Tuesday, November 3, 2009

More Anti-Gay Harassment in Schools

Those who believe homosexuality to be morally wrong often make a big fuss about the prospect of homosexuality even being mentioned in schools. Many anti-gays are quite opposed to events like the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network's (GLSEN) Day of Silence, which is designed to bring attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying, and harassment in schools, believing this event to really be about the promotion of an unhealthy, immoral homosexual lifestyle.

I wonder, then, what anti-gays think about students who make other kids feel unsafe and unwelcome in schools by using slurs? I wonder, also, what they think when teachers do the same? Do they deny that kids calling people "gay," "homo," and "fag" is a regular playground occurrence? Do they deny that this type of harassment, whether inflicted on actual LGBT people or not, can then lead to physical violence? How do these anti-gay folks propose to deal with this very real harassment?

Or, do they think that this harassment is just some figment of the overactive homo imagination?

This month, a public high school teacher near Chicago has been accused of making racist and homophobic remarks in front of his classroom. Allegedly, the teacher made the remarks in front of several of his classes. During a lecture on the use of tax money, the teacher allegedly quipped:

"How would you feel about your tax dollars going to pay some black fag in New York to take pictures of other black fags?"

According to the teacher's attorney, the teacher's "biggest problem is he does not want to intentionally offend anybody and if he did, he apologizes."

Nah. I can think of several bigger problems with the teacher who, you will notice, does not deny the accusations. For one, he sucks at apologizing. Two, if we take his statement as true that he "does not want to intentionally offend anybody," it's a ginormous problem that an educator does not already know that calling people "black fags" is offensive to many people.

No word on the disciplinary action the school district will take against the teacher. Also, those opposed to the Day of Silence have been remarkably... silent with respect to this issue. And pretty much every other instance of verbal or physical assaults on an LGBT person.

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