When faced with a topic even tangentially related to sex, most prominent standard-bearers for right-wing American social conservatism wield an imaginary gang of helpless and endangered Children as human shields as they march off to the Culture War. As recent QueerLandia blogs discuss, whether it’s abstinence-only sex education or the exclusion of pro-LGBT content from school computers, people desperate to control the flow of information that they don’t understand or agree with insist that they are motivated only by the need to protect these innocents, even though, as Louis C.K. helpfully points out, what they often mean is, “This freaks me out and won’t somebody please help me never have to talk to my kids about it?”
Stipulated: even if they stem from a narrow and strict interpretation of the Bible (or other cracked and dusty middle-eastern scroll) and, if properly instilled, will never let your kids have any fun, you as a parent have not only the right but the responsibility to pass your values on to your children. It is not the school board’s job, nor that of a teacher or other community member, to instill your values in your children; you get to do that, and public policies do not impact this duty, whether they jive with or diverge from your personal belief system. Hopefully, you teach your kids that the world is a big place—certainly bigger than your neighborhood and your ideology—and then teach them how to make good decisions in line with your value system. Trying instead to legislate away people and values that make you uncomfortable does a great disservice to kids who may eventually go out into the world, and is a major shirking of your responsibilities as their parent. Continue reading
It’s happened again. It looks like some teachers haven’t learned not to post hateful bigotry on Facebook yet. In the beginning there was Jerry ‘make me vomit’ Buell, but he went back to work a few days later. Next we have Viki ‘perverted sin breading cancer’ Knox, who is currently under investigation. And the latest and greatest, we have math teacher Jim Whitney of Joplin High School, Missouri.
When a former student of Mr. Whitney’s posted a link to an article about Jamie Hubley’s suicide, Whitney responded with “Moral of the story: Don’t be gay”. Then another person asked “How many more kids have to kill themselves before everyone realizes that this is an actual issue?,” Whitney replied with, “11-13 ought to do it. Somewhere in that vicinity.”