Subject: Re: Milpitas, CA -- A Satan-Free Zone !!! Date: 12 Sep 90 18:23:35 GMT From San J
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Mark Robert Thorson)
Subject: Re: Milpitas, CA -- A Satan-Free Zone !!!
Date: 12 Sep 90 18:23:35 GMT
From San Jose Mercury-News, 9/12/90:
TRUSTEES STAND BEHIND BAN ON FANTASY GAME
by Rich Ramirez (Mercury News Staff Writer)
Milpitas school trustees heard 90 minutes of testimony Teusday night
on the benefits and dangers of a banned spelling game, then stuck to their
guns by not putting "Wizards" back into the classroom.
After hearing the game's foes describe it as a potential path to devil worship
and its fans as a valuable teaching tool, trustees did ask Milpitas Unified
Superintendent John K.H. MacKay to ask district lawyers if they violated
the policy on challenged materials, as one board member charged. MacKay
expects to report back to the board by its next meeting, Sept. 25.
On the recommendation of a committee, the board banned the game -- in which
students travel through a fantasy land featuring dragons, serpents, and
wizards -- on July 31 after a family complained to the district.
At Tuesday's meeting, trustee Althea Polanski asked her collegues to revoke
the ban on the grounds that the board did not review a formal written
complaint on "Wizards."
Before the meeting, Polanski said that if the board acted illegally, it had
left itself open to lawsuits.
About 200 people attended the meeting at district offices on Calaveras
Boulevard. Speakers who supported the game outnumbered opponents who
spoke by almost 2-to-1. But applause for speakers on each side seemed to be
Steve Pruner, who has four children in the district, said, "It doesn't take
a rocket scientist to see that the things we're dealing with here are the
A few speakers later, parent Barbara Bara asked if someone could open the
doors, "because I can still smell the stench of self-righteous religious
Another opponent of the game, Norma McAlister, whose two sons graduated
from Ayer High School, said, "I don't know how my kids learned without
'Wizards.' And they are great spellers."
And Kay Hawkins said that she heard that disfunctional families could be
affected by the game. "What teacher would want to risk that?" she asked.
"What's the point if one child is hurt?"
Ron Seymour, a parent of four teen-agers, applauded the board for banning the
game. "I can't accept the fact that this is the only game that is available
that teaches literacy," he said. "It's beyond my scope of comprehension that
we need the occult to teach our teens."
Mike Mendizabal told the audience that he is a Christian and believes in the
Bible. But he added that he didn't see anything in the game that would
lead children into devil worship. "If it does, then there's something else
wrong at home."
According to the student guide that accompanies the game, "Wizards" will help
improve spelling, handwriting and language skills. Teacher Deborah Hullings
estimated that 75 percent of her class at Weller School was achieving 100
percent scores on their spelling tests while she was using the game.
Students travel through a fantasy land, collecting travel dots for spelling
words correctly. Their goal is to reach the Enchanted Castle atop Treasure
Mountain. But along the way, serpents, evil giants, gargoyles and dragons
stand in their way.
As students collect more travel dots, they progress through eight levels.
Humans are the lowest level and most vunerable to monsters; wizards are
the highest and have supreme powers.
The game first came under fire in [a] letter from John and Stephanie
Newbrough. Their son had played the game in Hullings' fourth- and fifth-grade
class at Weller School.
The Newbroughs called the game "religious indoctrination into Satanism."
Superintendent MacKay formed a committee to examine the game after receiving
The committee met twice in June and issued this one-sentence report: "While
we abhor censorship, the committee member cannot support the use of 'Wizards'
in its current form because of the terms and symbols used in it."
The board accepted the recommendation of the committee at its July 31 meeting
and banned the game.
Yes, my friends, we got trouble!
Trouble right here in Garden City!
With a capital S
that rhymes with F
which stands for FOOL!
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank