What my daughter learned in class today

One of Ivygirl’s electives is Concert Choir, and today, the teacher asked the kids to submit questions on any subject, and if appropriate, he would answer.

One of the questions was, “Are you married, and if so, when can we meet her?”

Answer: “Yes, I’m married, but you’ll never meet her because I have a husband.”

Pin drop.

“Come on, who didn’t know I was gay?” Only one girl raised her hand.

At home, my daughter said gay marriage was illegal in Florida. I had to fine tune it for her a bit, namely, that her teacher wasn’t going to get arrested, but that the provisions for gay couples to have their relationship recognized by the state don’t exist. We followed that up with a brief outline of what legal rights Ivylad and I have with respect to each other, and for gays, those rights are not automatically conferred, and life partners have to draw up legal contracts, in the event of death benefits and medical decisions, etc.

Her reaction?

“That’s not fair.”

No, it’s not, sweetie, but we’re getting there.

An excellent way of answering your daughter’s questions, Ivylass. And, kudos to her teacher for being honest. I hope it doesn’t bring a slew of other parents coming in to protest. Do you think hat will happen, and if so, will you be vocal in his defense?

In, any case, your thoughtful parenting is good reason we’re all getting there. Thanks.

Neat story! Thanks for sharing it.

How old are the kids?

I don’t think there will be any backlash. If he’s comfortable enough to share it with the students, (and his partner is also an employee at the school) then the administration knows, and I hope they will have his back in case some close-minded yippy-yappy fools decide to make a stink.

Then again, it’s a private school, so the parents are free to move their children elsewhere if they are :eek: offended. :rolleyes:

Ivyboy is 18 and off at college (there’s a thread about that around here somewhere) and Ivygirl is 15.

Way to go, ivylass, good parenting. Both in the openness of your conversation and the open mind you’ve helped produce.

You tell good jokes too.

Kudos to you, Ivylass. [applauds]

I wish there were a lot more parents like you, Ivylass, but I fear some ignoramus is going to raise hell at the school now.

Good for him, good for you.

I’ve seen situations where there’s been a knock-on effect which can come from teacher(s) being honest in this way without preaching - a number of students have subsequently felt able to come out, without having to tackle the full force of hundreds of fascinated peers themselves.

Cue applause!

And kudos to Ivygirl as well.

Years ago my youngest niece said “Who cares if gays get married? It’s no one’s business but theirs.”

More recently she said “I hate fags.”

Needless to say, I’m a bit disappointed. :frowning:

I’m sure there were gay teachers when I was in school, but I don’t think anyone of them would have dreamed about coming out to their students, much less faculty. How times have changed! :slight_smile:

tdn, I hope you expressed your disappointment to your niece. And GorillaMan, you make a good point…some gay kids may feel less conflicted and able to talk about things if they know they’re not alone.

Perhaps she was recently poked by a stick. Or a bible. Wielded by what is most appropriately refered to as a “henchman.”

Unfortunately, I didn’t. It was just prior to a big family trip and I didn’t want to create unnecessary tension. I wish I had. My niece pretty much worships me, and I could have made an impression on her.

I blame my brother-in-law. He’s really a great guy, and I love him to death, but he is far too influenced by conservative Southern culture. He once expressed that he would have voted for Kerry, but he feared God’s retribution over showing tolerance for Teh Gey.

It’s such a shame.

tdn, it’s not too late to tell your niece that you’re disappointed. It doesn’t have to create conflict, but she should have the opportunity to know that that’s not an OK statement. Does she know any openly gay people?

GT

Could be just a phase…the son of a friend went through a six-month phase like that when he was a teenager and then the language and the attitude that goes with it vanished without a trace.

OKay,** IvyGirl **is 15. She’s definitely old enough to speak to discuss with her parents, teachers, and others she looks up to for input on these issues. So I’m glad that this thread has gone as well.

Here’s where I fear I may turn into a bad guy.

When does open discussion about this become inappropriate? I support the teacher’s right to be with his same-sex partner, and even consider it a marriage. And I like the way you described it. Also it sounds like you’re raising a very smart girl. But at some age doesn’t this become a subject that isn’t the place for the teacher to bring up openly. Sure it was a question posed by the student, but a question he left himself open to.

You live in a red state (for now), so there are obviously going to be some parents that object to acceptance of this open behavior. I hope none would ever protest to the point of asking that the teacher be fired for “deviant” behavior. But openly speaking about it with students can easily be frowned upon.

What grades does this teacher teach? It’s a private school so I really don’t know if he’s also educating grades far below what your daughter is being taught.

For the record (not like this will help), but I had a homosexual music/choir teacher throughout elementary school, high school, and even church choir (the same guy throughout). Of course in 2nd grade I had no idea what homosexuality even was, but I can tell you I would have been terribly confused by the idea at the age, and I would have put my parents in a very odd place to question them about it. I benefited in having a comfortable experience of growing up with a homosexual-type of mentor in a part of my education to adapt to it.

This Q&A session seems very abrupt, and I would be worried about a less mature audience.

I have no idea. She’s in north Florida, so I doubt she knows many openly gay people, but then again she and her sister do a lot of theatre, so who knows?

Her sister once said to my dad “Grandpa, you look like a Jew!” She was pretty much slammed for it right away, even by her father. Good thing.

They’re really sweet girls, but I fear a bit insulated from the diverse world.

Why is it inappropriate? I’m all for professionalism in the classroom, but you don’t cease being a human being once you become a teacher. Parents and administrators seem to want teachers nowadays to be second parents and to know their kids lives inside and out. Isn’t it only fair that a teacher would share their own lives?

Besides, teachers’ sexuality is already one of those things high school students gossip about. They know who’s openly gay, who’s married, who’s divorced, who’s having affairs with other students, who’s in the doghouse–even when the teacher keeps their lives secret. It’s better for kids to get it from the horse’s mouth rather than feast on nasty rumors. Regardless, they’ll be talking about it.

Yeah, but without good reason. Homosexuality, whether or not one “agrees” with it, is a reality in our society. It’s not like keeping it secret will make it go away. And it’s not like high school students don’t know what it is already.