare Abortion Hawaii

Obookiah

OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

OurFutureHawaii.com

Pacific Aviation Museum

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons 

Pro-GMO Hawaii

P.U.E.O.

RailRipoff.com

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Republican Party -- Hawaii State

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

Salvage The Rail

Save the Plastic Bag

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

SIFE Remington

SIFE W. Oahu 

Sink the Jones Act

Smart About Marijuana--Hawaii

St Marianne Cope

State Budget Solutions Hawaii

State Policy Network

Statehood for Guam

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Harriet Tubman Agenda

The Long War Journal

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Truth About Trade & Technology - Hawaii

UCC Truths

Union Members Know Your Rights

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

Valor in the Pacific

VAREP Honolulu

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii

Yes2TMT