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A gay student teacher was dismissed from a suburban Portland, Oregon, school after discussing gay marriage with a fourth-grader. Seth Stambaugh is enrolled in the Master of Education program at Portland's Lewis and Clark College, the practicum of which had him student teaching at the Beaverton School District's Sexton Mountain elementary school. As reported by KGWNews:

He was leading a writing lesson when a fourth-grader asked him if he was married. Stambaugh said no. The student then asked why. Stambaugh replied that it would be illegal for him to get married because he would be choosing to marry another man. The student then asked if Stambaugh hanged out with guys and he said yes.

Stambaugh was told that his comments were inappropriate, and Lewis and Clark was told that Stambaugh would not be allowed to return.

Beaverton School District spokeswoman Maureen Wheeler said that the district honors diversity, including sexual orientation. Wheeler said she could not talk specifically about the conversation, but noted it took place with "a fourth-grader, and that's a nine-year-old."

"We do not discriminate," she said. The district has gay and lesbian employees and high school clubs that promote diversity, including sexual orientation, she said.

Sure. The district doesn't discriminate, it just seems to think that young children need to be protected from knowing about something against which it doesn't discriminate. Perhaps someone should ask Wheeler why the child's age seemed relevant.

According to The Oregonian:

It was based on "concerns about a conversation he had with a fourth-grade student," Wheeler said. "Our concerns were about the professional judgment and age appropriateness."

Perhaps someone should ask Wheeler if a male student teacher would be dismissed for discussing his interest in marrying a woman. Or would that also be considered lacking in professional judgment and age appropriateness?

KGW refers to a spokeswoman from Stambaugh's program at Lewis and Clark, who says it's not uncommon for a new student teacher not to fit a school district, but there are academic protocols for dealing with such circumstances.

What also happens before such a move is a discussion between the district, college officials and the student teacher, and that never happened in the Stambaugh case, she said.

Not that the Beaverton district was discriminating or anything, but rather than follow the usual procedure, it made a unilateral decision and only informed Lewis and Clark after Stambaugh had been removed.

Stambaugh's attorney says no lawsuit is planned, although his client's career was put at risk. The district's spokeswoman says their gay and lesbian employees have been wondering what will happen to them.

KGW:

Wheeler said they were told that specifics of the Stambaugh case could not be discussed, and that they the are loved and welcomed. "We respect and value you as employees," was the message, Wheeler said.

Which sounds very reassuring. They're respected and valued just so they're kept closeted and segregated from nine year-olds.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 06:00 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

    •  As a general rule, I'm not wild about teachers... (12+ / 0-)

      discussing their personal lives with students in any capacity because I don't believe that the personal lives of adults are any business of children or anyone else.

      However, there is nothing included in the exchange between student and teacher that warranted dismissal. At worst, an administrator might have pulled the teacher aside and suggested that discussions with students regarding personal matters are off-limits - and that such conversations should be avoided in the future to maintain a professional atmosphere.

      I recall having a student ask me if I was married once. I politely told her that I don't discuss such matters with students. When another teacher told her I was married (I wasn't thrilled, but I let it go), the same student asked me weeks later if I was STILL married. I again told her that I didn't wish to discuss the topic. She told me she would wait until she graduated to ask me again. That way, she wouldn't be my student anymore.

      Kids say the darndest things :)

      "Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society" -Oliver Wendell Holmes

      by APA Guy on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 06:23:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm not sure I understand your reluctance (7+ / 0-)

        to tell astudent whether or not you're married. Not criticizing you, but just curious.

        My kids know the marital/parental status of all their teachers, not that it matters that much to them. It seems to me that it humanizes teachers for kids. avoiding answering innocuous questions may make students more curious about a teacher's private life, IMO.

        Now, if a teacher were to go on & on about their personal life (as was the case with one of my daughter's younger teachers, who was going through a traumatic, messy divorce-- and who was homeless because of it, sleeping in her car, & crying in class), I agree, that is wildly inappropriate. I looked at that circumstance as a "teachable moment," though-- a chance for me to discuss boundaries with my daughter (and also compassion for a grownup who was in such a bad place).

        In the case being discussed in the diary, it sounded like the teacher VERY appropriately answered the student's question, and then moved on.

        •  I guess my general reluctance stems from... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          hillgiant

          my desire to keep education a professional venture at all times. That is not to say I don't have fun in the classroom and keep discussions lively and enlightening. I just don't feel that a teacher's personal life should be interjected as a means of instruction.

          But look, this is just my take on the matter based on experience. That doesn't make me "right" or "wrong". It's just my preference.

          "Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society" -Oliver Wendell Holmes

          by APA Guy on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 07:57:56 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  That seems really uptight to me/nt (0+ / 0-)

        If looks could kill it would have been us instead of him.

        by jhannon on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 07:59:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You're entitled to your opinion... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DruidQueen, Thoughts

          but I think you'll find that most parents agree with me (I am a parent of three..and my oldest discussed gay marriage...in social studies)...which is to say teachers need to leave their personal lives out of the classroom and keep discussions scholarly.

          "Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society" -Oliver Wendell Holmes

          by APA Guy on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 08:37:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think you're wrong (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            irishwitch, happymisanthropy

            consistently in this thread.  I am also the parent of three kids, one of whom is a fifth grade teacher, and I would be fighting any school or school district that dismissed a student teacher for answering a kid's questions in this manner.  This wasn't a discussion of gay marriage--it was a response to a question, and I am impressed in the manner in which you continually expand on the actual facts of the case.

            If looks could kill it would have been us instead of him.

            by jhannon on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 09:08:17 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  See,, the difference is, I respect your view... (0+ / 0-)

              ...even if I disagree with it...yet I didn't proclaim you "wrong". That's called TOLERANCE...something we embrace here at DK.

              The truth is, there is NO absolute "right" or "wrong" on this issue where social policy is concerned. It is a matter of choice, and as you can see, there are varying opinions on the subject. There are, however, some incontrovertible facts related to the matter:

              1. As a parent, my judgment with regards to my child's education is supreme. If I object to a teacher discussing his personal life, I am free to lodge a complaint and/or send my child to a different school. In this case, the parents, regardless of motivations, objected and the school reacted (or I would say overreacted, as a simple discussion with the teacher would have cleared up the matter of appropriateness as defined by the school moving forward)
              1. By the same token, if a school has a policy in place that prohibits discussing personal life details with children, it is the responsibility of the teacher to adhere to that policy. It is not the right of the teacher to divulge what he wants, when he wants, how he wants if he wishes to continue teaching at the school.

              I am expanding NOTHING regarding the actual facts of the case. The school may have overreacted (a point I have made the entire thread, yet you chose to overlook) in dismissing this teacher, but the choice to disclose personal information to students was not his to make if it violated school policy.

              "Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society" -Oliver Wendell Holmes

              by APA Guy on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 10:30:08 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  See, I DON'T respect views (0+ / 0-)

                "Views," as such, can be praiseworthy or shameful (or somewhere in between).  I could have a view that says "Cannibalism is cool" for example.  Would you "respect my view"?   No, probably not.  Rather, I respect your right to hold views different from mine, but I have no obligation whatsoever to respect the views themselves or, in fact, the person who holds those views.

                Sorry. Am in the mood to nitpick.

        •  You're probably not a teacher (5+ / 0-)

          I am a former teacher. I didn't discuss my private life with students.

          As a teacher, you learn to cover your ass at all times. There is always a parent looking to sue, or an admin looking for a reason to get rid of you before a lawsuit comes in.

          This may sound paranoid, but it's absolutely true. Male teachers in particular had to be very very careful at all times, never to have a female student alone in a classroom with them, etc.

          It sucks, but you have to cover your ass. And as this case perfectly demonstrates, if you so much as talk about your personal life, you may be unlucky enough to lose your job over it. I am a straight woman, and I didn't discuss my personal life with kids because I knew how uptight the administrators in my school were. I wish they would just put it in the contract or tell you when you are in training, that you shouldn't discuss anything personal with the children. It's just sort of an unspoken rule, especially if you want to keep your job.

          •  PS (6+ / 0-)

            I don't think this teacher should have been let go. I just think he should have known better. If a kid asks you if you're married, whether you're straight or gay, you should say either No or Yes, and deflect all other questions. I was asked that question by kid students, and I just said No. I had some religious parents who would not have appreciated if I had answered truthfully: "No, but I do live with a man."

            In this gotchya environment, it's just best to leave your personal life at the door, as a teacher.

          •  I did not teach elementary school (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            irishwitch

            but I have three kids who went to public schools.  There was no rule, implicit or explicit, against teachers answering questions such as these.  One of my kids had a fifth grade teacher who was gay with two adopted children.  

            The original questions was "Are you married?"  Are you seriously trying to tell me that an answer to that question would cause a heterosexual teacher a problem?
            Isn't it just the homosexuality issue that caused the problem for this student teacher?

            If looks could kill it would have been us instead of him.

            by jhannon on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 09:12:12 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You may have replied before I added the (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Dichro Gal

              PS note.

              I taught in a pretty heavy Catholic area. So my parents would not have appreciated me discussing my personal living arrangements with a man I'm not married to, with my students.

              Student: Ms. A. are you married?
              Me: No, Cathy, I'm not. Let's talk about--
              Student: But why aren't you married, Ms. A?!
              ME: Well, Cathy, I just haven't found the right person, that's all. Now, moving on...

              That was pretty much how conversations like this went for me. I HAD to cover my ass.

              As for this particular case. Some folks are saying this was a setup, that the parent had previously complained about this teacher, probably because he's gay, and had pushed their child to ask. Why? Precisely because of what I told you. Some parents look for a reason to sue, and some administrators look for a reason to can you before a lawsuit comes in. If the teacher, gay or not, had simply not discussed his personal life, he probably would still be working there. But the parent was looking for a reason to get rid of him, and unfortunately for him, he gave it. I absolutely think this particular case is about him being gay, and it sucks. And if this had been a heterosexual teacher, the parent probably wouldn't even be going after him. It sucks, it's wrong.

              But he should have known to keep his mouth shut. Gay or straight, this is a better rule to live by if you want to work in public education. Does it suck? Sure does. But it's reality, I'm afraid.

              I don't teach anymore. Not because of this in particular, but simply because the administration was a pain in the ass. Florida school districts don't do much to back up their teachers. They'll fire you for whatever reason, just to avoid a potential lawsuit. And this is a right to work state, they can do that.

  •  "We respect and value..." (10+ / 0-)

    sounds like those teachers/administrative staff might want to start working on their resumes.

    Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. Your hands can't hit what your eyes can't see.

    by conlakappa on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 06:02:31 AM PDT

  •  Don't Answer, Don't Teach (28+ / 0-)

    Just like the U.S. military's DADT policy, this district's act is the height of hypocrisy. There's apparently no problem with a heterosexual teacher answering students' questions about his/her relationship, but a gay teacher must either lie or refuse to respond? Shameful. {ProfJonathan}

    "The perfect is the enemy of the good." -- Voltaire

    by ProfJonathan on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 06:05:03 AM PDT

  •  If that fourth grader were mine (33+ / 0-)

    I would instruct him to ask the same question of every single teacher he has, and note the result.

    He was leading a writing lesson when a fourth-grader asked him if he was married. Stambaugh said no. The student then asked why.

    It's patently absurd to imagine they would fire the rest of their teachers for answering the question.  And it seems like a good time for that school to learn what discrimination means.

    •  That fourth grader's parents ... (21+ / 0-)

      had already made complaints about the teacher.  This was quite possibly a question posed by the fourth grader based on conversations he had heard already at his own home, aka, this was a 'set up'.

      If it's served to us and it's unpalatable but we smack our lips like it is the best thing we ever ate, how will the chef know to change the dish?

      by emsprater on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 06:18:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed (5+ / 0-)

        I cannot imagine my fourth grade daughter ever EVER making such an inquiry about a teacher's private life. Inconceivable to me.

        •  I posted this downthread but wanted to reply. (20+ / 0-)

          I teach fourth grade.  I've taught it for years.  Many students ask questions about teacher's personal lives.  Most of the time they just want to know if you are married/have any pets/have any kids.  It is actually developmentally appropriate for them to be thinking if you as other human beings with their own lives instead of people who just live at school.  It is also not a big deal.  You answer the question and move on.  

          Sure you can choose to say "Take out your homework" or "That is personal" but it just makes for more questions (that they ask among themselves) instead of shutting down the conversation.  

          Also, nine year olds are not college students.  They are developing little people who thrive in a caring, open and honest environment.

          •  I'm sorry, but that is not a hard and fast rule.. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DruidQueen

            It is also not a big deal.  You answer the question and move on.

            It's not a big deal to YOU, but if you're a teacher, you know full well that schools are forever trying to keep lines of appropriate conversation and behavior between students and teachers. When in doubt, you err on the side of caution and explain to the student that his teacher's personal life is not subject for discussion with students.

            That is precisely how I have approached the subject when I taught in schools...and it served me very well, as I was always polite when I explained it to students.

            "Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society" -Oliver Wendell Holmes

            by APA Guy on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 07:23:43 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I'm just saying (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            irishwitch

            that my daughter is very comfortable with rules and hierarchical structures (unlike her dad!). I can well imagine classmates of hers who might be more willing to be forward, even to the point of transgressing.

            I should point out that there are many gay parents in our community, some gay teachers in our school, and she has as many friends with two mommies or two daddies as she does friends with one parent, either through divorce or tragedy. Thanks for your valuable contributions to the thread.

            The story feels suspicious to me, given that the article clearly states that there were parents already complaining about the presence of this teacher, and the objections had to do with sexuality and religion. The whole thing reeks of fundamentalist manufactured outrage.

          •  Not true. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            trillian

            I taught 9-12 year olds.

            It is also not a big deal.  You answer the question and move on.  

            It was an unspoken rule that you didn't discuss personal lives with students. It was just best to cover your ass and the administration wanted you to cover your ass, because they didn't want any lawsuits. There are some parents out there who are looking for a reason to sue, so the admin's stance was, "don't give them one."

            I had kids asking me about being married. Yes, that is perfectly natural. But you need to be careful what you say. I am a heterosexual woman, and even I had to be careful. I had religious parents who would not have appreciated my truthful answer to these kids: "No, I'm not married, but I live with a man."

            At the same time, you are correct, you can't just refuse straight out. You have to be tactful and gently deflect or redirect questions. When kids asked if I was married, I would say No. If the questioning continued and they insisted on knowing why, I would just smile and say, I just haven't found the right person. Or something to that effect. And then redirect their attention elsewhere.

            Will the kids then gossip in the lunch room about whether I might be a lesbian because I haven't found the right man to marry? Maybe the older kids did, but whatever. I really couldn't give a shit what they gossiped about in the lunch room. If the information didn't come from me, my ass was covered and my job was safe, and I didn't have a parent coming to me and saying, "why are you teaching my child that living in sin with a man who isn't your husband okay? I am trying to teach my child real family values and you aren't helping!"

            Yes, I taught in a pretty heavily Catholic area.

            This is reality. As a teacher today, cover your ass first and foremost.

            I don't teach anymore because the administration was a pain in my ass and I got sick of the entire package deal, where I had to spend more time worrying about not getting sued, then actually teaching something useful to children.

            •  Not the same question (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              happymisanthropy

              I get the point that you're making, but I think your analogy is off.  Responding to the questio of whether you're married with "no, but I live with a man," isn't simply answering a direct question.  It's answering the question, and then volunteering information the kid didn't ask for.  That's not what happened in this case.  The kid asked if he was married, teacher said no, kid asked why not, teacher gave an answer that I will, unless the evidence shows otherwise, presume to be completely honest. It's entirely possible that he has found the right person but isn't allowed to marry him.

              Perhaps he should have deflected the question - surely that would have been the safest CYA route.  But that doesn't mean that giving an honest answer to an innocent question was the wrong thing to do.  

              •  No (0+ / 0-)

                Children don't stop at "Are you married?"

                They aren't just satisfied with a simple yes or no answer. If you answer no, inevitably they are going to ask why. Some kids who have been exposed to tv a lot or have that aunt that lives with a guy, may even straight up ask you if you are living with a guy.

                Inevitably children will needle you for more information, and you have to be careful not to give it. That's all I meant.

                •  I hear you (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  DruidQueen

                  but, that's still not quite the point.  At some point you have to decide how much you want to tell your students, no doubt about that.  And providing details about your living arrangement with students is probably not a wise choice in many situations.  

                  But stating the legal fact that he is not allowed to marry really shouldn't be considered taboo information.  As you said, you have to be careful about what information you choose to give, and yes, inevitably something you say will at some point upset some parents.  But that doesn't mean that he was wrong to answer in this case.

                  •  I see your point. (0+ / 0-)

                    I think he may have divulged a little too much information. And I would feel the same way had he been straight.

                    But I also realize that he wouldn't have gotten fired, or this would even be in the news, if he had been straight. So I realize this is an issue about him being gay and that is what folks are getting up in arms about here.

            •  It sounds like you have a very different (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              irishwitch

              teaching philosophy and climate in your school.  I teach in Texas.  We are generally friendly and our schools have a family like atmosphere.  

              It is very common for husbands/wives to show up at school functions and field trips.

              I won't answer that question honestly because I need to pay my mortgage but the fact that I have to lie proves how oppressive my environment is when straight teachers never even blink when asked those questions at my school.

              I went to school in Tallahassee, FL and teachers were pretty open there.  Now I'm beginning to wonder if open honest teachers is a southern thing.

      •  Ahh. Well, another "Mission Accomplished" n/t (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        emsprater, happymisanthropy

        "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." -- Frederick Douglass

        by Egalitare on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 07:02:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Too Much Information (0+ / 0-)

        is an age related thing.

        And the teacher's answer was TMI for 4th grade. Pretty much any honest answer to the question "Why aren't you married?"  is going to be too much information for a 4th grader.

        I would have been fine with this answer in middle or high school.  I do think the teacher showed poor judgment.  And if the teacher was aware that the parents were already inclined to be titchy about the issue, then he was stupid to walk into that trap.  

        Give me government-run healthcare over Wall Street-run healthcare anyday...

        by trillian on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 10:28:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  To some extent it's none of the little boy's (8+ / 0-)

      business and the teacher should have considered larger ethical issues of divulging private information to a student.

      He should not have been fired, though.

      Spray tons of carcinogens into the ocean to hide petroleum spewed from a hastily-drilled hole from a greedy corporation, but don't smoke pot.

      by xxdr zombiexx on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 06:24:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed 100%... (8+ / 0-)

        Frankly, it's no one's business what this teacher does in his personal life. Now, the teacher volunteered the information - which may or may not have been good judgment. I have worked in schools that held from the jump that teachers are NEVER to discuss their personal lives with students.

        The school overreacted in a big way here. A simple 2-minute conversation with the teacher to give the nudge to keep conversations professional would have done the trick.

        "Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society" -Oliver Wendell Holmes

        by APA Guy on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 06:28:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed but student teachers are not paid, but (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        happymisanthropy

        still he was suspended from completing his student teaching at that school and that is wrong on so many levels.   I assume he would just be assigned to another school to complete his student teaching?

      •  WHAT ethical issues? (5+ / 0-)

        It's not unethical to answer a student's question about whether you're married.  A teacher might decide not to answer but it's hardly a matter of ethics.

        If looks could kill it would have been us instead of him.

        by jhannon on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 08:02:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Teacher's ethics are likely different from (3+ / 0-)

          mine as a professional counselor, but the relationship/boundary bit needs to be clearly maintained.

          Spray tons of carcinogens into the ocean to hide petroleum spewed from a hastily-drilled hole from a greedy corporation, but don't smoke pot.

          by xxdr zombiexx on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 08:13:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I've been both! (5+ / 0-)

            and the boundary needs are completely different.  I'm a therapist now and believe that boundaries are extremely important, though many practitioners are, in my opinion, too rigid about self-disclosure.  But to confuse the boundaries of a therapist with those of a teacher, or professor, is a huge mistake.

            As a professor I heard some colleagues talk about teacher-student relations as if the appropriate boundaries were similar to those of a therapeutic relationship.  Silly.  For elementary school, obviously different relationships and boundaries are appropriate.  But the instance of a student teacher answering a question is not an instance of some serious boundary violation.

            If looks could kill it would have been us instead of him.

            by jhannon on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 09:05:31 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  This is why it is baffling (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      irishwitch, QuestionAuthority

      that his lawyer is not planning to sue. Someone clue me in, this guy should be in line for very large compensation on the basis of this grotesque example of discrimination.

  •  Sometimes it's best not to answer a question (9+ / 0-)

    like that.  Regardless of your sexual preferance.

    As long as the school system would not tolerate that from a heterosexual - I've got no problem with their decision.

    The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

    by ctexrep on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 06:05:39 AM PDT

    •  Except that... (18+ / 0-)

      It's almost certain that a heterosexual teacher would not be fired for mentioning that he/she was married, or even did not wish to get married for whatever reason. {ProfJonathan}

      "The perfect is the enemy of the good." -- Voltaire

      by ProfJonathan on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 06:07:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  ? (13+ / 0-)

      So, your solution is to ignore a child's question in order to continue ignorance in a younger generation?  Amazing.

      "We think the truth is bad enough. It obviously is." -- Fishgrease

      by gchaucer2 on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 06:07:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Is it amazing from someone using "sexual (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pdxRita, irishwitch, T100R

        preference?"  Sure, ignore the child lest the child ask with exactly whom one is bumping uglies.  /eyeroll

        Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. Your hands can't hit what your eyes can't see.

        by conlakappa on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 06:17:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Who said ignore it? (5+ / 0-)

        You can answer a question by letting the questioner know that know why you are not answering it or by answering it in a non-personal manner.  

        Again, my comment is that I think the system needs to be consitent with how they treat student teachers, regardless of their sexual preferences.

        The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

        by ctexrep on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 06:17:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  sorry but (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PsychoSavannah, ctexrep, Alice Olson

        every place is not a mountain on which to preach the progressive agenda.

        Mentioning the law, whether you like it or not, now influences how that child thinks about gay marriage.

        So I wouldn't ask the question of how they treat heterosexuals vs homosexuals. I'd ask the question of how they treat teacher who talks about politics in the classroom.

        •  Talks about politics? (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          zhimbo, emsprater, happymisanthropy, T100R

          This is policy, not politics. Policy informs every part of life. The kid wanted to know why the student teacher wasn't married. Maybe an appropriate response would have been, "none of your business." But "because it's not legal" is an entirely truthful response. Note that the student teacher did not say, "because right-wing lunatics have trampled upon my rights and turned me into a second-class citizen." THAT would have been talking about politics.

          •  but he didn't just say (0+ / 0-)

            "because its not legal".

            He actually mentioned the gay marriage issue. Thats a line of difference between the two. Now he has tied the kids question to a politically polarizing issue, which some parents probably wouldn't like.

        •  Must be nice not having to worry (0+ / 0-)

          about your very identity being declared "political."

      •  This is the "homosexual agenda" (8+ / 0-)

        the wingnuts are always talking about.....exposing children, in school, away from their parents, to ideas their parents do not condone.

        We laugh at them, but THIS is what they are talking about.

        The teacher's sexual orientation is not anyone's business but his own.  End of story.  And, he should have answered the question with a "no" and left it at that.  He continued on, to make a point with the child and get his "agenda" out there.

        Poo-pooh it if you want, but this is the exact thing that has people up in arms.  

        I;m the first one at my kids' school when I hear about a teacher going on about religion DURING class.  It works both ways.

        If there is no formal policy in place for teachers to discuss their love lives, then there better be one now and every teacher be made aware of it quickly.  If there isn't, then this guy should get his job back.

        •  Yes...very good points all... (4+ / 0-)

          As a parent, I do not want my child hearing about a teacher's playboy escapades or relationship with his/her spouse. Likewise, it isn't the place of a teacher to discuss personal matters with students - regardless of orientation.

          If the topic comes up during the natural course of education i.e. in a social studies book, then we educate the student. Otherwise, keep it professional.

          "Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society" -Oliver Wendell Holmes

          by APA Guy on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 06:32:32 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Double standard (13+ / 0-)

          If Seth Stambaugh were straight, and gets asked the same question, he maybe answers with "I guess I haven't found the right girl yet".

          Inappropriate discussion for class?  Maybe.  But does he get dismissed for it?  Does he get accused of pushing a "heterosexual agenda"?

        •  And folks recced this .. (14+ / 0-)

          'homosexual agenda' crap.

          It was a question that most in the gay community who have heard of the case believe was a 'set up' because the parents of the kid in question had already complained about the teacher.  The kid had most likely already heard his parents belief that the teacher was gay.

          Homosexual agenda indeed.

          This type of commentary from 'allies'.

          No wonder that LGBT civil rights are a pipe dream, ENDA sits unpassed, DADT repeal is not occurring and DOMA repeal will never occur legislatively with progressives or Democrats with this ideology.

          If it's served to us and it's unpalatable but we smack our lips like it is the best thing we ever ate, how will the chef know to change the dish?

          by emsprater on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 06:43:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm not saying I believe it - for (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            trillian, Thoughts

            pete's sake.  But this is the kind of story that will be used by the reactionary right.  This is where they get the phrase....this is the kind of stuff they are afraid of.  And I can relate to it, in a twisted way, as I explained with the jesus-teachin' in school.  This teacher is exposing kids to ideas their parents do not condone.  Right or wrong in your mind, this is what they mean by that.   It is a public school.....it has to accomodate everyone.

            •  Everyone .... (7+ / 0-)

              except 'teh gay'.

              We get it, really we do.

              If it's served to us and it's unpalatable but we smack our lips like it is the best thing we ever ate, how will the chef know to change the dish?

              by emsprater on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 06:59:40 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  The Reactionary Right (6+ / 0-)

              will use any slight pretext to attack. You are dreaming if you think there is some standard of "perfect behavior" that will stymie attacks from the right.  The main defect with your analogies to religious proselytizing is that no teacher would be fired for answering a question as to which religion they observed. Religious instruction in a classroom is not equal to being gay in a classroom. You are trying to suggest that the simple fact of being gay counts as "advancing an agenda." You claim to be playing devil's advocate, but the logical extensions of your argument demonstrate a shocking lack of regard for the feelings and the rights of gay citizens.

            •  Public School (6+ / 0-)

              Public School absolutely does not have to accomodate everybody's bigotry.  That's nonsense.  

              I've never understood this nonsense about the reactionary right being afraid of their children learning about gay marriage.  Gay marriage exists in some states, and is prohibited in other states. That is a fact. Mentioning this fact is not a political statement.  Parents have plenty of time and opportunity to shape their children's views about whether marriage equality is right or wrong, but it is absolutely absurd for teachers to pretend that such a thing simply does not exist.  Acknowledging that there is such a thing as gay marriage is not the same as discussing your sex life in detail.

              Many teachers here have stated that they feel it's inappropriate to discuss any aspect of personal life with students, and I will defer to their professional judgment as I am not a teacher.  But as a human being who remembers being quizzical in elementary school, it doesn't seem at all strange or inappropriate for this teacher to state the fact that he is not matter, and when pressed, to explain why.

        •  Mrs. (10+ / 0-)

          I guess we should now ban teachers being called "Mrs." even if that's  their preferred title, because it reveals their "love life."  Also, no wedding rings can be worn in school.  They're part of the heterosexual agenda.

          •  Exactly right (8+ / 0-)

            As I said above, my parents both taught in the same elementary school. It was known that they were husband and wife. I don't think this caused any problems. Nor did it cause a problem when Mrs. Fultz suddenly become Mrs. Barlette. We knew she had divorced and remarried. Oh no! An incursion of the personal into the classroom!

            ... Those on here who are demanding that teachers leave behind any mention of personal lives at all should just ask that instruction consist of putting a screen in front of the class and hitting "play." Facts can be delivered by video, after all. Why have actual humans interact with children and get in the way of the ideal education?

        •  Works both ways? (6+ / 0-)

          You realize you are suggesting that being gay and being religious are mutually exclusive, don't you? When a gay person is asked a question about their life, and they answer it with honesty, they are not "advancing and agenda." Your arguments on this point are just profoundly ignorant. Would you condone sanctions on a person of color asked answering a question about their heritage in a classroom setting?

          •  I think you'd get similar results. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            teemel

            The parallel would be something like a Black person standing in front of a classroom answering a question on why he doesn't vote (in the 1950s or so) by saying "because the Jim Crow laws don't allow me to". People (particularly the Jim Crow south) would see that as politicizing the classroom as well, and under these rules they'd (at least) be fired.

            •  Bad analagy because ... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              irishwitch, happymisanthropy

              in the Jim Crow states of the 1950's, AA teachers were already relegated to the segregated AA schools.

              If it's served to us and it's unpalatable but we smack our lips like it is the best thing we ever ate, how will the chef know to change the dish?

              by emsprater on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 07:54:15 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I can definitely imagine this happening (0+ / 0-)

                in the south in the 1950s (yes, at a Black school), and a parent and principal (who are both Blacks against the Civil Rights Movement) getting said teacher fired.

                You've gotta think of the quote from Harriet Tubman, "I've freed a thousand slaves. I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves."

                •  So you AGREE that your argument (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  irishwitch

                  would lead to the firing of a black teacher in the Jim Crow South, and yet you don't see the incredible injustice you are advocating?

                  WTF?

                  "People would see it that way" because they are/were bigots. Public policy is not intended to cater to the whims of bigots.

                  •  read my other comments (0+ / 0-)

                    I'm in favor of gay marriage and definitely civil rights. But I'm also in favor of keeping politics outside of the classroom - for the same reason that I don't want my students teacher telling him why he should or shouldn't vote for Obama or support the war in Iraq or abortion or affirmative action. These are not classroom issues. IMO, neither is gay marriage. Neither is the legalization of marijuana. Neither is the positive impacts hemp can have on the economy.

                    If you think I'm a bigot because I'm not against keeping these issues out of the classroom, then I'm fearful for the school systems you would support because I really wonder how much the kids are educated vs just given opinions.

                    If a teacher were to get fired for attending a march on   any of these issues, then I'd be protesting that firing with all my might (even if the teacher was going to a tea party), but thats not the case here. The case here is that the teacher brought up a political issue in the classroom by bringing up gay marriage. The teacher stated an opinion on it by implying that he'd like to be married but cannot because of the law.

          •  I don't think the teacher was (0+ / 0-)

            advancing an agenda.  But there are those that do. And that is an issue we have to deal with.  

        •  THIS (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          PsychoSavannah

          Well articulated, Savannah, thank you.

          Yes, it was an unspoken rule at my school that you should leave your personal lives at home and don't discuss it with students.

          I taught in a public school that serviced a pretty heavily Catholic (Hispanic) and otherwise Christian (black) area.

          Kids asked me if I was married. It's natural for them to be curious. But I was a woman living with an man, unmarried, and the parents would not have appreciated me disclosing that. And the administration would not have been happy with any parents complaining.

          So I would keep the answers simple, without detail, and I learned how to redirect students to another topic, preferably the topic of their education.

          I really think that all teachers would be helped immensely if we had some national Code of Conduct for teachers that explicitly states what is not appropriate (personal lives, sex except in sex education settings, religion except in a specifically educational setting, etc) to discuss in classrooms.

        •  This is homophobic bullshit (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          decca, irishwitch, katynka
          The teacher's sexual orientation is not anyone's business but his own.  End of story.  And, he should have answered the question with a "no" and left it at that.  He continued on, to make a point with the child and get his "agenda" out there.

          Being gay is not an "agenda" or an "idea" that someone else gets to choose whether to condone.

          If the teacher's sexual orientation is no one's business, then the same rule applies to all the heterosexual teachers at the school, who should be prohibited from wearing wedding rings, mentioning boyfriends, girlfriends, or spouses, or using the title "Mrs." Furthermore any mention of heterosexual relationships should be censored from any books or movies. Except as we all know that's not the case.

          This is exactly the attitude that teaches kids that it's okay to bully other kids for being gay. Heterosexuals are allowed to behave "normally" while homosexuals are held to an oppressive double standard.

          Or as Sarah Silverman said:

          Dear America, when you tell gay Americans that they can't serve their country openly or marry the person that they love, you're telling that to kids too. So don't be shocked and wonder where all these bullies are coming from that are torturing young kids and driving them to kill themselves because they're different. They learned it from watching you.

          Investigate or be incriminated.

          by chase on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 12:00:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Ignoring is not the same as a general answer (4+ / 0-)

        and in this circumstance I'd sure stay very general if my reason is anything besides general.
        Something like "Oh I hope to get married marry someday" or "Not time yet..." or "Not everyone gets married" kind of replies would be better .

        No matter what. That is "My boyfriend just won't make a commitment' or "The person I love is already married" or "My parents had a bad marriage and dad's been divorced 3 times so i..." or whatever isn't something I'd share with a young student or with most people I casually know or have a professional relationship with as far as that goes.
        Just like if a student asked why you got divorced... "Sometimes things don't work out" is way better than a real explanation.

        Opinions may vary. I am not excusing the school, it wasn't a firing offense in my eyes.

      •  So you think a teacher (4+ / 0-)

        who is not married owes a random 9-year old an explanation of that? What would the answer to that be like if the teacher were heterosexual? That is simply a rude question from anyone who is not a close friend/family member/prospective sex partner. (and it's really annoying coming from a family member, but that's another subject...)

        Instead, it might have been an opportunity to let the whole class know that some questions are inappropriate, and "why aren't you married" is one of those questions.

        "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

        by Alice in Florida on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 06:54:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Right, it's a rude question (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          irishwitch, emsprater

          but not at all unusual from a kid. Yes, a better response would have been, "This is a personal question, and it's not nice to ask adults about why they are married." I don't think we're arguing that. We are arguing, however, whether this student teacher should have been dismissed for answering a question in a manner that might have been less than ideal.

        •  Kids are not known for their tact... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          emsprater, happymisanthropy

          We've got three stooges and I spend far too much time in their various schools.  Kids are by nature tactless creatures.  This line of questioning isn't uncommon, particularly from someone with parents who are already doing the dog-whistle thing with administrators on the teacher.  

          Kids ask pushing questions all. the. time.  Being the adult in the room means you respond in a manner that de-escalates and steers the conversation away from inopportune topics and back to the lesson at hand.

          A simple, "Johnny, people can sometimes be sensitive about why they're not married. That is one of those questions that could potentially hurt their feelings so it's best to only ask it of those people that know you very well," would have put the subject to rest and reminded the student (and his parents) of the inappropriate level of interest they have in said teacher's personal life.

          "Reality divorced the wingnuts after the wingnuts were discovered to be fucking goofy." - DWG

          by Jojos Mojo on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 07:51:48 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  It's a normal question from curious fourth grader (7+ / 0-)

          who likes his teacher.  If it's a set-up, then that is abusive to the kid (from the parents).  I think there's a lot of homophobia in this discussion.  NO teacher would get in trouble for saying "No, I'm not married," if he/she was heterosexual and y'all know it.

          If looks could kill it would have been us instead of him.

          by jhannon on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 08:12:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's the "Why (not)?" that caused the ruckus (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            trillian, DruidQueen

            "Are you married?" gets a simple yes or no answer - and a "yes" almost always ends the discussion. It's the follow-up question "Why not?" - which only occurs when the student is being inappropriately snoopy - that caused all the trouble.

            With woman teachers it's very, very upfront - a "Mrs." generally is or was married (and if there's a "Mr." with the same last name in the school, the students have a good idea to whom), and a "Miss" generally isn't. Men don't have the obvious signifier, so they and only they get the "Are you?" question.

            Anybody, of any age, who asks "Why aren't you married?" isn't entitled to any other answer than, "That's my business and none of yours". How tactfully you phrase it depends on you and the situation.

            If it's
            Not your body
            Then it's
            Not your choice
            AND it's
            None of your damn business!

            by TheOtherMaven on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 09:20:27 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Oh please (24+ / 0-)

      It is a double standard. There is no way a straight teacher would have been dismissed, or even disciplined, for discussing their marriage plans.

      "Yet no one could doubt President Bush's support for our troops, or his love of country and commitment to our security." -Obama

      by heart of a quince on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 06:09:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Do you know that for certain? (0+ / 0-)

        This is a student teacher.  I would hope that any student teacher, regardless of sexual preference, would be held to the same standard.

        For you to assume otherwise without proof doesn't really mean too much.  

        My point is being consistent with policy.

        The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

        by ctexrep on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 06:13:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  For what? (10+ / 0-)

          He said nothing sexual, nothing derogatory.

          Hell, our (straight, female) student teacher in German class back a few decades taught us German curse words and told us about her exploits with her boyfriend in the pet store he worked in after closing hours.

          If they truly 'don't discriminate', there was nothing mentioned above that would rate any sort of dismissal.

          If you feel insulted by anything I've said, find out if it was intentional. I'll let you know if you ask.

          by Ezekial 23 20 on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 06:28:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Oh agreed 100%...dismissal was an overreaction... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DruidQueen

            The school should have pulled the teacher aside and explained their policy for what is and is not appropriate behavior across the school district.

            "Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society" -Oliver Wendell Holmes

            by APA Guy on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 07:25:44 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Provide me a counter example (8+ / 0-)

          with a heterosexual teacher answering in similar tone that was dismissed.

          "Yet no one could doubt President Bush's support for our troops, or his love of country and commitment to our security." -Obama

          by heart of a quince on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 06:31:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  here's an example (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            trillian, PsychoSavannah, DruidQueen

            Student: Do you go to church?
            Teacher: No
            Student: Why?
            Teacher: Because I don't believe in God.

            Student goes home and tells his teacher about the conversation and suddenly the parents are up in arms about teachers exposing their children to atheism.

            •  And... (6+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              chase, Rieux, decca, jhannon, emsprater, gardnerjf

              And the child learns about atheism existing. Big deal. Kids are supposed to live in some retarded world of ridiculous Disneyland characters? We need less commercialism, and more actual education, for our kids.

              •  then educate them on your time (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                trillian, DruidQueen

                I send my kids to school to learn whats on the syllabus, not to get a lecture on gay marriage, the existence of God, why they should believe in states rights or any of that. And I can understand a parent complaining about teachers politicizing the classroom.

                Its one thing for a kid to, for example, start an atheism club at the school. Its another thing for him to HAVE to listen to a lecture on atheism and why its the right thing.

                This teacher did not give a lecture on gay rights, but the fact that the teacher mentioned that as the reason for him not being married means that the student may now link those two together and be for/against gay rights because they like/dislike that teacher, or even simply want to do well in class and impress that teacher.

                •  saying you ARE one different than advocating it (5+ / 0-)
                  •  true (0+ / 0-)

                    but there's an actual concept called fair and balanced. Its a feeling that both sides of a story should be discussed. That was the whole evolution/creationism thing. Creationists were saying that since evolution is a theory, teachers should give fair time to the other side, the creationist side.

                    Saying you are one influences your side without giving any airtime to the other side.

                    •  Good grief. (10+ / 0-)

                      Saying you are one influences your side without giving any airtime to the other side.

                      You want 'fair and balanced'?  Check out the kids other teachers who most probably are heterosexual.  Run the numbers.  then come back to us with that 'fair and balanced' thing.

                      Gays, already a minority of society are now being asked to mask their identity least some one be offended because of 'fair and balanced' ideology.

                      If it's served to us and it's unpalatable but we smack our lips like it is the best thing we ever ate, how will the chef know to change the dish?

                      by emsprater on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 08:00:31 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Wait. (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      irishwitch, foldingBicycle

                      You're advocating teaching creationism in school?

                      How about the Flying Spaghetti Monster, then? Shouldn't teachers give "fair time" to that side of the debate?

                      Should schools recognize the Flat Earth theory? The geocentrist theory? The notion that Native Americans are a Lost Tribe of Israel?

                      Exactly why do you expect schools to waste valuable time teaching nonsense?

                      •  no (0+ / 0-)

                        the point is I'm not advocating that, I'm saying that if we allow teachers opinions in the classroom, then this is what its similar to. In another thread I joked about Mr. Garrison (Southpark), but I don't want the classroom to be like that.

                        But I compare this case to teachers who have been fired for giving creationist opinions on a lecture on evolution. Republicans were against these teachers being fired, while many democrats were in favor of it (or at least against the teacher being allowed to speak on creationism in the classroom).

                        I see this as a similar story on teachers rights and how they should not be allowed to politicize the classroom.

                        •  It's a ridiculous comparison. (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          decca, irishwitch

                          Teachers have not been fired for "giving creationist opinions." They have been fired for attempting to teach creationism.

                          Your argument is simply absurd. First, "teachers' opinions" are already in the classroom every day. (Though students clearly don't always pay attention: for example, opinions regarding how to use apostrophes to make possessive nouns or to spell the contraction "it's," or how many words are in the title of "South Park," are sometimes ignored.)

                          Second, you have clearly forgotten that this incident had nothing to do with “teachers' opinions”:

                          He was leading a writing lesson when a fourth-grader asked him if he was married. Stambaugh said no. The student then asked why. Stambaugh replied that it would be illegal for him to get married because he would be choosing to marry another man. The student then asked if Stambaugh hanged [sic] out with guys and he said yes.

                          There is no "opinion" in there. You're just straining like crazy to find something objectionable in three utterly indisputable statements of fact.


                          Republicans were against these teachers being fired, while many democrats were in favor of it (or at least against the teacher being allowed to speak on creationism in the classroom)

                          What a shock: Republicans were wrong, and Democrats were correct. I may faint.

                          (You're laughably confused, of course, again: there is no bar on teachers "speak[ing] on creationism in the classroom." Teachers talk about creationism as a matter of religious history, or a discredited hypothesis about biology, all the time, and there's nothing objectionable about it.)


                          I see this as a similar story on teachers rights and how they should not be allowed to politicize the classroom.

                          I wish that your teachers had had the right to make you pay attention when they were teaching you how to use apostrophes—but that aside, the issue you have raised simply comes down to when a teacher is and is not "policitiz[ing] the classroom." Ignorant and bigoted people are entirely capable of interpreting any lesson, or indeed any ordinary statement of fact, as "politicized."

                          You are wrong because there's nothing "politicized" about a gay teacher—a gay person—stating that he or she exists and explaining to a student the brute facts of marriage law. The parents you worry so melodramatically about can only consider that to be "politicized" if they are bigots who consider the very existence of open gay people political.

                          The question that remains open is whether (1) that kind of ugly bigotry is something possessed only by the parents you hypothesize, or (2) you're projecting your own homophobia onto them. If you think an ordinary statement that a teacher is gay is political, them I'm afraid your prejudice is something the law should not take seriously.

                          •  all I can say is (0+ / 0-)

                            I never aim to please everybody, just to try to explain my point of view. If you think I'm prejudiced or a bigot or anti-gay or homophobic, then thats your right to think that of me. My job isn't to try to change your mind about me. I've explained the logic behind my thinking many times.

                            If you think that the line behind whats allowed in terms of politicizing the classroom shouldn't include what he said, then thats one thing.

                            But if you think that this IN NO WAY can be seen as "politicizing the classroom" then I just feel like you're lying to yourself to win an argument. And I feel that had this been a conservative issue instead of a progressive one, you'd be like me screaming for him to be fired.

                          •  Meh. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            irishwitch

                            If you think I'm prejudiced or a bigot or anti-gay or homophobic, then thats your right to think that of me.

                            As I said, that's unclear. It remains possible that you're just going on and on about what some hypothetical homophobic parents might think without sharing their reaction to an incident like this one.

                            Given your dogged persistence for vindicating the importance of allowing anti-gay bigots to silence GLBTs and shove them back into the closet, though, it does seem more likely that you are just the same kind of homophobe whose interests you are defending.


                            But if you think that this IN NO WAY can be seen as "politicizing the classroom"....

                            Apparently you didn't actually pay attention to my previous comment, in which I stated:

                            The parents you worry so melodramatically about can only consider that to be "politicized" if they are bigots who consider the very existence of open gay people political.

                            Which is to say, of course this incident "can be seen as 'politicizing the classroom.'" But that's meaningless, because every single lesson and indeed statement of fact that a teacher could ever assert could be seen as "politicizing the classroom" by a sufficiently ignorant or hateful witness. Every single thing that every single teacher does every single day within the eye- and earshot of students could be seen as politicization. It's just that some of these claims are legitimate, and some of them are bullshit.

                            As a result, your fervent insistence that this incident could be seen as politicizing is meaningless; this incident shares that status with every lesson ever taught. The real question is why a particular person regards this fact pattern, or any, as politicizing. Are there good reasons to regard a teacher's simple statement of who he is and whom he is not allowed to marry as politicizing? Or are there no such good reasons, and the only way you can get from point A (the facts) to point B (the conclusion that it's politicizing) is irrational bigotry?

                            In this case, there's simply no doubt: the only way anyone could conclude that this is inappropriate politicization is on the grounds of his or her own homophobia and heterosexism. Absent anti-gay bigotry, there is nothing political about the incident involved here at all.

                            So yes, Stambaugh's statements "could be seen" as politicizing. But they could only be seen that way by bigots, and public policy does not exist to satisfy the preferences of bigots. Ergo your argument fails.


                            And I feel that had this been a conservative issue instead of a progressive one, you'd be like me screaming for him to be fired.

                            That's just mindless relativism. Reasonable people addressing matters of public policy examine actual facts. If conservative teachers do actual inappropriate things in a classroom, we oppose them. If they don't, we don't. Nonsensical allegations of ideological bias are neither here nor there.

                          •  why do you keep linking me to (0+ / 0-)

                            anti-gay issues?

                            If this were an issue of bringing up Obama, McCain, womens rights, civil rights, workers rights, war, etc. in the classroom, I'd feel the same way. I don't have any problem with gay rights. I have a problem with teachers rights in a public school. This is something I'm just as passionate about as I am about the issues I name above because when teachers are given a pulpit to preach their word unopposed as gospel, then they can really corrupt the minds of our youth. Obviously I don't think thats what happened here (the minds of the youth being corrupted), but I do think that this falls into the category of politicizing the classroom, and hence I feel that some punishment is justified.

                            I'll readily agree (and have in response to someone else's comments) that this is on the lighter side of it, but when he stated how the gay marriage issue impacts him, implying that he'd like to be married but is unable to because of the law, thus indicating that in his opinion the law should be changed, its politicizing the classroom. You want to ignore this, or say its not a good enough reason to call it politicizing the classroom. I see it as a cut and dry case. He brought up gay marriage and told his opinion on it. The fact that it went on for 30 seconds and not 30 minutes means that this is something that I don't take as seriously as teachers who stand and give hour long lectures on various political topics, but if you ask me if I think its politicizing the classroom, I'm gonna say yes. And as a result I say the teacher is wrong.

                            You seem to only want to focus on the fact that this is happening RIGHT NOW to a teacher who happens to be gay. I'm not focusing on that at all. I'm focusing on that he, at least in my opinion, stated his opinion on a controversial political issue in the classroom. This has happened before to men and women from all different backgrounds with all different political points of view. Just because I'm not defending the teacher when he happens to be gay doesn't make me anti-gay or homophobic or a bigot. And if a parent sees these actions as politicizing the classroom, then it doesn't necessarily mean they want to keep gays in the closet.

                          •  Why indeed? (0+ / 0-)

                            why do you keep linking me to anti-gay issues?

                            Oh, I don't know; perhaps it's because you're making the virulently anti-gay argument that a gay man honestly and directly answering a question about why he isn't married is "politicizing the classroom." You are employing reasoning that is overtly homophobic. That is an awfully good reason to "link you to anti-gay issues."


                            If this were an issue of bringing up Obama, McCain, womens rights, civil rights, workers rights, war, etc. in the classroom, I'd feel the same way.

                            You're insane. Have you never been in a civics, political science, or history classroom in your life? ("War, etc."?!? What the hell did/do you do in school?)

                            As I have explained to you repeatedly, every subject is arguably "politicized." It is utterly impossible to avoid someone-could-claim-they-are-politicized topics, because every single topic imaginable could be claimed, by a sufficiently craven or prejudiced person, to be politicized. You're demanding that educators play a game that is utterly impossible to win.

                            Your pretense that open homosexuality is inherently political is homophobia and heterosexism, pure and simple.


                            I have a problem with teachers rights in a public school.

                            I'm not sure why you're not picking this up after my repeated attempts to bring it to your attention, but I wish you weren't so doggedly opposed to teachers' rights to teach you how to use apostrophes. The phrase "teachers' rights" is possessive; the rights belong to the teachers. As a result, the plural noun "teachers" needs an apostrophe. It's simple, elementary-school English composition: the phrase is "teachers' rights." For someone so incredibly adamant about what teachers should and should not be allowed to say in class, you seem to have done a notably poor job listening to yours.


                            when teachers are given a pulpit to preach their word unopposed as gospel....

                            Again, you've simply taken leave of your senses. There is no "teacher given a pulpit to preach [his or her] word unopposed as gospel" in this case. One man explained that he is not married because he is gay and gay marriage is illegal. What he said are simple, indisputable facts. You have mangled them in your own head beyond recognition in order to pretend they are some kind of sermon.


                            I do think that this falls into the category of politicizing the classroom, and hence I feel that some punishment is justified.

                            Yes, you've made that clear. And I've made clear why that demonstrates your homophobia.


                            but when he stated how the gay marriage issue impacts him, implying that he'd like to be married but is unable to because of the law, thus indicating that in his opinion the law should be changed....

                            "Implying," "implying." Project much?

                            You are absurdly thrusting your own notions about what was in this man's head onto him. It's crap, and it's obviously coming from a notably prejudiced place.


                            its politicizing the classroom. You want to ignore this, or say its not a good enough reason....

                            Guh—there you go again, twice! Not "its." "It's." Contractions require... you guessed it: apostrophes.


                            I see it as a cut and dry case.

                            You mean "cut-and-dried." Goodness, you're bad at this. Somewhere an English teacher is weeping.


                            He brought up gay marriage and told his opinion on it.

                            You simply can't be taken seriously: both of those statements are false. The kid brought up marriage, and the teacher merely answered the question. More to the point, the teacher did not "tell [sic] his opinion on it"; you've just ludicrously presumed that his statements of brute fact conveyed some kind of "opinion." That's your homophobia talking, not the teacher.

                            Finally, that English teacher is nearing a breakdown: the verb "tell" is transitive. That means it takes an object. One does not "tell one's opinion." One "tells someone one's opinion." What you mean is that the teacher in this case "told the student his opinion." I really wish you focused less on teachers' sex lives and more on the language arts you were supposed to have learned from them.


                            You seem to only want to focus on the fact that this is happening RIGHT NOW to a teacher who happens to be gay. I'm not focusing on that at all.

                            The hell you aren't. You have posted twenty comments on this diary whining about a gay teacher who dared to answer simple questions about why he is single with simple, direct, factual answers. You're fixated on it.

                            And it makes no difference to my argument whether it's happening "RIGHT NOW." Today, tomorrow, fifteen years ago—that's totally irrelevant. There's nothing wrong with what the teacher did, and the only way to conclude there is is to engage in ugly anti-gay bigotry.


                            I'm focusing on that he, at least in my opinion, stated his opinion on a controversial political issue in the classroom.

                            Yes, that is your opinion. However, the fact is that he "stated" no such thing. The significant disparity between what actually happened and your "opinion" regarding what happened is clear evidence of your homophobia.


                            Just because I'm not defending the teacher when he happens to be gay doesn't make me anti-gay or homophobic or a bigot.

                            Of course it doesn't. But in this case, in which it is impossible to conclude that the teacher did anything wrong without accepting frightening levels of anti-gay bigotry, that is precisely what your argument shows about you.

                          •  rinse, repeat (0+ / 0-)

                            You're insane. Have you never been in a civics, political science, or history classroom in your life? ("War, etc."?!? What the hell did/do you do in school?)

                            As I have explained to you repeatedly, every subject is arguably "politicized." It is utterly impossible to avoid someone-could-claim-they-are-politicized topics, because every single topic imaginable could be claimed, by a sufficiently craven or prejudiced person, to be politicized. You're demanding that educators play a game that is utterly impossible to win.

                            Your pretense that open homosexuality is inherently political is homophobia and heterosexism, pure and simple.

                            Read my other comments. Its a lot different to teach about the Black Panthers than to call them a bunch of thugs. Its one thing to teach about music. Its another thing to say that hip hop is not music. Its one thing to teach about Vietnam. Its another thing to say that the war had no purpose. Its one to mention the gay marriage issue. Its another thing to say how it not being legal affects you.

                            Just because any statement could be argued as politicizing the classroom doesn't mean there are not obvious cases and blurry ones. And I'll say again that homosexuality is not the issue here, the issue here that some saw his mention of gay marriage as using the classroom to project an agenda.

                            You're demanding that educators play a game that is utterly impossible to win.

                            No, I'm demanding that educators play a game that they must play in public schools. Its a game that other teachers in this very thread have said that they are forced to play. Its a game that I'm forced to play whenever I give an example in my math classes because I know that simply saying that "there is an inherent tradeoff between equity and efficiency" is one thing, but talking about the ways to resolve those tradeoffs is another and can get things very off track, and cause students to complain. Its a game of walking a fine line and teachers play it every day.

                            The hell you aren't. You have posted twenty comments on this diary whining about a gay teacher who dared to answer simple questions about why he is single with simple, direct, factual answers. You're fixated on it.

                            NO!

                            I've posted however many comments dealing with what I see as an important case in the progressive world because as I see it, its a situation where two things that progressives generally stand for - teachers rights and gay rights - do not necessarily agree. I do that whenever I see such a topic. Otherwise I just sit in the background and read. If you think my opinions make me homophobic, then thats your right and I'm not here to make you think otherwise. But I like how now I'm called names because I find a diary that I'm actually interested in. Aint this a fucked up world.

                            But the fact that you refuse to believe that there is any possibility that the teacher could be in the wrong makes this discussion, or at least the the way I interpreted the story and the discussion I was trying to have impossible. Its cool because some are not so blinded by the gay rights issue that they can see the conflicts of progressive values here. If you can't then thats your problem.

                          •  Total. Punctuation. Failure. (0+ / 0-)

                            Its a lot different...

                            Its one thing...

                            Its another thing...

                            Its one thing...

                            Its another thing...

                            Its one...

                            Its another thing...

                            Its a game...

                            ...its a situation...

                            ...teachers rights...

                            Aint this a fucked up world.

                            Its cool....

                            ...thats your problem.

                            Aaaaugh!

                            I have faintly bludgeoned you about the head with the simple elementary-school reality that apostrophes are important. They are necessary to create contractions, such as "it's" and "ain't." They are necessary to create possessives, such as "teachers'." I have shoved this in your face, over and over and over again.

                            And then you post a comment of a little over 400 words in length in which you incorrectly omit an apostrophe at least thirteen times. Thirteen times! Once every 32 words!

                            Are you illiterate? Are you blind? Are you entirely insensitive to the irony of spending an entire comment thread's worth of comments lecturing teachers on what they are allowed to say to students... while figuratively spitting in the face of every person who has ever tried to teach you punctuation? (A group that includes me?)

                            For God's sake, man, learn basic English composition! The contraction of "it is" is not spelled "its"! You look like an ignorant six-year-old when you write like that—and especially when you do it over and over and over again.

                            Ye gods.


                            Just because any statement could be argued as politicizing the classroom doesn't mean there are not obvious cases and blurry ones.

                            That's exactly what I've said. The case that spurred this diary is an obvious one: it is obviously not politicizing the classroom. The only way to conclude that this is "blurry," much less clearly inappropriate, is to import homophobic notions about the status of answering the student's questions with simple and honest statements of fact.

                            As I have said repeatedly, the reasoning you are applying is fundamentally homophobic. Your refusal to come to terms with that reality does not make it any less real.


                            But I like how now I'm called names because I find a diary that I'm actually interested in.

                            No, you wannabe martyr, your reasoning is being "called names," because it is being called by its right name: bigotry. If you don't like it, stop using bigoted reasoning.


                            But the fact that you refuse to believe that there is any possibility that the teacher could be in the wrong makes this discussion, or at least the the way I interpreted the story and the discussion I was trying to have impossible.

                            Good—that should be impossible in a just society. You should find it extraordinarily difficult to find people willing to buy into your hateful idea that a man's simple statement that he would marry a man if the law didn't prevent it is "politicizing."

                            A huge portion of the gay-rights movement, like any civil-rights movement, is devoted to making people ashamed of the bigoted ideas they carry. You should feel bad about attacking this man for what he said. Your response is homophobic, and thankfully the reasoning you are using is on its way out of ethical society—like virulently sexist, segregationist, etc., thought before it. Ten or twenty years from now, if you look back on this I submit you'll be ashamed that you criticized this poor man for what he did—and that's good. Seeing something inherently "political" about a man's statement of who he is is hateful, and the sooner you realize how ugly your premises are, the better off we'll all be.


                            And the same goes for your unbelievable problems with apostrophes. Repeat after me: "It's one thing... It's another thing... It's one thing... It's another thing... It's one thing... It's another thing... It's one thing... It's another thing...."

                          •  actually there is (0+ / 0-)

                            You are wrong because there's nothing "politicized" about a gay teacher—a gay person—stating that he or she exists and explaining to a student the brute facts of marriage law. The parents you worry so melodramatically about can only consider that to be "politicized" if they are bigots who consider the very existence of open gay people political.

                            I'm gonna assume he's not lying. He stated how the gay marriage issue impacts him, implying that he'd like to be married but is unable to because of the law, thus indicating that in his opinion the law should be changed, its politicizing the classroom.

                            If it wasn't his opinion that the law should be changed, then his answer would have been that he's not married for some other reason. But the reason he gave for not being married was the law. How you cannot see this is beyond me.

                    •  Are you fucking kidding? (0+ / 0-)

                      Facts don't need "balance." We don't need to be "fair" to bigots. And the bigots have gotten more "airtime" in recent years than they really should ever have.

                      "Moderates." /spit

                •  Public school (0+ / 0-)

                  And by the way, that is what public school is for: educating them.

                  •  really? (0+ / 0-)

                    I didn't know public schools were for political or religious rallies.

                    I thought I could just learn about the Black Panthers without having the teacher give an opinion stating that they were just a bunch of thugs. I thought I could learn about affirmative action without the teacher saying that its reverse racism. I thought I could learn about civil rights without the teacher saying its a states rights issue. But these things all happen in the classrooms and I and many of my progressive friends went and complained about them because we saw it as the teacher overusing their authority to influence the minds of children.

                    But hey, if you don't mind public school teachers telling your kid how to pray, then we've just got different opinions.

                    •  what the hell are you talking about? (6+ / 0-)

                      there were : no rallies, no proselytizing, no lectures, no haranguing.  Try to stay a leeetle bit close to the facts, wouldya?  Distorting the situation to some weird extreme is not "reductio ad absurdum," it's just ridiculous.

                      If looks could kill it would have been us instead of him.

                      by jhannon on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 08:19:05 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  then like somebody else asked (0+ / 0-)

                        where is the line?

                        My point is that by mentioning gay marriage in the classroom (where the lecture was on writing), he's turning the classroom into a pulpit for the progressive agenda. Even if his only statement was that the illegality of gay marriage is why he isn't married. That in itself is a statement in support of a political issue.

                        So how far should teachers be allowed to go? What if the student said, "Well, I think that it should be illegal", would the teacher have been right in telling him why gay marriage should be legal?

                        Like I said, it becomes a political conversation when he mentioned the legality of gay marriage. How far are you willing this conversation to go before you say that it becomes a conversation that doesn't belong in the classroom?

                        •  Not a slippery slope (7+ / 0-)

                          "Even if his only statement was that the illegality of gay marriage is why he isn't married. That in itself is a statement in support of a political issue."

                          It is a statement of fact, not a statement in support.  He cannot marry the person he wants to.  It is a logical inference that he would like to marry that person and thus supports a political issue, but what he said in and of itself was not an endorsement one way or the other.  

                          Imagine a century ago a schoolkid asks his teacher if she was planning to vote in the upcoming election, and she responds "No."  When asked why, would it really have been inappropriate for her to respond "Because it's illegal for women to vote"?

                          •  Logical inferences (4+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Rieux, decca, jhannon, foldingBicycle

                            Exactly.  Just it would be a logical inference that a straight person who is married supports the right of straight people to get married.  So are all straight married teachers making political statements?

                          •  what you name are (0+ / 0-)

                            very important political issues. But the question of whether they are right or wrong is entirely different from do we want them discussed/resolved in the classroom.

                            If my child goes to math class and is excited about the womens movement but doesn't learn algebra, then I (as a parent) am going to be pretty upset - not because I'm against womens rights, but because I want my child to finish school, go to college, etc.

                          •  But again.... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            katynka

                            This wasn't a prolonged discussion.  It was a 4 part exchange.  It probably took 30 seconds.  If they spent half an hour on it, then your point is a valid one.  If the teacher answered the questions briefly and then moved on with the lesson, then it's hardly going to have a profound impact on your child's ability to finish school.

                          •  i agree, but (0+ / 0-)

                            unfortunately the school didn't. It was a short discussion, and had I been principal or the controlling body, I'd probably have looked past it for just this reason. But in itself, it is bringing up politics in the classroom which maybe they have a no tolerance rule or something. I don't know, but I've been, for the most point, just talking about the general principle of politicizing the classroom and how that in itself is bad. I think this does fall into that, however slightly.

                            I know that certain classes of people tend to get much harsher punishments for much lighter problems, maybe this is an example of that. But that doesn't mean that the teacher wasn't in the wrong.

                •  Then home-school your kid (8+ / 0-)

                  If you do not want your kid to learn about anything than what is on a standardized test, then shield your kid from all other humans and teach him out of a book. Maybe pop a few DVDs into the player. That will drill the facts into your kid's head and ensure that he doesn't learn about LIFE through being around other people.

                  •  Not the same thing and you know it... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Thoughts

                    There is a HUGE difference between discussing gay marriage within the context of a social studies discussion and discussing it within the context of a teacher's personal life. A student has NO right to information regarding a teacher's personal life...period.

                    "Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society" -Oliver Wendell Holmes

                    by APA Guy on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 07:28:37 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  So, where do you draw the line? (4+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      chase, decca, irishwitch, happymisanthropy

                      What if a teacher tells an anecdote from his home life, involving his wife or his son? What if a kid asks a teacher what his wife is like, or if he has kids? Those are all parts of a teacher's personal life, and they contribute to the makeup of the whole person. A teacher is going to share his experiences in the classroom--that includes both parts of his personal life and details of his expertise in whatever subject area he is teaching. It builds rapport, it builds mutual respect, and it helps educate children on the realities of the world. And, examples from a personal life certainly can be relevant in classroom discussion in a variety of subjects.

                      It appears to me that you want the gay student-teacher to be sterile, to strip out all details of his personal life from the classroom. You are placing the bar unrealistically high, and I have a feeling you would not extend the same demand to heterosexual teachers.

                    •  It's not a matter of the student's right to know (3+ / 0-)

                      and I'm pretty sure you know that too.  My, My, how far they wander from the original issue in defense of the indefensible.

                      If looks could kill it would have been us instead of him.

                      by jhannon on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 08:20:20 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  It's not "indefensible" to ask teachers... (0+ / 0-)

                        to keep their personal lives out of the classroom.

                        Students can learn about gay marriage within the realm of social studies, etc. education without being injected into the personal lives of teachers.

                        "Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society" -Oliver Wendell Holmes

                        by APA Guy on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 08:33:15 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                •  Nothing is neutral (7+ / 0-)

                  Every time a student knows a teacher  is married, either because the teacher wears a wedding ring, or mentions a spouse, or is called Mrs. So and so, the student learns a political message.  They learn that marriage exists, that it is a major structure in our society, and that it is generally accepted.

                  When they are "protected" from the existence of LGBT people, they learn that it is something to be ashamed of and hidden.  They learn it is inappropriate.

                  And we wonder why some LGBT kids kills themselves.

                  •  And, it's poor pedagogy (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    irishwitch, katynka

                    when you teach a lesson, you include real life examples.  Including personal anecdotes.  Which might have other characters in them.  You can't just say "this subject is important," you have to say "this subject is important to me" and "this subject is important to you."

                    The question is not whether the chickens needed replacing, the question is whether the fox should have been guarding them in the first place.

                    by happymisanthropy on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 11:37:49 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  It's apparently less important to save GLBT kids (0+ / 0-)

                    than to protect the self-images of "moderates" as cautious and sober and "reasonable" and "balanced."

            •  Then the teacher would have (0+ / 0-)

              a cause of action for wrongful firing based on religion...though of course it would be better to deal with the question by telling the kid that the question is inappropriate.

              "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

              by Alice in Florida on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 07:03:00 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  That's a hypothetical (3+ / 0-)

              and a logically stunted one at that. The question was to provide a concrete example of a heterosexual teacher disciplined, let alone fired, for providing personal detail about the circumstances of their marital status.

          •  You're the one saying it's a double standard (0+ / 0-)

            you do the work.

            My comment was as long as the system treated everyone the same, I had no problem with it.

            You said there was no way a straight student teacher would be held to the same standard.

            The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

            by ctexrep on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 06:39:31 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  But don't you think firing is kind of extreme? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          irishwitch

          I would consider reassignment after making it clear that the proper answer to such a question is to tell the kid that the question is inappropriate, and that he/she should never ask anyone why they aren't married.

          "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

          by Alice in Florida on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 07:00:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  yeah, I know that for certain/nt (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          irishwitch

          If looks could kill it would have been us instead of him.

          by jhannon on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 08:14:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Agree (8+ / 0-)

        Years ago my sister-in-law was an elementary school teacher.  The kids in her class knew about her upcoming wedding and some of them attended.  They asked about her wedding plans, etc., because they were curious.  No one objected and no one thought anything was out of line.

        "Patriotism is no more about signs or pins than religion is about reminding others how pious we think we are." -- Bob Schieffer

        by sable on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 06:38:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  But that's different from (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          trillian

          "why aren't you married?" People may disagree on whether to answer a question as to marital status, but when it comes to asking why someone isn't married, that is just plain inappropriate. I'd compare it to asking a married person why they don't have children...totally rude and inappropriate.

          "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

          by Alice in Florida on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 07:06:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I've been asked why I didn't have kids-- (0+ / 0-)

            but ALWAYS by adults.  And had I told them that such a question was rude or inappropriate, thye'd have gone right to the boss and complained about my rudeness.

            I have also been asked by co-workers what church I attended. Since I am Wiccan and this library was in Jacksonville FL, I told them I was raised Catholic.  And yes, I felt I was forced into a religious closet because of their bigotry.

            And this was in a job where they couldn't fire me for not being a Christian--but I had to work with these folks every damend day, and the7 already found me strange because my hobby was the SCA (if you want to know what that is, you look it up) and writing. I didn't entirely lie, but I was still being dishonest about my faith--and they were able to talk about theirs (at least on breaks legally, but they talked about it at other times too, with no consequences unless they started to preach at people) while I wasn't because of the crap I'd get.

            The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

            by irishwitch on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 09:04:30 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  I agree: but it's not a firing offense. (5+ / 0-)

      The concept that the fourth grader gets to raise a subject and get it answered is faulty.  But I suspect a teacher who said, for example, why he was getting divorced from someone of the opposite sex wouldn't be summarily

      Some feel more comfortable with the certainty that comes from losing power and letting republicans stab them in the front. It's a failure of nerve.

      by Inland on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 06:11:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sometimes it's best to not post a comment... n/t (4+ / 0-)

      Those who forget the lessons of history are probably watching Glenn Beck.

      by ontheleftcoast on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 06:13:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You're going to get a lot of grief (6+ / 0-)

      for that comment, but I think it has merit.

      A valuable lesson could have been taught simply by responding, "That is a personal matter," a phenomenon which seems to be disappearing.

      Gay, straight, bi, asexual, whatev.

      I would not be unhappy to see our society regain the concept that professional and personal lives are distinct.

      I'd like my life back, too, Tony ____ Video and more songs at da web site

      by Crashing Vor on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 06:15:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  So you are saying ... (6+ / 0-)

      no wedding rings on staff or pictures of wives, husbands or children on teacher's desks?

      Straight folks just don't realize how things they accuse gays of 'flouting' are 'flouted' every day by heterosexuals.  Of course you didn't say that, but that's the underlying message.

      If it's served to us and it's unpalatable but we smack our lips like it is the best thing we ever ate, how will the chef know to change the dish?

      by emsprater on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 06:21:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Go re-read what I wrote (0+ / 0-)

        that's what I said - I didn't say what you're implying.

        It sad that it seems a discussion cannot be had regarding these matters and I must be a complete homophobe for not jumping on the student teachers side - maybe that's your underlying message?

        The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

        by ctexrep on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 06:24:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I read what you and others as well (5+ / 0-)

          are writing.

          As long as the school system would not tolerate that from a heterosexual - I've got no problem with their decision.

          The point being that kids don't even have to ask about heterosexual teacher's lives, they already know by the presence of wedding rings or talk of children, spouses and such.  Kids know which teachers are within the 'norm'.

          I don't think I got anywhere near calling you a 'homophone', but I did try to point out that heterosexist privilege exists and the folks here supporting the actions of the school district don't get that.

          If it's served to us and it's unpalatable but we smack our lips like it is the best thing we ever ate, how will the chef know to change the dish?

          by emsprater on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 06:39:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I understand that (0+ / 0-)

            there are double standards - my point, and it was not a complete first comment was that as long as the school was applying the same standard to all student teachers, then I don't have a problem with it.

            I don't think the school system discriminates against homosexual teachers since it states that they have hired homosexual teachers.

            For a teacher I don't think this is an offense that would warrant dismissal, but when you are talking about a student teacher - then it may.

            IMHO, when in doubt, keep it private and keep it professional.

            The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

            by ctexrep on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 06:52:46 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You still miss a large point: (5+ / 0-)

              the kids already know which teachers are straight.  Really, they do.  They also know which kids are not straight, even if they don't know what that means.  Back in 1960 at 6 my classmates knew which kids were not 'the norm', and they also knew which teachers were 'the norm'.  It's no different today, and even more likely that a 9 year old would be so aware.

              What you are asking, what is being demanded of LGBT teachers in this case is their complete silence and effort to 'hide'.  That's not good for society at all.

              If it's served to us and it's unpalatable but we smack our lips like it is the best thing we ever ate, how will the chef know to change the dish?

              by emsprater on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 07:04:51 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  It's a question about family (8+ / 0-)

      from a curious kid. I remember, as a kid in elementary school, asking (or hearing classmates ask) my teachers about their spouses and kids. What's the big deal? Kids are curious, kids are learning about families, kids want to know what the families of the adults in their lives are like.

      My parents were both elementary teachers in the same school. The kids knew they were married, that Mr. and Mrs. Beauchapeau were husband and wife. Was this knowledge inappropriate?

      Now, if the kid had asked the teacher what he preferred in the bedroom, or what kinds of guys he liked, that would have crossed a line.

    •  How is showing respect to a student... (7+ / 0-)

      ...who has asked a question a bad thing?

      Unless the child was being a smart-ass, deliberately goading a teacher he suspected was gay, how in heaven's name was the teacher supposed to respond? Seems to me that, "Shut your pie hole", or some variation makes the situation worse.

      Being respectful and answering directly, as this teacher did, shows considerable civility in what had to have been an uncomfortable moment for him.

      Kids get dissed and dismissed all the time by adults.

      Kudos to this man for taking the child's question seriously and giving a smart, honest answer.

    •  but of course they would tolerate it (4+ / 0-)

      from a heterosexual.

      If looks could kill it would have been us instead of him.

      by jhannon on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 08:04:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  For every stride (9+ / 0-)

    it still seems like we live in 1990 sometimes. It is always convenient to hide behind children.

    Please check out my blog Rantings From Florida. Someone has to do it.

    by Southernlib on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 06:05:50 AM PDT

  •  Our daughter, who is a 4th grader and 9 years old (18+ / 0-)

    has two gay men for godparents - the godfathers as Uncle Chuck and Rich are known. She's known that these two men - who cannot get married - are gay since...I don't know exactly when she understood it, to be honest.

    Funny that she doesn't seem to have been harmed by such knowledge. Neither have her two younger brothers.

    •  Exactly. Children can piece it together for (7+ / 0-)

      themselves, dependent on their ages/intellect.  I knew gay men and lesbians from a very young age and got the gist of what that meant.  The conversation the teacher had was likely as far as the conversation would have gone with a 4th grader.

      Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. Your hands can't hit what your eyes can't see.

      by conlakappa on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 06:12:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I can't post it because the family took it down (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      irishwitch, katynka, conlakappa, teemel, T100R

      but there was a great video earlier this year showing a young boy figuring out what it means for a man to be married to another man. Here's the transcript:

      Text onscreen: Thanksgiving.

      [Calen, a little boy, is standing in a bathroom next to a sink, looking up into the camera.]

      Calen: A husband's a boy.

      Adult male voice from behind camera: Right.

      Calen: A wife is a girl and a husband's a boy. Then you two are husbands! [He hold up two fingers on both hands.] Wifes are girls; husbands are boys.

      Voice from behind camera: Right.

      Second adult male voice, from next to camera: That's right. So, if you're a boy—

      Calen: You'll be a husband.

      Second Voice: Right.

      First Voice: Yeah, we're both husbands.

      Calen: [puts his head in his hand] You're both husbands?

      Second Voice: Is that confusing—

      Calen: You married each other?! That's funny! [slaps hand to head]

      Second Voice: That's funny, right?

      Calen: Yeah. [looks thoughtful] I usually see husbands and wives, but this is the VERY FIRST TIME I saw husbands and husbands! [grins excitedly]

      [The two men laugh; Second Voice peers around and grins into camera.]

      Calen: So funny. [edit] So that means you LOVE EACH OTHER!

      First Voice: Yeah.

      Calen: Yeah. Yeah, they're much alike. You're much alike. Hey, I'm going to play ping-pong now.

      First Voice: Okay.

      [Camera follows Calen out into the hallway; he turns back and looks at the two men.]

      Calen: You can play if you want to.

      Text onscreen: You're much alike.

      Interested in identifying and eating wild plants? Check out my foraging diaries.

      by wide eyed lib on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 06:50:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I guess things such as this (3+ / 0-)

    just aren't discussed in - Beaverton?

  •  What a revolting double standard (14+ / 0-)

    which is sadly unsurprising. I hope the student teacher changes his mind and decides to pursue legal action.

    "Yet no one could doubt President Bush's support for our troops, or his love of country and commitment to our security." -Obama

    by heart of a quince on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 06:07:38 AM PDT

  •  I'm so sick to death of that word "inappropriate" (18+ / 0-)

    It's always "appropriated" as a fill in buzz word for hatred, disapproval, and generally being severely uptight about a whole lot of things.

  •  Not a firing offense: (9+ / 0-)

    While it's a lapse of judgment to forthrightly answer any student's question about a personal life, how does someone get fired, unless it's about someone being gay?

    Some feel more comfortable with the certainty that comes from losing power and letting republicans stab them in the front. It's a failure of nerve.

    by Inland on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 06:09:27 AM PDT

    •  What should he have done? He answered (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sable, angry marmot

      in as generic a fashion possible.  

      Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. Your hands can't hit what your eyes can't see.

      by conlakappa on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 06:13:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Huh? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        happymisanthropy

        How about "Hey, who wants cookies?" Or, "Don't you have homework to do?"

        I'm only partially joking.  Deflecting a question from a child is as easy as it is common.

        Some feel more comfortable with the certainty that comes from losing power and letting republicans stab them in the front. It's a failure of nerve.

        by Inland on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 06:19:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I'm sympathetic to Inland's view here, to the (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Alice in Florida, Clytemnestra

        extent that I don't think teachers ought to provide more than the bare minimum of personal information to students. It is, after all, a professional relationship between teacher and student. When I was teaching (granted, in higher-ed rather than elementary school) I simply discouraged any kind of conversation intended to elicit information about my private life. But then I'm kinda' old-fashioned in that regard, avoiding FaceBook et cetera like the plague :~)

        Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

        by angry marmot on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 06:21:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  except you get a situation where students (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          irishwitch, katynka, T100R, angry marmot

          think their teachers live in the closet of their classroom and don't have a life at all.

          I loved it when my teachers would bring in pics of their travels, etc.  And as a sub I had an "interest box" that I would bring an item or two from as an end of the day reward for getting all the assigned work done.

          Often those items were things from my childhood/family, or my travels etc.

          Bumper sticker seen on I-95; "Stop Socialism" my response: "Don't like socialism? GET OFF the Interstate highway!"

          by Clytemnestra on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 06:25:25 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Teachers as people (5+ / 0-)

            Exactly.  I was just running a focus group yesterday with some students who talked about how powerful it is (and how much it increases their engagement in a class) when a teacher shares little bits of themselves and their interests.  Not deep dark personal secrets, but things like things they are interested in, their pets, etc.  It helps them connect to teachers and to the subject.

        •  That sounds positively (9+ / 0-)

          awful.  The best teachers I had were the ones I knew to be full human beings, not lifeless automatons who existed only to stuff knowledge into kids' minds.

          I finally put in a signature!

          by Boris Godunov on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 06:29:22 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Pretty sure I didn't suggest that a teacher (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            PsychoSavannah, Inland

            ought to be a "lifeless automaton." I just believe that an excessive level of revealed personal information is not conducive to the teacher-student relationship.

            Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

            by angry marmot on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 06:34:54 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I don't see how marital status (9+ / 0-)

              is "excessive" personal information.  My favorite high school history teacher would often illustrate points by telling little parables about being at home with his wife or going out with her and so on.  What's inappropriate about that?

              I finally put in a signature!

              by Boris Godunov on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 06:38:35 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Except that all these wonderful (0+ / 0-)

                stories about teachers sharing their personal lives seem to be about married teachers. It's one thing for a teacher to have a picture of their spouse on their desk (and yes, we should have gay marriage and gays should be able to have that picture on their desk, too), but it is not appropriate to ask single teachers why they aren't married. It's also inappropriate to ask why someone is childless...and these are questions that are inappropriate for anyone to ask..not just children.

                "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

                by Alice in Florida on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 07:45:00 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  If we're talking about 4th graders (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  irishwitch, T100R

                  then it's a bit silly to be talking about such questions being "inappropriate."  Kids are curious, they will ask questions.  Stifling that tendency doesn't seem a good idea to me.  I still don't get what this guy said that is actually objectionable.

                  I finally put in a signature!

                  by Boris Godunov on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 08:58:21 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  It wasn't about marital STATUS. (0+ / 0-)

                It was about "why".  I didn't get married until a little later in life, and believe me, being asked "why not?" is personal.  

                Some feel more comfortable with the certainty that comes from losing power and letting republicans stab them in the front. It's a failure of nerve.

                by Inland on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 09:18:40 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  how about explaining to the student (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Alice in Florida

        that it is impolite to inquire into people's personal affairs?  

        Would you, as an adult, ask someone you only enjoyed a professional or official relationship with why they were not married? Of course not, and the reason why you would not ask someone that is because along the road someone took the time to explain to you why it is not polite to do so.

        And that is the lesson this teacher should have imparted to the 9 year old child.

      •  Do you desire protection under the law? (4+ / 0-)

        Or are you willing to accept that when you don't exhibit consistent exemplary behavior you are not worthy of protection?

  •  It was more inappropriate for the student to (7+ / 0-)

    He was leading a writing lesson when a fourth-grader asked him if he was married. Stambaugh said no. The student then asked why. Stambaugh replied that it would be illegal for him to get married because he would be choosing to marry another man. The student then asked if Stambaugh hanged out with guys and he said yes.

    Stambaugh was told that his comments were inappropriate, and Lewis and Clark was told that Stambaugh would not be allowed to return.

    even ask why. We are in the 21st century and we still need to have a reason why we are not married?

    Vote 11.2.10 the penalty for refusing to participate in politics you end up being governed by your inferiors. Plato

    by coffejoe on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 06:13:18 AM PDT

  •  Meanwhile ENDA still not passed by Dem Congress (6+ / 0-)

    Sorry, but I really can't do this anymore- the whole "outrage" at those evil right wingers, while ignoring that the so-called liberals are doing nothing to change the dynamics of these forces in our society.

  •  So ... would they have fired him (7+ / 0-)

    if his answer had been "because I haven't found the right woman yet?"  And when asked does he like to hang out with women he answered "yes?"

    If the answer to that is no, then this is a clear case of discrimination.

    Tropical weather info and discussion at Storm2k.org

    by jrooth on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 06:16:04 AM PDT

    •  They didn't fire him (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PsychoSavannah

      He wasn't an employee - he was a student teacher. He's still a student and I suspect he will be placed in another school.  

      I disagree with what the school district did - but what they did was not firing someone.  

      •  With all due respect (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        irishwitch

        you don't know the intimate details of the terms of his employment. You can bring a case of discrimination in the workplace absent outright dismissal you know.

        •  But it's a different matter for an (0+ / 0-)

          intern or other person who has not actually been hired...unless it's a matter of the intern or student teacher being harassed by a supervisor or something like that, they don't have the same protections as an actual employee.

          "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

          by Alice in Florida on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 07:51:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Do you know what a student teacher is? (0+ / 0-)

          It's a student taking a course at a college, a key element of which is spending time in a classroom performing the role as teacher. It's not a paid thing - it's part of his education.

          He is still a student.  He's still taking that course that involves him spending time in a classroom.  He will just need to find another school that can host him.

          I'm not saying what the district did was right.  But it is incorrect to say he was fired.  That would be similar to me being sent home from undergraduate geology field camp because I did something the people running the camp felt was unacceptable. It would be incorrect to characterize that as being fired, just as it is incorrect to characterize this as being fired.

  •  dan savage says (11+ / 0-)

    in reference to cases of kids not allowed to go with same sex partners to Proms, that people should all contact the administrators to show our disapproval. I think this is a similar case. I hope that the gay employees protest too. I plan to e-mail right now.

    the district superintendent's Name is Jerome Colonna: e-mail jerome_colonna@beaverton.k12.or.us District phone is 503-591-8000

    The school phone is (503) 672-3560 . I'm e-mailing now, and sending a copy of this to Dan Savage to see if he wants to follow up. You have to pick your fights, but this is just the kind of marginalization that leads eventually to gay kids feeling alone and inferior when they're teens and straight kids entitled to bully them.

  •  A Place Called Beaverton (6+ / 0-)

    Should really calm down.

  •  TMI-The problem is the teacher (4+ / 0-)

    politicized a passing conversation with a 9-year-old. And if a straight male teacher had said something like, 'it's illegal for me to marry the three women I love.' They'd bust his damn chops too!

    Yes, the child asked a personal question, but the teacher was not required to answer it. The teacher in this case needed only to smile (or frown) and take the conversation back to the subject at hand -- the classroom work.

  •  So what you don't think 9 year olds know what's (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis, irishwitch, emsprater

    going on?  They do and it's your job to present it in the best and most healthy light.

    Damn it's not like when I was 9 ... by the time my kids were nine they already knew about AIDS and how it was transmitted (and how it wasn't), what lesbians are, etc.

    Bumper sticker seen on I-95; "Stop Socialism" my response: "Don't like socialism? GET OFF the Interstate highway!"

    by Clytemnestra on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 06:21:32 AM PDT

  •  student teachers have few protections (8+ / 0-)

    Student teachers are at the mercy of the school district's whims. Hopefully, L & C found him another placement so he could continue his education for becoming credentialed. Leaving him at that intolerant placement would be unfair and possibly ruin his chances for future employment.

    In reality, all teachers are subject to this kind of arbitrary firing if they do not have tenure. If nothing else, this dismissal is an example of a school district taking full advantage of that. Jim DeMint wants teachers fired if they live an alternative lifestyle- tenure or not.
    Tenure protects a teacher's rights to free speech and due process before dismissal.That is one reason teachers are against Arne Duncan's RttTop- it eliminates all tenure protections for teachers in tax supported charters and in public schools who fail to improve student test scores.

    •  Yep. This is the Right's dream for all teachers. (8+ / 0-)

      Remove any job protections they may have had, and then make them afraid to do or say anything that might "offend" some bigoted "Christian's" sensibilities for fear of being immediately canned.

      And many commenters here are standing with these bigots in their anti-union rhetoric. It's shameful.

      What have you done for DC statehood today? Call your Rep and Senators and demand action.

      by mistersite on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 06:25:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  "Job protection?" For a student teacher? (0+ / 0-)
        •  This is the right-wing agenda... (4+ / 0-)

          ...for all teachers, from student teachers to 40-year veterans. To the extent that they think public education should exist at all, the Right thinks that districts should be able to fire any teacher on a whim for any reason.

          They want schoolteachers to have the same kind of job security as the fry-cook at your local McDonald's - because they see schoolteachers as essentially as competent and capable as said fry-cook. Remember, big right-wing money is behind "Teach" for America, the program that thinks that any idiot with a college degree and a six-week crash course is qualified to teach public school.

          And yet supposed "progressives" here join the Right in their attacks on unions. They join the Right in defending programs like "Teach" for America that bring in scabs to devalue the profession of teaching. It's utterly disgraceful.

          What have you done for DC statehood today? Call your Rep and Senators and demand action.

          by mistersite on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 06:36:50 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Based on DC's rankings when it comes to educating (0+ / 0-)

            perhaps fry cooks would do a better job.

            The real problem is that private economic power - primarily money - is not distributed equally among all citizens. Douglas J. Amy--Govt is Good

            by catchnrelease on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 07:43:05 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Even if we concede that point (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      irishwitch

      anti-discrimination laws exist for a reason, at the federal level if state laws are insufficient. Student teachers may not enjoy protections, but if a school principal were to greet a gay student teacher every morning by screaming HEY FAGGOT down the school halls, you'd have the makings of a legal case, especially if the local school board took no action.

    •  Do private sector employees have same free speech (0+ / 0-)

      rights or due process guarantees?  If not, why thew extra protection for teachers?

      The real problem is that private economic power - primarily money - is not distributed equally among all citizens. Douglas J. Amy--Govt is Good

      by catchnrelease on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 08:15:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Talking the talk... (16+ / 0-)

    Someone needs to explain to this district that saying you don't discriminate doesn't mean you don't discriminate.  You need to go the extra mile and actually not discriminate to not discriminate.

  •  Too bad about no lawsuit. Somebody needs fired, (4+ / 0-)

    and not the teacher.  Whoever made the decision to fire him over something about which the district 'doesn't discriminate'.

    If you feel insulted by anything I've said, find out if it was intentional. I'll let you know if you ask.

    by Ezekial 23 20 on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 06:25:40 AM PDT

    •  He wasn't fired. He wasn't an employee. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Anna Luc, PsychoSavannah, Jojos Mojo

      He is a student teacher.

        •  No it doesnt (0+ / 0-)

          He's not a union member, he is essentially a "volunteer" -

          If he were in a wheelchair - yeah, the ADA would apply.

          But he essentially discussed politics.

          "Where does your dad work"

          "He was laid off because they busted the union and shipped his job to china.  They need to pass card check now"

          The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. --George Orwell

          by jgkojak on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 07:38:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  and there you have it folks ... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        decca, irishwitch, happymisanthropy

        it's ok to display bigotry and discrimination as long as it falls under no contractual obligation not to.

        At least to some kossacks.

        sigh.

        If it's served to us and it's unpalatable but we smack our lips like it is the best thing we ever ate, how will the chef know to change the dish?

        by emsprater on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 08:20:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sigh (0+ / 0-)

          Please show me where I said it was "ok to display bigotry and discrimination as long as it falls under no contractual obligation not to."

          You won't be able to, because I didn't.  You have knowingly written a lie.

          I merely was correcting the incorrect statement that this guy was fired.  He wasn't fired because he wasn't an employee.  He was a student teacher who was taking a class that required him to spend some time in a classroom performing teacher-like duties as part of his education. The school asked his university to reassign him to another location.

          Now crawl back to wherever it is lies like yours are welcome. They certainly aren't welcome around here.

          •  Sigh indeed .... (0+ / 0-)

            because no where did you refute the discrimination, yet you jumped to declare there was no basis for saying he was 'fired', because of the ideology that I paraphrased in my comment.

            Posing the concepts being presented by a person in language they didn't exactly use isn't a lie, it's just making it plainer for the folks who didn't get it the first time.

            If it's served to us and it's unpalatable but we smack our lips like it is the best thing we ever ate, how will the chef know to change the dish?

            by emsprater on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 10:34:33 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You might want to check either your eyes (0+ / 0-)

              Or your monitor.

              Or your reading ability.

              Lets see, nearly four hours before you write yet another lie, claiming that

              "no where did you refute the discrimination"

              I wrote this:

               They didn't fire him (1+ / 0-)

              Recommended by:
                 PsychoSavannah

              He wasn't an employee - he was a student teacher. He's still a student and I suspect he will be placed in another school.  

              I disagree with what the school district did - but what they did was not firing someone.  

              by Ernest T Bass on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 06:38:07 AM PDT

              [ Parent | Reply to This ]

              Hey look!  I even underlined for you where I wrote that which you said I didn't do!

              Can you see that?  

              •  Disagreeing with .. (0+ / 0-)

                what they did does not equate to refuting the discrimination, unless you specifically state that as your disagreement.  You were very specific in spelling out the difference between a student teacher and an employee and why the claim that he was 'fired' could not be applied, yet you were silent on your reason for the 'disagreement' with what the school district did.  I would surmise that someone so inclined to split hairs in the manner you did woudl be more inclined to be more specific if they did refute discrimination.

                Your defense of the process and the verbiage coupled with your silence on the actual discrimination involved implies what you didn't want to say out loud.

                If it's served to us and it's unpalatable but we smack our lips like it is the best thing we ever ate, how will the chef know to change the dish?

                by emsprater on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 11:44:12 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Congratualations (0+ / 1-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Hidden by:
                  irishwitch

                  You have officially stepped off the cliff into full moronhood.

                  I have no obligation to state my opinions in the precise, intricate manner in which seem to prefer.

                  First, you write that I wrote something that I didn't write.

                  Then, you claim I didn't write what I clearly wrote.

                  And now you're quibbling about the level of detail in my statement about disagreeing that someone should have been removed from their student teaching post.

                  You are beneath further conversation.  

                  Go play your games with someone else.

                  •  Look ... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    irishwitch

                    you can get base and continue personal attacks all you choose.  You are quire adept at words.

                    My reading of your comments is as I have stated because of what you stated, how you stated it and also what you clearly did not state.

                    I have refrained from questioning your intellect or your honesty, you in return have left no stone unthrown.

                    Good day.

                    If it's served to us and it's unpalatable but we smack our lips like it is the best thing we ever ate, how will the chef know to change the dish?

                    by emsprater on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 12:06:33 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  HRed for the "full moronhood"comment. (0+ / 0-)

                    The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

                    by irishwitch on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 08:35:00 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for the correction. (0+ / 0-)

        I took 'dismissed' to mean 'fired', as I didn't realize student teachers were performing unpaid work during their 'student teaching'.  I figured it was like the 'teaching assistants' we use in college, with stipends, rather than like the 'preceptorships' of nursing students.

        If you feel insulted by anything I've said, find out if it was intentional. I'll let you know if you ask.

        by Ezekial 23 20 on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 03:26:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  leading a horse to water. (5+ / 0-)

    You all know the the old saying, you just can't make them drink. These folks just don't get it.
    It's like Palladino making one abusive remark after another, then looking right in the camera and whining about everyone so unfairly accusing him of being a bigot.

  •  No lawsuit planned??? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, foldingBicycle, rja

    Um...time to get a new lawyer?

    •  ACLU lives for this sort of thing nt (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mrblifil, rja

      We Destroyed this Village in order to save it from the Viet Cong er um Taliban

      by JML9999 on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 06:30:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  If there isn't a recognized (0+ / 0-)

      cause of action for discrimination against gays, then a lawsuit would be a waste of time. It all depends on what the state law is...federal law on equal protection for gays is still evolving, and even if such a suit were to succeed, it's hard to assess monetary compensation for someone who may have been in an unpaid position...lawsuits cost money, after all, and lawyers have to pick their battles.

      Ideally there should be clear legislation prohibiting discrimination against gays...but then, this whole incident wouldn't have happened if it were legal for gays to get married.

      "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

      by Alice in Florida on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 08:06:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  If you want to work as a teacher (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      irishwitch

      suing a school district is a good way to ensure it won't happen.

      The question is not whether the chickens needed replacing, the question is whether the fox should have been guarding them in the first place.

      by happymisanthropy on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 12:08:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Whole "Waiting for Superman" thing.. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis, happymisanthropy

    If this is the kind of thing School districts worry about then ........

    We Destroyed this Village in order to save it from the Viet Cong er um Taliban

    by JML9999 on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 06:28:46 AM PDT

  •  just what children need: (10+ / 0-)

    to be lied to by authority figures.  "...for their own protection...", no less.  Great training for real life.

    don't always believe what you think...

    by claude on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 06:29:36 AM PDT

  •  This was diaried days ago ... (11+ / 0-)

    shortly after it was out in the news.

    I was appalled at how many on dKos lept to the defense of discrimination and bigotry and the school district's actions 'for the sake of the children'.

    Who knew we had so many people here that were so uncomfortable with the concept of homosexuality that they actually would condone such discrimination?

    If it's served to us and it's unpalatable but we smack our lips like it is the best thing we ever ate, how will the chef know to change the dish?

    by emsprater on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 06:30:09 AM PDT

    •  bad judgment is bad judgment (0+ / 0-)

      regardless of who does it.

      Adults do not ask other adults with whim they have only passing, professional acquaintance, WHY they are single and the child should have been taught that such questions are impolite.  Beyond that, and there is no need to go beyond that, he could have simply said "There's someone for everyone & I haven't found the right person."

  •  They Lie, it's not about protecting children (7+ / 0-)

    Homophobic manipulators use a tactic called "Shaming" to make gays feel unworthy.

    In reality homophobic people are just revealing to us their own self-doubts, fear, self-pity, rage, and lost of control.

    Be happy you don't live in denial like homophobic people.

  •  Assuming that it's not a common name and it's (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis, irishwitch, jayden

    the same guy, I like this from one of his online pages:

    What's tolerated in one generation will be intergrated in the next generation.

    Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. Your hands can't hit what your eyes can't see.

    by conlakappa on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 06:31:07 AM PDT

  •  As a resident of Beaverton (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis, Jojos Mojo

    I'd like to say that this incident is not representative of the culture here.  We're a pretty liberal place.

    I finally put in a signature!

    by Boris Godunov on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 06:31:08 AM PDT

  •  This student-teacher did not owe the kid (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Anna Luc, BobTinKY, Dichro Gal

    an elaborate explanation--or any explanation--of why he wasn't married. A 4th grade writing class hardly seems the venue for a discussion of sexual orientation and its legal ramifications. Anybody with an ounce of sense would have let that question go by. Maybe that lack of sense is the reason the district fired the guy, not his orientation.

    •  Inequality (8+ / 0-)

      Even in my Catholic grade school back in the dark ages, I knew which of my lay teachers were married, what their husbands names were, if they had kids, etc.  No one considered those discussions of sexual orientation to be inappropriate.

      •  You thought you knew, anyway. You don't (0+ / 0-)

        know what some of them might NOT have been saying. Were there discussions of divorce filings and custody battles, or other legal issues? Did anyone complain about the state's alimony laws? That's the analogy here.

        Besides, I bet Stambaugh wasn't even being truthful. Do we even know if he has a boyfriend? The truth is probably either that he feels he isn't ready for marriage, or hasn't met the right person, not that the state won't let him. He wanted to make a political point to a 9 year-old, instead of just answering a personal question honestly, or letting it go by.

        •  Actually, we don't know (0+ / 0-)

          If the guy didn't have a live-in boyfriend, why would he have been suspected of being gay? (other comments note that the kid's parents had complained about the student teacher being gay). It's entirely possible/likely that the teacher might have a partner whom he might have married...

          That said, it is of course always rude to ask someone why they're single...and that's what the kid should have been told.

          "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

          by Alice in Florida on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 08:18:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  But did you know WHY the single lay teachers were (0+ / 0-)

        single?

        Whether they, for example, might be playboys who preferred to play the field, had intense fear of intimacy, liked to lie on the couch eating donuts & drinking coke all night???  Maybe suffered some childhood trauma that left them unable to maintain a relationship?  Lost their one true love to a rival suitor?

        Would you think it approriate if a teacher of whatever orientation provide details such as the examples I have provided to a 9 year old child?

        •  Comparisons (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          chase, decca, irishwitch

          I'm not sure why all the  equivalent situations offered up on this thread are to things like being a playboy or being traumatized or being a slothful glutton.  I'm none of those.  I don't even like donuts.

          Children learn every day that marriage between a man and a woman is legal.  Is that not political?  Is that not providing too much information?

  •  The kid is 9 years old (5+ / 0-)
    I am all for repeal of DADT and gay marriage, but no teacher, regardless of orientation, should explain such personal matters to a 9 year old student.  

    Are you married?  Yes or no.  Why not? The correct answer and lesson to be imparted to the child is that it is not polite to ask people such personal questions.

    •  However.. (6+ / 0-)

      The school district did not follow standard procedure when it comes to such matters. This was a student teacher, here presumably to learn his profession. This infraction hardly seems to be so serious as to demand summary dismissal. From the diary:

      What also happens before such a move is a discussion between the district, college officials and the student teacher, and that never happened in the Stambaugh case, she said.

      If this gets you fired on the spot, I guess you must have to at least go through a review board if you use the wrong color chalk.
      The district panicked because this is the sort of thing that can bring the loonies down on their heads.
      It was the same sort of knee jerk fear response that got Shirley Sherrod fired.

      •  A student teacher is studying, learning how to be (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PsychoSavannah, Dichro Gal

        a teacher.  It is part of the college teaching curriculum.  I am sure this student's will be reviewed & graded by college officials.  It always is whether the student teacher is successful or not.

        As Anna says above, the decision as to when and whether to discuss such matters with a 9 yo should be the parents'.  This was not a high school setting.

        •  You really feel (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Laurence Lewis, irishwitch, emsprater

          That this offense was so serious that it deserved summary firing?
          I really have to question that. This is taking sensitivity way too far. You are implying that the children should be shielded from any mention whatever of the teachers personal life and that even the smallest infraction is a firing offense.
          I am not a teacher but I have plenty of them in my family and know a few and I know for certain that such trivial details of their lives as whether they are married or not are common knowledge to their kids at all levels. What you suggest is that this one trivial mention by the teacher has been so devastating to the parents right to teach their child non-academic things that this student teacher needed to be fired immediately without the usual discussions and procedures. Does your school have a written policy that any mention of marital status is grounds for instant dismissal? Do you really believe this would have happened if the teacher was straight?

    •  I don't know which 9 year olds you know... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Laurence Lewis, irishwitch, emsprater

      ...but the one's I work with in my PT job wouldn't take "it is not polite to ask such personal questions" for longer than 30 seconds.

      "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." -- Frederick Douglass

      by Egalitare on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 06:44:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  you have anti-homosexual rules (7+ / 0-)

      According to your rules, it is okay to disclose being heterosexual (in most states only heterosexuals can marry) but not okay to disclose being gay (need to talk about illegality of marriage). I absolutely disagree with you.

      •  discussions about sexuality, orientation (0+ / 0-)

        etc are not discussions to be engaged in with 9 yo children who are not your children.  So we do absolutely disagree.

        Correct answer, "It's personal and not a very polite question to ask people."

        •  So, no discussions about husbands and wives (7+ / 0-)

          by (heterosexual) wives and husbands, then? If a kid is at a friend's house, he cannot see that his friend's mommy and daddy are married, because he would then be exposed to the sexuality of people who are not his parents?

          You are taking this down an absurd path.

          •  Yeah I would have a problem (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            catchnrelease

            if my 9 year old kid had a friend whose parents felt it their obligation to explain their heterosexuality, or even what sexuality is, to my 9 yo.  They would get a phone call from me.

            The 9 yo will see and be exposed to all kinds of real life situations, many involving adult issues that I, as the parent, will be happy to discuss when I feel it is appropriate.

            And you are changing the context of the situation to improve your argument.

            Context:

            public school
            student teacher
            inappropriate/impolite question by 9 yo
            bad judgment by student teacher in response

          •  You know, a lot of heterosexuals are not (0+ / 0-)

            married. There seems to be an assumption here that all heterosexuals are married...or that all heterosexual teachers are married....

            "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

            by Alice in Florida on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 08:29:00 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  If a kid asks a heterosexual (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              irishwitch, katynka, foldingBicycle

              "Are you married?" and then "Why not?" ...

              I'll agree that the best response is something akin to, "It doesn't matter," or something similarly evasive.

              But say that the straight recipient of this question answers, "Because I haven't found the right girl yet," is this a problem? Should the teacher be fired? Is an entirely honest answer to an appropriate question a fireable offense?

      •  It is not OK to as an unmarried heterosexual (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PsychoSavannah

        why they are not married....it would seem that treating people equally should mean it is not appropriate to ask homosexuals, either. If it were legal for homosexuals to marry, the question would be obviously inappropriate.

        "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

        by Alice in Florida on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 08:25:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Too young? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      decca, irishwitch

      Seth Walsh began getting bullied and called faggot in the 4th grade.  A few years of cruel bullying later he killed himself.

      I wonder if any of the 4th graders in the room at Beaverton school are gay or being bullied for being considered gay, or are bullying others.  And I wonder why it's considered a bad thing for them to learn that a responsible adult in their life is gay.

  •  This is not much different from... (5+ / 0-)

    ...DADT.

    Was Stambough supposed to concoct a story about "not meeting the right girl yet?"

    Or say "My personal life is none of your business?"

    "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." -- Frederick Douglass

    by Egalitare on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 06:34:26 AM PDT

  •  As a parent (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Anna Luc

    I wasn't sure I was ready to explain EXACTLY how babies were made to my nine year old, although my children certainly knew the basics.

    As a parent, I was certainly not ready to explain to my nine year olds how two guys did or did not make babies or how they were or were not able to marry, especially because gay marriage is not permitted in our religion.

    So, as a parent, I didn't care one minute that my children were being taught be teachers who were gay, or who had same-sex partners, and had classmates who had two moms, this was true in our local schools.

    But, as a parent, I would prefer to choose the time and place of that conversation so that I can be prepared to speak about these circumstances in a way that fits into our family's world view.  

    The young teacher should have known better than to bring up his personal circumstances in a classroom.  Unless, that is, he was looking for the opportunity to make a point, and get all the news coverage that loves a "scandal."

    Pity.  Because now it's all about the teacher, and not the children and their classroom.

    I know, I know. We are all progressive here.  And I'm sure that most of you sit down with your young children and explain all about sex, marriage, babies, and homosexuality to them in a perfectly calm and rational way, answering all the questions that they have frankly.  Certainly those with same sex partners have to do so.

    But all of us are not as adept.  It would be nice to be given a little courtesy to approach these issue when we feel it's best.

    OMG! I wrote a book! It will be published on August 23, and will be everywhere in Chicagoland.

    by Im nonpartisan on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 06:37:44 AM PDT

  •  By the time my youngest was 9 years old (9+ / 0-)
    She had, over the course of her life ... taken naps with my partner, confided to him in private girl business, asked him to pick which dress (red or purple), and asked him to please attend her graduation.

    I guess I should be in prison.

    Republicans want to "take America Back." Democrats want to take America forward.

    by Detroit Mark on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 06:37:50 AM PDT

  •  Sometimes teachers forget... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mrblifil, Egalitare

    They're paid to lie to children.

  •  I dont believe in lying to children (8+ / 0-)

    about reality, this child was old enough to ask the question and imo old enough to receive an honest answer. Because some find that answer to be unpalatable is irrelevant to me.

    After they drove the car into the ditch, made it as difficult as possible for us to pull it back, now they want to keys back. No! You can't drive!

    by tygerwilde on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 06:38:25 AM PDT

  •  That's a deprivation of the right to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis

    make a living.  Since deprivation of rights should only be used to punish criminal behavior, this punitive response is itself criminal.  
    And no, the person deprived should not have to sue.  Our agents of government are tasked with responding to crime, even when the agents themselves perpetrate criminal acts.

    The conservative mind relies mainly on what is plain to see.

    by hannah on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 06:38:34 AM PDT

  •  I logged in just to say this. (19+ / 0-)

    As a fourth grade teacher my administration encourages us to tell "a little" about ourselves to students.  They are nine, and they enjoy knowing that Ms. Teemel has three cats.  They see my wedding band and assume that I am married (I am in spirit but not legally because I'm gay).  When pressed, I mention my "husband."  Essentially I am forced to lie.  Those who say to respond "That is my private life" either don't teach fourth graders or have cold classroom environments.  

    The question was actually quite normal and his response was clinical and appropriate.  The uproar is discriminatory.  Period.  Straight teachers talk ALL THE TIME about their husbands/wives.  The husbands/wives visit the classrooms, go on field trips and there are pictures displayed of husbands/wives.  Anything less than the same is discriminatory.

    •  thank you! (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      irishwitch, katynka, emsprater, teemel, T100R

      sheesh.

      9 year olds are little busy bodies. lol. Its all part of their development and pre-adolescent psych stuff, fer cryin out loud.

      EXACTLY!:

      Straight teachers talk ALL THE TIME about their husbands/wives.  The husbands/wives visit the classrooms, go on field trips and there are pictures displayed of husbands/wives.

      this is so annoying to me ... that some people liberals! don't get this.

      "Thunder is good, thunder is impressive; but it is lightning that does all the work." ~Mark Twain

      by Lady Libertine on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 07:19:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Seventh graders are much worse. (0+ / 0-)

        In my first year as a school librarian, I had a bunch of 7th graders who were sent tot he library to do independent study--they had an assignment and it was up to them how they divided up the work; spending that period hanging out was okay with the teacher so long as the work got done.  I was 25, looked about 14 (I deduced this after a hall monitor tried to give me an offense slip for being in the hall without a pass from my teacher)and the kids would sometimes talk to me. They were especially concerned that at my advanced age (this was 1975), I wasn't wearing a ring, neither engagement nor wedding. One of them wanted to fix me up with her cousin and another thought if I went to Greece my red hair and curves would go over big...Pre-teens ask all sorts of questions they shouldn't.

        The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

        by irishwitch on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 08:27:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I discussed this with both (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DMiller, Laurence Lewis, T100R

    my kids at ages younger than 9.

    And why not?

    We all differ in ways that matter. But we're all the same in the ways that matter most.

    by plf515 on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 06:42:15 AM PDT

  •  Stambaugh too well-dressed for wingnut parent! (8+ / 0-)

    This kid was doomed by his Dockers!

    "Days before the fourth-grader asked Stambaugh if he was married, a parent of a student allegedly commented to school administrators on the student teacher's dress. In an environment where most teachers were wearing jeans and t-shirts, the parent appeared to be concerned with the collared shirts, ties, and pressed slacks that Stambaugh wore.

    According to Perriguay, after the marriage question was asked, the same parent who complained about Stambaugh's dress called and complained about his statement, citing a religious objection."

    http://www.mynorthwest.com/...

  •  The title "Mrs." (12+ / 0-)

    And this is why the same school district doesn't allow teachers to call themselves "Mrs." if they are married, right? Or to wear wedding rings. Also, of course, they never allow teachers to comment on if anything is legal or not.

    •  Absolutely agree (11+ / 0-)

      Can't believe half the comments here say gay teachers should shut up and stay closeted.  The teacher's answer was not inappropriate for fourth graders. Hell, we had a little party when my kindergarten teacher - Miss Marks - got engaged.  In 1956!  The wedding ring thing is very real to kids - and they are curious.  To pretend a teacher is an automaton without a life seems very strange coming from "progressives."  And as far as I know, teachers still teach when they're pregnant.  I think some Kossacks have some real soul searching to do if they are uncomfortable with gay teachers being out.  Otherwise, you're living in the past, and want all the gays to, too.  Well guess what, we're not OK with that.

      •  Reading these comments, (9+ / 0-)

        I am not surprised that the Obama administration has been so ridiculously cautious when it comes to gay rights. It appears to be the third rail of politics, even among "progressives" on a blog like DailyKos. The message I am getting from these "progressives" is that it is okay to be gay--just don't bother them with stupid little "personal" issues like who I live with and love. Keep that under wraps, because sensitive ears just can't handle it. And that is really depressing.

        •  I don;t see gay rights (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          T100R

          as encompassing the right to discuss their sexuality and politics with 9 year olds in a classroom situation.  I also don't see heterosexual rights encompassing the subject matter.  

          If by "them" who should not be bothered with such matters you refer to 9 yo children, then yes you have stated my view accurately.  Nine year old ears are sensitve and the brains attached to those ears are not generally mature enough to think critically about these matters. Yeah, there are exceptional 9 year olds mature beyond their years, that's why they're called exceptional.  

          For the record, I deplore Obama's cautiousness with DADT and gay marriage, just another Obama failure to deliver for progressives.  While I am happy to discuss these topics with my 14 yo I think I will wait a while before bringing it up with my 9 yo.

          •  What WILL you discuss with a nine-year-old? (15+ / 0-)

            Is the concept of marriage off-limits to a nine-year-old? The concept of love? The concept of two people spending their lives together?

            We're not talking about the mechanics of sex. We're talking about partnership.

            It is obvious to me, as I read these comments, that some "progressives" still cannot separate the mechanics of sex from the discussion of marriage. It's obvious that people are still squeamish about two men getting it on and that they are carrying this discomfort over into their concern about how it will impact children.

            You can easily discuss marriage and partnership without talking or thinking about the mechanics of sex. The two do not have to go hand-in-hand. Heterosexual marriages are discussed in elementary school, and that is fine. As I said a few times above, my parents both taught in the same elementary school. Kids knew that Mr. and Mrs. Beauchapeau were married, but they did not have to think about vaginal intercourse at the same time.

            •  BINGO (12+ / 0-)

              We're not talking about the mechanics of sex. We're talking about partnership.

              That's the root of it.  There's a group of people who in their version of reality, saying I'm gay is equivalent to giving a blow by blow description of intimate sexual details.

              Some people spend too much time thinking about other people's private activities.

              •  We're also talking about PRIVACY (0+ / 0-)

                Something children need to be taught along with other norms of social behavior. Personal lives ARE private, and snooping into them is rude rude rude at ANY age. The sooner kids learn this, the better.

                If it's
                Not your body
                Then it's
                Not your choice
                AND it's
                None of your damn business!

                by TheOtherMaven on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 09:51:41 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Privacy (4+ / 0-)

                  I'm a huge supporter of privacy rights.  But there's privacy and there's silencing.  

                  If I want to keep my marital status private, that is my right.  But if someone else tells me that I need to keep it private, that's shoving me into the closet.

                •  the child wasn't punished... (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  decca, irishwitch, foldingBicycle

                  The consequence for a 4th grader's "rude rude rude" behavior is to fire the teacher?

                  Let's flip it.  Suppose the child asked, and a male teacher responded, no I'm not married because I haven't found the right woman.

                  Firing offense or no?  Is the difference bringing up politics?

                  Suppose the response was I'm not married yet because my girlfriend is white, and the justice of the peace refused to marry a mixed race couple.

                  Firing offense?  This situation occurred not too long ago in Louisiana if you recall.

                  Suppose the response was I haven't married my girlfriend yet because our state requires a blood test, and I have an extreme phobia of needles.

                  None of these are firing offenses. "Privacy" is a shield to hide behind discrimination because society would not treat a heterosexual the same way.

          •  This is what I see (8+ / 0-)

            as the problem with this discussion:

            right to discuss their sexuality

            The student teacher talks about his lack of a right to get married, and people make the leap to his talking about his sexuality!  Once again, he talked about his sexuality.  All he said was that he wasn't allowed to get married to a man, but the greaty boogeyman of gay sex ran all the scared little straight folks off.

            The three richest men in the world have more money than the poorest 48 countries. Maude Barlow

            by DMiller on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 08:16:13 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Having a female teacher (8+ / 0-)

            speak of her engagement to her fiance is not discussing sexuality anymore than having a male teacher say he isn't married because he would choose another male for a mate.

            Claiming 'discussion of sexuality' is a canard.  these are conditions of humanity.  We are all human, well, evidently except the haters.

            If upon hearing that a heterosexual couple is engaged your thoughts jump to visions of their sexual escapades, I suggest help.

            If upon hearing that two members of the same sex are partnered, your thought jump to visions of their sexual escapades, you really have a problem.

            Kids are no different.  Hearing that two men are a couple doesn't immediately cause them to think of homosexual activity.

            If it's served to us and it's unpalatable but we smack our lips like it is the best thing we ever ate, how will the chef know to change the dish?

            by emsprater on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 08:38:28 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  couple things (7+ / 0-)
    1. the student teacher was set up by the parent.
    1. while I do believe personal lives should be kept seperate from the workplace, gay people don't really get the privlege of putting pics of ones family on their desks. So I see a double standard.
    1. the "omg the children, what about the children!" argument is so lame, and made by people who clearly haven't ridden a school bus with a bunch of 3rd and 4th graders. There's a raunchy bunch, I mean do we not remember our own school days? I remember mine. Whether they understand the jokes or not (and I think they do, cause we sure did and we didn't have nearly the open-tell-everyone-yer-business-and-send-pics-of-your-junk-to-everyone culture that we do today in the late 1980s) isn't relevant.
    1. Have we seen the offerings for kids on television? on "ABC Family"? Or the Cartoon Network? sheesh! They understand a lot more than we give them credit for because they see it on TV, and many parents don't exactly turn the idiot box off.

    It's like we're all part of some avant-garde role playing story called "The Election" by Franz Kafka.

    by terrypinder on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 06:58:55 AM PDT

    •  Set up or not the student teacher should have (0+ / 0-)

      used better judgment.  In fact, I would go so far as to say teachers in public or private schools should assume they are being set up or are on public display the whole time they are on the job.

      It's a tough job, I wouldn't want to do it, and they should get more pay.

  •  School still seems a bit hazy on the equality (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis, katynka, emsprater

    This kind of thing is going to be an ongoing problem.

  •  Three issues here (0+ / 0-)

    There are three issues here. One is poor judgement - as many have pointed out, teachers should not discuss their personal lives with students. But that is not an offence that warrants dismissal. The second issue is that the  student teacher crossed the line by  bringing up the point about it being illegal for him to get married. That smacks of advocacy and just because you happen to agree with the teacher's position doesn't make it right. If the question had been "do you have any siblings ?" and a pro-life teacher had answered "no,  because of Rowe v Wade my Mom was able to abort my only sibling" would there be the same outpouring of support for the teacher in a progressive forum ? Teachers need to leave their politics out of the classroom, regardless of where they sit in the political spectrum.  The third issue is "does the punishment fit the crime ?". Would the pro-life teacher meet the same fate. I don't have any empirical data to support a claim either way but given "gays=pedophiles and shouldn't be teachers" meme that is being constantly pushed by the right wing it's hard to believe that gay teachers would be given as much latitude as their heterosexual peers.

  •  I gotta side w/the school on this one (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BobTinKY
    I'd like it if he could get married - BUT--

    It was pretty naive to say that- if the kid were in High School I'd say people are over-reacting - but what he did is essentially discuss his personal life with an elementary school student - not cool.

    No diff than if he were a female, a student asked if she was married, and she said "I'm between boyfriends because my last one cheated on me"

    Just not a wise statement to make.

    The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. --George Orwell

    by jgkojak on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 07:34:21 AM PDT

  •  Poor judgment x2 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    karenc13

    Stambaugh could have answered this kids question differently and avoided this situation. His failure to do so was the first incident of poor judgment. The school districts response in dismissing him was the second and more egregious.

    What was needed here was an "economy of truth" in a manner of speaking. Stambaugh could have provided as little information as possible without lying. Parents dance this dance all the time when answering inquiries from their young children. I am sure teachers do as well.

    Isn't the entire point of student teaching to teach? Are all student teachers canned for their mistakes?

    s

    A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. Ralph Waldo Emerson

    by nomorerepukes on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 07:34:27 AM PDT

  •  Note he was not "fired" (0+ / 0-)

    Being dismissed from your student teaching assignment is not the same as being fired- he will be reassigned to another school.

    The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. --George Orwell

    by jgkojak on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 07:35:59 AM PDT

  •  Well (8+ / 0-)

    I understand the point that all incidences of sexuality and sexual orientation should be kept from our schools, and endorse it.  Thus, in pursuit of these goals, I propose the following regulations:

    a.) All teachers should remove wedding rings and engagement rings.
    b.) No teacher should wear clothing indicative of gender, but instead wear a simple silver uniform.
    c.) Teachers should not be called "Mrs./Mr./Miss/Ms." but instead by their last names.
    d.) First names, a regular indicator of sex, should be abolished from the classroom.
    e.) No texts with love stories should be taught, including Romeo & Juliet, The Great Gatsby, or the Odyssey
    f.) No texts that include references to parents or parenting should be taught.  

    anyone got others?

  •  Kids don't care unless the parents do. (5+ / 0-)

    my daughter goes to a school with many sets of gay parents and she has never asked me anything, like why does Ann have two dads. Never noticed it as far as I can tell.

    3rd grade now my daughter.

    kids are open and loving unless warped by parents

  •  Unbelievable, simply unbelievable (3+ / 0-)
  •  This crap about "better judgement" (6+ / 0-)

    seems stupid to me.

    It seems like he's only told to have used "better judgment" merely because he was gay, which seems to me makes the people saying it as bad as the people who fired the student teacher in the first place.

    I don't see how, in any way, this is a fireable offense.  It's not like he advocated for anything.  He was merely stating the facts - in response to questions from a student no less.

    If the school board thinks that teachers shouldn't discuss their private lives, including whether or not they are married, then it should be made clear that is the policy - for everyone.  However, I suspect that many straight teachers have talked about the subject when asked, and I doubt anything happened to them.  And if the district has or desires such a policy, then they should tell the student teacher that the topic is off limits, and leave it at that.

    If the school district doesn't care, then I don't see the problem.  A student asked him questions, none of which were obviously inappropriate, and the teacher answered the questions honestly.

    This clearly seems to be a situation of "don't ask, don't tell" in the school district - where they'll hire gay teachers and all, as long as they, you know, don't let anyone know that they're gay.  Because that's icky and all.

  •  BTW, entire sexual education starts too late too (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis, irishwitch, gardnerjf

    in this country. Not talking about anything with 9 and 10 year old kids, but with 11, 12 they are pregnant.

    Here a teacher is honest, teaches kids something about character and gets fired. Maybe another school takes him on. Must be a good teacher.

    •  Sex education should start earlier (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dichro Gal

      but asking nosy questions about someone's personal life is not the way to introduce the subject. Sex should be discussed in a universal way rather than with respect to particular individuals.

      "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

      by Alice in Florida on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 08:33:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  we teach by example (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        irishwitch

        honest answers to my questions given by teachers and mentors was very important in my life. I am not a fan of vague detached "universal" discussions of important problems. Associating a face with a problem I call effective teaching.

  •  MY son is a Sexton Mountain fourth grader (6+ / 0-)

    This incident has been in the news for the past week, but until this diary was posted I wasn't aware that OUR school was involved.

    Needless to say, I'm outraged by the school's conduct.  (And needless to say, I'm not the parent in question... the student teacher apparently assisted in multiple classrooms, including my son's, but I don't know which class the incident occurred on.  Will go work the local grapevine for more info.

    For those who are wondering, the school district in question is politically mixed--we're in Congressman Wu's district (OR-1).  The neighborhood (like much of Portland) is mostly white, with Asians and Latinos the dominant ethnic minorities; you can probably count the number of African-American students on four hands.  There are plenty of Bible-thumpers in the 'hood, but plenty of progressives as well.

    I'm actually shocked that BSD would pander to teahadists in this manner.  I grew up in a school district in a far more conservative community, whose administration enjoyed nothing more than tweaking the local right-wingers on the nose.

    •  Southridge parent here (3+ / 0-)

      The demographics are surreal here. It's progressive yet ...not. :) I went and got a Kitz sign as I'm surrounded by Dudley yards.  There's no purple here.  It's either Red or Blue.  Left or Right.

      I have 4 Baptist churches within 2 miles of me.  Two of them are mega churches. The mega one off of Murray & Weir would be a wonderful place for a Commons or a huge park.  

      Beaverton School District caved to the Tea Party and Rethugs once before just this year in regards to the teacher from Conestoga who blogged how to make funny counter-protest signs.  

      I think it's safe to say our teachers are on the frontlines.

      "When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace." ~Jimi Hendrix

      by Damnit Janet on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 09:18:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Doesn't have to be a whole lot of teahadists. (3+ / 0-)

      Beaverton School District caved to the Tea Party and Rethugs... I'm actually shocked that BSD would pander to teahadists in this manner.

      Often in cases like this, the culprit is ONE parent, or a small group of parents. This parent is unfailingly litigious; and even if it's only one of them, even if the lawsuit threat is boundless, the school board will cave because they can't risk the financial ruin. Nor, also, do they want to risk incurring the brunt of the likely talent such a parent has for Rove-style smear campaigns-- about school board members', principals' and teachers' reputations... which in this job market could severely hamper their chances of finding jobs elsewhere.

      In short, the parent(s) who pull this stuff and make school boards feel they HAVE to make these unilateral decisions, are bullies.

      And we wonder why the kids have a bully problem...
      They're only learning from their parents' examples.

      Real Democrats don't abandon the middle class. --John Kerry

      by Lucy Montrose on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 09:56:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  *groundless not "boundless"... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        irishwitch

        Come to think of it, I believe there's a direct relationship between the severity of a school's bullying problem, and how much power "concerned" and litigious parents have to get their way from principals and administrators.

        Parental control of the functioning of schools is not always a good thing. As in politics, the person makes all the difference.

        Real Democrats don't abandon the middle class. --John Kerry

        by Lucy Montrose on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 10:08:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Way back when..... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis, irishwitch, katynka, T100R

    Way back when I was in elementary school I had a teacher who dared breach that "marriage" issue with the kids in class.  A rather big deal was made of it.  She explained that she was getting married, and that her name was changing from Miss Smith to Mrs. Jones.

    She disappeared for a week or so, and reappeared as Mrs. Jones.  And she continued teaching us for the rest of the year, and we were all happy for her.

    Glad I did not grow up in Portland - we would have had a new teacher (*unless it's only gays who cannot speak of marriage).

    •  Way back (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Laurence Lewis, irishwitch

      Even worse, in kindergarten, I had a teacher who had a big belly at the beginning of the year, took a few weeks off, and came back with no belly and some baby pictures.  She must have had sex!!!!!  Horror!  I was scarred for life.

      Of course, back when my mom was a teacher, she had to quit when she started to show in her first pregnancy.  Is that what we want to go back to?

  •  Obviously a case of a "bad teacher" (4+ / 0-)

    Clearly troublemakers like this man ought not to be allowed near our schools, and if any are in them already, they should all be fired.

    (Yes, that's snark.)

    Procrastination: Hard work often pays off after time, but laziness always pays off now.

    by Linnaeus on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 09:08:00 AM PDT

  •  Complete BS - Pure Discrimination (4+ / 0-)

    I live in this school district.

    The student teacher was discriminated against because some parents were concerned about him from the very start.  He dressed "oddly".  His facial hair was brought up once. The student teacher was targeted as "not one of us".

    This is the same district that harrassed a teacher for writing on a blog how to write funny signs to counter-protest the teabaggers.  As if no other teacher checks their personal emails or blogs while at work on down time.

    If he had answered, "No, I haven't found the right woman" or "I've been divorced three times" - there wouldn't be an uproar from the right wing paranoia crowd.

    This area is fairly progressive but out in the suburbs, you have the right fighting mad cause they're scared shitless.  

    Kids ask questions, I think it's high time we start answering them with approriate HONESTY.  He said nothing wrong.  He only let it known that he was unable to marry a man because of the law. He was talking about marital issues not sexual issues.

    My kids know the marital status of most their teachers, because they talk to them and love to get to know them.  More importantly they know what sports teams they love. It humanizes both of them - teacher and student.  

    I don't see this school going after teachers who discuss their wedding plans to their husband.  

    I hope L&C keeps sending out their student teachers to the area.  Our children need excellent teachers.  

    "When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace." ~Jimi Hendrix

    by Damnit Janet on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 09:10:29 AM PDT

    •  "Not one of us"... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Damnit Janet, irishwitch

      A generation ago, gays and other minorities may have been explicitly discriminated against in the workplace... but a vague feeling in the group that someone did not "fit in" did NOT cause that person to lose a job.

      I blame declining workers' rights as a whole. Maybe this is how we should frame the union question from here on out? ... unions keep our co-workers' and supervisors' uncomfortable feelings about us personally, from depriving you of a living?

      Real Democrats don't abandon the middle class. --John Kerry

      by Lucy Montrose on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 09:46:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Excellent framing! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        irishwitch, Lucy Montrose

        workers' rights as well as civil rights.

        "When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace." ~Jimi Hendrix

        by Damnit Janet on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 09:52:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  One reason I'm thinking of moving abroad... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          irishwitch

          ... especially if the Repugs take over.

          Because I happen to be a person who doesn't follow the crowd myself. And I think I stand a much better chance of having a career-- and a healthy social life-- in a workers' environment where I can't have my livelihood threatened simply because of personality conflicts with co-workers and bosses. (And where people actually are brave enough to discern a simple annoying habit from a truly toxic and bullying pattern of behavior.)

          I think this plays a greater role in our society's meanness toward each other than we often appreciate; when we see every single person as someone who could take away our living, of course we're going to see them as enemies rather than friends.

          Real Democrats don't abandon the middle class. --John Kerry

          by Lucy Montrose on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 10:02:22 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  These folks assume that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Damnit Janet

      their kids don't know children with two Moms or two Dads.  After all, that couldn't possibly happen in their town. Or that kids don't have gay family members.

      The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

      by irishwitch on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 08:14:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Kids ask the damnedest quetions. (4+ / 0-)

    So, what should you do when you're a student teacher?

    Answer them honestly? Lie? Tell them the question is personal?

    And, does teh school board have a policy, and did it lay out its policy?

    Corporations are people; money is speech.
    1984 - George Orwell

    by Frank Palmer on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 09:36:04 AM PDT

    •  Indeed. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Laurence Lewis, irishwitch

      I have two children, now grown into wonderful, successful, socially and politically active adults.

      The two things we agreed on before the kids were born were:
       1. We would never lie to them.
       2. We would never talk down to them.

      And we fully expected their teachers to show them the same respect.

      Now, this doesn't mean that in discussing nature of love that you have to get into the ugly mechanics of sexuality, (though a lot of nervous straight adults certainly convolve the two when the subject of homosexuality comes up).

      Kids ask a lot of questions, many of them "inappropriate" by adult standards. This is one of the joys of dealing with kids: If you let them, they constantly make you look at the world from a fresh perspective.

      Over the years I've worked with a number of physicists, and the defining characteristic of every one is that they never lost this childish curiosity and pure joy at asking the next question.

      The worst thing you can do for you kids is to discourage the asking of questions.

  •  Wow! I thought this was a progressive site (5+ / 0-)

    Seems like half realize this is discrimination, workers' and civil rights issue.

    The other half think that gay teachers, gay workers should "keep their mouths shut" and be "appropriate".  "Appropriate" is one of those words that can easily detected as code for "this shit makes me uncomfortable".

    While heterosexual teachers can put up photos of their families, have their husbands visit the classroom to drop off their lunch and get a quick kiss on the cheek. The spouse can join along for field trips.  And bring that newborn baby in to the classroom after such a joyous occassion as a birth in the family. Boyfriend proposing to his girlfriend in front of her class.

    Double standard much?

    "When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace." ~Jimi Hendrix

    by Damnit Janet on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 10:00:26 AM PDT

    •  Exactly. (4+ / 0-)

      I know several teachers at SM (heh) who are, to use the vernacular, shacking up with partners, or otherwise doing things that Pat Robertson wouldn't approve of.  Nobody cares about these things though.

      Yet one teacher admit to being gay, and the fit hits the shan.

      One other question, though:  If, rather than a teaching assistant, this had been unionized teacher who admitted being gay to a student, would BSD have the same reaction?  Or is Stambaugh only being kicked to the curb because he lacks such protection?

      •  And (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Laurence Lewis, irishwitch

        some of their parent volunteers are straight up in yer face marching down the street freedoom rally gay.

        I should know, one of my co-workers boss is one of those parent volunteers. :)

        The Right Wing are grasping at straws and are trying to teach "not one of us" types a "lesson".

        I don't think these type of "lessons" belong in school.

        "When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace." ~Jimi Hendrix

        by Damnit Janet on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 10:25:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Teacher as a student (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis, irishwitch, Spekkio

    One of the things I haven't seen addressed in this thread is the school's responsibility toward the student teacher as a student.

    Let's say we agree that his response was not the best (we don't, but let's assume we do), shouldn't part of the responsibility of the school be to take this teachable moment to work with him on ways to respond to student questions?

    As many teachers here have pointed out, kids will ask lots of questions, and some will be inappropriate (even if this one wasn't).  And it's easy, especially when new, to be caught off-guard with questions.  I could see his supervising teacher talking with him about this and helping him prepare.  If I had been his supervising teacher, even if I totally supported what he said, I still might have taken the opportunity to discuss how to respond when students eventually ask him a question he does not want to answer.

    The reason why he's there in the first place is to learn.  The school did not hold up their end of the bargain in helping to teach him.

  •  here's what the ACLU says (0+ / 0-)

    http://www.aclu-wa.org/...

    A teacher appears to speak for the school district when he or she teaches, so the district administration has a strong interest in determining the content of the message its teachers will deliver. While courts sometimes protect the academic freedom of college and university professors to pursue novel teaching methods and curriculum, these principles do not apply with equal force to K-12 teachers. It does not violate a teacher's free speech rights when the district insists, for example, that she teach physics and not political science, or that she not lead students in prayer – even though both have the result of limiting what the teacher says in the classroom.

    Washington courts have upheld the authority of school districts to prescribe both course content and teaching methods. Courts in other jurisdictions have ruled that teachers have no free speech rights to include unapproved materials on reading lists.

    Although the boundaries are not precise, there are limits to a school district's ability to control teachers' controversial speech in the classroom. Courts have sometimes ruled that schools may not punish teachers for uttering particular words or concepts in class that are otherwise consistent with the school curriculum, where the school has no legitimate pedagogical purpose for the restriction, or where the restriction harms students' ability to receive important ideas that are relevant to the curriculum.

    A school district might choose not to include discussion about a controversial issue in its curriculum and direct teachers to avoid the topic unless it arises through student contributions to classroom discussion. Depending on the circumstances, a court might well approve such a rule. This assumes that the school is neutral in its implementation of the rule. If a school permits anti-war lesson plans but forbids pro-war lesson plans, such action would raise questions about viewpoint discrimination.

    •  he answered a question from the child (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      irishwitch

      unless it arises through student contributions to classroom discussion

      but beyond that, you're buying into the idea that gay marriage is merely controversial rather than bigotry.

      The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

      by Laurence Lewis on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 01:21:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The anti-gay people... (3+ / 0-)

    are claiming the school district was correct in firing the teacher.

    Injecting his personal identity issues into a classroom when it's not germane to the curriculum is reason enough for anyone to get the boot, especially on a hot-button issue.

    My response to that bigot (which he never responded to):

    Lemme guess, you had no idea Oregon banned sexual orientation discrimination in 2007, did you? So by YOUR "not germane to the curriculum" criteria, if a straight teacher says he's not married because he hasn't found the right woman yet, he must be FIRED as well. Otherwise, clear discrimination at work.

    But the bigger point is your "not germane to the curriculum" is pure bullshit to begin with. Again, show me where in their contracts it says that, or admit you're simply making shit up. As usual.

  •  My son asked a similar question.... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis, irishwitch, katynka

    when he was eight years old. My wife and I explained that sometimes men like to marry men and that women like to marry women. "Marry" being used in a general sense, not a legal one. Lo and behold, my son did not fall backward in a dead faint. In fact, he didn't really do anything much at all.

  •  I have been asked this question (0+ / 0-)

    and most kids are fine with a "not yet" or similar answer.

    Once, I had a 7th grade student who kept pestering me over and over with personal questions during class instruction and I finally decided to use a little humor. I stopped, smiled a big smile and asked,
    "Are you writing a book about me??"  The student opened his mouth, closed it again, then laughed, and the questions stopped.

    For those of you who demand that your children may ask any question of any adult, what about these questions..all asked of me over the years..

    "Do you have sex with your boyfriend?"

    "Do you take drugs?"

    "Why are you so fat?"

    These questions were not asked by some dewey-eyed innocent. These were questions asked by students with a tone of defiance that invited me to challenge their right to ask.  

    APA is right. The best thing is to reply that you don't answer personal questions.  If that bothers some of you, well, keeping my job is more important to me than whether or not your child "deserves" an answer.

    We all have photographic memories. Some people just don't have any film.

    by fireflynw on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 12:25:25 PM PDT

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