I know you prefer to be called “Dr. Porter,” but considering that I have known you for almost 25 years, I feel comfortable calling you “Richard.” I was absolutely mortified when I heard that you were running for the Vallejo School Board. And while the fact that you are a Republican was a part of that, it was not the only (or even the main) reason.
I was a student at North Hills Christian School (NHCS) for 17 years (I started in preschool at 2 years of age in 1989 and I finished high school at age 19 because I was held back in first grade). This was all during your tenure as principal. I attended NHCS longer than anyone else in its entire history and I spent all 17 of those years with you. This makes me manifestly qualified to speak about your qualifications (or lack thereof) to serve on the School Board. And you, Dr. Porter, are seriously lacking in what is needed to be trusted with our children.
My time at NHCS ranks as the most unhappiest and miserable time of my life. And you saw this first hand Dr. Porter. The panic attacks I suffered from because of the grief you and your teachers inflicted upon me were so severe that you had to hold me down while waiting for the ambulance to subdue me.
I was taught, by you and others, that being gay was the worst thing on earth and would lead to my eternal damnation. Because of what you taught me, I prayed every day and night to God for a healing that never came and an acceptance that was elusive. Assuming no gay people were in your presence, you and those working for you consistently preached how horrible the homosexuals were and how they were responsible for the downfall of society. You were talking about me when you said these things. I was only a child and I was alone and defenseless.
Dr. Porter, you stole my innocence and destroyed my childhood by making me believe I was less than human and unworthy of even the most basic human rights. You did all of this while you were tasked with protecting both. I do not believe you have changed, but maybe you have. So here are some questions to determine if you have turned from your past:
In Bible class in early 2001, you stated that the Roman Empire was destroyed because it had too many Homosexuals and that America was heading in that direction. Do you still believe that I and the rest of Vallejo’s LGBT community (which is one of the largest in the Bay Area FYI) will destroy America?
The policies put in place at NHCS during your tenure mandated expulsion for students engaged in homosexuality. Will you work to expel students engaged in homosexuality in the VCUSD? Will you punish students like Rochelle Hamilton who was bullied because she was gay for being gay? Would you have advocated for my expulsion from NHCS if you knew I was gay?
At NHCS, you were instrumental in putting the 2000 version of the “Baptist Faith and Message” into the mission statement. This document stated that “Wives are to submit graciously to their husbands.” During my tenure at NHCS, female students were taught many times that they would need to submit to their husbands. Do you still believe that women must submit to their husbands?
On November 3, 2004 (the day after Election Day), you told me that it was impossible to be a Christian and a Democrat because Democrats support Abortion, which is murder. Do you still believe that Democrats cannot be Christians and that Abortion is murder?
You advocated abstinence-only education during your tenure at North Hills. Will you work to dismantle the sex education that is currently in the schools? Do you support comprehensive sex education?
You were an advocate of creationism, the belief that the earth and all that is in it was created in essentially its present from less than 10,000 years ago. This contradicts all that we know about the earth and the overwhelming consensus of every legitimate scientist on earth. Would you work to put creationism in our schools?
During your tenure at NHCS, the school used textbooks that were from A Beka and Bob Jones University (BJU). BJU did not allow interracial dating on its campus until 2000 (2000 A.D., not B.C.). These textbooks were rejected by the University of California system, which viewed courses that used these books as not appropriate for College prep courses. The Federal Courts sided with the UC is finding that these textbooks were not appropriate for education that prepared one for college. Will you advocate the use of textbooks from a source that has been found to be inadequate by the UC system and the Federal Courts in our Schools?
Richard, the voters have every right to know where you stand on these issues since you are asking them to trust you with an elected position. Your stance on these and many other issues makes you manifestly unqualified to be trusted with our children. You were trusted with me it very nearly destroyed me.
Your views on the LGBT community and women represent an era long since passed and a culture long since evolved. Vallejo cannot afford to have someone on the School Board who will further the Republican War on Women and take us back to 1954. Based on my extensive experience with you, I can say with more certainty than I have ever had on any other subject that you are wrong for the School board and wrong for Vallejo.
Note: All opinions expressed in the “Primal Scream” column are those of the writer and not necessarily those of the Vallejo Independent Bulletin.