Thursday, November 29, 2012


A teacher from Michigan apparently upset one of her students this week:
It was like any other day at South Lyon's Centennial Middle School. Inside [Susan] Johnson's eighth grade performing arts class. Last Wednesday, a student asked if he could play a song....

The song is called "Same Love" written in support of same sex marriage.... As Johnson listened to the song, she said she thought to herself this was something her students could learn from....

However, another student in class didn't agree with the lyrics, went to the office and complained....
The song includes these lyrics:
"When I was in the third grade I thought that I was gay / 'Cause I could draw, and my uncle was, and I kept my room straight," the song explains. "The right wing conservatives think it's a decision / And you can be cured with some treatment and religion."

... "We turn our back on the cause / Till the day that my uncles can be united by law,” Macklemore's song concludes. "When kids are walking 'round the hallway plagued by pain in their heart / A world so hateful some would rather die than be who they are / And a certificate on paper isn't gonna solve it all / But it's a damn good place to start."
That upset the student.

Now, here's the story of another teacher. This one's from Kentucky:
The mother of a Laurel County high school student has filed a complaint against a teacher who wrote "You can't be a Democrat & go to heaven" on her classroom whiteboard.

The teacher, Kendra Baker, wrote the statement denigrating Democrats in her room at South Laurel High School the week after the Nov. 6 election, said Mary Gilbert.

Gilbert's daughter, Chelsea, 17, was in Baker's psychology class....

During the classroom discussion, Baker made remarks in class against same-sex marriage, Gilbert said.

Chelsea Gilbert, an admirer of Obama, told Baker she was offending people, Mary Gilbert said.

There are gay students in the class, Mary Gilbert said.

She said Baker responded by telling Chelsea she would someday have to take her parents to the emergency room and watch them die because of the president's health care reform law, commonly called Obamacare.

The exchange upset Chelsea, who came home crying, Gilbert said....

The following Tuesday, Nov. 13, is when Baker wrote the line about Democrats on her board.

Baker said she had heard the line from a student, and that it was one of her new favorite quotes, Gilbert said.

"My daughter was very offended by it," Gilbert said.
The teacher in Michigan who played a pro-gay song was suspended without pay.

And the teacher in Kentucky?
Gilbert said she called the superintendent's office the next day, and school officials looked into her complaint.

School officials later told her Baker had apologized to Chelsea, but said she had thought Chelsea would be able to take a joke, Gilbert said.

Gilbert said Baker apologized to her as well, saying she considered the statement about Democrats a joke and that she put it on her board to share with a colleague and forgot to erase it.
An apology -- accompanied by "Can't you take a joke?" from the school. No disciplinary action was deemed necessary -- not even a suspension with pay.

Not much I can add to that. It's just not right.

(Kentucky story via Yellow Dog.)

1 comment:

Victor said...

I'm waiting for the day when some lunatic comes into a Democratic Party meeting, shoots a bunch of people dead, and, because he had carved "JUSS KIDDIN!" on the shell casings, tells the cops it wasn't HIS fault that these people couldn't take a joke, and be released.

And somewhere else, a teacher covering the first decade of 21st Century American history in Middle School, will call Vice President Cheney, "Dick," upsetting some religious conservative child, who will complain.
And the teacher will be arrested and sent to prison for a decade, for "Lewd and lacivicious behavior with a minor."