Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Tightening the (Bible) Belt Around the Neck of Diversity

There really are good reasons to call this place "Misery".

A co-worker of mine used a nationally-syndicated editorial supporting gay marriage to teach her students about this style of writing. Of course it caused a huge uproar. Did the parents go to the teacher or administration with their concerns? No. Instead, they went directly to the school board and media. What did they want to accomplish by going to the media? If they wanted to make their feelings known and to make sure the topic wasn't brought up in class ever again, all they had to do was talk to the principal and teacher. Instead, they got on their soapbox behind a veil of parental concern and preached their intolerance for gay marriage.

The morning after this story hit the local airwaves, the assistant principal called an emergency staff meeting to clarify the situation. Instead of clarifying the story, she painted her own picture of a teacher who had done something terrible, had made a horrible decision, and was very, very sorry. She then told us to keep in mind "all the many good things X has done" and that "this was a case of a good teacher making a bad choice."

How patronizing!

I asked X what happened. She was perfectly aware of the decision she made and was not sorry for it. Students had brought this topic up out of curiosity. Obviously their parents were too scared to discuss it at home. (Don't want to give Johnny any ideas.) X knew what she was doing. She wasn't about to make any apologies, and she shouldn't have to. I'll remember all the great things she has done as a teacher...including discussing the benefits of legalizing gay marriage.

Now, lawmakers in Misery are using this case to further their own cause of "intellectual diversity". (Notice the quotation marks. I want to put separate marks around each word since the bill in question is neither "intellectual" or "diverse".) If anything, my friend has created a more diverse classroom with this topic while parents and administration have narrowed the perspectives to that of the conservative-right-wing-Christian variety.

Have I mentioned that I am glad to leave that school? It's going to be a lot easier to live in Misery without having to deal with that sort of bullshit.

(The school in the news...)

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