Entries Tagged 'LGBT' ↓

Sioux Falls School District introduces school uniforms for challenged students

I guess I don’t know a lot about the effectiveness of requiring school uniforms, but several studies out there including this one, don’t show they help much;

In general, students in schools that required school uniforms did not demonstrate better social skills, internalizing and externalizing behavior, or school attendance as compared with students in schools without school uniforms. These associations were true across both public and private schools. 

I’m sure there are hundreds of studies showing both sides of the coin, but the bigger issue is how the SFSD left the parents in the dark when making this decision;

Peters said she doesn’t agree with the way administration doled out information about the major changes coming to Axtell this school year in meetings held at the school Aug. 2 and Aug. 9.

“Removing the programs built to support our students, restructuring the school and intentionally hiding from the parents and students in my opinion is shameful,” she said. “We are supposed to be a team. This is not how a team works. Ultimately, our children suffer when there are breakdowns of this proportion.”

It kind of seems like this is an authoritarian move instead of something that would actually be beneficial to the students;

“We believe all students deserve the best opportunities,” Konrad said in a statement. “Regular attendance, positive behavior and self-image, and a strong focus on academic success are critical factors for the students who participate in the behavior programs at Axtell Park, now and in the future.”

So shouldn’t this policy be implemented district wide? Why single out lower income or challenged students? I have long heard from teachers across the district (from elementary school to high school, to lower income to middle income schools) that there are major discrepancies on programming and funding depending on what school it is. Maybe uniforms are NOT the issue? Maybe it is staffing, programming and funding?


While private schools are a ‘choice’ I wonder how many parents that send their kids to Catholic Schools will be keen on this policy;

The policy states that students cannot “advocate, celebrate, or express” either same-sex attraction or “transgenderism” in a way that would “cause confusion or distraction in the context of Catholic school classes, activities, or events.” It also says that teachers or staff cannot refer to a student by a pronoun that corresponds with the opposite sex.

While the SFSD did say they made their decision on uniforms based on committee recommendations, kind of sounds like SFCS decision was based on what the Bishop thinks. You get what you pay for.

While I don’t have a dog in the fight since I have no kids, I do fund the public schools, and it seems over the past couple of years there has been a push to turn our schools into a fascist state. There are many reasons why students fall behind, and it has little to do with identity, it usually has to do with income status. I have argued for a long time that ALL students, regardless of income status should get a FREE lunch, if they want it, no questions asked. There should also be equal funding and programming at ALL schools in Sioux Falls, regardless of the neighborhood they are in. But there needs to be a community wide effort to raise wages for the working class parents, offer more affordable family housing and public funding for Pre-K education, which has proven to help with better student outcomes and saves families childcare dollars.

Of course none of this works very well without having an open and transparent conversation with the community instead of implementing polices in the dark of night.

Is Mayor TenHaken avoiding the LGTBQ community?

First in Memorial Day news, I had one of my ‘older’ foot soldiers call me today, J. Troy, to tell me he drove down the boulevard in McKennan Park and was disappointed that there was 3 city flags, 1 rainbow flag (gay pride) and no American flags.

I’m not sure about those hoity-toity McKennan Park folks, but I drove down 26th street today and there was well over a dozen American flags flying.

Also, as a reminder, Memorial Day is a holiday to remember not only our citizens that died in war, but all those who made our country great. Veteran’s day is in honor of those who survived war, and Armed Services day is for those who currently serve.

In Mexico they have a celebration of the dead at the end of October called ‘Day of the Dead’ in which they celebrate and honor all those who have died.

I was always brought up that Memorial Day was not only about our brave service people who made the ultimate sacrifice, but about all Americans who have contributed and passed on. Flags and Flowers for all.

Speaking of flowers . . .

Is Mayor Paul Homophobic?

He was kind of asked this during a Democratic Forum during the mayoral campaign, and he denied it. I was willing to take his word on it, but he has conveniently side stepped the subject since then.

Until now.

The ‘LGBee-ers‘ as I call them, are up in arms because they asked PTH, in his official capacity of mayor (not king of the SF selfie) to read a proclamation at the gay pride parade on June 15. Paul had a convenient out, Father’s Day weekend. Just like when he was asked to do the proclamation at gay pride last year, he once again used his children as an excuse. Paul reminds me of all the moms I have worked with over the years that use their kids as an excuse to get out of work early or to take a day off. It’s lame when they do it, and it is lame when you do it Paul. You can’t take 30 minutes out of your Father’s Day weekend (the day before BTW) to put a rest to whether you are homophobic or not? Besides, you will fit right in, there will plenty of flashy costumes and selfies galore!

I challenge Paul to put an end to the salacious rumors once and for all, and read the proclamation at the gay pride festival. As I tell my conservative friends, ‘Gay people are just like us,  just more fun . . . and better dancers.’

City Hall needs some better dancers these days.



Park Festival: Saturday, June 16th 2018, 12-6PM

Terrace Park: 1100 West 4th Street, Sioux Falls, SD 57104

Cost: FREE

More info: siouxfallspride.org | #SuFuPride

Sioux Falls Pride is a vibrant diverse community celebration that honors lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) culture. Sioux Falls Pride has grown from around 500 around 15 years ago to nearly 9,000 attendees last year. Sioux Falls Pride hopes that numbers continue to grow as events, volunteer opportunities and community partnerships increase.

Sioux Falls Pride 2018 has expanded its month long line up of events that take place all over the city, planned entirely by volunteers and local businesses. All events are low cost, or free to participate with most for all ages.

See full list here

Weekend list of events with time and location:

  • Friday June 15
    Rooftop Drag Bingo starting @5PM at Club David
    $1 per card to play, 21+
    Friday Night Chalk starting @6PM at JAM Art & Supplies
    Free, Family Friendly

  • Saturday June 16

    • Drag Queen Storytime @10AM at the DTSF Library
      Family Friendly, Free

    • Pride in the Park @12PM-6PM in Terrace Park
      90 vendors, 7 food vendors, 6 hours of entertainment
      Free, Family Friendly
      Full park schedule

    • Rainbow Con Pub Crawl starting @5PM at various DTSF bars
      Cost Varies, 21+

    • Rainbow the Falls @Sundown at Falls Park
      Free, Family Friendly

    • Official Sioux Falls Pride After Party @9PM at Club David
      $10 or $20 per ticket, 21+

  • Sunday June 17

Sioux Falls Pride would not be possible without our sponsors! Thank you.

Please find our entire 2018 Sponsor list here.

It only took 7 years and 8 months, but Mayor Huether now supports LGBT rights

Okay, that isn’t fair. He did try to monkey around with some executive orders a few years ago. While I think it is great he signed on with this program, I will also say it is easy to support controversial social issues when you have one foot out the door. That’s Mike, always ‘Getting stuff done’.

Thank You Mayor Huether for the Pride!

We got a phone call saying “Let’s go to Sioux Falls Pride Celebration. Oh, and don’t forget your camera.” So it was off to Terrace Park to enjoy the meandering quartzite pathways and all the people who showed up to enjoy a beautiful day in the sun.

Mayor Mike had to give a proclamation to start off the events and because no one else was likely to let you hear it, we give it to you.

Enjoy the video as we enjoyed our time in the park.

UPDATE: Withdrawing the Transgender ordinance the right thing to do, for now

UPDATE: There was a fantastic story tonight online of the Argus about the openness of city councilor Greg Neitzert;

Greg Neitzert has been the City Council’s most vocal critic of a pair of failed proposals to expand city anti-discrimination laws for LGBT people.

His willingness to listen to a different point of view, though, won him praise Tuesday night before the controversial votes.

Sioux Falls city councilors have been reluctant to talk publicly about whether or not they think transgender people should be included in local anti-discrimination rules.

Neitzert has expressed concerns about the impact on private businesses, landlords and religious organizations, but a Sioux Falls transgender women lauded him for his compassion and thoughtfulness.

“Greg is the most open-minded person I’ve ever seen on Council. All y’all other ones never reached out to me,” Sierra Broussard said Tuesday at Carnegie Town Hall.

She said in the weeks leading up to this week’s controversial decision to indefinitely delay measures to bolster the city’s anti-discrimination rules, she sought dialogue with all eight city councilors. Neitzert was the lone councilor to spend time speaking with her.

As I told people while campaigning for Greg, he has a high level of integrity combined with intelligence. Two thumbs up!

The Sioux Falls city council pulled the (poorly drafted) ordinance tonight. When you have an actual transgender show up to the meeting and say it is poorly written, what more can you say?

Do I support anti-discrimation language being added to our city ordinances? Sure. But with everything transformational it must be vetted and an education process must be had. I felt sorry for the city council tonight, they were put in a crappy corner.

I told a person after the meeting that if you put each councilor in a room individually, and asked them to define transgender, they would all give a different answer.

Doing the right thing takes time folks, that’s why gay marriage and eventually marijuana legalization nationwide took as long as it did. We need to have people understand something before we can get them to go along with it. Forcing the city council to approve something they don’t understand isn’t fair to them or the community, or quite frankly fair to transgenders.

These things take time, to work through our courts and the halls of government. Let it be vetted fully, then we can truly celebrate diversity and equality. I love activism and free speech, but sometimes you have to know when to keep your mouth shut, it may just work in your favor.