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I just was forced to take early retirement from the Florida school system. I can tell you that not only are faggot and queer used as insults continuously, little is done about those insults. Where as nigger would never be tolerated, anti-gay slurs are often ignored. The word gay is often used to mean lame, and I have heard it used by teachers and campus police, thinking that it will make them cool with the kids.
I'm there to prepare students for work and the community. I never allowed anyone to call me "Dog" and I would correct street language. To assume that minority or low income kids cannot learn that school language is different from street language (you don't talk to Granny the same way you speak with your friends) is insulting.
Just as making the point, that no matter how you personally feel about gay people or black people, and so on, we conduct ourselves in a professional manner while in the school setting. I insisted on this, even with elementary level, and while working with cognitively impaired youth.
While I believe that many young adults move towards a live and let live policy, there is an understanding that we do not use hurtful language in polite society in regards to race, but it is ok when talking about sexual orientation.
Even in schools with a non-discrimination policy, gay people often hide their sexuality and are reluctant to correct anti-gay language, fearing that they themselves will be found out or accused of being gay.
This would undermine their authority, at least they believe that to be the case, as a teacher. And in some cases it may be true, since the system itself is not consistent in protecting kids from anti-gay bullying. An openly gay teacher may fall victim to parents with prejudices, as well as not receiving support from the school system, when his/her authority is challenged.
Students are free to both verbally and physically assault teachers, with often a slap on the wrist, or no consequences at all. Students will openly threaten teachers, that they will report them for sexual abuse.
Then the system dares to tell us that we have to understand their culture. This is what I understand. If I do not do my job properly, and one of my former students walks into an office looking for a job and says, "Hey Dog" and then proceeds to refer to everything he finds negative, as gay, then i know he has little chance of getting that job, and I have failed both him and myself.
Gary it's helpful to hear your input. I hate to show my age in a bad way, but when it comes to teenagers, I need an interpreter. I don't have any idea what goes on in the minds of the teenager. I always hope that the younger generation will be, on average, more "evolved" than the last. Once out of high school, maybe the majority will be more open?
I see a lot of speculation about young people and homopobhia in the USA. I work in a large public school district every week. Those of you who think kids today are more accepting and tolerant are deluded! It's NOT true. I hear the word "Gay" and "Fagot" used every week as a form of slander. Spend some time in school rooms before you make assumptions. With adults saying everything is okay, who are the gay kids going to turn to? You're assumptions and apathy about kids today does not solve the problem of rampant homophobia among young people. It is common place. - Gary
Same sex marriage leads to Hitler cats in drag. THIS is what tolerance leads to.
Jason, I think you're right. What I have noticed, particularily among the younger generation, is a tolerable acceptance. I think as long as their is no compromise, acceptance will follow. This holds true for anything. Thanks for the comments, my friend. Be well.
I think acceptance starts with tolerance. It is impossible without it. I think the move from bigotry to acceptance is in impossible quantum leap for most otherwise.
Great article. Read the comments after. Most seemed to be of the 'tolerant' bent. As in 'I don't care, doesn't affect me, whatever two people want, ' etc. Started me thinking, is tolerance acceptance in these peoples minds? I mean, does tolerance lead to acceptance, or is this just a morally ambigious form of self deceit? Will it lead to a 'deal with the devil', a compromise? As we know personal compromise works, in a limited sense. We can justify it to ourselves. Still doen't make us fully happy. But political compromise doesn't seem to work out as well, just kicks the can down the road for others to wrangle with later. Most of those comments I read I classify as passive tolerance, as in if it happens, okay. If it doesn't, okay. But not acceptance. The fight for acceptance must continue on all fronts. Let me sign off now. Just some of my thoughts when I read the article and comments. As always, be well. Peace.
Massive lesbian / gay wedding ceremony in Cleveland. More than 200 couples.
I want to spend today with positive thoughts.... This video was from the Advocate. Interesting perspective artwork. A point of view that I'm not used to when thinking about Israel.
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