TravelBlog 3: Notes from the PTA convention
More follow up from the PTA convention. There were a number of PTA delegates not happy with the National PTA's decision to invite PFLAG to present and exhibit.
Although the PTA did not allow me to attend the Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) talk on Saturday (June 25), I am told one delegate from Mississippi, Mary Sloan, stood to protest the thrust of the presentation. The witness who told me about this event said that she was interrupted by the moderator and not allowed to finish her thoughts. Further, there were snickers and other silencing gestures from the crowd (interesting behavior from the crowd after a talk on bullying). Ms. Sloan later told me that all three Mississippi delegates opposed PFLAG being there. And I might add, not because these PTA members wanted to see anyone bullied but because they believed PFLAG to be involved in promoting a political agenda. Today's Washington Times reports on this story.
Other state leaders also expressed disappointment with the National PTA leadership on this point. One state delegate expressed that she would consider keeping her delegation home next year if PFLAG attended. One delegate spoke to Jim Brown of American Family Radio only on condition of anonymity because she feared retribution from national PTA leaders.
Here is an irony: The PTA leaders spent several sessions on the declining membership of the PTA. However, the state and local leaders tried throughout this conference to communicate why membership is declining in their states and from all indications, the national leaders do not get it. A big question for those leaders is: How do we get them to get it?