Citizens push back against teacher takeover of public school curriculum, infringement on gun rights

Editor’s note: a retired doctor from Derby and a Grand Isle County beef farmer have emailed the letters below to Vermont lawmakers, and copied their letters to the Chronicle. Neither Bob Fireovid nor Jeff Kaufman are “professional experts” about public school curriculum or firearms law. What they are is informed, concerned citizens who know how to contact their lawmakers and take the time to write a concise, civil, to-the-point letter to the elected representatives now considering these bills.

They make clear strong points without apology, and also without rants or name-calling. The Vermont Daily Chronicle Toolbox to Follow and Influence the Legislature includes bill numbers, topics, and legislative contact information – all public information also available on http://www.vermont.legislature.gov so that you, the Vermont citizen, can reach out to committees and individual members on any issue or bill of interest.

H106 turns public schools into teacher-run schools – Dear Members of the Vermont House Committee on Education: I have serious concerns about H.106, which “proposes to protect the academic freedom of public educators and their right to teach on matters of gender identity and systemic and structural racism.”

It appears that H.106 would preclude local school board oversight over the content of what is taught in the schools. In essence, it would take the “public” out of “public schools” and make them “teacher schools” instead.

Further, H.106 refers to “systemic and structural racism” a term which charges that all of our social systems – our civic governance systems, our education systems, etc. – are innately and irreparably racist. However, in my research, I have not come across any evidence validating this claim. Although statistical racial disparities may indicate the need for corrective actions, they are not logically sufficient to deduce that our social systems are inherently and irreparably racist. Unsubstantiated claims of any sort should not be a basis for legislation. 

Thank you for your consideration, Robert Fireovid, South Hero

House Education Committee members’ names, titles, party status, and public email address:

Rep. Peter Conlon, ChairDpconlon@leg.state.vt.us
Rep. Erin Brady, Vice ChairDebrady@leg.state.vt.us
Rep. Casey Toof, Ranking MemberRctoof@leg.state.vt.us
Rep. Sarah “Sarita” AustinDSaustin@leg.state.vt.us
Rep. Jana BrownDJbrown@leg.state.vt.us
Rep. Nelson BrownellDNbrownell@leg.state.vt.us
Rep. Tesha BussDTbuss@leg.state.vt.us
Rep. Kate McCannDKMccann@leg.state.vt.us
Rep. Brian MinierDBminier@leg.state.vt.us
Rep. Mary-Katherine Stone, ClerkD/Pmstone@leg.state.vt.us
Rep. Chris TaylorRctaylor@leg.state.vt.us
Rep. Terri Lynn WilliamsRTwilliams@leg.state.vt.us

S57 removes firearms rights protected by state law – Dear Vermont Legislators: Section (8) of VSA 2291 gives municipalities control over certain aspects of the discharge of firearms without being overly intrusive, especially with regard to the protected rights of existing sport shooting ranges.

S.57 seeks to remove important protections guaranteed by existing Vermont law. Instead of addressing conflicting Vermont laws, this bill attempts to circumvent them.

24 VSA 2295, The Sportsmen’s Bill of Rights, is a Vermont institution and a pillar of Vermont tradition. In effect since 1987, this law protects a mainstay of the Vermont way of life. S.57 would violate this protection.

10 VSA 5227, The Range Protection Act, similarly would be violated, and along with it, protection Vermonters have counted on since 1991. This Vermont voter, and my family, encourage you to vote NO on S.57 – Jeffrey Kaufman MD, Derby

Senate Judiciary Committee members names, titles, party status, and public email address:

Sen. Dick Sears Jr., ChairDrsears@leg.state.vt.us
Sen. Nader Hashim, Vice ChairDnhashim@leg.state.vt.us
Sen. Philip BaruthDPBaruth@leg.state.vt.us
Sen. Tanya Vyhovsky, ClerkPTvyhovsky@leg.state.vt.us
Sen. Robert NorrisRRnorris@leg.state.vt.us

Categories: Legislation, Opinion

1 reply »

  1. Thank you and congratulations to you gentlemen for your clear, concise, and polite responses. I have a very hard time being as polite as you. After working on the complex for 15 years, and seeing the way things are done for 5 months a year to accommodate these people, and how contemptuous some of them are towards people who do not agree with them, I have a hard time dealing with their sanctimonious attitudes. It just does not bring out the best in me. On the other hand, when I get done, they have no doubt as to where I stand.