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Posts tagged ‘Arkansas’

26 state school board associations distance themselves from national group calling parents ‘terrorists’


Reported By Anugrah Kumar, Christian Post Contributor| Monday, November 15, 2021

Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/news/26-school-board-groups-object-to-nsba-calling-parents-terrorists.html/

High school, classroom, California
IT Support Technician Michael Hakopian (R) distributes computer devices to students at Hollywood High School on August 13, 2020, in Hollywood, California. With over 734,000 enrolled students, the Los Angeles Unified School District is the largest public school system in California and the 2nd largest public school district in the United States. | Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images

At least 26 state school board associations have distanced themselves from the National School Board Association after it urged the Biden administration to use federal law enforcement agencies against parents who oppose the teaching of controversial curriculum in public schools by labeling them as potential “domestic terrorists.”

The national grassroots organization Parents Defending Education says the states that have distanced themselves from the NSBA’s letter include: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming. 

Out of these, 12 states — Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Wisconsin — have taken further action to withdraw membership, participation or dues from the NSBA.

PDE wrote to NSBA member states for their comment on the Sept. 29 letter sent to them by NSBA Interim Executive Director Chip Slaven, which critics believe likened activism of concerned parents to “domestic terrorism.”

The letter said the NSBA had asked the U.S. Department of Justice to mobilize law enforcement agencies to respond to “threats and acts of violence against public schoolchildren, public school board members, and other public school district officials and educators” as actions of “domestic terrorism.”

While some school board members across the nation have publicly shared incidents of threats they’ve purportedly received from angry residents, critics believe the request to get federal law enforcement involved is unwarranted and an attempt to silence parents. Specific examples of concerning actions included the disruption of school board meetings “because of local directives for mask coverings to protect students and educators from COVID-19,” the incitement of “chaos” at school board meetings by “anti-mask proponents,” and the confrontation of school boards by “angry mobs” that have led boards to “end meetings abruptly.”

John Halkias, the director of the NSBA’s Central Region, wrote to Slaven the same day, on Sept. 29, sharing his belief that “the Board of Directors should have been consulted before a letter like this was sent out publicly, and no less to the President of the United States and the National Press.”

“I also agree that the letter took a stance that went beyond what many of us would consider to be reasonable and used terms that were extreme, and asked for action by the Federal Government that many of us would not request,” he added. “In fact in a recent press conference, the White House Press Secretary stated that when these incidents occur, it is a matter for local law enforcement and local authorities, and NOT the federal government.”

In an Oct. 2 email, NSBA President Viola Garcia told the organization’s board of directors that “NSBA has been engaged with the White House and the Department of Education on these and other issues related to the pandemic for several weeks now.”

Five days later, the Department of Justice published a memorandum directing “the Federal Bureau of Investigations, working with each United States Attorney, to convene meetings with federal, state, local, Tribal, and territorial leaders within 30 days” to “facilitate the discussion of strategies for addressing threats against school administrators, board members, teachers and staff.”

Republican members of Congress also criticized the memo.

“As someone who was born in the Soviet Union, I am … disturbed, very disturbed, by the use of the Department of Justice as a political tool, and its power as the police state to suppress lawful public discourse,” Rep. Victoria Spartz, R-Ind., said in a House Judiciary Committee oversight hearing. “The FBI is starting to resemble old KGB with secret warrantless … surveillance, wiretapping and intimidation of citizens.”

Judge blocks Arkansas law banning puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones and gender surgery for kids


Reported By Brandon Showalter, Christian Post Reporter | Friday, July 23, 2021

Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/news/judge-blocks-arkansas-law-banning-puberty-blockers-for-kids.html/

Arkansas Capitol
Arkansas flag flying high beside the Arkansas state Capitol, front exterior, in Little Rock, Arkansas. | Getty Images

A federal judge has temporarily blocked an Arkansas law banning the use of experimental drugs and gender-transition surgeries on minors, which was set to take effect next week in the state. The law, called the Save Adolescents from Experimentation (SAFE) Act, was adopted earlier this year in the southern state after lawmakers overrode Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s veto of the bill. Hutchinson, a Republican, said in April that the measure was “extreme” and “overbroad” and that it could not be defended on limited government grounds. The law was scheduled to be enacted on July 28.

Led by Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall, he and Republican attorneys general of 17 states — Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Texas — filed an amicus brief in federal court last Tuesday in support of the Arkansas law.

Wednesday’s judicial injunction against the law comes as four trans-identifying young people, two doctors, and the American Civil Liberties Union came together to file a lawsuit against the state, arguing that the statute violates their constitutional rights. The judge said that their motions could indeed be successful at trial.

“CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS”?????????? What constitutional rights? Where did the Founding Father’s write down that it is the right of adults to have children be mutilated by agenda other driven adults?

“To pull this care midstream from these patients, or minors, would cause irreparable harm,” U.S. District Judge Jay Moody, who issued the ruling, said in a statement.

Praising the decision, Holly Dickson, the executive director of the Arkansas chapter of the ACLU, said the ruling sends a message to other states that her organization will not allow the medicalized gender transitioning of children to be taken away from youth.

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, a Republican, intends to appeal the ruling, promising to defend the law.

“I will not sit idly by while radical groups such as the ACLU use our children as pawns for their own social agenda,” she said.

Likewise, family advocates in favor of the law said they believe the truth about the nature of these contested medical practices and procedures will eventually win out. 

“We are disappointed but not surprised that a judge has placed a temporary hold on the Arkansas law that protects children from unscientific, experimental, and destructive gender transition procedures. However, we are confident that ultimately state lawmakers will remain free to protect the health and safety of children,” said Tony Perkins, president of the Washington-based Family Research Council, in a statement emailed to The Christian Post.

“The legal challenge to this law is being mounted by a political movement that advocates for using off-label drugs and experimental procedures on minors. Yet a growing number of individuals are coming forward to share their stories of being permanently disfigured and/or sterilized from procedures such as puberty-blocking drugs, cross-sex hormones, and irreversible surgeries. The truth about the dangers of these life-altering procedures cannot be ignored,” he said.

The intensifying legal disputes in the United States regarding the medicalization of gender, especially as it pertains to minors, comes as European nations are moving away from the experimental practices. 

Late last year, the High Court of Justice in the United Kingdom ruled in a judicial review that children younger than 16 are unlikely to be mature enough to consent to taking irreversible chemical puberty-blocking drugs given the significant risks and repercussions to their health. The ruling is presently being appealed, and a subsequent decision in March held that parents could give consent on behalf of their minor children. 

Earlier this year in Sweden, the prominent Karolinska Hospital said that as of April 1, puberty blockers would no longer be given to youth younger than 16, and their statement referenced the U.K. ruling as part of their rationale.  

In June of last year, health authorities in Finland revised their professional guidelines by prioritizing psychological help and support over experimental medicine, especially for young people whose gender dysphoria came about after puberty.

Send news tips to: brandon.showalter@christianpost.com Listen to Brandon Showalter’s Life in the Kingdom podcast at The Christian Post and edifi app Follow Brandon Showalter on Facebook: BrandonMarkShowalter Follow on Twitter: @BrandonMShow

Good guy with a gun intervenes in attempted mass killing, blows gunman away. Neighbors say it could have been much worse.


Reported by NEWSSARAH TAYLOR | May 18, 2021

Read more at https://www.theblaze.com/news/good-guy-with-gun-stops-mass-killing/

An unnamed “good guy with a gun” put a stop to what could have been a horrific mass killing over the weekend by using his own weapon to gun down a massacre suspect, KFSM-TV reported. Authorities said an armed 26-year-old Zachary Arnold, a resident at the Fort Smith, Arkansas, apartment complex where the event occurred, was outside his building Saturday morning when he began screaming for residents to come outside.

Arnold, who was armed with a rifle, was first met by an elderly neighbor, 87-year-old Lois Hicks. One neighbor told the station that Hicks and another elderly woman came out to “console” Arnold when he opened fire.

“There were two older women, both had come out,” the neighbor explained. “One of them had ran back in, and the other one ran back in, but she didn’t close her door, then he walked in and did what he did.”

After fatally shooting Hicks, authorities said, Arnold continued to fire rounds from his rifle and tried to persuade other residents to come out of their homes. Another neighbor told the station, “He was yelling and screaming, ‘You guys get out here, come out here, everyone get out of this building right now!'”

One neighbor, who remains unnamed at the time of this reporting, grabbed his own rifle and bravely exited his apartment to put a stop to the mayhem. The male neighbor fatally shot Arnold, immediately ending the would-be mass killing.

A resident told the station, “If he didn’t do that, who knows how much worse it could have gotten.”

It currently remains unknown what prompted Arnold to storm his own apartment complex, and the incident remains under investigation. It is unclear whether the unnamed good Samaritan will face charges in connection with the shooting. No other residents were injured, and KARK-TV reported that the Fort Smith Police Department said they will submit a completed case file to the Sebastian County prosecuting attorney’s office for review.

Dixie Property Management issued a statement on the killing and said, “We are terribly saddened by the incident which happened this morning. We are working diligently with the police in any way we can. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families today.”

FSPD public information officer Aric Mitchell told KNWA-TV that the department is grieving with the rest of the community.

“Our hearts and prayers are with everyone affected by today’s events,” Mitchell told the station. “We will release additional information when appropriate and at the conclusion of our investigation.”

Trump Gets Key Win From 8th Circuit


Reported 

URL of the original posting site: http://www.westernjournalism.com/trump-gets-key-win-from-8th-circuit/

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday that a state has the right to defund Planned Parenthood. The 2-1 ruling specifically provided that while plaintiff Medicaid recipients who brought the suit are entitled to care, they cannot dictate that care includes Planned Parenthood facilities.

“The plaintiffs are asserting a right — the absolute right to a particular provider of their choosing — that (the law) does not grant them,” Judge Steven Colloton wrote in the majority opinion.

Several states, including Arkansas, the defendant in the suit, voted to defund Planned Parenthood after the release of a series of undercover videos that allegedly showed executives from the top abortion provider in the country discussing the sale of aborted babies’ body parts.

In April, Congress voted and President Donald Trump signed into law legislation guaranteeing states the right to defund Planned Parenthood, overriding an Obama administration Department of Health and Human Services regulation that had gone into effect two days before Trump took office. The regulation mandated that “states and localities could not withhold money from a provider for any reason other than an inability to provide family planning services,” The New York Times reported.

In a statement, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson described the 8th Circuit Court’s ruling as “a substantial legal victory for the right of the state to determine whether Medicaid providers are acting in accordance with best practices, and affirms the prerogative of the state to make reasoned judgments on the Medicaid program.”

The 8th Circuit’s jurisdiction includes Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, and North and South Dakota.

Planned Parenthood noted that it had won federal suits against other states that sought to defund the organization.

“To date, seven other states (Alabama, Arizona, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas) have sought to bar Planned Parenthood from Medicaid, and all have been blocked by federal courts,” Planned Parenthood said in a statement.

Louisiana has asked the 5th Circuit to rehear the case en banc, meaning all of the justices (rather than just three) would preside. The differing rulings between the eighth and other circuit courts make it more likely the Supreme Court will take up the matter.

“This is not over,” said Planned Parenthood Federation of America chief medical officer Raegan McDonald-Mosley. “We will do everything in our power to protect our patients’ access to birth control, cancer screenings and other lifesaving care. Extreme politicians are trying to defund and shut down Planned Parenthood — and this is not what Americans want.”

Jerry Cox, the executive director of the Family Council, an Arkansas-based conservative group, told public radio station KUAR, “The videos aside, the question is should the state of Arkansas do business with an organization that aborts babies, when they don’t need to.”

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