By: Dani Langevin – Lesbian Columnist – October, 2012
I just want the gay ones. Straight students aren’t as good as gay students. I don’t care if the straight students are all excellent learners and lack any behavioral problems.
It doesn’t matter if they are self-directed learners who come with a plethora of background information, have excellent insight into historical events, have a natural curiosity about the motivations behind mankind’s actions or are enthusiastic about learning. I don’t want them. They’re straight. Ew. There’s no place for straight students in this gay teacher’s classroom. I no longer want to be exposed to them.
I wonder how my administration will react to this request. How about the general public? Is this an acceptable and reasonable request? My guess is no. I would never dream of ever making such a request. The thought would never enter my mind. A student is a student regardless of sexual orientation, abilities, personality or academic standing. A request such as that is outrageous and unacceptable and yet, a parent did just that. A parent actually said, “I don’t want the gay teacher.”
This parent took nothing into account except my sexual orientation in deciding that my classroom was no place for their child. They did not inquire about my personal academic record. I hold three separate certifications in art, middle school education and history. I was inducted into Pi Lambda Theta, the National Honor Society for educators at the master’s level. I received a perfect 4.0 during my masters and I have not received less than that on the more than twenty graduate courses I’ve taken over the last ten years. Since instituting a specific learning technique in my classroom over seven years ago, not one student has failed my class. That’s close to 1,000 successful students.
I doubt they bothered to look into how my classes are run. Do they know that I do a great deal of hands-on projects where I immerse my students in many of the cultures they learn about by becoming a farmer, trader, merchant, member of an ancient Indian caste, knight, king, castle builder, or ancient Asian philosopher just to name a few?
Have they read the number of letters I’ve received from past students telling me how much they loved my class and how my instructing them on how to take better notes and become stronger students was such a great help to them in their future academic endeavors? Have they seen how many times I’m stopped in stores, supermarkets or when walking my dogs by ex-students who want to say hello and tell me how much they miss me and my class. I think not.
If that is not enough what of my own three children? My daughter is a survivor of a life-threatening tumor that I refused to allow to dictate her future. She is now a senior in college, pursuing a career as a social worker, a second year resident assistant, inducted into the social work program at the honors level and has been on the Dean’s list for every year in college.
My son is an Airman. He protects our rights as Americans to pursue our happiness and freedom to be accepting or prejudice, as the case may be. My youngest son is a full time landscaper who puts in long hours and takes pride in his work. Being a gay mother has been incredibly detrimental to their wellbeing as you can all see.
This parent who thinks they know it all and is protecting their child from whatever obvious threat they’ve produced in their mind is blinded by their ignorance and the big rainbow flag they have draped over me to hide the outstanding abilities I have as an instructor and the love and deep devotion I have for every single one of my students who have come before their child and who will keep coming after. It’s shocking that in this year 2012, eight years after Massachusetts made gay marriage legal, that they thinks it’s okay to say, “I don’t want the gay teacher.” They didn’t disguise it in anything but what it is, blatant bigotry. It’s not homophobia. They’re not afraid of gays and lesbians, they’re ignorant bigots and they’re passing it along to their children. The legacy must stop here.