Role of teachers

Posted: Sunday, April 20, 2003

I've just finished reading "It's time, the silence must end," by Mary Lou Gervais. At the letter's end it is stated that she is an advocate for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender youth. One statement in the letter says "Not all students come to school taught to respect one another and celebrate the differences they see in others."

Were I a school board member, I would question the actions of a teacher who promotes the gay lifestyle by her actions. I quote her letter: "Participants will then march to the Capitol steps for a rally at 3 p.m. Please join us."

I have a different view of the gay lifestyle. No teacher who promotes it, judge who rules in support of it, or political officeholder who signs legislation legalizing it will convince me it's normal and I need to be more tolerant.

I am sick of hearing "intolerant" applied to just about anyone in any situation who will not support an agenda that includes special treatment or rights because someone chooses to be different.

We learn young in life that choices we make will affect our lives in many different ways good and bad. Smoking, drinking, doing drugs, bullying, stealing or cheating are examples of some legal and unlegal choices we make.

I don't think it's a teacher's place to be the flag bearer for a lifestyle that is at best controversial. The teacher's job is to educate, in this case it's math not alternative life styles.

I wonder if there are students who feel pressured to participate because of teacher involvement. I also wonder how open the tolerant arms would be if a group of students wanted to pray or hold a Bible study and would the staff and other students wear ribbons of support?

As for protecting the kids, I agree, no child should be harmed, intimidated, or mistreated while on school grounds. That can be done without getting involved in issues that are about personal choice.

If I can't condone something and my children are taught and share my views on this particular issue don't expect my children to "celebrate" that difference of choice.

John Mielke

Skagway



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