Letters to the Editor — Dec. 8, 2017

Date Published: 
Dec. 8, 2017

Reader weighs in on proposed regulation

Editor’s note: The following letter was addressed as comments to Secretary Susan Bunting of the Delaware Department of Education, regarding the draft anti-discrimination Regulation 225, which was up for public comment through Dec. 4. The comments were sent to the Coastal Point for publication.

I support many of the goals Regulation 225 seeks to advance and, as drafted, it offers hope to students and families that find themselves thrown into the vortex of this public controversy believing the full force of Delaware law exists to vindicate and protect their interests.

As an advocate of the ideals behind this draft regulation, I seek Gov. Carney’s pledge that he has received the blessing of his chief legal officer that the path he has ordered his Secretary of Education to journey will be upheld by existing law.

In my view, the draft amended Regulation 225 is sure to deliver disappointing setbacks to those who rely on its protections based on ethnicity, gender, or gender identity or expression (additions to regulatory coverage that lack statutory support).

Sadly, as many individuals sponsoring this effort surely know well, future lawsuits will, in all probability, blunt its force and effects in major respects. Years of contentious litigation would delay needlessly the more important work of putting in place appropriate protections for students without the clamor of legal overreach. Such a future need not come to pass if supporters of this draft regulation cease this four-month parade toward implementation.

The efficacy and survivability of this proposed regulation will pivot on simple concepts: where lies the statutory authority from which the Department of Education:

· Unilaterally elevates and adds ethnicity, gender, and gender identity and expression to protected group status;

· Endows each school district with parental authority (parens patriae) over all students, without regard to age;

· Allows a secret (sub rosa) contract between student and school district with no parental notice.

Thousands of Delawareans from a broad spectrum of educational and economic strata have been challenged to publicly step forward, announce who they are and offer their commentary. Strange, is it not, that these persons have done so without the benefit of the views of the chief legal officer of Delaware, Attorney General Matt Denn.

Surely the largest law firm in Delaware, with 220 attorneys, possesses the legal acumen to weigh in on this important statewide initiative by providing an opinion to the Secretary regarding the items referenced above and having that opinion placed in the public record.

Indeed, Attorney General Denn has demonstrated tenacity and oversight in addressing bullying in our public schools, e.g. 2015 Update on Implementation by Delaware Public Schools of the State’s 2012 Anti-Bullying Laws.

The most disappointing aspect of this notice and comment process is that it trivializes a legitimate need for student protection: a need that should be supported with statutory authority and, thereafter, common-sense guidelines that will grow and expand with the benefit of local and national experiences.

James Angus


Reader responds to previous letter


I am responding to the Nov. 17 letter by Donna Purcell. The major points we all agree upon is all U.S. citizens desire peace, freedom and sovereignty and to uphold the U.S. constitution.

The constitution outlines governance; however, this is the first administration ever to try dismantling what was set up by our forefathers by inept appointees to cabinets and agencies. The chaos in both the White House and the Congress will cause our great nation to fall… perhaps like Rome did.

We can keep saying “no one is perfect,” and we aren’t, but that is no excuse to support a person in office who is a narcissist.

Psychiatrist Dr. M. Scott Peck, also a Christian minister, explored whether or not evil is a sickness and, if so, could it be cured? He worked with many patients over the years and in his 1983 book “People of the Lie: The Hope for healing Human Evil” catalogues his experiences with patients whose symptoms defied any therapies he offered.

He found that the malady of evil could be distinguished by some common characteristics in some of the patients. The first was their denial of all personal responsibility. Evil individual programmatically indulge in scapegoating, blaming personal problems or the problems of society on someone else. Evil parties consider themselves above reproach and must deny their own badness by lashing out against others and saying how horrible those people are.

Erich Fromm, the German social psychologist used the term “malignant narcissism” to define persons whose exaggerated pride deceives them into thinking they are smarter than they are and above any authority. Narcissists also demand to be in control and refuse advice from specialists, or anyone, etc.

Christians can find many scriptures to support their points in an argument. But the Ten Commandments, which is the basis for our Judeao-Christian faith, lays down the laws by which man should live.

Our president has broken several of these laws, and the worst one is “you shall have no other Gods before me.” The pursuit of power and wealth is the false god that some people put before our Lord God. Jesus supported this with “Love the Lord your God with all your heard and your neighbor as yourself.” If this would be the goal for each of us, then we might have peace and justice in our world.

“Birds of a feather flock together.” — Author unknown.

Doris Pierce