Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Bearing False Witness - a Chronology

Here's the story - a hoax, a malicious libel, deliberately designed to persecute one particular child.
A male student at Florence High School who claims to be a transgender has been harrassing girls in the bathroom......
No interviews. No sources, other than the Pacific Justice Institute. The same group that has lodged formal objections to teaching in science class that the Earth orbits the Sun as that contradicts Scripture, thereby "creating a hostile environment for those of faith".
create a hostile learning environment for those of faith. - See more at: http://www.pacificjustice.org/1/post/2013/09/atheistic-elementary-school-instruction-challenged.html#sthash.Wz1xhNEL.dpuf

The same group that objected to students being taught in biology class that Clownfish change sex, as that "goes against the family values of the majority".

 "Drumming Up Business" - when ambulance-chasing lawyers can't find crash victims, what are they to do? Maybe a little insurance fraud, "manufacturing" fake accidents. 

Earlier this year, PJI led the opposition in California to AB 1266, the most sweeping legislation yet to assert transgender rights in schools.  That law, which is set to take effect January 1, 2014, is currently being targeted by a citizen referendum drive.
1. Original story on CBN:

2. Picked up by The Examiner

3. And CharismaNews

4. The DesertReview adds new allegations of "sexually harassing comments"

5. Picked up by the UK Daily Mail, a national newspaper

6. Thence Fox News
The Pacific Justice Institute makes a press release, again alleging "sexually harassing comments".
sexually harassing comments
sexually harassing comments

But.. then it all starts to fall apart. The real story starts to come out.

Audio of interview with school superintendent.

Account apparently from a student at the school - and consistent with the Superintendent's testimony on the record.

Analysis and summary

Curtsey and thanks to Christan Williams - who did the fact checking that neither the Christian Broadcasting Network, the Daily Mail, nor Fox News bothered with.

You'll find a copy of the PJL's letter at

You'll search in vain for specifics though. Who supposedly is making the complaint. What the "harassment" consisted of. It's just a claim that a trans child attending school constitutes an invasion of privacy, and a violation of freedom of speech. Like teaching that the Earth orbits the Sun.

The PJL's letterhead states the chairman of their advisory board is one Edwin Meese Esq. - a name readers might be familiar with.



I am a girl at the school and a friend of the girl in question. I have to say that she is awesome!
There are a few problems that the principal isn't mentioning. I think they always like to cover things up?
She has been both physically and verbally threatened by some of the boys. They can be pretty scary. And the girls can say some hateful things. But it's much less than half.
More than anything she just wishes everyone would quit talking about her.

The Daily Mail story has now been consigned to the bit bucket. Story, what story?
CharismaNews on the other hand is busy scrubbing all links to evidence that the story is bogus, in response to this request:


Moderator, remove these links to this trash propaganda, there's no sense in having a Christian magazine giving free advertising to junk science and advocacy for perversion. These people have no sense of shame at all.
2:13 p.m., Tuesday Oct. 15
 Partial transcript of testimony by the school superintendent:
"VENDETTI: "Nothing has actually been verified with us. This is one parent basically bringing their viewpoint about this situation to the media because they weren't getting the responses that they hoped they would get from the district, from parents of students at the high school, or from the board and myself. So I think it's just an attempt to elevate the situation to a point where maybe some more attention can be drawn to that in the hope of having a different outcome. But to our knowledge and based on our investigation, none of those things have actually happened. We do have a transgender student at the high school and she has been using the women's restroom. There has not been a situation."

UPDATE - a comment by the Examiner article's author, posted on the CBN website:
Having the proper "Christian" attitude needs to be revisited by CBN and all of those claiming to be a child of God. Even "Saul" thought he was doing God's work when he persecuted Christians, had them arrested, thrown into prison, and even approved of the killing of Christians. 
Does CBN want to have the same reputation as Westboro Baptist Church? Unfortunately too much Pharisee has been the make-up of many Christians concerning subjects as homosexuality and transgenders. This story picked up by CBN was a disservice to the cause of Christ, a slam against transgenders in general, and a grossly exaggerated innuendo that impacted a transgender teen at Florence High School in Colorado.
I am the Christian perspectives writer for San Jose that picked up the story from CBN whom I was over confident that the story was true, because after all, it was CBN. I set aside fact checking because I put too much emphasis that CBN would have credibility. I was dead wrong, and so was CBN. I posted a retraction but the damage was already done as the story has taken on a life of its own and according to one commentator that took me to task in the comments section, international. 
CBN needs to print a retraction of its transgender story. It is not worth it to continue legitimacy to a lie that could do harm to an innocent teen whose only guilt is being born. Both CBN and myself were deceived and the next task is to confess, ask for forgiveness, and seek redemption as 1 John 1:9 declares. God hates it when false testimony is given and according to Proverbs 6:16-18 we better clean up our acts.

UPDATE - http://www.canoncitydailyrecord.com/news/education/ci_24317516/transgender-case-under-investigation
Florence-Penrose School District Superintendent Rhonda Vendetti said the district was advised by lawyers not to comment about the specifics of the case because it is under investigation by law enforcement. However, she did release a comment Tuesday to the Daily Record.
"We are committed to providing a fair and equal education to all students at Florence High School," she said.

In view of one student's claim that the trans student has been a victim of cyberstalking -
"As a Christian girl who attends FHS, I'd just like to say that I've never been harassed by this individual not have I ever seen him harass anyone else. He's actually shy and a nice person. Do I think he should be able to use the girls bathroom? I'm torn. He either uses our bathroom and makes MAYBE 30% of the girls uncomfortable, or he uses the boy's restroom and gets beat up. I don't feel uncomfortable by him. Also, there are a lot of holes in this story. No parents initially complained. There was a mass Facebook message that included 150+ students and parents, outing him publicly. It was such a big deal, all electronic devises were confiscated if seen that day. THEN it was a problem and parents complained. This boy wasn't treated fairly. As a Christian, I had to put the truth out there. He didn't hurt or harass anyone."
And another student's claim of the trans girl being a victim of physical violence -
I am a girl at the school and a friend of the girl in question. I have to say that she is awesome!
There are a few problems that the principal isn't mentioning. I think they always like to cover things up?
She has been both physically and verbally threatened by some of the boys. They can be pretty scary. And the girls can say some hateful things. But it's much less than half.
More than anything she just wishes everyone would quit talking about her.
Police involvement is appropriate.

UPDATE Christan Williams is still on the case....

Today, PJI issued a statement to the TransAdvocate via their apparent mouthpiece, a TERF activist. While the statement still offered no evidence to support the claim that this trans kid is a predator, they finally revealed the nature of the supposed “harassment” endured by the cisgender school kids.
In a statement delivered to the TransAdvocate by attorney Cathy Brennan, the PJI claims that a trans person in the restroom is “inherently intimidating and harassing.” Brennan, vocal critic of  trans equality measures, became somewhat infamous after she outed a trans teen to his parents and school, and recently attempted to intervene in the medical care of a transgender person.
After days of sidestepping any explicit statements about the exact nature of the supposed “harassment,” PJI now asserts that the mere presence of a trans person constitutes harassment and intimidation to cisgender people.

The PJI has now admitted in a press release that the only "harassment" was the Trans girl using the girls restroom.

They have said in the past that they are trying to corroborate unspecified rumours of actual harassment. The latest press release suggests they've now dropped that and are hurriedly backing down from it. An independent investigation by the police into the truth of those allegations is now underway, something they apparently didn't want.
"The central issue in this case—a high school’s decision to give a biological teenage boy full access to teenage girls’ bathrooms is both disturbing and not seriously disputed". - See more at: http://www.pacificjustice.org/1/post/2013/10/update-colo-school-story-sparks-backlash-by-lgbt-activists.html#sthash.v9DQZeVx.dpuf
Contrast this with their original claim that not only did she use the restroom, but engaged in unspecified sexual harassment rather than just using it:
"This is exactly the kind of horror story we have been warning would accompany the push for radical transgender rights in schools, and it is the type of situation that LGBT activits (sic) have been insisting would not happen.”
UPDATE : KOAA 5 Colorado Springs has a report dated 2 weeks ago (Oct 3):

UPDATE After due consideration, playing my own "Devil's Advocate" here:
There's still much we don't know.
 Is the student Transsexual (as I've assumed) or Transgender/Gender Fluid? Or even Intersex?
What age are they? They've been going to the school for some years, so over 12, but that's about all we do know.
Have they been transitioning under the standards of care (again, an assumption on my part that could be wrong)?
The police are involved now - investigating the allegations about what this student has done, or investigating the threats alleged to have been made against them as well? What about the alleged FB message blast?
We have comments on websites, allegedly from other students. But are they genuine?
Yes, we've shown the PJL's letters "gilded the lilly" at the very least, or were a pack of lies at most - but I know I should be careful not to substitute my own assumptions as fact too. Otherwise how do I differ from the PJL?


Anonymous said...

I've been following this story, and reading your recent comments on that Charisma website Zoe. I continue to be amazed at your composure in the face of their anger and hate.

Great to have you back.


Paula said...

The Daily Mail has recently been involved a political furor as they failed to fully check their authorities, and then head line to attract attention, rather than reflect the content of the story, nobody in the UK (other than Daily Mail readers) will be surprised to find that they ran a reactionary story without checking the facts

Chris Phoenix said...

This reminds me of the flap in the right-wing media about the kid who was shooting a toy gun in his own front yard and was suspended from school!!!! Except that the kid was actually chasing and shooting kids who were trying to wait for the school bus.

Billie said...

Ignoring a "fact" changes very little but making up facts can change a lot of minds! That's a fact.

This "boy" is gonna get in serious trouble after school and the "community at large" will turn its collective eyes away and see nothing.

Sadly, some things never change.

Jennifer said...

Thanks for chronicling this. The misdeeds of these people need documented for the future.

Anonymous said...

Zoe, thank you so much for your tireless defense of the truth behind this bogus "news story." David's retraction was a class act, but hell will likely freeze over before CBN takes any similar responsibility. For all the talk on their blog about everybody ELSE'S need to "repent," CBN is not well known for admitting error. After all, um...this guy:


The best they'd probably do would be to delete the story altogether, and that only ever happens when too many subsequent comments disagree with what they have to say. In this case, it seems CBN has dug in their heels. I guess it's valuable that we can still see some of the outrageous comments people are still making about this child...just as a sociological study, it's fascinating to see "Christians" reacting with such hostility to the truth.

On a more uplifting note, I wanted to make sure you saw this...Media Matters has highlighted Cristan's due diligence, and check out the 1700 Facebook "likes" just in one day! ...


Again, thanks for helping to blow holes in such a heinous pack of lies.


SuccubaSuprema said...

Zoe, thanks for this. I commend you for sourcing your material, unlike those sensationalistic "journalists" who just want to sell a story, without regard for truth (nor the consequences of lies).

Anonymous said...

Wanted to point something out about the CBN news story that got this whole ball of tar and feathers rolling against the child...CBN has change the posting date of the story from Friday, October 11, to Sunday, October 13! They're obviously trying to cover up the fact that THEY are responsible for this debacle having gone viral. And yet they refuse to take down the story, to issue a retraction, or to apologize to the girl, her school, and her family...this despite numerous requests that they do so, most of which have simply been scrubbed from their "Comments" section below the hateful "news item."

Thanks again, Zoe!

--Magda (who has now been prohibited altogether from logging onto the CBN site...surprise surprise not.)

Anonymous said...

Hi again, Zoe...your standards of honesty are to be applauded, but don't be overly hard on yourself, ok? We know that the student is M-to-F in some capacity. Not sure the specific details are all that relevant (or particularly any of anyone's business); she's still a child who's been targeted by an unethical goon squad. That's what matters most.

In light of the supe's comments, my assumption is that the police are investigating harassment AGAINST the girl, but maybe Cristan would know more about that.

I suppose the comments from friends could be adults posing as classmates; stranger things have happened.

In any event, there's a HUGE difference between you and PJI/CBN/Fox News, etc. Those organizations did absolutely no fact checking before railroading the child. They also have to know by now that the story is false, but they don't care; they're still standing by it. No way would you purposely lie like they've been doing, and your devil's advocate explorations here indicate the kind of basic honesty and decency that they don't give a damn about.

You've got more integrity in your pinky finger than do that whole pile of fake "Christians" lumped together.


SuccubaSuprema said...

Zoe, I agree with Magda. You have much honor. Meanwhile, these "Christians" ought to consider the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew chapters 5-7), and stop trying to *appear* to be "righteous" before men, while (perhaps not-so-)secretly reveling in prejudice and hatred.