NewsNight Minnesota; 4044; NewsNight Minnesota Episode from 11/14/1996; SD-Base
Tonight on NEWSNIGHT it's elementary.
Or is it what to teach school kids about homosexuality desiring and refugee crisis. U.S. soldiers go in Minnesota 8 follows and the top dogs of half Flashdance the male version. It's NEWSNIGHT for Thursday November 14. Good evening I'm Kathy worser and welcome to NEWSNIGHT Minnesota. Another packed news day today. Ken Stone is here with a summary of the day's news. Thanks Kathy a couple of stories out today questioning whether Minnesotans are being taken advantage of the first revelations over the price of milk and an ongoing antitrust case. Testimony that several state milk wholesalers colluded throughout the 1980s to keep the price artificially high. And other allegations that Marigold foods Land O'Lakes and Schroeder secretly worked out a deal about which berries could sell to which specific grocery stores. The evidence was given by a former employee of marigold Foods who says he himself made many of the illegal deals. An attorney for the dairies had no comment. And the General Accounting Office in Washington reports that passengers would fly out of the Twin Cities airport pay more than most other airline customers because Northwest dominates the market here. The report found that the average ticket is about 45 percent higher here than at 33 other large airports Northwest says it does not make monopoly profits in any part of its operation here and that the findings do not accurately reflect the benefits of having a hub airport in the metro area. Couple of lawsuits making news one hundred and ninety thousand dollars is not enough they will appeal. Back in 1988 two women sued Eveleth Mines attacking a company up on the Iron Range. They allege sexual harassment and discrimination. And in 1993 after turning it into a class action suit a federal judge ruled that the company was guilty but it wasn't until Tuesday that damage awards were made down. Sixteen women are supposed to get a share of the money receiving between twenty five hundred and twenty five thousand dollars each. But an attorney for the woman said that the ruling is quote so far off the mark that it's hard to comprehend that the case goes to the U.S. Court of Appeals and in Willmar court action may be averted in a class action suit against the school district. Five parents of Hispanic students sued the schools alleging racial discrimination. But four days of mediation have led to a settlement. The district agrees to make more of an effort to get information to parents and to involve parents more in the schools to come up with a uniform district wide discipline policy and apply it evenly to all students and to look at revamping its English as a second language program. The agreement must still be officially approved by the school board and all concerned parents and then by a federal judge before the court case will be dropped. Good day for Grafton North Dakota. Marvin Windows based in Warroad Minnesota says it will expand to Grafton. Construction on the new window plant begins this spring the factory will employ about 250 people when it gets up to full capacity sometime in early 1998. And finally a political note state DFL party chair Mark Andrews said today he's leaving the top party spot at the end of January to run for governor. Andrew says that when he took the job of party chair last year that he agreed to stay on through the elections he says he'll start raising money for a gubernatorial run the day after he officially steps down and he says that he's going to propose a series of campaign finance reforms in the next two weeks. Kathy the 96 elections are over the 98 games again.
Do you believe how soon it is. Thank you again. You know sometimes national stories have more than just a passing relation to people here in Minnesota. For example the refugee crisis in Zaire as of today the U.S. stands ready to send up to 4000 troops to Zaire to take back Goma City Airport that's the primary point of entry for humanitarian supplies. If you've glanced at a paper these past few weeks you've seen the pictures of hundreds of thousands of war refugees fighting over a dwindling supply of food. One of the groups that will be following American and other troops into the city is Tony because last ski's American Refugee Committee based right here in the Twin Cities Tony welcome back to NEWSNIGHT. Thank you. Let me ask you first what do you think of sending U.S. and U.N. troops into Zaire.
Well I think it's it's it's great. It's absolutely essential at this point. Last time I was here a few weeks ago we were evacuating our international staff because of the fighting going on the civil war in that country. We've had them back in the last three days doing an assessment in Goma itself but we have been able to reach the refugees because the front line is right beyond Goma between Goma and the refugee camp itself.
What are Minnesotans who work for your group saying about what's happening in Goma and it is I hear those that are over there right now.
Well right now the situation in Goma tone up until this afternoon was pretty quiet. Apparently there is fighting going on between the rebels in charge in Goma that is the rebels desiring and rebels and the militia the Hutu militia within the camp itself.
So that's a very worrying sign is it will aid necessarily flow after the troops arrive.
Well the whole idea is for the international protection force. And the U.S. contingent to secure the airport in Goma so that aid can fly into the country through Goma and then the big question is how to get the aid to the refugees in the camp particularly since the camp seems to be sealed off right now. Or is it the front line passes right through there so that's a that's a big problem and remains to be seen. We are as an organization stockpiling supplies right now in Goma to be able to prepare ourselves for when the refugees can go back to Rwanda can voluntarily repatriate. And what we will do is prepare way stations along the way. Inside a year. And in Rwanda itself toward their final destination so that they will be available for health care for supplementary feeding for clean drinking water on their way back.
I do have fears Tony that once the U.N. and U.S. troops get there that this might touch off more fighting.
In fact the fighting has been touched off already even before they've gotten there. It's a very difficult situation there's no doubt about it. But it's it's my view that it's absolutely essential that the troops be there at this time.
It's speaking of troops. I've heard that your organization trains military forces in peacekeeping in humanitarian efforts. What do you what do you teach them.
We don't teach military forces. We're training refugees in in health care. So in the camp for example where we were operating for two years we've trained up to 14 refugee doctors one hundred twenty refugee nurses and some four hundred fifty community health workers. They've been operating that camp alone even when we had to leave even when we've had to extricate ourselves because of the security situation. So that's very. It's very heartwarming for me to know that even though we had to leave that camp and the health facilities still operated there how tenuous is all of this Tony in Zaire.
Even even once things are stabilized How long can these folks hold out.
Well the situation is extremely worrying because there are reports that if assistance doesn't get to the refugees within the next two weeks some 80000 children under the age of three could die. So that's why we're so concerned about the situation. We need as much assistance that we can get and if people can call us to express their interest provide financial assistance that would be wonderful. All right Tony. We need we need we can give an 800 number it's 1 800 3 2 9 4 4 4 7.
All right. Thank you very much.
How should teachers talk to their young students about homosexuality. That's the subject of a new documentary premiering tonight in Minneapolis. The film is meant to be a tool for teachers to understand how to talk in front of classrooms on the subject. The state PTA is the first PTA in the nation to endorse this documentary. But of course not everyone agrees. In a moment we'll have a debate but first an excerpt of what's generating all the controversy.
Yesterday for Mother's Day our celebration was probably a little bit different than any of the celebrations that any of us had in this class. Do you know see the cookies on Amsterdam Avenue. They sponsored a contest was a Mother's Day essay writing contest. And I didn't know about the contest but when it was over a couple of people text told me you should read Emily's essay it was really interesting and really nice. And I thought it would be nice if she came in and read it to you. So here's a copy of it and then a nice thought why don't you move up so they can hear you. And then a nice really loud voice. This is the essay that was entered for a Mother's Day contest. Grandma these mean so so so so so.
Thanks Jimmy. I have too much of a pretty nice life my friend pretty nice if you can. And I respect it and I can't do anything about it. I still think people thanks to this boy in my class. Come to my house because my Pantra lesbians. And by the book they stood up for me and I was.
So nice to essentially give them away.
I thought that before we move on that you might have a comment or question that you wanted to ask about her family or about her essay Daniel.
I think that because she or her mother. And she mother father and father he stood up for the Miranda. Rights.
So why did you win the contest. Ted Congratulations.
Well now a good tool for teachers or not. Jennifer Lee is with the Minnesota Family Council. Leo Treadway works for Family Services which runs the out for good project in Minneapolis Public Schools Welcome to both of you. Leo first question to you. Who was this documentary made for you do show it just to teachers to show it to students as well.
Well I think it was primarily targeted for teachers to help them understand how to raise issues that respect and tolerance. I think it's a kind of film that I would encourage parents to see as well.
Well so Jennifer this seems to be more of a tool for teachers and possibly parents what's wrong with that.
Well we at the Minnesota Family Council have a number of concerns with the number one is that we see this more as a knot of tolerance peace not they're not teaching tolerance but teaching promotion and acceptance of a lifestyle that the vast majority of Americans don't agree with. Number two these are young kids and this is something that parents you know need to be discussing with them these are issues that should stay in the home as far as parents being involved churches being involved and really have no place in the schools. And number three these are very gay lifestyles a very risky unhealthy lifestyle and that really wasn't addressed in the film so students aren't really getting a clear picture of what's involved.
How would the family council I'm curious how would you advocate a teacher dealing with a situation of students getting teased in class about maybe having two moms. How would the family council educated teacher deal with it because things like this come up every day on the playground and in classrooms.
Right this should I mean it's very real. I guess we would look at it more from the point as we should be teaching respect we should be teaching kids to be polite to one another teaching them respect but not to go so far as teaching an acceptance of a lifestyle.
Well Leo do you do you see this documentary the teaching of a lifestyle.
I don't think so I think that's where we part company on this I think that the emphasis of it's elementary is really to help young children grapple with the reality that there are gay and lesbian people there may be children in the school with them who have gay or lesbian family members that's not uncommon. Those kids are often as harassed as care lesbian children themselves. So I think that part of what the film is attempting to do is to give teachers some tools for addressing an issue this is this is not a film that talks about sexual behavior. It's not encouraging that sexual behavior be talked about. I think that's something that people make a leap to. But that's not what the film is doing the film really talks about the fact that there are gay lesbian people there in our families there in our churches. My hope would be that.
This equips teachers it provides the opportunity for parents and families also to talk about the issue we need to find some place I think to engage the issue and that's that's the difficulty we're having right now as Jennifer said though Leo a lot of folks are morally opposed to homosexuality and and they feel that you're advancing knowledge of homosexuality about even talking about it in the classroom. Shouldn't persons parents have some sort of control over this.
Sure. And I think parents have all the kind of controls they need to in terms of how controversial issues are dealt with in schools and there's all kinds of parent committees there's all sorts of processes for being involved in this. The other thing I want to say is that gay and lesbian people aren't the only group of people that have been discriminated against. There are people who have argued in my lifetime that I shouldn't have learned anything about other races that I shouldn't have wasted time learning thing about women. People will disagree I suppose about the morality of a whole variety of things but the reality is the gay lesbian people in our society they're in our schools. Their children are in the schools young kids yourself identifying that way. We need to address the issue in a different way.
Let's talk about tolerance what's wrong with teaching tolerance in a world that is changing and you have any number of different people and a lot of diversity in this world nowadays.
So there's nothing wrong with with tolerance and the name calling. That this film seeks to educate students about it and to you know to get them away from that there's nothing wrong with that in fact we should be doing that. But the school really is not the place to take on all these social issues you know the school should be there to educate kids. But the reality is it happens in schools though Jennifer. Well tolerant. Name calling is happening in schools. But I guess I would have to address it the way that they are going about trying to remedy that. You know if a student is getting picked on because their father is in jail their mother is an alcoholic we don't necessarily condone the behavior of alcoholism in order to stop the kids from from name calling. And essentially that's what this film is is trying to do is saying you know let's accept.
The homosexual lifestyle as of late I don't think it does say at all I think that is a particularly narrow reading of what the film does and I think there's a sentiment I'm not sure that this is yours or the sort of family council sentiment that any mention of homosexuality whatsoever any mention of gay lesbian people condones or approves the lifestyle I think you have to accept things at face value what this film does is say that name calling this reality harassment is a reality I can talk to you about instances have occurred as recent this week. Those things happen and I would agree with you if parents were talking about these issues within the family. Then we wouldn't need to be doing it in the school.
And a response from Jennifer before we have to go.
Oh I guess I you know I just have to disagree with that with the tolerance aspect I mean they are promoting just by the fact of spending two days sometimes discussing these things with the other can also try to stop this film from being shown in schools. Yes you're right. And teachers so that teachers would not feel like they have to do this to have to show this I think some teachers probably feel that way.
And there's nobody nobody is forcing teachers to do anything. This is not a fraternity for them to help them address a grievous issue.
All right it's thank you very much appreciate you both joining us tonight. All right. Well there are a few issues that we know push hot buttons like gay rights and we know that you're not always pleased with how the media handles controversial issues that's why we have our viewer call segment so you can give us feedback on how we're doing and feedback you did provide this week and most of it was about just one sequence of stories on Monday night. First we talked with a couple of Korean War vets and the possibility that there are still soldiers in prison camps there. Appropriate we thought since it was Veterans Day but a lot of you took issue with the conversation.
I was disappointed to have for motorists a family from Minnesota will be able to cite if there were people being kept. I heard there was a whole field of UK. Surely by enterprising investigative reporter from The New York Times or some other high praise place would have found it would be too big a secret to keep even in the trees where there is no freedom.
Well we've got Veterans Day to honor those who have died for our country. To me it's one of those propaganda machine type holidays. I think we are to honor those who refuse to go to war. We leave out the fact that in most cases in the wars we've been involved in our country isn't in danger. And the national interest they talk about is not the people's interest it's the multinational corporations interests.
It's the fact that a centrally government policy does what's best for them and not the American people.
I remember at the career veteran chapter member that on your program that you would remember the room and them for hearing that for whom were never met any of your big role that women play when women served in different areas that might. And so right now it's for that career and if they're wrong that women are tired of being members of the group party when we don't even get it and those are only the beginning we followed that report with a commentary by local writer Dwight Hobbes.
It was his opinion that we should not honor the black buffalo soldiers who fought in the Indian wars against Native Americans. Obs believes black men should have been fighting alongside Native Americans against white men.
I think it's truly a trophy but you have a commentator like move through their homes or whatever name is Don Bradman. But boxing here the weight of the.
Well I'm terribly disappointed in what Mr. has said about the buffalo soldier.
I think he was rude. It would change your word a bit.
But I heard from the commentator on folders he had exactly right. I am not black nor Indian but I can recognize the.
Thank you. Remember commentary is the opinion of the commentator and only the commentator. Let us know your opinion. 6 1 2 2 2 9 14 30 tell us what you think of any show segment or the show itself. 6 1 2 2 2 9 1 4 3 0 on words to the Thursday arts segment. Well take some boots slap on some taps put some Aussies in them and mix in a few power tools and this is what you've got. The Australian dance troupe called Tap Dogs move over Jeanne and Fred welcome to tap dancing 1996 style.
Let's have a little bit of lighting up different parts of rhythms and playing around with.
From the beginning a little interview for your regular talk because here's what's happening in our kids and which is put into a form that suits us and.
Understood the struggle. Blunstone works good. And tries to be what we're done when we convert the bottom Saul's often put the letter on air and get tapped on a touch to the taps on the bison What does this give us a much bigger sound.
Look at that in the stall the little thugs at the last war that we can actually grant some of the rights that but it's not as if the levels of the good is allowed as in all sorts of things. Now this I got lots of advice and it's not a. It's quite a heavy shot for me to get through as I was a lot of injuries that has to be put out. Get the audience involved.
Want to see more and who wouldn't. The tap dog troop is at the historic St. Theater in Minneapolis through Sunday. Well we're going to slow down the pace a little bit here from power centers to a harp. This is Sunita Stana slow and Sunita is a native Minnesotan and a harpist you're about to release I know a new CD of Celtic music.
Yes it's mist covered mountains and we've just recorded another one with a full band that is yet to be released.
Looking at this harp it is beautiful. It looks like it's very difficult to play. Yes it is but it's very rewarding. You know how did you get home many years does it take you to learn to play those. Obviously I mean I started when I was in third grade and even when you play something just very simple it sounds beautiful.
It takes years to play very fast and very fluid in just a few minutes.
You're going to play something for us to hang out with tomorrow.
In a word look at the weather now in several words windy sleet freezing rain and snow the snow will probably accumulate in the Northland and turn to rain showers in the south. Highs about 25 up north to 35 down self. That is all for tonight be sure to watch Allman act tomorrow night and I will moderate a debate on city's desire to set their own gun control laws. Now before we begin with music you will have a concert coming up as well.
Yes it is 7:00 p.m. tonight with the band northern Uganda right.
So you know play something for us. Thank you. Irish Millet.
This transcript is machine-generated and has not been corrected. It is likely there will be errors.
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