At Gallaudet, Protests Are a Family Matter

Generations of Moores Called the School Home

By Anita Huslin

Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, October 28, 2006; Page C01

Before the lights are even flicked on, before the first cup of coffee is poured, the weapons are already buzzing in the Moore household.

A half-dozen text-messagers are lined up on the counter, juiced for another day in the battle to take down Jane K. Fernandes, president-elect of Gallaudet University — a woman who, if you listen to the protesters, is a threat to the very heart of deaf culture in America. It’s hard to know exactly how she would destroy deaf culture, since Fernandes has yet to offer much in the way of detail about her plans for Gallaudet. In fact, she’s offered herself as a champion of deaf culture.

But here they are, Dick and Doreen Moore and their son and two daughters and a sister from Kentucky and cousins from Iowa, all passionately engaged in the Gallaudet debate, camped out in the Moores’ Beltsville split-level, waking at dawn, clipping their Sidekicks into their holsters and heading to the campus to do what they can to stop her ascension.

Moore Family in 1988

The Moore family in 1988, when they joined the protesters who shut down Gallaudet University over the selection of a hearing person as president.

This is what you need to understand about them: Their family is part of the larger Gallaudet family. And that family has rejected Fernandes.

If the family doesn’t want you, why would you want to stay?

* * *

What do they have against Fernandes, who served as Gallaudet’s provost for seven years? The Moores echo the complaints heard across campus. S he’s aloof. Autocratic. Unresponsive.

Ask for specifics and the protesters offer: She wasn’t aggressive enough in making American Sign Language the standard on campus. She rubber-stamped disciplinary actions against staff without investigating the facts. She eliminated tenure for elementary and secondary school teachers.

If Fernandes is president, “Gallaudet will be in chaos,” predicts Doreen Moore. “Faculty and staff would work under the cloak of fear and oppression. A large number of students will withdraw . . . future enrollments will be very low. The alumni will cease to donate money.”

Listening to the litany of complaints against her yesterday, Fernandes waves her hands in frustration. “They’re just throwing anything they can at me,” she says. “At this point there’s nothing left but for this to be a very personal attack.”

## see the rest of the article here. ##

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One thought on “At Gallaudet, Protests Are a Family Matter

  1. My son is the student in the bottom photo. I will be there Sunday-Wednesday. Call me 941-544-2886. Kim Wirick

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