Search
| Clear, 85.3 F (29.6 C)
| RSS | |

SECTIONS:

 

Arts · Politics · Crime
· Sports · Food ·
· Opinion · NOLA ·
Lagniappe

 
THE

Defender Picks

 

How a Bill About State Contracts Law is Designed to Discriminate Against LGBT Students


John LaBruzzo isn't around anymore to propose bills about sterilizing or drug testing welfare recipients. But it's the Louisiana legislature, so someone had to take the giant metal pole and stand in the middle of the rainstorm. Though he was trying to be subtle about his intentions, Sen. A.G. Crowe (R-Slidell) has taken up this year's mantle with a bill that is about contracting law on the surface, but actually permits discrimination in charter schools.

 

Crowe's bill, SB 217, would formalize nondiscrimination language across all state contracts. It would prohibit discrimination on the basis of "race, religion, national ancestry, age, sex or disability," which might all sound as it should be. But the contracts charter schools sign with states have specific provisions that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and ability to speak English. If Crowe's bill passes, those provisions would no longer appear in the contract.

 

The bills true intentions unravelled at a Senate Labor and Industrial Relations committee hearing, where the bill was ultimately passed. From the Advocate:

 

 

 

Leslie Ellison, of New Orleans, testified she refused to sign a charter school contract with the state Department of Education because it required her company to promise not to discriminate against gays and others, criteria that are not listed in state law. The Louisiana Department of Education “doesn’t have the right to insert” its own opinions into a state contract, Ellison said.

 

 

Outside the hearing, the Baton Rouge newspaper discovered the real force behind the law:

 

Gene Mills, who heads Louisiana Family Forum, said after the hearing that “we’re sending a message” for Jindal to strip the provision from his Education Department’s contract criteria. Louisiana Family Forum is a coalition of religious groups that lobby the legislature on social and other issues.

 

 

And now the whole nation's watching.

 

Despite the exposure, there are no signs of the Senator eating Crowe. He's insisted the bill isn't about discrimination.

 

The bill still needs full Senate and House approval to reach Gov. Bobby Jindal's desk.




This is a blatant attack

This is a blatant attack against students based on their English language level (read: national origin or origin of their parents), to access education in the State of Louisiana.

We must defeat this bill.

And so what can we all do to

And so what can we all do to defeat this bill?

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Post new comment

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
view counter
Advertise With Us Here
view counter
view counter
view counter
view counter
view counter
French Market
view counter
view counter
view counter


Contributors

Renard Boissiere, Evan Z.E. Hammond, Naimonu James, Wilson Koewing, J.A. Lloyd, Nina Luckman, Dead Huey Long, Joseph Santiago, Andrew Smith, Cynthia Via, Austin Yde

Photographers


Art Director

Michael Weber, B.A.

Editor

Alexis Manrodt

Listings Editor

Linzi Falk

Editor Emeritus

B. E. Mintz

Editor Emeritus

Stephen Babcock

Published Daily