Sunday, May 4, 2008

Continuing story of outed gay students

This is a follow-up to a post two days ago: Principal outs gay students to peers, parents

ABC News ran a variation to the previous story, one that varied slightly from the one that I posted two days ago. This article includes some of the details about the school and their response, including this little gem:
"The principal did not list any information other than students' names on her personal call list, and she certainly did not specify the sexual orientation of any student," said Van D. Turner, Jr., associate general counsel of the Memphis City Schools Board of Education, in a statement provided to "Additionally, the list was never posted publicly anywhere at the school."
Listing the couples together and then claiming that the school never specified sexual orientation is nonsense. Almost no one is stupid enough to not make the decision. Also, the school claims that the list was not publicly posted, however, the ACLU says that it was perfectly in view of anyone in the office.

The response that I have seen from places like Digg is also amusing. Some of the responses are either ignorant, or otherwise blind to the point of the story.
It isn't private when there is PDA in the hallways.
The thing is, there was an influx of response from the rest of the student body, which obviously means that not that many people were aware of it before. Also, the school was seeking out the names of couples, even if there was never an issue of PDA.
They want to be treated as equals, don't they? Then there shouldn't be anything wrong with outing them as well as the other heterosexual couples.
Many of the comments on Digg are about treating the two boys as any of the other students, but they fail to note the consequences that happen as a result of the fact that the school went as far as to contact parents, who were unaware that their child was gay. Ideally, it should matter, but the fact is that parents may freak out a little when they are dealt a considerable piece of news such as "your son is dating another boy." Which leads me to one of the only thoughtful comments that I saw:
Oh right, because gay couples have never been the victims of discrimination and harassment, sure, lets just just throw them to the hateful bigots and blame them for their own fate. Lets just ignore all the cases where homosexual teens have been bullied, killed and committed suicide just so we can sit on our high horses and mock them for wanting to be treated as human beings.
Unfortunately, there are fewer smart people, such as this one, and more intolerant like the two further above. I think the problem lies in the fact that people don't know how to put themselves in the position of someone else. Unfortunately, this is the world we live in.

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5:47 PM | Posted by mike | 0 comments posted below


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