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What I heard at my child's school stopped me dead in my tracks [View All]

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FourScore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-13-11 04:13 PM
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What I heard at my child's school stopped me dead in my tracks
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Edited on Wed Apr-13-11 04:36 PM by FourScore
I was walking in the hall at my child's middle school this morning when the announcements came over the intercom. After the gentleman who usually leads the announcements finished reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, he handed the microphone to another teacher. This is what I heard:

Ms. XYZ: "That is so gay!" "You are so gay!" "Stop acting so gay!"

I stopped dead in my tracks.

Ms. XYZ: These statements, even when said in jest, are used in a derogatory manner. They are said as though being gay is inferior. They are discriminating to our gay and lesbian community. For that reason, we do not, and will not, condone such comments at our Middle School. Middle school is a time when young people may begin to discover their sexuality. Some of the students at this school are beginning to recognize that they are gay or lesbian. Such derogatory comments can cause a gay student to experience confusion and depression. They may feel "less-than" or as though something is wrong with them. Such feelings may cause that student to withdraw from social interaction or social events. In the most tragic cases, such feelings of inadequacy and confusion may lead a young person to commit suicide."

She paused and continued. I stood there like a statue:

"All of my students and the staff here at XYZ Middle School know that I am a lesbian. If any student at this school feels a need to discuss and understand homosexuality better, they should know that my door is always open to such a discussion." (I felt my arm do a fist-pump)

She then went on to talk about a national campaign, a day of silence, to honor those homosexuals in our community who have suffered from discrimination. And to remember those lives that were tragically lost along the way. Pledge cards would be available in the office. Students who wish to participate in the Day of Silence are required to fill out a pledge card. They would then be distributed to the staff so that each teacher will know which students are participating.

After the announcement was over, I went straight to the office and asked for Ms. XYZ's room number. When I arrived, her class was full of students and she was about to begin her lesson. She looked at me quizzically and asked what she could do for me. "I just want to shake your hand," I said as I entered the room. The kids fell silent. Ms. XYZ looked baffled. "I heard your announcement over the intercom," I continued, "and I just can't thank you enough." She smiled at me and shook my hand. We shared a few more words, and she told me how successful last year's Day of Silence had been. And then I left. It was a great way to start my day.

This afternoon, after I picked my son up from school, I asked him if he was going to participate in the Day of Silence. "Of course I am!" he exclaimed. "I did it last year too! It's really hard to do all day, but it's pretty powerful. Most of my friend's are doing it, too." I gave him a big hug and told him I was proud of him.

He nodded. Then he asked for a cookie.
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  -What I heard at my child's school stopped me dead in my tracks FourScore  Apr-13-11 04:13 PM   #0 
  - Hooray for Ms. XYZ and hooray for you!  Zoeisright   Apr-13-11 04:15 PM   #1 
  - Yeah, that's pretty gay.  HopeHoops   Apr-13-11 04:18 PM   #4 
     - Its supposed to mean  Drale   Apr-13-11 04:22 PM   #5 
     - It still sounds stupid.  HopeHoops   Apr-13-11 06:04 PM   #11 
     - I know several adults who use that term, without even thinking about it.  Fuzz   Apr-14-11 12:27 PM   #44 
  - What a heartwarming story!  Dappleganger   Apr-13-11 04:17 PM   #2 
  - Great story! I was furious until I read further down.  pacalo   Apr-13-11 04:17 PM   #3 
  - I'm sad to say  H2O Man   Apr-13-11 04:25 PM   #6 
  - Great post, thanks for sharing  davidthegnome   Apr-13-11 04:29 PM   #7 
  - Awesome!  dmr   Apr-13-11 04:29 PM   #8 
  - My grandson had a chat with me last night  AC_Mem   Apr-13-11 04:31 PM   #9 
  - What a wonderful little guy.  FourScore   Apr-13-11 10:19 PM   #16 
  - He's lucky to have you  leftynyc   Apr-14-11 10:59 AM   #34 
     - Thank you, but I am the lucky one...  AC_Mem   Apr-14-11 02:06 PM   #51 
        - Brava!! Well said  leftynyc   Apr-14-11 02:53 PM   #55 
  - If I see a child say that I will go right up to them and tell them to knock it off.  Odin2005   Apr-13-11 04:40 PM   #10 
  - When I was young the word was "queer"  Manifestor_of_Light   Apr-13-11 06:23 PM   #12 
  - that is so rad.... actually,  seabeyond   Apr-13-11 06:32 PM   #13 
  - My dear seabeyond,  FourScore   Apr-13-11 07:19 PM   #14 
     - ya  seabeyond   Apr-13-11 07:45 PM   #15 
  - K & R!  lonestarnot   Apr-13-11 10:21 PM   #17 
  - that is a VERY common expression  ReggieVeggie   Apr-13-11 10:21 PM   #18 
  - And *you* speaking to the teacher about it further emphasized the lesson.  Lars39   Apr-13-11 10:22 PM   #19 
  - Okay, not really like me, but...  Pacifist Patriot   Apr-14-11 07:41 AM   #20 
  - I have to say that I was also impressed by the school.  FourScore   Apr-14-11 08:22 AM   #21 
  - Christians killed the Day of Silence at my daughter's high school.  MsPithy   Apr-14-11 10:10 AM   #22 
  - That is so sad and frustrating.  FourScore   Apr-14-11 10:14 AM   #23 
  - Good for her. Words are powerful and they DO matter.  Love Bug   Apr-14-11 10:14 AM   #24 
  - That's a wonderful story!  crim son   Apr-14-11 10:23 AM   #25 
  - THANK YOU for bringing that up! The same people who are so upset with slurs like "so gay" casually  bobbolink   Apr-14-11 01:41 PM   #50 
  - That was jawdroppingly amazing! That never happened in my middle school  tavalon   Apr-14-11 10:29 AM   #26 
  - Fist pump, here!! REC. nt  bertman   Apr-14-11 10:30 AM   #27 
  - May I ask what the day of silence is about?  tavalon   Apr-14-11 10:32 AM   #28 
  - My son's middle school observes Day of Silence.  Arugula Latte   Apr-14-11 10:34 AM   #29 
  - K&R! Hooray for Mrs. XYZ, your son and the obviously terrific schol they are a part of! n/t  beac   Apr-14-11 10:40 AM   #30 
  - This gay man hope you gave him TWO cookies! n/t  ejbr   Apr-14-11 10:51 AM   #31 
  - It takes real balls to do this.  SpankMe   Apr-14-11 10:55 AM   #32 
  - I'm confused. Did XYZ say homophobic stuff?  Deep13   Apr-14-11 10:55 AM   #33 
  - Read on. She was imitating and then disparaging.  nolabear   Apr-14-11 11:09 AM   #36 
     - I see, I didn't know who was saying what.  Deep13   Apr-14-11 11:12 AM   #38 
        - I messed up on the quotes a little bit.  FourScore   Apr-14-11 11:51 AM   #41 
  - K & R  cate94   Apr-14-11 11:00 AM   #35 
  - I'm shocked at how shocked I am.  nolabear   Apr-14-11 11:11 AM   #37 
  - One middle school that I worked at disciplined the teacher who  Casandia   Apr-14-11 11:12 AM   #39 
  - Give him two cookies. Your son kicks ass. nt  Codeine   Apr-14-11 11:13 AM   #40 
  - 5 people have unrec-ed this thread.  FourScore   Apr-14-11 12:23 PM   #42 
  - From what I understand,  Cherchez la Femme   Apr-14-11 01:28 PM   #45 
     - I'm glad to hear that.  FourScore   Apr-14-11 01:30 PM   #46 
  - Awesome. nt  xchrom   Apr-14-11 12:24 PM   #43 
  - In my house  behrstar   Apr-14-11 01:33 PM   #47 
  - Welcome to DU, behrstar!  FourScore   Apr-14-11 01:35 PM   #48 
  - Kudos to you, Forescore, as well as to Ms XYZ and her middle school  Zoigal   Apr-14-11 01:37 PM   #49 
  - it seems to me  DemocratAholic   Apr-14-11 02:16 PM   #52 
  - Wonderful!  crickets   Apr-14-11 02:17 PM   #53 
  - I use "That's so gay"  rbixby   Apr-14-11 02:31 PM   #54 
  - I'm curious. Did he get the cookie?  ChairmanAgnostic   Apr-14-11 02:53 PM   #56 
  - Yes, he did. But actually I included that part about the cookie to emphasize that he is just a kid,  FourScore   Apr-14-11 03:07 PM   #57 
  - Bravo Marge!  meegbear   Apr-14-11 03:29 PM   #58 
  - WOW!!! I am blown away!!!  DesertDiamond   Apr-14-11 04:22 PM   #59 

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