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Parents Protest Anti-Bullying Policy as "Sexualization" of Schools

Discussion in 'Politically Incorrect' started by overedge, May 10, 2011.

  1. overedge

    overedge not your emotional support turkey

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  2. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa discriminating and persnickety ballet aficionado

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    Sigh indeed. One of the few good things about public schools where I live is that this kind of policy was a matter of course. We also got to meet some gay AIDS patients back when AIDS was an inpatient, poorly controlled diseases and shook their hands, listened to their stories and dispelled a lot of myths about both the gay community and AIDS. This was back when it was erroneously considered primarily a "gay" disease. One of the few useful experiences there.
     
  3. heckles

    heckles Well-Known Member

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    Too many of the new "anti-bullying" measures target only the problem of hetero-on-gay bullying. Some gay kids can be totally sadistic as well. The new policies should recognize that any demographic can be the victim or perpetrator of harassment.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2011
  4. PrincessLeppard

    PrincessLeppard Holding Alex Johnson's Pineapple

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    I have yet to see a gay bully in my school. I'm not saying they don't exist, but certainly not anywhere near in the numbers in reverse. And the other target in our school is "wimps."

    These people need to come see what life is like for the "uncool" kids.
     
  5. topaz

    topaz Well-Known Member

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    The older the get the more I just want to have segregation in some situations. I'm at the point now, if me or my child can go, learn in an environment that nurtures and welcome us that's what I want.

    I understand that is not society but damn can the self esteem be built up first in a nuturing envirnoment before society completely f**ks up the esteem of the person with it's issues.
     
  6. barbk

    barbk Well-Known Member

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    I'm comfortable with a school that teaches and enforces the notion that bullying is unacceptable, and where all of the adults in the school act consistently with respect to that. I'm not sure that school is the right place for teaching someone's perspective on how to think about gay people or transgendered people or ....

    You can not approve of homosexuality from a personal perspective without harassing gays. It is the behavior they need to control, not trying to convince some kid that what he's being told at his church or mosque is wrong. And as PrincessLeppard said, it is the "uncool" kids who get bullied, and it often has nothing to do with their sexual orientation. (I'd guess that most kids who are bullied are not gay.)
     
  7. Cyn

    Cyn Well-Known Member

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    Are you fcuking kidding me? It absolutely blows my mind that parents would be up in arms over this :mad: .

    There's plenty I would like to comment on, but I'm too damn fired up over this ridiculous protest by these narrow-minded assholes for parents.
     
  8. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

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    Except schools always have and do teach perspectives on sexuality. If not explicitly, then implicitly. And schools traditionally have a heterosexual agenda.

    The same could be said about disapproving of people for reasons of ethnicity or religion. Prejudice against Jews or natives or Asians is okay,
    so long as you don't hurt those you dislike or hate. It's not so easy to stop prejudiced people from hurting or harming those they are prejudiced against. And particularly not easy among kids who are dealing with peer pressure and the desire to have a sense of belonging.

    I think public schools are obligated to challenge beliefs that people are inferior or abnormal because of their ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation. This reflects the values of the larger society and also supports contemporary educational principles of equality and inclusion.

    If you want your child to grow up disliking homosexuals or people of various ethnic groups, you are free to enroll them in a parochial schools that endorses those views (much as I find their existence distasteful and troubling).

    This doesn't mean that the bullying of gay kids is not a serious issue. And I would expect that the proportion of gay kids (or kids perceived as gay) bullied is much higher than the proportion of heterosexual kids.
     
  9. PrincessLeppard

    PrincessLeppard Holding Alex Johnson's Pineapple

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    Well, most kids in general aren't gay. But it's the gay kids who are more likely to kill themselves over it. I lost one of my favorite students last year.
     
  10. Civic

    Civic New Member

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    :rolleyes:If all the parents in this community had taught their children that it is not okay to harass, humiliate or ostracize kids who are different than the schools wouldn't need to adopt these policies. The schools are only trying to teach their pupils how to behave like civilized human beings instead of savages.

    IMHO, the real issue here is that most of the protesting parents don't regard gay, bi or transgendered people as their equals. They resent that they or their children will have to show them the same respect and consideration they show heterosexuals.
     
  11. antmanb

    antmanb Well-Known Member

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    :confused: What does this even mean? Perhaps it's the double negative but i can't work out what this even says.
     
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  12. skatingfan5

    skatingfan5 Past Prancer's Corridor

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    I think what barbk meant in her statement "You can not approve of homosexuality from a personal perspective without harassing gays." is "It is possible to not approve of homoosexuality from your personal perspective and yet not engage in harassing gays." Or something like that. The double negative does confuse the issue and makes it sound as if approving of homosexuality inevitably means you are harassing gays. But I could be completely wrong, because "not approving" of homosexuality makes about as much sense to me as "not approving" of left-handedness or some other aspect of a person's being that he/she is born with.
     
  13. PRlady

    PRlady flipflack

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    There are ways to teach tolerance and good behavior without getting into the sticky wicket of whether homosexuality is right or wrong, natural or willed. We all know the right answer to that, but churches, mosques and synagogues at the conservative end of the spectrum are teaching differently, and not all those kids are at parochial schools.

    As a parent, I raised holy hell when my daughter's first-grade teacher told her a great president had died. In 1993, when Nixon kicked the bucket. And that's a whole lot less sensitive than sexuality issues. I don't think we should put public school teachers in the position of having to wade into the culture wars, if they teach the kids that bullying and harassment of anyone for any reason is off-limits, that's good enough.
     
  14. Dragonlady

    Dragonlady Sew Happy

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    I think of lot of the same parents who don't want issues surrounding sexual orientation taught in the schools are afraid that if their kids will "turn gay" if homosexuality is portrayed in a non-biased way. They may think that the whole point of teaching students anything positive about homosexuals in the public schools is a part of the gay agenda to recruit their children into a deviate life-style. These are the same people who think that homosexuality is a "choice" and that people can be "converted" to heterosexuality.

    When my son was a young teenager, he was terrified of homosexuals and very homophobic (thanks to my darling ex-husband who filled his head with this crap), I made a point of introducing him to some of my gay friends and neighbours so that he had the opportunity to see and understand that gay men weren't out to seduce him. He learned gays were decent and honourable human beings who were interested in other gay men. He seemed genuinely surprised at how nice these guys are and his attitude towards gays did change.

    I can't think of any better way to teach people to have respect for gays, and not torment them, than to give them positive interaction with members of the gay community, but that's not what the right wing nut cases want to see happening.
     
  15. PRlady

    PRlady flipflack

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    It works for grownups, DL. I had more than a touch of homophobia -- or just bewilderment and distaste -- well into my forties. Came the day I ended up at a gay-owned PR firm where I was one of only two straight VPs out of seven. My attitudes changed quickly and thoroughly.

    As with any other prejudice, familiarity with real people tends to dissolve the prejudice. Not always, my ex-husband had several gay male friends in the '60s and '70s and still manages to be homophobic. But he has Issues.
     
  16. Dragonlady

    Dragonlady Sew Happy

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    It worked for my DH too, PRlady. When one of my husband's friends came out to him, he was shocked and told me he didn't know how to feel about it. He had grown up in a culture and at a time when gay-bashing was considered a fun sport. My response was that Jose was still Jose. DH thought about it for about a minute and said "You're right".

    At the time, we were living on Wellesley Street East which is Toronto is referred to as "The Gay Ghetto". There were so many gays in our apartment building a cab driver once said to us as he dropped us off "You're married and you live here? I always thought this was an all-gay building". DH became friends with a couple of the gays on our floor - one because his cat used to follow DH home.

    We were adopted by the drag queen who lived at the other end of the hall. He was Tink's self-appointed "fairy godmother". Tessie would show up every Sunday night after bowling, and just as we were sitting down to dinner. We took to making extra.

    I knew that DH had completely overcome his homophobia when Tessie received tickets to Monster Jam as a gift and asked DH the car freak if he wanted to go with him. DH said they had a blast, and that Tessie had tried to pick up the TTC driver on the way home. It takes a lot of guts for a straight man to go out with someone as openly and obviously gay as Tessie, since anyone seeing them would assume they were on a date.

    We were both sad when Tessie passed. He/she was definitely one of a kind.
     
  17. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa discriminating and persnickety ballet aficionado

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    So tell me this, dear PRLady: does all political indoctrination at school bother you or just the issues you don't agree with? If it's the latter, you'd love the SF Unified school district. I've been told stories about a biology teacher who was completely obsessed with W and not in a good way. Instead of teaching the subject, the teacher would go on how W is a stud from the neck down and how the rest of him is :EVILLE:. I wonder if you'd object to that.
     
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  18. PRlady

    PRlady flipflack

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    I would. Really. Public schools have to be cognizant of the different backgrounds and belief systems of their students and they are not there to indoctrinate.

    However, that doesn't mean respecting stupidity. Evolution should be taught as a scientific theory accepted by all scientists, not as an alternative to creationism. Thomas Jefferson was a deist, just barely, who edited his personal bible to take the miracles and supernatural stuff out. God is a theory and has been characterized in thousands of ways in hundreds of cultures.

    Of course, by that scientific standard, people are born gay and there is no choice in the matter so that must be accepted as are all manner of differences we are born with. Meaning I've just negated my original argument.
     
  19. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa discriminating and persnickety ballet aficionado

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    :p. Well, I certainly get :mad: at the slightest suggestion that either evolution should not be taught or that creationism should be taught in public schools.

    For the like minded I recommend the excellent Trials of the Monkey about the Scopes trial's legacy written by a descendant of Charles Darwin.

    But I am all for sexuality and homosexuality being approached as part of sex education and science classes.
     
  20. Dragonlady

    Dragonlady Sew Happy

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    But then you have parents who don't want the schools teaching anything about sex to their children because they don't want their children to learn about biology without morality.

    Such thinking conveniently ignores the studies which have shown that children who have had sex education in school have lower rates of teen pregnancy and STD's and are no more or less sexually active than teens who haven't had sex ed.
     
  21. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa discriminating and persnickety ballet aficionado

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  22. heckles

    heckles Well-Known Member

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    There aren't as many gay kids in general, so the number of gay bullies is bound to be lower. Still, plenty of middle schools and high schools host vicious mini-Perez Hiltons who insult and harass other students based on their clothes, hair, skin, weights, disabilities, and so on. The Mean Girls of the school are often chummy with these types of male bullies. That's not to say all gay students are like that, but they do exist.
     
  23. agalisgv

    agalisgv Well-Known Member

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    So do you agree with the parental protest then? My understanding from the article is that the parents don't disagree with anti-bullying measures--only specific instruction around LGBT matters in primary school.

    Should anti-bullying be taught generically, or should it be specific in its focus in anti-gay bullying (if that is the real issue under contention)? If the real issue is bullying LGBT students, can you address that issue without also addressing LGBT matters, and if not, at what age is that appropriate to discuss?
     
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  24. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

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    :confused: I thought she was pretty clear about that.
     
  25. agalisgv

    agalisgv Well-Known Member

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    The first paragraph was for PRlady--the second was a general inquiry. I wasn't sure how PRlady's stance coincided with the article (hence my question).

    The second paragraph was more questions for others since it seemed many appeared to be addressing issues that didn't seem central to what the article discussed. Should have been clearer though.
     
  26. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa discriminating and persnickety ballet aficionado

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    I think anti-bullying should be taught both generally and with specific mentions of groups that are most likely to become victims of bullying. IIRC, this includes disabled people among others.
     
  27. barbk

    barbk Well-Known Member

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    Nope, you got it right -- sorry for the bad wording.

    I think it is completely ridiculous for Muslim girls to go to school wearing headscarfs or gowns that cover everything but the face. But I hope that when I have met and worked with girls who are following this tradition that I have never done anything that would lead them to feel harassed or bullied. I don't like it. I don't approve of it. But I would never want to behave in a way (or tolerate behavior) that is disrespectful of them.

    I think that there are lots of issues like that in society, and schools need to reinforce behavior standards without trying to inculcate students into believing that their religious beliefs are wrong -- that feels like it goes way over the First Amendment line to me.

    Besides that, these programs, like DARE, often seem to be a tremendous waste of time that does not result in student attitudes being changed in an effective way.

    Set a clear behavior standard, enforce the heck out of it, implement a decent restorative justice program, and keep after it. Don't try to convince kids that
    what their religion tells them about homosexuality, Wicca, Mormonism, or Catholicism is wrong. You can't force students to approve of people from any of these groups -- but they do have to behave civilly.
     
  28. Dragonlady

    Dragonlady Sew Happy

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    That's difficult to do when some right-wing evangelical churches preach that it is the responsibility of each and every one of them to try to "save" the sinners and help them to repent of their sins. Tolerance is not an option.
     
  29. barbk

    barbk Well-Known Member

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    I agree with you -- but the problem is that the Supreme Court rulings have defined non-class time (such as lunch or recess) as a limited public forum, during which schools may not interfere with students talking to other students about religion. We hit this issue with some middle school kids who invited other middle school kids of a non-evangelical background to come to weekly gatherings at their church -- a parent of one of the non-evangelical kids complained and wanted us to stop those discussions and invitations, but the federal law is pretty clear on this, as was confirmed by the district's legal counsel and the state charter legal advisor. Same is true for the "gather round the flagpole" prayer sessions -- where one of the things that the kids might pray for is that homosexuals find their way back from homosexuality. I don't agree with their sentiment, at all, but court rulings on this issue are very, very clear. I am not a fan of evangelical behavior in most contexts, but I can't stop kids at school just as I can't stop the Jehovah's Witnesses from knocking at my door, or the airports couldn't stop the Hare Krishnas or Moonies from preaching. One of the reasons that some schools choose to prohibit clothing with any writing on it is that the school may not "prefer" in legal terms one kind of non-obscene or non-violence promoting writing over another -- the the school allows t-shirts that say "Life is Good" they have to equally allow t-shirts that say "Abortion is murder" or "Homosexuals are going to Hell." (They can prohibit shirts picturing guns, bombs, or naked women.)

    But behavior - bullying, taunting, harassment, mocking -- that we do have the option to control in school. And the absolute responsibility to do so, firmly and consistently.

    And on the subject of trying to "reeducate" kids about homosexuality, Wicca (okay, we have a significant Wicca contingent here, so it is really a topic that comes up in school),... -- I don't think public schools are effective at that given the constraints we're supposed to abide by on first amendment issues. And despite having invested a ridiculous amount of school time on anti-drug, anti-binge drinking, and anti-unprotected sex instruction over years, when I look at our County's Youth Risk Behavior Survey (A CDC instrument) I see little change in prevalence of these behaviors despite what has been invested. I also don't know many people in the 70s who were dissuaded from trying pot based on the fervent admonitions at school.

    I grew up in a family where the adults used disparaging terms to refer to gays, and going to a Catholic church that told me the same. My own changed views came about as I went to college and met gay people as friends, and later worked and socialized with gay people and their families. When I was in high school I was not aware of anyone who was gay, though a number of guys came out during college and in later years. At D's high school there were at least a half-dozen kids who self-identified as gay that I knew, and several of them were in the extremely social/popular crowd. Other than some of the most conservative evangelicals, it seemed that most of the kids were pretty accepting. The one kid who transgendered had a terrible time, and I blame that at least partially on teachers and other adults (including his parents) who insisted that his female birth name be used, and who created an environment that wasn't at all supportive for him for several years.
     
  30. antmanb

    antmanb Well-Known Member

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    I really fail to see what relevance any part of the bully has to do with this at all. Whether the bully is gay or straight, black or white, male or female really has very little relevance at all. ALL bullies should be stopped, full stop.

    Looking at the charactersitics of the bully is irrelevant. Looking at the victims of bullying and extrapolating the reasons why they are bullied is relevant, and educating students so that they don't bully people for being fat/gay/black/whatever is extremely important.

    Your statements seem to be trying to say that gay bullies (a phenomenon that I would say is unheard of, not least that there are still extremely low number, almost to the point of irrelevance, of people who actually come out and identify as gay while still at school) are the other side of the coin to people who are bullied for being gay...that is simply not the case.

    :eek: really your own views changed? All i've seen is you post pretty passive agressive homophobic comments in pretty much every thread on FSU that has some discussion of gay people be it marriage or bullying.
     
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