Bentonville school board member denies cyber bullying; lashes LGBT people | Arkansas Blog

Bentonville school board member denies cyber bullying; lashes LGBT people

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REBECCA POWERS: - KFSM
  • KFSM
  • REBECCA POWERS:
Rebecca Powers, a member of the Bentonville School Board and committed foe of a proposal to protect gay school employees from discrimination, has issued a lengthy denial of a complaint that she'd engaged in cyber bullying of a student by posting derogatory comments about her on a Facebook page.

Powers said she hadn't intended for the comment to be public and hadn't specifically identified the student, though supporters of the non-discrimination policy had done so. She didn't back off the comments about the student, however, though the mother of the child believed referenced has said Powers was inaccurate in remark that the student had been reprimanded.

But more remarkable is the open animus Powers displays towards LGBT people. It again puts the lie to those who say they oppose a non-discrimination policy because it is unnecessary. Powers, like many others, seems precisely desirous of driving LGBT people into the shadows if not out of the schools entirely. She wrote, among others:

As usual in debates about homosexuality and cross-dressing, when these divisive issues are forced on school boards by those who wish to normalize harmful behaviors to impressionable children, supporters of these categories make accusations of "bullying" when confronted by the truth.

This came from  a lengthy statement Powers issued to a local newspaper reporter. That statement was sent to the group supporting the change in personnel policy. The group provided it to me as well as their response. Powers made headlines last year when her son was kept out of school for three weeks for failure to have required chicken pox vaccination.

Rebecca Powers' statement:

I am disappointed that the media has run a story that I have "bullied" a student in BPSD, when it is untrue. Nothing could be further from the truth. Here is the truth about this situation.

What I wrote was not intended for public consumption, but was inadvertently posted where it could be seen by others beyond those for whom it was intended. I never identified the student whose parents believe is described by what I wrote in my Facebook post, nor did I disclose the student's name - supporters of the "Name and Shame" campaign who are stalking my Facebook posts are the ones who have publicly identified and named a particular student.

Out of respect for student privacy, I had originally hoped that by not responding to these claims that this would not become an issue. It has, so let me be clear: I personally observed teachers verbally reprimand "a student" for rude and disrespectful behavior that I personally observed at a public event. It is not "bullying" to state an opinion that an unnamed student’s behavior was "rude and disrespectful," or to comment on potential motivations for that behavior.

My comment was meant only for private discussion, and was inadvertently posted in a public group instead. However, I am sincerely sorry that these remarks became public, and I sincerely apologize for any hurt this has caused to any student who believes I was identifying them.

As usual in debates about homosexuality and cross-dressing, when these divisive issues are forced on school boards by those who wish to normalize harmful behaviors to impressionable children, supporters of these categories make accusations of "bullying" when confronted by the truth.

This is my final comment on this particular matter, and I will continue to refrain from naming the student involved to whom I was referring in my post. This is a simple case of an opinion intended for private discussion, that did not even name a student, that was posted on the wrong page, but has now been turned into an excuse for militant supporters of extreme views to cyber bully me and my children.

I will continue to firmly oppose anything that would expose impressionable, innocent young children to the harms surrounding homosexuality, transgenderism, transvestism, and cross-dressing. Some topics should be handled in the home rather than in public education, and these topics are inappropriate for young children to be facing and dealing with.

Philippians 4:8

Gretchen Bellamy sent me this response from the group that is supporting the non-discrimination policy and which has complained about Powers' public comments about a student.

Bentonville Public Schools Citizens for Equality is committed to its goal of adding inclusive language to the EEO policy and will continue our work until there are equal employment protections for all Bentonville Public Schools employees. We feel the actions taken against a student by Ms. Powers are reprehensible, however, we see the issue of cyberbullying as separate from our stated mission.

Bellamy also compiled a timeline of events that puts a few holes in Powers' recollection of events, including the reposting of another note after a complaint was made.

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