Teaching Gay History in California Classrooms...

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

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  1. donziejo

    donziejo Devotee

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    Skittle, if you said I went with my husband to see Harry Potter that is fine. If my gay friend says I went with my wife to see Harry Potter (friend is female) that to me is fine also. That's what I am talking about. I am not talking about a sexual conversation at all!!! I live in a very conservative part of the counry also, and I am not talking about any standards other then kindness. I really am talking about day to day life. Employment equity not just filling a quota would be the ideal to me.
     
  2. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    I pointed out prominent people, but the businesses where I live are very representative of all genders, races, and heritage. I didn't mean to imply just because he was there is no racism. We will never wipe out racism. There are whites that are racists, blacks that are racist, asians that are racist, etc.... It will never completely disappear and to think so would be foolish. However, when it comes to people being represented across all parts of business they are.
     
  3. LUCHopefulTeach

    LUCHopefulTeach Habitué

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    :clap:

    Agreed!
     
  4. TeachAstro

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    I'm a little shocked by some of the comments being shared. I don't understand how, as a teacher, some of you can have such a negative idea of teaching things like sexuality and multiculturalism. Actually I think I can; you push your personal bias into your classroom, and I think that's terrible. Students should be made aware that there are different people in the world, people who have different experiences, different privileges, different cultures, etc. I find it truly sad that there are teachers out there who think it is wrong to teach about racial issues that exist in our society or sexual orientation that influences one's work and achievement.
     
  5. Marci07

    Marci07 Devotee

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    It's very sad indeed. I give up trying to make my point across. There is no point to talk to deaf ears unable to reflect. I guess it is because they can't relate to being a minority and therefore don't consider it important. It is until one considers for one moment what it would be like to be in the shoes of someone different than us that change and acceptance can take place.

    I cannot phantom being a teacher and not trying to understand the challenges and struggles my students may face. I will not allow them to use these an a excuse but I will not deny them the validation and encouragement and I will aim to provide them with all the tools that I can.
     
  6. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    And that's why you need the law, I guess.


    I want to add that I do no think of sexuality as just what goes on in the bedroom. Sexuality is very much a part of who a person is and is very much intertwined with his or her identity.
     
  7. Ron6103

    Ron6103 Habitué

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    I'm going to jump in from a perspective that I don't think has been voiced here yet. I'm a teacher, but also happen to be gay. That said, I'm not out at work (nobody I work with frequents this forum, so this is presently a non-issue), nor do I think I could be. I try to be supportive of students anyway, and as in Illinois we have no such similar laws, I get called to the carpet on it. Case in point:

    Last year, after the string of gay teen suicides, a group of students in my building wanted to take part in the "wear purple in help end GLBT harrassment" day that some students in another school had organized in response to the suicides. They asked me (and a number of other teachers) if we would support it, and wear purple that day. I chose to do so. Kids asked me about it during class, and I explained the reason for wearing it. That very afternoon I found myself in the Principal's office being asked if I "was promoting a gay lifestyle to my students". Why? Because another TEACHER had not only complained to other staff, but actually went to the district office and spoke with the Superintendent about the dangerous influence I was having on kids.

    So, I explained the situation to my boss, carefully leaving out my own sexual orientation out of the discussion. I explained that I was being supportive of my students, but was not "encouraging" anything. The matter was dropped, but I was told to leave "such issues out of the classroom". So to those that seem so utterly amazed at how gay topics can come up in the classroom: it really is that easy. And having to avoid it, is pathetic. Thankfully, I'm coming up on my tenure year at this school (this coming year).

    On a more personal level, kids want to know about their teachers lives (at least a bit). Especially in high school. As a younger male teacher, I get asked if I have a girlfriend every semester of every year by at least a few kids. I'm quite often asked if I'm married, and when I reply no, I get the "why not?". Those are not "sexual" questions... they are merely questions about my life. And I cannot answer those questions honestly for fear of losing my job. If *I*, as an adult am stuck in that position, imagine how the kids in my community who are GLBT (and believe me, they exist) must feel? THAT is why such laws are helpful.

    No, the goal is not to try and mention the sexual orientation of every historical figure. But the goal is to mention it when that person has had substantial contributions to history so that those kids (you know... the ones that were considering SUICIDE!) realize they are not alone, and that they CAN make something out of themselves. It matters. Positive role models matter to teenagers... at least the vast majority of them, and especially those that are struggling emotionally. And if you can't see that, then you're intentionally choosing to be blind. Sorry, but this thread has struck a nerve.

    -end rant, *edited for spelling errors
     
  8. donziejo

    donziejo Devotee

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    Ron6103, agree! Last year when the suicides happened some of our students did the same. The P e-mailed everyone and said teachers could partcipate but not to make a big deal about it. Suicide is a big deal! Yes, the laws are needed. I am a sped teacher and can't imagine what would happen if the laws that protect the disabled were repealed.
     
  9. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    I grew up in an extremely conservative area. That I know of, two of my middle school teachers were gay. One shouted it from the rooftops...even going so far as to say he could do whatever he wanted, since if he were fired he would sue the school for discrimination. Obviously a terrible example for all students involved. The other was much more subtle, but we knew he had a "partner." Just like you mentioned, if we asked what he did on the weekend he sometimes mentioned doing something with his "life partner." He was one of the best teachers I had and was well-loved throughout the school by students and parents alike. If he could manage to do that in such a conservative area...I think it is highly possible elsewhere. It's really unfortunate that the other teacher was such a bad example...however his actions may have been what convinced the good teacher to speak up more.

    As for the affirmitive action discussions, I think laws like that just make racism stronger. I mean, how could you not be upset that a less qualified candidate got a job, a scholarship, or whatever opportunity just because of the color of their skin? It doesn't make sense to me to fight discrimination with a different kind of discrimination.
     
  10. YoungTeacherGuy

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    I'm going to add to Ron's statement.

    I, too, happen to be gay. In the past, my kids have asked me if I am married or have a girlfriend, but I always say that I'm not married nor do I have a girlfriend. I've had parents ask if I'm married, too, but I am not sure if it's because they're trying to figure out my sexuality or because they want to set me up with someone. Either way, I don't care.

    I am open about my sexuality with my teacher friends. I have brought my significant other to staff functions because my co-workers like him and I'm not ashamed of who I am. When I'm invited into the homes of other teachers, the invitation always says both of our names--not just mine. This summer, I had a get-together at our home (the home my partner and I share) and many of the guests were teachers. The fact that I'm gay is a non-issue with them!

    Whenever I'm in public (at the mall, grocery store, Wal*Mart, etc.) I'm usually with my partner. I've been seen and approached by students and parents and they don't act any differently when they see the two of us together.

    Lastly, year after year, I am requested to teach the children of administrators, teachers, and other support staff. Thankfully, they're smart enough to know that the fact that I'm gay doesn't change my teaching. I'm a good teacher regardless of my sexuality!

    That's the end of my rant! :2cents:
     
  11. donziejo

    donziejo Devotee

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    Waterfall, there is a dark side to affirmitive action and you have named them. My wish for the world is that the best candidate for the job got the job. But, it's like the laws for SPED. How long would FAPE last without a federal law? I think there still is a need for laws that try and level the playing field. I wish they weren't needed but in my opinion they are. Interestingly, my 21 year old was told by two people at the local community college that Jackson University offers a 4 year scholarship to white students. The university needs to have a certain number of white students to maintain funding. That is a quota to me (not that it's keeping others out) so I was surprised and sad.
     
  12. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    That is a good point donziejo. If only we could maintain a society where the best person gets the job/scholarship/opportunity no matter what.
     
  13. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    You are correct, that is my personal opinion. I have had friends who were gay, great people, got along great with them. But that does not mean I agree with their lifestyle. They knew I thought it was wrong also, we were still friends.

    As for the comments about teachers mentioning discussing things with their class in relation to their spouse. I am married and end up telling stories/having conversations that have to do with my wife quite often. The students always love hearing stories about me and my life/family. I love talking to my students about those types of things, just adds a personal element to the relationship I build with them.
     
  14. TeachAstro

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    So, Callmebob, you don't believe in teaching children about the different lives people live, their difference cultures, histories, etc, because you don't personally believe it is right? I don't mean for that to be accusatory, if I'm wrong please let me know. Speaking more broadly, this idea that sexual orientation or ethnic background doesn't affect a person is, quite frankly, ludicrous. My life as a white heterosexual male is completeley different from that of a Black Female, particularly because they are Black and female, both positively and negatively. Similarly, someone's sexual identity, whether you believe it "right" or not is a factor in who they are, what they believe, and what they accomplish. Thinking that detail is unworthy of teaching a student, particularly because someone simply doesn't agree with them on a strictly religious ground (which is my assumption for most most people who are homophobic), makes me honestly think some of these people shouldn't be educators.
     
  15. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    You still managed to make an accusation/assumption there. That just because people (myself included) don't believe that the sexual orientation is right, does not mean they are homophobic. If I was homophobic, I wouldn't have had friends who were gay.
    I am perfectly fine with teaching students about different people, cultures, lives, when it is relevant. I don't believe that the choices someone makes in their own bedroom are relevant to that type of thing. Gender and race do have an impact; although race should not so much, but do to history it has. Gender does have significant differences that society acknowledges. Thus it is relevant. Sexual orientation is just an act someone does in their bedroom. The fact that someone is gay does not need to be shared or become relevant to someones role in history.
     
  16. donziejo

    donziejo Devotee

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    Sexual orientation is not an act someone does in their bedroom.
     
  17. smtownEngteach

    smtownEngteach Rookie

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    I know, I don't really understand that either. I mean would you call a marriage simply something that goes on in the bedroom? Relationships often define us as people and are a big part of our lives.
     
  18. TeachAstro

    TeachAstro Rookie

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    Callmebob, I'm sorry but I completely reject your notion that sexual identity doesn't impact individuals. Harvey Milk's sexual identity didn't influence his impact? Or his murderer's? You don't think the teen in Wyoming who was lynched by bullies because he was gay isn't relevant in the anti-bullying bill that passed congress earlier this decade? I could talk about "heroes and holidays" in the gay community, but what's relevant is the discrimination of homosexuals that is relevant and that should be taught to children so they are open-minded. Just like we should teach the past (and ongoing) personal and institutional racism that permeates society (Read White Privilege by Mcintosh or "Can't Teach What We Don't Know" by Howard), because despite what some people, in their narrow-minded world might believe, impacts individuals and society.

    Oh, and I love the "I have Gay (insert "Black", "Brown", "Chinese") friends"... so I can't be homophobic/racist/whatever. That has been used for the last 70 years.
     
  19. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

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    If you truly believe being gay has no effect on a person's life besides in bed you must not know very many gay or lesbian people. It throws a quandary into the teenager's life which can be insurmountable. It takes away the safety in friends and families especially in a community that believes it is ok to slur and degrade through terms like fag or gay as rude comments or make comments about how their religious beliefs declare it wrong. It makes them question more than normal for teenager themselves and potentially hide the facts from family, friends, and society.

    The more I read these comments the more confounded I am by the obvious bigotry in our country that is so common place people actually try and argue it as a reasonable thing.
     
  20. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    I guess we have different defentions of homophobic then. I'm not afraid of them in any way shape or form, I just think its wrong. And something that I think is morally/socially wrong, I don't believe should be taught or broadcast as acceptable. I don't think there is anything wrong with the person. All people do wrong things all of the time. The people need to be accepted, but that doesn't mean the act does.

    As for your examples; I understand that people have been targeted due to their sexuality, that is also quite wrong. But I don't believe that we need to focus on the fact that they were targeted for their sexuality as much as they were targeted because they were different. Being tolerant of other people has more to do with tolerating people who are different. I still don't understand why we have to focus in on their sexuality. I am fine with teaching students to be tolerant of others, but would not be fine with promoting those different sexual orientations or saying that they are okay.
     
  21. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    I never intended to say it had no effect on their life (if I did, that is not what I meant to say).
    And again, just because people think that something is wrong, that makes them bigots? I don't understand that logic.
     
  22. LUCHopefulTeach

    LUCHopefulTeach Habitué

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    :agreed:

    That idea is absolutely ridiculous.
     
  23. YoungTeacherGuy

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    Your comment is exactly why teaching gay history will help foster tolerance. By teaching kids that there have been poweful gay and lesbian leaders in our society, both gay AND straight students can rest assured that anyone can have a promising future (regardless of their sexuality).
     
  24. TeachAstro

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    You are taking an unbelievably simple definition of homophobia. No one thinks you (or anyone else) is physically afraid of gay people. People who are homophobic fear the integration of the "gay lifestyle" as being accepted as common place, they fear having to accept them wholehearted equals in rights and perceptions, they have a sense of fear of their children becoming gay, or of themselves being gay. That is homophobia.

    So according to you we shouldn't teach history lessons on the exploitation of Blacks, the subservience they were forced into, the continued economic and social policies that are embedded into our nation due to that 100+ year history. Similarly, we shouldn't discuss religious persecuctions, or language barriers; we shouldn't talk at all in school that other people bring different qualities, qualities that lead to further learning and the betterment of society. Instead, let's just teach that people are "different"?

    You are a teacher! You shouldn't being telling students to just be "tolerant". You should be teaching your students to EMBRACE everyone, not just "tolerate" them. Especially not because of your own religious views.
     
  25. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    I agree. I don't need to know or care to know. The fact that I am a heterosexual woman that is married to a man does NOT define who I am. It is important to me, but does not change who I am or the contributions I make as a member of society.

    As for someone who is gay, wouldn't it be better for others not to judge or even think about your sexuality? I would not want to be defined by it.....oh and she was gay or oh she was straight...???

    Everyone outwardly sees you are a certain color or sees your a man or woman. You cannot keep people from seeing that. That is not the case with sexuality. Sexual preference by its nature should be personal - not out there for everyone (AGAIN my opinion).

    What bothers me about this board sometimes is if you have an unpopular viewpoint people are so quick to judge and discount the unpopular view. Shouldn't we as educators, above anyone, be able to discuss differences of opinion without discounting another's view?? I think this is definitely regional too. I couldn't imagine a law like this flying in Texas.

    I absolutely am against a gay person having to be scared of people finding out you're gay. You have a right to live your life in peace as much as any individual.... However, that is different than putting your sexual preference out there for students. If they find out because they see you at the store - fine. But to discuss in class - as a parent I would not appreciate that.

    As a mom of middle schoolers, I have had them come home and tell me about a teacher they think is gay. Fine. I couldn't care less. And of course I tell it's none of their business and it shouldn't affect how they see that teacher. But if I found out that, say a male teacher (or female) was talking in class about going out to dinner with his life partner. I think that crosses the line.

    Now I think by 11th or 12th grade that may be more acceptable because those kids are becoming adults. But younger than that - no.

    Again, this is my OPINION. We all have one and are entitled to it.
     
  26. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    THANK YOU - someone understands!
     
  27. TeachAstro

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    But it's not a problem if they announce they're having dinner with their partner of a different sex, right?

    And that's the problem: people are intolerant of gay lifestyle s(again I will say, because of their religion). This is the exact reason why teaching students acceptance is important, to get away from this (and yes, in my opinion:)) absurd, religiously-based claim that homosexuals are to be shunned, looked down on, etc. And you're right, based on all the stereotypes I hear I doubt this would ever fly in Texas, which makes me extremely glad (actually, sad in some cases) that I don't teach there.

    And of course you have the right to your opinion and to express it on this board... that's what we're doing. If one's opinion is the minority that doesn't mean one side is not "allowing" it, we're (pro or con) pointing out what is thought to be right or wrong with respective viewpoint.
     
  28. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    no the tone is different than disagreement.......
    and I love where I teach so that makes us both happy - different strokes for different folks.
     
  29. TeachAstro

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    Two things, first this law (nor any other) says every individual must be pointed out whether they were gay or straight, blonde or brunette, Black or White, Short or Tall, etc. The law says there will be part of the curriculum discussing the achievement of homosexuals in advancing _______ cause as well as historic gay discrimination.

    Secondly, I can easily see how a straight individual doesn't see the importance of discussing gay individuals. Similar how a White person may not see the need in discussing famous Black individuals. But do you know who it does matter to? Possible Gay students who have so far been going through life afraid to feel proud of themselves because they have heard nothing but the shunning from the religious right and not receiving a speck of reinforcement by learning about others who are like them. Do you believe in the behaviorist theory of learning? How about social cognitive? socio-cultural? All of those stress the influence of like-minded society in shaping student's views on themselves (self-confidence_ and education.
     
  30. Ron6103

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    I would like to point out that the opinion that "the homosexual lifestyle is wrong" is not just an opinion like any other. If a teacher makes that idea known to their students, they any GLBT student they have will be forever uncomfortable in that classroom. That's essentially saying that a fundamental part of who they are as a person, you feel is wrong. And contrary to what the right-wing wants people to believe.. IT'S NOT A LIFESTYLE CHOICE!

    I did not wake up one morning and decide I'd like to try being gay for a change. Neither did any gay student, and as a teenager... that entire matter is exceptionally difficult for the vast majority of them. I chose my sexual orientation just as certainly as you chose yours. Lifestyle choice is an absurd term to use outright... what does it even refer to? Is my day-to-day lifestyle somehow different than a heterosexuals? Sorry, but that line of commentary infuriates me.
     
  31. TeachAstro

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    I will be the first to admit that I am very passionate in these responses, and perhaps that shows. Please note this passion isn't against anyone (personally, professionally, academically, or even "internetly" :) ) but because I feel we should teach our children what is best for our children, not the personal religious beliefs of some that fuels hatred, hostility, and isolation. In my opinion.
     
  32. Ron6103

    Ron6103 Habitué

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    Seconded. And I do apologize for my tone, as I do realize it was somewhat crude. That said, I'm going to simply post this statement as opposed to editing my previous one because my point still stands. However rudely I may have made it. Apologies.
     
  33. Cerek

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    Religious beliefs are not the only thing that fuels hatred, hostility and isolation. Watch GangLand on Spike TV sometime and you can see how rampant racism is among ALL cultures, not just white Americans.

    I'm glad you did point out that it is the personal religious beliefs of some that fuel such feelings, but I think that still fails to acknowledge that others can share those same religious views and NOT feel hatred or hostility or isolation towards gays, blacks, asian, women or any other socio-cultural classification.

    As a Christian, I believe many forms of sexual immorality are sinful. That may include homosexuality, but it also includes adultery and pre-marital sex. Just because I believe a certain act is a sin doesn't mean I believe the person committing the act is a "bad person". I'm guilty of pre-marital sex and my sin is no greater or lesser than any other sin of immorality. While the Bible tells us that no sin is greater or lesser, when it comes to adultery vs homosexuality, only ONE of those was actually written in stone. So, if anything, adultery would be considered the "greater" sin of the two.

    Now, do I allow my personal beliefs into the classroom? Absolutely not! I have had (and still do have) a fair number of gay and/or lesbian friends. I've even been approached by an old family friend who admitted he was gay and had always wanted to date me. That was more than a little awkward, since I cared about him as a friend but obviously not in the same way he cared about me. It was also awkward because he was roughly the same age as my parents. It would be no less awkward if a female family friend of my parents approached me the same way. Despite not wanting to "date" the family friend, I still greeted him with a hug every time I saw him, because that is how we always greeted each other.

    While I do see the relevance of discussing a person's sexuality, gender, race or other social hurdle (such as drug use, alcoholic, etc) in some cases, I don't believe it is relevant in all cases. Is Elton John or David Bowie a better singer/songwriter because of their sexual orientation? Did it have an effect on the songs they wrote, or were their songs successful regardless of that? If their orientation did affect their songs, then it does deserve to be mentioned. If not, then it doesn't.
     
  34. Cerek

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    I'm glad you were supportive of your students and I appreciate your reasons for them. It's unfortunate another teacher created such a big issue out of this and I agree teachers SHOULD be allowed to show support for their students. I'm sure it would NOT have been a problem if the students had asked you to wear blue (for example) in support of innocents killed by drunk drivers.

    However, sexual orientation and race can be very controversial (and divisive) topics, as this thread has proven. So I can also see why administration would prefer the teachers to remain more "neutral" on these specific issues. It isn't fair or right that there should be such a difference, but it does exist and, whether right or wrong, admin does have to consider the views, opinions and beliefs of ALL their parents...not just the ones that are socially correct.

    That is not meant to diminish the reality of teen suicides at all, and I agree it should be a BIG issue that SHOULD be addressed by the school. ALL reasons for teen suicide should be a topic of discussion in schools, especially at the high school level.

    I am sorry you have to keep your orientation secret for fear of losing your job. I agree you should not have to face that situation at all, nor should any teacher.

    While I can only imagine how that must feel, I can address the topic of questions from students about one's personal life. I am a straight, white male who is also divorced and a single father of three boys. While I do tell my students I have children of my own, I do NOT answer questions about my former marriage or my own sexual orientation or any women I date. When students ask questions about that, I tell them that information is personal and not something they need to know about me. If they ask about my wife, I simply say I'm not married - period. If they ask WHY I'm not married, I again explain that is personal information that they don't need to know.
     
  35. Ron6103

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    Jul 24, 2011

    A fair point Cerek, and I actually do answer those questions much like you do it seems. And will likely continue to do so for the upcoming school year. But that's not really the point... the point is, other teachers/adults are able to casually mention their lives at home, while I (and others in my position) are not. It's a double standard.

    It's not so much that I really want to talk to all my students about my personal life. I don't , and my personality dictates that I likely wouldn't even if I could. But that's not the point either... the point is, even if I wanted to, I couldn't. My job and standing in the community would be in peril. And if a gay kid were to come and confide in me (which has happened to other teachers in our area, just not my building), I would like to be in a situation where I can tell them honestly about my own experiences, and how life can get better. But again, I can't do that.
     
  36. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Jul 24, 2011

    Believing that homosexuality is not a sin is also a personal opinion and could be considered a different type of religious view.

    The same argument could be used to suggest you should also leave your personal beliefs and religious views at home.

    I'm not saying bob is right and you are wrong, I am simply saying you are expressing an opinion, just as bob is and, if it is wrong to bring one personal opinion or view into the classroom, the argument can be made it is also wrong to bring the other.

    Since most members seem to agree that social history should include all relevant aspects of an issue, shouldn't the fact that bob - and many others - hold these views be an integral part of said discussion? After all, if we truly want to discuss the social reality of such issues, then all views of the issue must be included to maintain the integrity of the discussion.
     
  37. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Jul 24, 2011

    This article discusses the laws passed in one state - Texas. That is a far cry from ALL textbooks taking a "more conservative stance because they cater to Republican and conservative states".

    The article does mention that Texas is one of the largest purchasers of textbooks, but that is based on it's geographic size and number of school districts. While a large purchaser CAN influence products in any field, it does not mean EVERY product will automatically conform to the desires of the largest purchaser. Texas may be the largest individual purchaser of textbooks (going by state), but New York and Pennsylvania likely represent an equal amount of purchasing power and which could also translate into an equal amount of purchasing influence.

    The article does mention some interesting points to ponder. I found this to be particularly interesting:

    "Dr. McLeroy, a dentist by training, pushed through a change to the teaching of the civil rights movement to ensure that students study the violent philosophy of the Black Panthers in addition to the nonviolent approach of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr."

    If we study the civil rights movement without mentioning the influence of groups like the Black Panthers, is that not also a form of "rewriting history"?

    What about the riots that occurred in Watts and after the Rodney King trial? While the issues that caused those riots should absolutely be addressed, shouldn't the reaction to those situations also be discussed in an effort to show it was inappropriate (although completely understandable) and to find a better way to respond to future situations?
     
  38. Cerek

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    Jul 24, 2011

    That's a fair point as well, Ron, and I agree the double standard exists, even though it shouldn't. I worked in the healthcare industry for 13 years at two different hospitals. There were gay and lesbian workers at both. At the first hospital, two of the lesbian workers were a couple and their relationship was open. Everyone knew about it and it wasn't an issue (one of the two was, and still is, a department manager). At the other, we had an older lady who "co-mingled" with a "life-time friend" (who was not an employee). Everyone knew the truth of their relationship as well, but the employee always felt the need to use the term "co-mingle", which I felt was extremely unfair and sad for her and her partner. BTW, I was very good friends with all four of the ladies in question and would go so far as to say the "co-mingler" was probably my BEST friend at the second hospital.

    We also had a two gay nurses in our nursing home that were a couple. Again, their relationship was very open and one of them (especially) was much like the teacher mentioned earlier that shouted their sexuality from the rooftops. While many people may have disapproved of their orientation (and especially the more "flamboyant" exploits of the second one), nobody denied they were both very good nurses and great workers. Their orientation wasn't relevant to their job performance, except on a few occasions when the second one made it relevant through some of his actions. Then again, my ex-wife worked in the business office at the time and it would have been equally inappropriate for me to act the same way towards her (at work) as the second nurse sometimes did towards his partner. Although I admit my ex and I probably wouldn't have faced the same amount of judgmental criticism as the gay couple, the action (or reaction) from admin probably would have been the same - a "reminder" to leave our personal lives and relationship out of the workplace.
     
  39. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Jul 24, 2011

    I am not gay, but I can understand about societal pressure and relationships. Had my husband and I not been going to teach at the same school, we would likely not be married still. When we married, we lived together. We had dog-children together, owned a house together, and had lived together for four years. However, we knew that high school children are nosy and would ask questions. Based on the reaction of the secretary when she figured out that we were living together before we married and that I did not intend to change my name, it would have been an issue for us to live together without being married.

    Different topic: I'm still amazed by the number of people who don't understand what this law says. It is not saying to mention the sexuality of every person you study ever. It is saying to discuss race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, etc. when it applies. It is also saying to discuss events and movements in history in relation to the impact of and on minority groups. The law is not saying teachers must become gay rights activists, just that, when relevant, teachers must discuss issues related to minority groups in classes.

    I'm also still amazed by the people who think it is unacceptable for a teacher, gay or straight, to ever mention their family/loved ones in the classroom. I don't understand that. I mean, teachers should not share overly personal information (debt issues, abuse, things that should be left in the bedroom, etc.) but I think it's wonderful for teachers to share things like, "My husband and I went out for dinner last night," or "I went to visit my best friend from college this weekend." My students love that they know a bit about my personal life: they know I play board games, that I play hand bells, that I have Saints season tickets, and that I have three adorable nephews. They know I have two sisters, and they know my parents are divorced. They know I went to boarding school for high school. Also, they know that I am very accepting of all of the students and that I support every viewpoint except for intentional ignorance. I don't have management problems, and my students learn the content from me.

    When I was in high school, several of my teachers were gay. Many others had living arrangements and relationships that were... non traditional. Everyone was fine with that. I miss that open and accepting environment so much. Our teachers would bring their significant others to school events, and it was so nice meeting them and getting to know them. My parents had gay friends, but for many of my classmates, it was the only time they had seen a gay couple in real life, and not a stereotype on TV.
     
  40. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    Jul 24, 2011

    Why do I always seem to get the impression that someone who believes that homosexuality is wrong is looked at as a bad person with a horrible opinion. While the person who believes that homosexuality is wrong does not think that a gay person is bad, just that the sexual orientation that they have is bad.
    Now I am not saying both of these views fits for everyone, not trying to generalize, just the majority feeling I get from this discussion.

    Yes, I understand that the discussion has taken a turn from the original post, but the beliefs /opinions about the topic effect how people would respond to that law and everything else that it could refer to.
     
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