Email I received from Superintendent of Public Instruction Susan Castillo:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 18, 2005
Contact: Gene J. Evans, Communications Director at (503) 378-3600, ext. 2237
Castillo Statement on NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon Reception
SALEM State Schools Superintendent Susan Castillo:
When I accepted the invitation to speak at this event, I was unaware that the 300 Club featured adult entertainment. In fact, it is the same location used by the Salem Lions Club for their meetings, and I spoke to the Lions just last month. I assumed it was used for other civic organizations.
I am supportive of NARAL and Pro-Choice Oregon, but given the new information, I do not support their choice for the event site.
I am proud to serve as Oregons Superintendent of Public Instruction, and I am committed to the success of all students in the state. It would be inappropriate for me to attend or give the appearance of support for this location.
While it is nice of Ms. Castillo to recognize that to "attend or give the appearance of support" for an event held at an adult strip club is inappropriate. It seems to me that she understands that lending her name and official title to this venue implies an endorsement by the entire Oregon Department of Education.
Given that, I am very disappointed that she thinks that lending her name and official position to NARAL and Pro-Choice Oregon is a different situation. Neither one of these groups has anything to do with public education. If Ms. Castillo feels compelled to support abortion as a private citizen then she is entitled to do so. But it is still improper for her to send out an email with her job title and the communications director contact information that is supportive of abortion.
I'm curious as to why Ms. Castillo thinks that pulling her support of an adult venue while continuing to support, in her official capacity, abortion, does not reek of hypocrisy. Why pull out from an adult venue? Because some people find it morally objectionable? Not everyone does. Some people think naked dancers are great. Some people also think abortion is great but some people, myself included, find it morally objectionable.
If Ms. Castillo does not want to offend people by appearing at an adult strip club then she should keep in mind that those same people may be offended by her enthusiastic and public support for abortion. Her best bet would be to stay away from all controversial issues that are not related to education as long as she has the title Superintendent of Public Instruction.