Creating A False Narrative And Dividing A Community
- The media used to be an informative source that our nation turned to for news. It was known for true journalism. Now it can be a biased form of propaganda along with social media.
- If used for political purposes, community issues can be turned into political ones, creating confusion and division, especially if only one side of the narrative is speaking.
- Unfortunately for the last 24 months, CBSD and community has been subject to such an event. Regardless of your beliefs, it is undeniable that the media has had a detrimental effect on our school board, administration, educators, community, parents, and most of all, the students.
- The below media compilation is an attempt to underscore how third parties, who don’t live, work, or have children in our district, and do not have a stake in our success, yet have had a detrimental effect on our community.
The Philadelphia Inquirer
If Paul Martino had been a member of the Democratic Party this article would have sung his praises and made him a hero! The media bias is undeniable!
The Pennsylvania Teacher’s Union (PSEA) spent $40 MILLION DOLLARS on political lobbying since 2010 for their benefit, and our LOCAL MEDIA vilifies a CBSD parent for donating to a campaign that directly benefits HIS children?
- What right does anyone have to question how a person privately spends their own money?
- We are grateful that a family in our community wants to support our students, district, educators, and our future, because our children are our future.
- Many educators are scared to question what benefits they are getting from the PSEA dues that they give (see chart below).
- The PSEA has a $800 MILLION budget. Why are educators getting minimal benefits and having to spend their own money on school supplies for their classroom?
- Throwing millions at political campaigns also doesn’t mean that you receive good candidates. Community support, including money donations, is a better method.
- Which would you rather have, money from people in your community or outside third party organizations that have their own political agenda and no stake in our community success?
More misinformation includes accusations of “dark money” and “buying elections” regarding the Back to School PAC. The opposite is actually true. More money was used by the Democratic Party in the last election.
See the below to read the Official White Paper of A FULL ACCOUNTING OF MONEY RAISED on the 2021 Central Bucks School District Board Races. This OWP was published March 2022 and presented at a school board meeting.
WHYY- Emily Rizzo
What’s in a Label? Everything!!!!
The pandemic hurt our kids and parents wanted control back, donning the phrase “Parents Over Politics” in the November 2021 school board campaign. The strong 6-3 majority started off 2022 promising policy revision and support of the Administration’s goal of reversing learning loss. The three minority board members were not effective in deterring the goals of the majority and fear spread that support for the progressive social justice agenda would be deterred. Parents were saying they wanted change after learning some disturbing things that were happening behind the scenes.
So, what do you do when you’re in the minority and are ineffective through normal school board processes? You create a false narrative within the community to regain control making it personal and political, at our children’s and taxpayers expense. The media is called in to publicly craft it, thus dividing a community and damage a school district internally so no one can get anything done.
Develop a play book based on lies and misinformation.
- Label your enemy, remove personal connections like the fact that they are your neighbors, your kids play together, that you see them at the grocery store.
- Labels divide and group people into “us vs. them” and are very effective.
- Labels cause emotion to rule over logic, fact and reason.
- Labels further perpetuate more misinformation and hate until it seems people can never compromise.
- Create bigoted and harmful labels for the media to continually repeat, and the community will, in turn, repeating them as well
“Right Wing Extremist, Conservative Extremist, Trumper, Christian National Conservative, Nazi, Fascist, Anti-LGBTQ, Bigot, Homophobe”
Instead of talking about why sexually explicit books are in our schools or asking why Policy 321 was necessary, media uses unproductive, bigoted, demeaning labels in their headlines and inciteful buzz words like “banning” or “censorship” to to get ratings, harming our students and community in the process.
Who is the Real Bully in the Room?
The ACLU complaint is not a lawsuit. The accusations were anonymous, redacting significant parts of the complaint, including the names of the complainants. To date, CBSD does not know the names of the accusers.
The ACLU or the parents involved have not reached out to CBSD’s Board or Administration to resolve the issues internally, costing the school district more in legal fees. It’s been almost six months without any updates, no lawsuit filed, and parents involved have not contacted the district to resolve issues internally after the complaint was filed. The only people that are asking for resolution is the school board majority and administration.
As a parent, if your child was suffering wouldn’t you at least work for resolution? The “drop a bomb and walk away” incident causes many people to question whether this was a political stunt to defame the majority school board and to win an upcoming election rather than a true issue in our schools?
How much money and resources does this cost our taxpayers? The cost to our students is immeasurable.
Mr. Pecic was already set to retire in 2023 when this incident happened. After investigating the locations of the 65 challenged books (for obscene sexually explicit material), one parent found that over 185 copies (or 43%) were found only in CB South (compared to all 7 Secondary schools), and CB South had 60% of all HS copies. There are 39 copies of Living Dead Girl and 42 copies of Speak, which makes parents question whether these books were also used in the classroom setting, actively push an agenda, or excessively use taxpayer dollars to support certain authors.
CBSD hired The Independence Law Firm for their experience and expertise, not for their religious beliefs or background. To suggest this narrative is false and is only used to further insinuate that Policy 109.2 and 321 “must be bad”. Isn’t this bias and hateful behavior?
Ms. Rizzo also misconstrues that fact that the first 5 challenged books by our Administration, happen to be the most obvious examples of sexually explicit materials in our library. They contain not just explicit sexual verbiage, but graphic sexual images! They were not chosen by parents because they were LGBTQ related, and to state this without speaking to the parents directly, is false reporting and inaccurate journalism.
5 books will be reviewed every 2-3 months which means that it could take 2-3 years to complete the review process. Parents would like to know why books are remaining on the shelves, but also why we are purchasing more books for the review committee to read when we have multiple copies in school libraries.
Did you you know Duval County Public Schools in Jacksonville, Florida, the 20th largest school district in the nation and 6th largest in Florida with 129 thousand students, has reviewed over 1 million books via media specialists, to ensure their library does not break three state laws impacting certain subjects in education including race, gender and sexual orientation.
Parents have been waiting 2 years for the ability to challenge books again after our library policy was retired in 2018. During that time, parents were able to research many books in question, based on websites with tools helping parents review the books with sexually inappropriate content with minors, and identify which are in our school libraries.
These books are of the YOUNG ADULT (YA) category with significant amounts of adult content (obscene sexual content with minors, significant drug addiction and use, significant use of profanity and derogatory language). The ALA is pushing this content into our schools and sales are up over 48% in the YOUNG ADULT for the ALA in YA category since 2018.
Federal law 18 USC 1470 and 1466A
Federal law specifically prohibits sexually explicit material to minors through facilities or provided by adults. Our school district is in violation of federal law. Our school board majority and top administration has recognized this deficiency and is focusing on compliance.
18 United States Code § 1470 Whoever, using the mail or any facility or means of interstate or foreign commerce, knowingly transfers obscene matter to another individual who has not attained the age of 16 years, knowing that such other individual has not attained the age of 16 years, or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both.
18 U.S.C. § 1466A Obscene visual representations of the sexual abuse of children.
Ms. Rizzo insinuates that these books are not inappropriate nor contain sexual content, but has she read or investigated the books in question? Has she investigated Federal Law? Many of the books challenged are Young Adult books containing obscene sexually explicit content.
The writer’s states that the books being challenged by parents are mainly LGBTQ genre. This is also false. Parents also found that these books are inappropriate because they promote extensive profanity, chronic and debilitating drug and alcohol addiction and abuse, sexual battery, violent rape, molestation, child trafficking, necrophilia, eating disorders, racism, bigotry and self-harm.
Another inaccurate claim by Ms. Rizzo is that the book challengers are from the Moms for Liberty group to generate sensationalism over accuracy. So much for journalism, fueling more division and misinformation in our community.
52 School Board Directors (failed to mention that they were from the Democratic Party) called our majority school board directors “political”, indicating that they put Policy 109.2 or 321 in for political purposes and to harm LGBTQ students which is absolutely false.
How many of these 52 Board Directors spoke to the 6 majority Board Members about their concerns prior to writing the letter to make sure that they understood the situation completely? There are always two sides to a story; the misinformation put out by the media is not accurately portraying the entire situation and just incited our community.
Again, if parents hadn’t brought the ACLU and the federal government into our school district, there wouldn’t have needed a PR firm.
Bucks Courier Times/ PhillyBurbs is laser focused on destroying our community
Massive Right To Know requests placed by reporters seek information on school board members and parents in order to produce HEADLINES NOT HELP.
Jo Ciavaglia (Courier Times) and others have put in many right-to-know requests on board members and parents. They are seeking out private information that could be used to push a false narrative, target and threaten conservative people, and therefore, it certainly can be interpreted as intimidating for those who support the current board majority. Ultimately, it creates more division and confusion in our community and does nothing to help our school district move forward.
Instead of interviewing sources directly, reporters have sought to obtain their information on their targets through their own private communications with the district.
The only winner is her career and her media source, The Bucks Courier Times. This behavior is akin to a witch hunt as her requests are broad termed, include many people, some of which are not actively engaged.
According to public Bucks Voter rolls, Jo Ciavaglia is a Democrat who doesn’t reside in Central Bucks school district. She has no stake in the success of our school district because she doesn’t pay CBSD taxes nor has children who attend school here. This behavior is not to benefit our district nor correct an internal situation between a parent/taxpayer and schools which is usually what it’s used for.
While Ms. Ciavaglia and Ms. Rizzo (WHYY) have every right to request information from CBSD, our community should understand that this behavior drains our district resources away from fulfilling the education mission of our district. The media is doing nothing to help our children thrive and drain taxpayer dollars.
The Huffington Post
Karen Smith, a school board director for Region 1, has become a public spokesperson and attended the teacher and student-led protests, which are dividing our community further. The Huffington Post is a national magazine and parents question that at a time when our community was so divisive, why is it necessary to do this personal interview? Ms. Smith is not representing the district, nor has permission from the entire board to comment. No other board member is being given such a voice without consent from their colleagues. And, since she was elected as a Republican to represent her region, some question if she is pushing her own personal agenda rather than acting on what her constituents would like her to do.
Parents are very concerned about the amount of graphic sexually explicit content in books in our school libraries. Instead of understanding the law, Ms. Smith downplays the content and parents’ concerns in a national magazine. Ms. Smith also participated in several Planned Parenthood lead protests on school property. Parents feel that Ms. Smith has every right to her beliefs, but as an elected official representing CBSD parents, she has a duty to behave in a way that protects our district from harm by outside sources and represents our district professionally and without inciting more division.
Bucks County Beacon
Parent political activists are allowed a media microphone to express their opinions and push their political agenda.
The Bucks County Beacon gave voice to several parents who misinformation that Policy 109 and School Board majority were “banning books”. There is no mention about the policy dealing with sexually explicit material. Activists used Anti-LGBTQ rhetoric to defame the school board directors who were on the opposite side of the political aisle and confuse and divide our community.
CBSD School Board Director, Tabitha Del’Angelo, is a media contributor.
CBSD high student activists are also included in this media source.
The truth that Policy 109 only sought to remove sexually explicit material was not highlighted.
Many of the challenged books are not LGBTQ related but the book ban was also cited as an attack on the LGBTQ community which was false.
SIGN THE PETITION
TO REMOVE SEXUALLY EXPLICIT MATERIALS FROM OUR SCHOOLS