Wednesday, February 02, 2005

In the age of the Internet everyone is a press lord

What do you do when Fox News runs a sensational story that is fabricated from the whole cloth? If you are the parents of Stevens Creek Elementary, you put up a web site refuting the lies:

Stevens Creek Elementary has not "banned the Declaration of Independence"

It has been widely and incorrectly reported that the Declaration of Independence has been banned by the principal of Stevens Creek Elementary School, Patricia Vidmar, and the Cupertino Union School District. This started with a press release issued by the Alliance Defense Fund in late November, in connection with a lawsuit being brought by Stephen Williams, a fifth-grade teacher at the school. The assertion has been extensively repeated on the television and in newspapers across the country, and even abroad.

As concerned parents at Stevens Creek, we do not have ready access to the media to correct these misrepresentations. This website is our attempt to set the record straight. Misleading and inflammatory reporting in a number of places has subjected school staff and parents to over 3000 hostile phone calls and emails, many of them profane. As a result, the teachers, staff and principal of Stevens Creek Elementary operate under the protection of the Santa Clara County Sheriff's department.

We, the Parents, a grassroots organization of over a hundred Stevens Creek parents, invite you to browse our site and discover for yourselves the true face of Stevens Creek Elementary.

Who is the Alliance Defense Fund?

Watch this one, it will teach us a great deal about how the Internet can be used by those with limited means to answer a smear.

1 comment:

Cupertino Mom said...

Thanks so much for picking up our story. We hope our web site will to be able to help other schools that are unfairly attacked in the future. In the mean time, internet coverage is the only way the message of a tiny community school can compete with that of the Alliance Defense Fund, with their cadre of lawyers and their $15million budget.
For those of you who are following the case, the School District has filed a Motion to Dismiss that will be ruled March 28, 2005.
The ADF has issued a press release in which they back- peddle on their "banning" charge, claiming that they are not responsible for the inaccurate press, which in my opinion, is preposterous. I believe that this press release is given only to reporters that ask for it, and it does not appear on the ADF web site. This ADF press release was reported by both the San Jose Mercury News and the Cupertino Courier, and it is posted at
This ADF concession is partly due to the pressure brought to bear by internet coverage. Thanks!