Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Purple Day

Our GSA gave out purple ribbons today -- it's Ally Week, plus purple day today to honor the 7 young men who took their own lives over the past month due to anti-gay bullying and harassment. We had a ton of students sign pledge forms and take ribbons during the lunch waves, so obviously I'm ecstatic about that.

Here is what I am very un-ecstatic about---an annoying, homophobic, unprofessional teacher who totally ruined the day. She basically accosted my student who was working at the GSA table to explain (not in my presence - the student was totally by herself and defenseless) how she doesn't believe that "all this" (GSAs, ribbons, allies, anything having to do with supporting gay anything) belongs in a school. May I mention we are a PUBLIC school, so nevermind that the GSA has about a gazillion legal rights to exist and disseminate information, but we also have a student-lead prayer group, which is also totally legal (if it's student-initiated and student lead, as is our GSA and many other clubs at school). So this is basically the equivalent of me marching into the bible study and telling them that I believe everything in the bible is a lie and that this group shouldn't exist.

But I would never do that. Do you know why? I am a professional who cares about students.

And we wonder why teenagers feel the need to kill themselves.

Can you just imagine if a person like this said something like this to your own child? It makes me not just angry for my children, but also scared. I hope-hope-hope we can do a good job strengthening our kids' confidence enough to never listen to this kind of bullshit nor take it seriously. But it still scares me.


Whozat said...

Did you report this teacher to the administration?

H2 said...

Ugh, obnoxious provincial close minded bigots. Shake it off, mama!! You did a great thing today and I'm sure you comforted and built up the person who was assaulted today. *Hugs* It gets better. ;-)

Lo said...

How horrible. I'm so sorry that happened to your student, but glad your student has you.

Tessa said...

Ridiculous. I am a "believer" (don't even know what title to give myself anymore) ... and I believe with all my heart that God loves us ALL equally and doesn't see the things we see. I HATE, HAAAATE when people say, "I don't hate you I hate the sin." Makes me wanna call "bullshit" everytime. What a way to tear someone down and try to appear to be an awesome, bigger person ... when really it's just being beyond judgemental. I never read ONCE where God told us to judge each other and find things we don't like (and can call sin) about each other. He loves us. He's sticks up for us and I hate that it's people, people who say they are "christians" who are doing the most damage. So heartbreaking. Your kids will be strong and confident and know how amazingly miraculous they are. Kuddos.

Pomegranate said...

Horrible. I've had similar experiences, but not recently. It's amazing how certain horrible human beings sometimes end up becoming teachers.

I'm pissed off because our GSA sponsor is one of those teachers who just likes to hang out with the students probably to validate her own self image, so our GSA does absolutely nothing (not even meet most weeks) including no activism or social justice stuff. It's depressing, but not something I'm willing or able to take on.

More power to you for what you do! The kids need sane adults supporting them to balance out the crazies.

Schroedinger said...

How disheartening. I agree that the teacher should be reported for what amounts to harrassment and intimidation. Bleah. But I am glad you had an otherwise successful day! I want to make a video for "It Gets Better." has anyone done this?

chamandra said...

Sorry your student had to have that experience. It's discouraging to know there are teachers who behave this way. On the other hand, I'm happy to be reminded that our children also have supportive teachers like you.
Thank you

Jess said...

That sucks. But as someone who is 35 and came out in high school, I am so happy to know that so many schools have GSAs now, so many people wear those ribbons, etc. So much progress. But still, I do hope someone spoke to that teacher about that incident.