Teaching Gay History in California Classrooms...

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by missjessica, Jul 22, 2011.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Marci07

    Marci07 Devotee

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    Messages:
    1,017
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 23, 2011

    Nailed it!!!! :thumb::thumb:

    I'm Mexican by the way so you have no clue how it is important for us to hear about role models as I know it's important for my students.
     
  2. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Messages:
    6,185
    Likes Received:
    2,112

    Jul 23, 2011

    Wow, wouldn't it be a great conversation to be had that in America everyone citizen is afforded an education for free and with hard work anyone, regardless of heritage, has an opportunity to do any job they become capable of. They can start and grow a company, they can become a doctor, they can have a future in the arts if they work hard and learn as much as possible. It may take working 60-70 hours a week or more. It may take being financially strapped, but EVERYONE has the opportunity to achieve. Wouldn't it be great if the coversation was about the greatness of living in a country where citizens are free to become the best they can be.

    Then the conversation can revolve around the necessity of education and hard work, not heritage, being the driving factors in what you can achieve.
     
  3. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2007
    Messages:
    2,233
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 23, 2011

    I wouldn't bother mentioning someone's race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, physical condition, handicap, wealth, medical issue, political view, etc. unless...

    it were germane to the lesson. There are many historical figures in which it is important, and many in which it is not.

    I personally don't need a law telling me to not use my personal beliefs as a basis for including the study. I would hope that we've gone beyond the need for such specificity as the wording of this law. (At this point, you're going to give me various examples of people who need to have it spelled out. That is true in all occupations, and way too much of a cop out to use as a point in a discussion.)

    It is important to discuss Martin Luther King's race because his accomplishments have direct bearing on the civil rights of blacks.

    Is in unimportant (although always mentioned) to discuss the fact that Crispus Attucks was a black man who was killed in the Boston Massacre. It doesn't have much to do with the mounting tensions precluding the American Revolution.
     
  4. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2007
    Messages:
    2,233
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 23, 2011

  5. smtownEngteach

    smtownEngteach Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2011
    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 23, 2011

    I think we can have those conversations, but we also have to factor in reality. That sometimes people, despite their hard work, are denied opportunities because of their race, gender, religion... This is not giving students an excuse not to work hard, but hopefully the knowledge they need to correct it and make a better world and country for themselves.

    Let's also keep in mind that although every student is afforded an free education, that those experiences are not always equal and the quality can differ greatly based on the economic means of a geographic location.
    It is inaccurate to teach about our country the way you have it stated. While we live in a great country, it's not all sunshine and roses for everyone all of the time. I'm not saying have a pity party, but these are this is the type of critical thinking students should be involved in, how can we take the things we are given and make them better for everyone.
     
  6. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    Messages:
    3,765
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jul 23, 2011

    Crispus Attucks is always mentioned because it is important that he was black in understanding the way free blacks were particpating in the events protesting British rule, taxes without consent, quartering British soliders,etc. . . It is very important for students to understand that blacks particpated in the Revolution, events leading up to the revolution. Just as important to understand that John Adams defended the British soliders that shot Attucks.
     
  7. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

    Joined:
    May 10, 2008
    Messages:
    1,592
    Likes Received:
    4

    Jul 23, 2011

    I also think as a teacher in California it gives us a protection. In the district I work in it is required we teach social studies in a way that covers all groups of people. At the school I teach we have all sorts of families homosexual parents, heterosexual parents, adopted children, foster children, various levels of various religions, very solid atheists, and families from all over the world and the USA. This creates strife when trying to follow the district requirement. The state law now backs the district rules and has been all over the front pages all summer.

    It will take quite a while to get new textbooks that follow the rule since the state has put a hold on the 7 year deadline for new curriculum. Who knows when the state will change back to the 7 years. The text book companies will make buckloads since they will have orders for everything from every district across the state...

    I remember in high school classes instantly becoming more interested in a book upon finding out that it was written by a person who could have been gay, politically active, or having other specific things going on that made life more difficult. It creates a question of what was the life like how did the problems brought by the person's existence effect the writing-Dostoyevsky is a good example.
     
  8. Marci07

    Marci07 Devotee

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    Messages:
    1,017
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 23, 2011

    First of all, how can you say that EVERYONE can succeed is you are not willing to provide specific examples. When I was in high school I knew that everybody in America could succeed. It really impacted me and made a big difference when I saw that people from my same background who did it because I knew that they faced the same challenges I faced and if they did it, I could do it to. Just as only a woman can understand the challenges a woman can face when a man just can't and viceversa.
     
  9. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Messages:
    2,305
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 23, 2011

    I agree...I mean...why does one's sexual preference need to be out there???? :confused:
     
  10. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Messages:
    6,185
    Likes Received:
    2,112

    Jul 23, 2011

    Correct it how - have the expectation that they will be discriminated against and have a chip on their shoulder? That won't really do much for them except give others a reason to not want to consider their talent above their heritage.

    Why not have the conversation that there are times people are discriminated against but your best defense against this is to become the best you can be and focus on your abilities and accomplishments rather than your heritage? That is how it worked for women to become more equal in the workplace. They went full force on their abilities to show what they could do. Now they are working on evening out the salaries for themselves. All this takes time.

    How can we take things we are given and make them better? Well focus on abilities, work ethic, not other factors.
     
  11. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2010
    Messages:
    2,030
    Likes Received:
    6

    Jul 23, 2011

    Exactly, it does not need to be out there. I don't need to know, don't care to know.
     
  12. smtownEngteach

    smtownEngteach Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2011
    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 23, 2011

    But as a part of studying women's rights, will you not have to explain the discrimination that women did and still do face? I believe I said that hard work is a part of the solution, but like I said, it is a disservice to students not to teach them about the reality of situations as well.
     
  13. Marci07

    Marci07 Devotee

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    Messages:
    1,017
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 23, 2011

    Exactly, say the same thing leaving the gender out and without providing any examples. It would lose all the power. I'm the first one to not allow discrimination to be a factor to determine how much I can achieve and that's what I expect from my students but I also know that role models played a big role into inspiring and increasing my confidence in my abilities.

    Just like women were inspired by stories they read about other women who did it.

    Women soccer is an example. My husband loves soccer and I've watched a lot of games. He is fascinated by it to the point that he considers soccer an important connection with his dad. I saw soccer as a bunch of competetive guys. I couldn't relate I didn't care.

    When I watched the US women soccer play I saw soccer in a different way. These were women from our country accomplishing a huge thing. I saw them with their long hair in a pony tails still wanting to keep their feminine touch, being so beautiful and athletic. I learned a little about their lives and some of them enjoyed having their nails done and doing feminine things. Yet, here there were. Women playing soccer and playing for the world cup accomplishing what the US men in soccer have not been able to accomplish: playing for a world cup.

    I finally connected to soccer and for the first time in my life I wanted to play soccer and I heard of many young ladies that look up to them and want to accomplish the same. I grew up in a country where soccer was played, mostly by men. Never saw a woman play it, never saw a woman’s team play it and make that far.

    It made a big difference that I knew the gender of the team achieving this. It made a big difference that I could relate to it. It makes a big difference when students can relate.
    .
     
  14. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2010
    Messages:
    2,030
    Likes Received:
    6

    Jul 23, 2011

    Marci,

    You are right about that example for men and women. That is a great example, but it does not work the same for sexual orientation. It is understood that there are probably many men in professional sports that are gay, but none of them are "out" while playing. Their sexual orientation has not impacted whether or not they can acheive the accomplishment. Their sexual orientation is a private thing. They would probably like to be open about it and feel comfortable with their peers knowing (thats a different topic), but the the fact that they are does influence the accomplishment in any way.
     
  15. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Messages:
    6,185
    Likes Received:
    2,112

    Jul 23, 2011

    I guess we are very different people then. I don't need a role model to know I can succeed. But then again, I grew up here with the American Dream being part of my belief system. Hurdles are opportunities to overcome and you can go as far as your abilities, desire, and work ethic take you. There was always the conversation that it might not be easy and there will be things standing in your way, but with hard work and dedication you have the OPPORTUNITY to be successful where in many other countries you do not have that oppportunity of freedom and the ability to do whatever you are capable of.
     
  16. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    7,946
    Likes Received:
    3

    Jul 23, 2011

    I decided to stay out of the actual debate here, but I'm following the discussion and just had to share that your comment struck a nerve. Do you completely dismiss the importantance of role models, or were you simply unique in not needing a positive role model—be it parents, siblings, strangers, celebrities, teachers as in my case, or anyone else?
     
  17. webmistress

    webmistress Devotee

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2006
    Messages:
    1,084
    Likes Received:
    64

    Jul 23, 2011

    Agreed.
    ------------------------------
    ------------------------------
    To me that is the key difference between what people do in private (sex) and their very public race, gender, disabilities etc. Fact is many brilliant gay people in history are given credit and are respected for their accomplishments.

    The simple fact that so many teachers here can explain how they interpret the literature of renown gay authors goes to show that they have not been wiped out from History simply because they are gay. In fact, they blend in quite well because sexual orientation is not something that is usually evident.

    People can't just look at anyone and tell they are gay, bi, lesbian, or whatever. Yes there is discrimination, but it is not the same as race and gender because there were laws specifically targeting Blacks and women from going to college, having certain job, just learning to read..being seen as an equal human. That is why it is usually reasonable to mention race or gender because those were the very factors preventing people from attaining the success of white men.

    Gay people, straight people etc all know that there are brilliant gay people throughout history and currently living. One does not have to look far to see the powerful impact that gays have had on society...from medicine to entertainment, some in the open, some not, but they are well represented & respected by those who choose to be respectful. No law is going to make people tolerant of anyone else.
    This law further divides and separates everyone based on who they choose to sleep with. It's just not necessary.

    They should include virgins as well. Sexual fetishes? Asexual people?
     
  18. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Messages:
    6,185
    Likes Received:
    2,112

    Jul 23, 2011

    You are pulling out of the context of the thread and generalizing completely. Example, the discussion was a Mexican child needing a Mexican role model that isn't a landscaper. A woman needing to see a woman soccer player to understand that a woman can be good in sports and still be a woman.

    No, I don't/didn't need someone similar to me in gender, race, and heritage to help me believe I can be successful. I wasn't brought up that way. I'm not saying that seeing the actions of others doesn't make take a hard look at how actions determine consequences. Any role model is based on their actions, not anything else. I was taught that regardless of those things I could attain with hard work and persistence. I was also taught to look at others actions, behaviors, etc and see which ones caused them to be successful - role models.

    Why should I have a role model just because of skin color? It isn't the color of the skin that got the person there unless they got there under affirmative action.
     
  19. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Messages:
    6,185
    Likes Received:
    2,112

    Jul 23, 2011

    :yeahthat: :thumb:
     
  20. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    7,946
    Likes Received:
    3

    Jul 23, 2011

    Hey, that's why I asked...I always like to make sure I understand.
     
  21. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Messages:
    3,422
    Likes Received:
    595

    Jul 23, 2011

    It's not about rewriting history. I think that teachers should share what some people have had to overcome because of their race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, etc. If we don't teach kids about that, they will grow up and make the same mistakes. They need to know what happens when people are discriminated against so they will understand why not to do it.
     
  22. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2007
    Messages:
    4,459
    Likes Received:
    1,484

    Jul 23, 2011

    You said, "A sexual orientation (right or wrong) does not impact the importance of a person."

    Just to be clear--you're saying you believe that one sexual preference is right and another is wrong? I'm just trying to wrap my head around that sentence.

    Please clarify. :confused:
     
  23. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2007
    Messages:
    4,459
    Likes Received:
    1,484

    Jul 23, 2011

    :yeahthat::agreed:

    You hit the nail on the head, LUCHopefulTeach!!!
     
  24. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Messages:
    6,185
    Likes Received:
    2,112

    Jul 23, 2011

    History should present both sides of an issue. If a text is not allowed to mention that there are/were those people that believed that living a gay lifestyle was immoral and they were against it or against don't ask don't tell or gay marriage, but only presented one side to avoid dimishing or saying anything negative about sexual orientation, then it would be re-writing history and not accurately protraying the issue. If the history text was to support one side or the other it would be subjective.
     
  25. donziejo

    donziejo Devotee

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Messages:
    1,091
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jul 23, 2011

    I have a question: If you are a gay teacher are you open about it at work? I have two friends in Utah that are open about being gay...but not in the school community. They worked hard to attain their education and jobs, but they are both afraid the parents of students will find out and they will lose their jobs. I think it's important to teach the sexual orientation of others, because it does teach tolerance. Of course it needs to fit into the lesson. Also, I don't like the fact that black history is taught only during black history month. But I don't like the terms African American, Native American, Hispanic Americans etc...but I do understand why they're used.
     
  26. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Messages:
    3,422
    Likes Received:
    595

    Jul 23, 2011

    Right. That was my point. Why would you present only one side? Explaining history is not always pretty, but telling about the Holocaust is not diminishing or saying anything negative about Jews or other minorities in concentration camps. If it is, the education value of these lessons is greater than the possible harm that could be caused. The law is not saying to change what happened in history, only the parts of history that are considered important enough to teach.
     
  27. LUCHopefulTeach

    LUCHopefulTeach Habitué

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2011
    Messages:
    781
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 23, 2011

    :yeahthat:

    Minority role models are extremely important for minority children.
     
  28. LUCHopefulTeach

    LUCHopefulTeach Habitué

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2011
    Messages:
    781
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 23, 2011

    Seriously? Let's not bring in affirmative action... That statement was leaning towards insensitive.

    Clearly, you have never struggled due to your race, sexual orientation, religion, gender, or socioeconomic status.

    People who fall into any minority groups go through various struggles that make it more difficult to achieve their achievements than whites. Our society is not tolerant of many minority groups- including those which go beyond race- so it is important to recognize people of color, sexual orientation, etc since those identifications are so obviously used day to day in our society.
     
  29. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2008
    Messages:
    1,958
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 23, 2011

    I don't think that is appropriate (MY OPINION). I don't want to hear about anyone's sexual orientation (homosexual or heterosexual) nor do I think that is appropriate in a school setting as far as kids are concerned. As far as discussing that in context to a literary piece, if it is helpful in understanding the piece, yes. Otherwise, just not an appropriate discussion.

    If a gay man is in the lounge talking about a movie he and his boyfriend went to see - that's as fine as me talking about my husband. However, I don't think that same comment would be appropriate to discuss in the middle of class. JUST MY OPINION.
     
  30. LUCHopefulTeach

    LUCHopefulTeach Habitué

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2011
    Messages:
    781
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 23, 2011

    At the same time, its not right that a straight man can mention to his class that we went to see the new Transformers movie last weekend with his wife/girlfriend/etc but a gay man is not able to say the same thing without being in fear of losing his job or being accused of 'promoting of lifestyle to their students.'

    You are hearing about a straight teacher's sexual orientation every time they mention their wife/husband, girlfriend/boyfriend and no one is trying to say that this is inappropriate or shouldn't be allowed in schools. Why is it okay for a straight teacher to do this in class but not a homosexual teacher?
     
  31. donziejo

    donziejo Devotee

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Messages:
    1,091
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jul 23, 2011

    Yes, Luch has it right. It's not so much about talking about one's sexual orientation, but just the fact that when they see a movie, go on a road trip etc, they have to be careful on how they discuss it in the teacher's faculty room etc.
     
  32. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Messages:
    6,185
    Likes Received:
    2,112

    Jul 23, 2011

    Affirmative action is a part of history. People were placed in jobs because of the color of their skin and there were some (not all and more than likely not most) that were placed in jobs where they had weaker skills than others. That is a fact. You may not like it, but it is a valid and real part of history in this country. You feel facts are insenstive to mention. Sorry. But it is reality. You only had to be better than the other minority applicants you were competing against. Some were better than all applicants, but some got jobs because of the program, not merits and ability. Does this diminish a person - heck, yeah.

    Why do I have not not be a person of color or have a lack of struggle to believe that it diminishes the state of the person when one gets a job because of skin color? What if I benefitted from it and still felt it was wrong and sent the wrong message?

    See this is the dark side of discussing skin color, gender, and other heritage instead of focusing on skills. So, I mention something our government did to "help" those of color, but the unintended consequences of this was that they eleveated color over ability by placing an arbitrary quota that often times wasn't even representative of the areas percentage of minority people. Still today the government is rife with programs that tell people indirectly they need help because they are minority. These programs tell them they are not capable of garnering the position or contracts based on their own merits.
     
  33. LUCHopefulTeach

    LUCHopefulTeach Habitué

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2011
    Messages:
    781
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 23, 2011

    That is why we need to strive for tolerance, acceptance, and equality so that situations like these do not need to arise. The government programs and laws are necessary because society's bias, racism, homophobic tendencies do not allow people who are in the minority to have the same opportunities as white. These programs tell us as a society that we are unable to see other members of society as equal and judge them based on their merits!
     
  34. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2008
    Messages:
    1,958
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 23, 2011

    True, but I don't discuss my husband alot for that very reason. I do talk about my kids, but tend not to talk about my husband much. My child (a 5th grader) was talking about his teacher one day and apparently the teacher had talked about going out with her boyfriend - nothing crazy, but just a bit on the edge of inappropriateness with kids that age. I was NOT happy about it!

    I believe in building strong relationships with students, but there are some subjects that are too personal and should not be shared with the kids. AGAIN MY OPINION.

    Now I do not believe it would warrant someone losing their job. That I would think was wrong. I just think there are some things we need to keep to ourselves with respect to kids. Now if adults have an issue with it - be an adult and get over it. But kids don't have that choice.
     
  35. donziejo

    donziejo Devotee

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Messages:
    1,091
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jul 23, 2011

    I lived through affirmative action and the women's movement. The law did indeed improve the playing field. (did not level it) Did affirmative action and the women's movement have a dark side? Yes it did. It is a part of history. There was a day not so long ago when having all the skills in the world would not get you past the janitor job or out from behind the secretary desk. That is history. In the late 70s and early 80s major corporations were scrambling for people of color and women. I was one of the women. I got the job because of the law...I kept the job for 28 years because I had skill. So if I can help out another struggling group...such as gays. I'm there. Don't have to be gay just have to understand.
     
  36. smtownEngteach

    smtownEngteach Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2011
    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 23, 2011

    :thumb::agreed::yeahthat:
     
  37. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Messages:
    6,185
    Likes Received:
    2,112

    Jul 23, 2011

    And at what time do you think it is ok to take some of these programs away. When there is representation in all businesses of all minorities. When we have black business owners that were successful, female/black Secretary of State, hispanic Supreme Court Justices, Hispanic Congressmen, women in almost every type of business in every type of job, people of color in all types of businesses with all types of degrees..... a mixed race president. Oh, wait we are there.

    And yes, there are landscapers that are Mexican and many are. Often times they don't speak English. Some times they have little education, but I will not say that to be for every one because I have a great handy man that moved here and left his accounting job to raise his children here in the US because he knew they could get an education and be anything they wanted to be. He didn't know English well enough to re-certify or interact in the business world, but he certainly wanted to make sure his kids had opportunity where even as someone of a different culture, education and ability was what mattered. They are NOW college educated working adults in the same types of jobs my neighbors white kids are doing.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2011
  38. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2008
    Messages:
    1,958
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 23, 2011

    I agree with a2z with respect to AA. I feel to ever truly get past discrimination and prejudice we have to go in the opposite directions - not bringing attention to race, sex, sexual orientation....treating everyone the same and only judging based on what kind of person they are and how they treat us.

    I never want to think I got a job because I am a woman. I am a very intelligent, hard working, educated person - period. I understand things didnt used to be that way (and to some point still aren't). I teach my children to judge people based on who they are as a person - not based on their color or sexual orientation. I don't need or want to hear that someone is gay (or straight). Unless it is a person I am dating or married to - it's none of my business. It's personal! I certainly don't want my children hearing such personal things.

    Now, if someone is discussing their sexual orientation, I can handle that as I'm an adult. If I'm offended I walk off or remove myself from the situation. Kids cannot. There are just conversations that are appropriate for kids and conversations that should be left for adults. I believe this is a conversation more appropriate in a college setting.

    Now granted: I live in a very conservative part of the country and our standards are different than California. I don't deny that or apologize for it.
     
  39. LUCHopefulTeach

    LUCHopefulTeach Habitué

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2011
    Messages:
    781
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 23, 2011

    It will be okay to take away affirmative action when our society has changed. Our society will need to be tolerant and truly equal. Those programs are essential because we are not there and would discriminate unless it was illegal.

    Your other fact of representation really doesn't prove that we are there at all. Those are exceptions and do not represent the race or minority as a whole. Its very easy to say that our society isn't racist because we have a biracial present but that wouldn't be a truthful statement.
     
  40. Emily Bronte

    Emily Bronte Groupie

    Joined:
    May 28, 2006
    Messages:
    1,265
    Likes Received:
    11

    Jul 23, 2011

    When there is representation in all businesses of all minorities. When we have black business owners that were successful, female/black Secretary of State, hispanic Supreme Court Justices, Hispanic Congressmen, women in almost every type of business in every type of job, people of color in all types of businesses with all types of degrees..... a mixed race president. Oh, wait we are there.

    This is an overly simplistic way of looking at things. Just because of the things that are mentioned here does not, in any way shape or form, mean that discrimination does not exist.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. Shweta Basu
Total: 284 (members: 2, guests: 257, robots: 25)
test