Considering Gov. Pat McCrory's Wylie-Coyote-falling-off-a-cliff-ish plunge in popularity after letting his party's tea party gang run wild in the General Assembly, you'd think he would have learned a thing or two about not kowtowing to political Neanderthals. Instead, McCrory announced today that he is appointing state board of education member A.L. "Buddy" Collins to a two-year term on the N.C. Task Force on Safer Schools. The task force is directed to advise the Center for Safer Schools "and consider future policy and legislative action that is needed to improve school safety" in the state.
When McCrory originally nominated Collins to the Board of Education, it caused controversy after Equality NC and the Huffington Post revealed Collins' vehement anti-LGBT views. Here is an excerpt from the HuffPo article:
"A. L. "Buddy" Collins is an attorney and longtime member of the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School Board of Education. He has clashed with the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) over the years surrounding the group's efforts to stop bullying on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
'Buddy Collins has always been a retrograde voice, inimical to the interests of youth, on the school board,' said GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byard. 'He has directly tried to block efforts to fully understand [students'] experiences in the service of making things better in schools in his district.'
Matt Comer [currently the editor of
in Charlotte) . . . went to public school in Forsyth County while Collins was on the board. . . .'Every time this issue [of LGBT bullying] came before the school board, Buddy Collins voted against it,' said Comer . . .Buddy Collins was a ringleader in making sure GLSEN had no access to the schools.'"
According to Equality NC, Collins voted against adding "sexual orientation" to a list of things for which students should not be bullied. He also wrote a newspaper op-ed declaring that same-sex unions were part of the "disintegration of the American family," and condemned them as something "that a generation ago would have been ridiculed as perverse and illegal."
And of course he's right: same-sex unions would have been ridiculed as perverse and illegal a generation ago. Heck, the same-sex couples in question would have been lucky to get out of town with their lives - a generation ago. But a generation ago, racial segregation was thought to be hunky-dory, too. And a generation or two before that, the idea that a woman should be able to vote was ridiculed and considered perverse. Topping that, several generations ago, the notion of doing away with slavery in the U.S. was considered unnatural, anti-Biblical and ridiculous. There is, after all, such a thing as "progress." There's a reason Jefferson wrote about the world belonging to the present, living generation rather than power being kept by the dead and their ideas.
Unfortunately, McCrory has put someone who thinks that antiquated, anti-gay views should be enforced on a task force that creates state policy regarding school safety. As NC Progressive Pulse noted, the appointment is ironic, considering that McCrory's new "comprehensive plan" to make schools safer specifically mentions bullying at least 30 times.