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Gays in Schools Still Feel Isolated, Teachers Eye Ways to Help Staff, Youths
Atlanta Journal-Constitution ^ | July 3, 2004 | Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Posted on 07/03/2004 12:17:28 PM PDT by ejdrapes

Gays in Schools Still Feel Isolated, Teachers Eye Ways to Help Staff, Youths

Washington --- The sixth-grade boy with a crush on silver-haired Mona Mendoza came up to her after the physical education class at a Seattle middle school and told her, ''Miss Mendoza, I have a problem. I hear you are a lesbian.''

''Well, I am,'' she recalled telling him.

''But, Miss Mendoza, my dad told me that if you were a lesbian, you'd be fired.''

''If I lived in some places, that would be true. But not in Seattle, because it's in our contract,'' she replied. ''Yes, I am a teacher, and yes, I am a lesbian.''

That drew smiles from the teachers at a workshop here on how to improve the education and safety of lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual staff, students and their supporters, especially those who are also racial or ethnic minorities, or poor.

Then Mendoza sobered her listeners: ''They actually pulled him from my class, and then his dad finally transferred him to another school.''

The workshop was one of three on sexual orientation and gender identity sponsored by the 2.7 million-member National Education Association (NEA), the country's largest union for teachers and other school staff, in connection with its annual meeting, which will end Wednesday.

The legal protections in public schools for those who are not exclusively heterosexual in practice or appearance are stronger than ever.

But the teachers said everyday life in many public schools hasn't been changed much by the partial protection offered by federal bans on sex discrimination in employment and education, or by court rulings in cases under the ''equal protection'' clause of the U.S. Constitution.

Only eight states have school safety laws that forbid discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, according to a study released this week by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network. Bias laws in few states

The states are Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin and three others --- California, Minnesota and New Jersey --- that also offer protections based on gender identity or expression.

''At the other extreme, seven states still have prohibitions on the positive portrayal of homosexuality in the schools,'' said J. Carlos Velazquez, director of programs for Llego: the National Latina/o Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Organization. The states are Alabama, Arizona, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and Utah.

One teacher said that during a school dispute over a gay-themed book at her school, ''I was afraid that if I stood up for the librarian, people might think I was a lesbian.''

Another teacher asked: "Is coming out really all that important?''

''Yes, it is very important to the kids who have two moms or two dads,'' Mendoza assured him. ''And it's good for our own mental health. How would you feel if you couldn't bring your wife to a faculty party, or put a photo of your kids on your desk?'' Snubs, losses recalled

An older gay teacher reviewed his lifelong history of snubs, beatings, school rumors, missed promotion opportunities and loss of friends to AIDS. He said the workshops' lack of emphasis upon the problems of white men stimulated ''anger inside my heart.''

The workshops sound like ''a great idea,'' said 18-year-old Bryant Courtney of Flowery Branch, Ga., who graduated from high school in May and plans to enter Georgia State University in the fall.

''A lot of educators just aren't well-educated on these issues,'' Courtney said. ''It's too late for me, but I'm glad to see it's happening.''

His mother, Jeanette Courtney-Cross, said he mentioned his orientation to her four years ago, and he confirmed that he was gay after he was outed by a teacher in whom he had confided. The teacher was reprimanded and left at the end of the year for other reasons, she said.

''Teenagers are going to make fun of each other, but the n-word has passed out of common use when others refer to African-Americans,'' Courtney said.

Yet some teachers who would crack down on racist or sexist insults remained silent, he said, when ''I was called a faggot in the middle of class, or someone would refer to a faggot or say 'That's so gay' in my presence.''


TOPICS: Extended News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: brainwashing; celebratepervesity; comeforyourchildren; culturewar; dnctalkingpoints; downourthroats; glsen; homosexualagenda; indoctrination; inourfaces; mediabias; pc; politicallycorrect; publicschools; reeducationcenter; taxdollarsatwork; youpayforthis
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1 posted on 07/03/2004 12:17:29 PM PDT by ejdrapes
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To: ejdrapes

Lesbians teaching PE? Never happened before...


2 posted on 07/03/2004 12:20:12 PM PDT by Last Dakotan
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To: Last Dakotan

"Gays in Schools Still Feel Isolated"

And non-gays don't?


3 posted on 07/03/2004 12:21:44 PM PDT by DennisR
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To: ejdrapes
Disgusting. Society has an overriding interest and duty to keep sexual deviants away from kids.
4 posted on 07/03/2004 12:22:35 PM PDT by The Old Hoosier (Right makes might.)
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To: DennisR
What kid doesn't - at one time or another - feel isolated in junior high & high school. I know I did.
5 posted on 07/03/2004 12:28:42 PM PDT by ejdrapes
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To: The Old Hoosier

When I was growing up, I had a grade school teacher that was probably homosexual. However, he and his significant other went on about their business, and didn't bother anyone. No one cared, and his sexuality was never discussed. Nor did it ever become and agenda to be pursued. Kind of like heterosexuality was not ever a topic of discussion. I might add, I grew up in a pretty conservative seacoast fishing town in the sixties.


6 posted on 07/03/2004 12:31:18 PM PDT by stylin_geek (Koffi: 0, G.W. Bush: (I lost count))
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To: ejdrapes
We are one messed up society. Sixth grade kids shouldn't be asking teachers this and teachers should be telling sixth grade lids this.
7 posted on 07/03/2004 12:32:04 PM PDT by tallhappy (Juntos Podemos!)
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To: ejdrapes

Didn't the NYC public school system open a special school just for fairies?


8 posted on 07/03/2004 12:33:28 PM PDT by O.C. - Old Cracker (When the cracker gets old, you wind up with Old Cracker. - O.C.)
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To: stylin_geek

That's a great anecdote, but it's nothing more.


9 posted on 07/03/2004 12:36:18 PM PDT by The Old Hoosier (Right makes might.)
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To: ejdrapes

In related news pedofiles and other perverts also feel isolated.


10 posted on 07/03/2004 12:36:42 PM PDT by dc-zoo
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To: little jeremiah
Ping


What We Can Do To Help Defeat the "Gay" Agenda


Homosexual Agenda: Categorical Index of Links (Version 1.1)


Myth and Reality about Homosexuality--Sexual Orientation Section, Guide to Family Issues"

11 posted on 07/03/2004 12:37:27 PM PDT by EdReform (Support Free Republic - All donations are greatly appreciated. Thank you for your support!)
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To: ejdrapes

Yet another GLSEN/P-FLAG/NAMBLA public relations handout.


12 posted on 07/03/2004 12:39:13 PM PDT by JoJo Gunn (Intellectuals exist only if you believe they do. )
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To: ejdrapes

I cannot see how this will help them....EVERY Kid feels isolated in school at times...and every parent KNOWS IT! Sheesh. What a load. Actually, OVERload.


13 posted on 07/03/2004 12:39:14 PM PDT by goodnesswins (Never underestimate the desire of a socialist to TAKE AWAY YOUR HARD EARNED FUNDS to help "others")
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To: ejdrapes

Too bad no teachers or staff went out of their way to protect me from a marauding band of Puerto Rican "students" when I was in jr high in the early '80s.

If I'd been gay AND white, instead of just white, maybe I'd not have been terrorized.


14 posted on 07/03/2004 12:39:29 PM PDT by Gefreiter
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To: ejdrapes

The AJC is full of this very overt propaganda today. One cover story explains that the economy is in dire straits (job growth way below expectations, wages falling, etc.) and promises tales of the unemployed in Sunday's edition. Below that is a piece on how the evil and corrupt Republicans are trying to end the very promising career of the distinguished African-American lady--a mainstream moderate and a faithful Christian--who stands to be Chief Justice of our state Supreme Court. And they wonder why circulation is falling!


15 posted on 07/03/2004 12:44:38 PM PDT by madprof98
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To: The Old Hoosier
I suppose my point it, who cares who is sleeping with whom? Why even bring it up? I'm tired of this garbage being crammed down my throat, and don't want to hear it. This teacher's sexuality should not be an issue. The issue should be whether or not she can teach. If she starts pushing her sexuality (which is what appears to be going on) then she needs to be fired. I mean, what if a heterosexual male started talking about his orientation in front of a bunch of grade school kids? How long before he is branded a pedophile? The proper response to a question about sexual orientation is "none of your business" or "that is not a question asked by polite people."
16 posted on 07/03/2004 12:45:52 PM PDT by stylin_geek (Koffi: 0, G.W. Bush: (I lost count))
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To: stylin_geek
This teacher's sexuality should not be an issue.

That's why she should hide it and not try to make others accept deviant behavior. But that's not what homosexuality is about. It's not an analog to normal behavior--it's a flat-out perversion that requires constant explicit sexual references and activities that normal people don't engage in.

More troublesome, though, is the fact that people who are known to engage in shameful behavior like that should be kept away from kids. LIke you say, if they make it known, then out!

17 posted on 07/03/2004 12:51:27 PM PDT by The Old Hoosier (Right makes might.)
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To: ejdrapes

I would feel strange too being a freak against the natural order of things.


18 posted on 07/03/2004 12:52:43 PM PDT by HisKingdomWillAbolishSinDeath
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To: Last Dakotan

The gays have always been teaching, just staying in closet as singles, pretending not to want marriage. I knew my HS had a lesbian PE teacher, but no proof. WE just kept our distance from her, and that was in late 60's.


19 posted on 07/03/2004 12:54:50 PM PDT by Kackikat
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To: ejdrapes
The sixth-grade boy with a crush on silver-haired Mona Mendoza

The 12 year old in the throws of puberty has a crush on a lesbian (likely to be butch) who is old enough to have a head of silver hair (not just some specs)?

Does this pass the smell test?

20 posted on 07/03/2004 12:55:01 PM PDT by weegee (Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes them. ~~Ronald Reagan)
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