It's bothering me...
And something is telling me, "You NEED to do something, somethings got to change."
You ever just get that feeling?
Some people will be mad at me for this post...
Some will probably even unfollow me...
Whatever happens, I sure hope I get people to think...
I've recently been keeping up with a sad story about a teacher. A teacher who was doing the right thing for his students. This teacher was having some bullying issues in his classroom. The bullying issued had to do with being "gay" and "acting like a girl." This teacher did what any teacher would do. He talked with the kids about it. When that didn't work, he sought out a book that would teach children about differences and accepting them. The lesson was tied in with fairy tales/ fables/ and being able to tell the moral of the story. The book what given to him by his AP. The book was "King and King." This book is about a prince who's mother has told him he needs to marry and he is not happy about any of the princesses. He only realized when a princess and her brother get introduced to him that he loved the prince instead. The princes got married and his mom even shed a tear. The moral of the story: We need to accept people for who they are, no matter how they are different.
He did something I think any teacher would have done. Did his job to stop the bullying. To help kids understand.
Kids went home and told their parents what they learned in school and a few parents complained. They said that they should have been notified about the read aloud... that their kids aren't "mature" enough to hear about something like this yet, that the students are not "the teachers children" and that "teachers have no right to decide what our students can hear in our school/classroom", that the teacher was just '"promoting his gay agenda", and that if we can't talk about God in school, they we sure as heck can't teach about being gay.
Well let me solve 1 of the issues right now.
Religion is a CHOICE.
Your sexual orientation is NOT.
Not everyone believes in God. Not everyone believes in the same God. When it comes to homosexuality, there's nothing to not believe. Homosexuality, transgender, it's a part of our world, the world we live in - and whether you agree with it or not, it's there.
So therefore, yes- it is completely appropriate and acceptable that we talk about people who are gay/transgender but not talk about God.
When is the "right" time to talk to our kids about homosexuality? And not just homosexuality- but other issues as well. Racism, disabilities, transgender. When is the "right time"?
The right time is NOW. Children in this classroom were using words like "gay" and "woman" or phrases like"like a girl" in a hurtful and hateful way. In order to stop them, challenge their thinking, and help them understand differences, they needed to learn about it. It was the perfect time - I can't think of a better time. And who better to teach them than their teacher? The person they spend 7+ hours a day with. The one who cares for them as if they are their own. The one that hurts when they hurt, that cries when they cry, that worries for them when they are not with them, the one that believes in them more than they believe in themselves - the one that believes they are much better than the way they were acting.
This book was absolutely necessary. And it shouldn't just stopped there. We need to be actively having conversations with our children - often. We need them to understand the differences they will see in this world - and teach them how to open up their minds and heart to accept differences in this world. We need them to understand that just because someone is different, doesn't mean they are wrong. We need to build a culture of students that are open-minded and accepting - one that stands up for equal rights for everyone, because nobody should ever feel like they are wrong because of something like being homosexual, transgender, disabled, a different color.... nobody.
The right time is now and we can't wait any longer.
*Side note: The school board reviewed this book and deemed it appropriate for 3rd grade. The teacher, however, has been bullied/harassed and is now strongly considering resigning at the end of the year. I have to commend him for his professionalism during this whole thing and want him to know that I stand by and support him every day.