Friday, May 23, 2008

Is the Principal Smarter than a Fifth Grader?

Well, maybe, but this principal is not smarter than the kids he was hired to educate.

Irmo High School principal Eddie Walker says he will quit a year from now, citing a conflict between his religious beliefs and the potential formation of a club for gay awareness.

In a letter to the school and the Irmo community, Walker said the Gay/Straight Alliance Club “conflicted with my professional beliefs in that we do not have any other clubs at Irmo High School based on sexual orientation, sexual preference, or sexual activity.”

He added that the school teaches abstinence and a gay-straight club implies students joining the club would “engage in sexual activity with members of the same sex, opposite sex, or members of both sexes.”

He added that the school teaches abstinence and a gay-straight club implies students joining the club would “engage in sexual activity with members of the same sex, opposite sex, or members of both sexes.

Good grief, and if he makes good on his promise, good riddance. We do not need ignoramuses teaching our children.

Why would he, or anyone for that matter, assume that by forming a club where gay and straight students can work together to further their understanding of each other and the issues facing them, that they would “engage in sexual activity with members of the same sex, opposite sex, or members of both sexes"?

I really want to know. Where does this obsession with sex come from? Why do people assume that gay people are all about sex, but somehow straight people are not?

How do we educate the educators?

If Mr. Walker would just sit down and talk to these kids he would get his answer. Gay teenagers are exactly the same as straight teenagers in every way that really matters.

I am a huge fan of teenagers. The teen years are difficult, but they are exciting. It is the teen years when their minds shift into overdrive. They are trying to figure what their futures hold, they are dealing with what will be their place in the adult world. They are trying to make sense of complicated world filled with contradictions and mixed media messages. Their relationships with their the parents and their understanding of their parents values are changing.

They need our help; they need our guidance; they need our unconditional love and support.

The gay teenager does, of course, face additional challenges. What better way to help them face these challenges than to join with their straight friends and stand together in solidarity, with a decent respect for where they differ, but nurture the understanding that we all have more in common that we have in conflict?

As I have said before, "The Kids are Alright".

But they need us on their side.

They are not served well by bigoted, ignorant educators.


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1 comment:

John Hosty-Grinnell said...

I would really like to know what a teacher like this person has to say to a gay student when he is face to face. Would he tell a gay teen contemplating suicide that perhaps it would be best, or that God won't love him/her because they are gay?