Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Bad Mad Dad Sad

Let us extend our sympathy to our mad dad in Lexington, David Parker. Upon reading his apology of himself, we know how aggrieved he must be not to be able to control this situation in which he has placed himself. This must be wrenching.

For those many of us who recall our religious and moral teachings from youth, honesty and personal responsibility are constants. How very sad that his speech reflects so little of either. However, it likely presages his defense in court on his trespassing charge, rescheduled to tomorrow, October 20.

Do read the whole speech. Let it be a caution.

To recap the actual events briefly:
  • Dad became mad when his kindergartener brought home a picture book about families that included drawings of both straight and gay families. The latter included two dads in the kitchen, one cleaning, one helping with homework, and two mom's in the yard, one playing with the child and one washing the dog.
  • He or his wife had been at school meetings where they learned the diversity packet was coming, could preview it, could refuse to let their son get it, and could have rejected it when it came home (before their son saw it).
  • Instead, the parents asked for and got a meeting with teachers and school officials.
  • The wife left after he did not get special permission to have teachers send his son from the room if any mention, no matter how casual, of any homosexuals arose in the classroom.
  • He stayed and refused requests and pleas from school officials, and then police, for many hours.
  • He forced his arrest by not leaving school grounds. He staged a sit-in.
  • He refused to post a token bail, so that he ended up spending the night in jail.
  • He insists on a jury trial and fighting his civil penalty for his protest (likely a $50 fine).
  • As a parent accused of a crime on school grounds, he has to request permission in advance to enter the school, until this matter is settled. He would rather continuing martyring himself than do that.
There, whew. He is quite the drama queen.

Set aside that he seems to believe that a cartoon of a gay-headed family or any mention of lesbian is sexual. His speech is not a tissue, rather a fat quilt, of lies and distortions. For one example:
I was arrested on April 27th when my wife and I went into a scheduled meeting at Estabrook Elementary School, here in Lexington. We asked for advanced notification when issues of transgenderism, homosexuality, and gay-headed relationships were going to be discussed with my six year old son, when adults within the school were involved in those discussions. The principal and director of education were informed by e-mail that we would be insisting on this notification. I did not dictate anything to anyone - I was very happy to see what I thought were good faith efforts at some form of accommodation.

But instead, at the last hour, they decided to not accommodate to any degree and decided that I was trespassing. They kept hope alive in that meeting and I hung on to that hope. Instead, they had me arrested and taken to the Lexington jail where I spent the night stripped of my shoes, my belt, my wedding ring, and my parental rights. I did not insist on being arrested. I insisted on some form of accommodation for just my child.
It goes on in that vein, both veing dishonest and avoiding personal responsibility for willful acts.

He could have been a hero to many, and a crackpot to some. He could have been a contender (no, different story). If only he had said at the Lexington lockup that this was so important to him that he was willing to be arrested and pay his fine to make his point, he would not have marginalized himself and his cause so severely. We are certain that many more of his neighbors would have considered his point of view and his request, coming as they would have from an honest and principled parent.

He has taken another path. We know he is very wrong, but let us feel for him in the way in which he must live and the situation in which he has placed himself.

Noise Flash!: ABC news will include a snippet on our mad dad in its Wednesday, October 19th, broadcast probably near the end of its 6:30 p.m. broadcast. that's channel 5 locally.


Anonymous said...

Oooooohhh... you know what would be good? If they actually do what Parker says he wants, which is to be notified every time anyone discusses homosexual relationships in front of his son. So, if there are kids with gay parents in his son's class, they can call Parker up like 50 times a day to let him know that his son's classmate is talking about his family.

massmarrier said...

Can you imagine how singled-out and freakish his kids would feel if their teachers sent them out of the room every day or two? Daddy likes to tell his kids that he's in charge. That might not be too comforing from the principal's office wondering why their family doesn't trust them with simple knowledge.

I guess we just can't grok the mad dad.