The skinny: A teacher wanted to show "An Inconvenient Truth" to a class. A parent who supports creationism in schools complained, loudly. The school board says the Al Gore film can only be shown only with permission from the principal and superintendent, and only if a "credible, legitimate opposing view" is presented.
It's not a fight over truth; it's a war about politics, religion and political correctness. A story in the Post-Intelligencer illustrates the power of screwed-up thinking:
"Condoms don't belong in school, and neither does Al Gore. He's not a schoolteacher," said Frosty Hardison, a parent of seven who also said that he believes the Earth is 14,000 years old. "The information that's being presented is a very cockeyed view of what the truth is. ... The Bible says that in the end times everything will burn up, but that perspective isn't in the DVD."
Hardison and his wife, Gayla, said they would prefer that the movie not be shown at all in schools.
"From what I've seen (of the movie) and what my husband has expressed to me, if (the movie) is going to take the approach of 'bad America, bad America,' I don't think it should be shown at all," Gayle Hardison said. "If you're going to come in and just say America is creating the rotten ruin of the world, I don't think the video should be shown."
"Somebody could say you're killing free speech, and my retort to them would be we're encouraging free speech," said Larson, a lawyer. "The beauty of our society is we allow debate."
School Board members adopted a three-point policy that says teachers who want to show the movie must ensure that a "credible, legitimate opposing view will be presented," that they must get the OK of the principal and the superintendent, and that any teachers who have shown the film must now present an "opposing view."
A guy named Curt Brown used to be the general manager of KTTS radio in Springfield. Brown would voice his own editorials; a sly tagline said "opposing views will be considered." The Federal Way school district should have taken a lesson from Brown and stood up against a blowhard.