Thursday, May 03, 2007

To Promote (Homo)sexuality At School Or Not To Promote (Homo)sexuality At School, That Is The Question

The following was included as a paragraph in our superintendent's monthly letter to all district employees. I deleted the name of the high school he specifically identified.

High School Unrest:

Some of our high schools (xxxxx in particular) are caught in the middle of conflicting rights and interests of students who believe sexual orientation is a private matter and a protected matter, and other students and community members (and some who are not from within our community) who believe that it violates their religious beliefs and that schools should not allow such events as the Day of Silence. At one level it is an intriguing constitutional issue about First Amendment rights that contributes to great civics lessons, while at another level it is very personal and disruptive to the learning process. I know the schools and district are doing their best to mitigate the situation, listen to all parties, while protecting the rights of all students to learn without harassment or intimidation. I am thankful to everyone who has been working on finding solutions, and I am sorry that this disruption has occurred. It is a good reminder that intense, emotional issues that exist in our society do not just disappear at the schoolhouse steps.

While it's clear he endeavored to remain neutral, he failed. His first sentence, and the unnecessary parenthetical about instigators from outside our community, show us where his true feelings lie on this issue. The Day of Silence is most assuredly not an event that promotes keeping sexuality a "private matter", although I do believe sexuality to be a protected matter.

You know what might put the kibosh on this unrest? Paying more than mere lip service to the First Amendment, that's what.

1 comment:

Ellen K said...

We have a similar situation locally. A self described transgenders male and his mom are suing a local district for not allowing him to dress as a female. First, there's the issue of where to allow him/her to go to the bathroom. Then there's the issue of such things as PE. And like it or not, there are going to be kids who take offense to such "different" behavior and act on their base impulses. In short, a boy dressing like a girl is disruptive. And I am not talking feminine as in girls tee shirt and jeans, I am talking high heels, wig, the works. As a parent, I think his mother is enjoying his "transformation" just a bit too much. AS a teacher, I think this is a recipe for a fight.