Monday, January 30, 2006

What Do We Say When We Hear 'Faggot'?

This was definitely an enlightening article. I agreed with most of what the author said and although I am quite conservative in my views on the issue of homosexuality, I definitely think that it is an issue that we as teachers need to confront.

The author discusses the ways that homophobic name-calling is used and then goes on to provide ideas for classroom activities and discussions to confront the issue. I think the author made a very good point in saying that "many teachers do not realize that this sort of name-calling can be dealt with in much the same way as other kinds of bigotry and stereo-typing." I can relate to individuals who feel pressed to hold certain "accepted" views on societal issues such as homosexuality but as teachers, I don't think our personal views on homosexuality should even come into play. The bottom line is that as teachers (and as human beings), we should demonstrate love to all individuals and not promote or allow any sort of bullying/name-calling to occur in the classroom. I think that most people, regardless of their standpoint on the issue, would agree that all children are deserving of love and kindness.

As teachers, I do not feel that our job is to discuss the morality behind the issue itself, but rather the way we should treat others who are different from ourselves. As I said above, all individuals are deserving of love and kindness and ultimately, this is the only factor that should matter. Taking this into consideration, it follows that teachers would, in fact, be infringing on the rights of some students if he/she were to stand in front of the class and discuss the moral issue itself. We should all be free to set our own moral standards and viewpoints and since teachers have such a strong influence on their students, they should be careful not to be too subjective when discussing controversial issues in the classroom. Therefore while I definitely agree that as teachers we should have zero tolerance for any oppressive behaviour/name-calling in the classroom, I would argue that we owe it to our students to stay as neutral as possible when it comes to stating our personal opinion on the issue itself.

1 Comments:

Blogger Dave said...

You make a strong point about staying neutral in this discussion. But with the articles we read on the hidden curriculum, do you think we must educate them to sustain a safe learning environment? Or do we hope the parents are providing positive role modeling?

6:14 PM  

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