September 13, 2011
Reason to consider unschooling, #374
In Suburb, Battle Goes Public on Bullying of Gay Students (New York Times, 9/13/11)
It seems that teachers and principals in Minnesota aren’t totally, completely, 100% sure about protecting kids from bullying based on their sexuality.
After years of harsh conflict between advocates for gay students and Christian conservatives, the issue was already highly charged here. Then in July, six students brought a lawsuit contending that school officials have failed to stop relentless antigay bullying and that a district policy requiring teachers to remain “neutral” on issues of sexual orientation has fostered oppressive silence and a corrosive stigma.
School officials say they are caught in the middle, while gay rights advocates say there is no middle ground on questions of basic human rights.
School officials say they are “caught in the middle.” Between allowing students to be hounded–occasionally to death–by abuse and misinformation, and stepping in to stop it. Somebody here missed a lesson on what it means to be an educator.
Mr. Carlson, the superintendent, agreed that bullying persists but strongly denied that the school environment is generally hostile.
I have no words.