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03/20/2007

Because apparently gays are to go unmentioned until college

by Jeremy Hooper

Amy Sorrell, a teacher and journalism adviser at Indiana's Woodlan Junior-Senior High School, has been suspended from her job. But why was she suspended, you ask? It must have been for something awful, right? Stolen money? Deliberately changing grades? Adolescent prostitution ring?

Well -- no. Sorrell has been placed on paid leave because back in January, she allowed a 15-year old student to write a column in the school's newspaper, wherein the teeenager asked her fellow students to be tolerant of gays.

The nerve of you, Ms. Sorell!

And making matters even more frightening, Sorrell could end up having her contract completely terminated because of her allowance of the pro-gay column. Yes, that's right -- she could be FIRED because she didn't stop a student from writing her pro-gay opinion in an opinion piece!

So a journalism adviser allowed freedom of speech/press (in a totally non-controversial, appropriate manner), and she may get the boot for it. Well, at least Woodlan High's students are getting a glimpse into the sort of hypocrisy that most of us don't learn about until much later in life. If any of you students are reading this right now, we STRONGLY encourage you to rage against this with ferocity! Just like the government works for its people, your administrators work for their students/parents/faculty. Neither are free to bully unjustly without a fight!

Teacher suspended over student article [Indy Star]
The "objectionable" column: Sophomore’s view of gays: Not a choice [FortWayne.com]

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Your thoughts

little anecdote, on the subject of keeping people in the dark until their university days...

I had a friend back in primary school, who turned up in my school again when I was in year 12 (she was year 11), and she stopped talking to me because she thought I was homophobic (she'd laugh if she found out I was gay, but unfortunately that's not likely to ever happen). She was telling me about how her partner had been sexually molested, and I made some sympathetic noises along the lines of "more guys suffer that kind of thing than let on, and it's great you've got one with the courage to speak up" (or words to that effect... this was some 6 years ago, now...), and I found out later that she'd started avoiding me because she thought I was so bigoted that I wouldn't accept the possibility of a friend of mine being a lesbian.

The reason behind my assumption? The fact that I really, truly didn't know anything about homosexuality at the time... I had wondered if I might be gay, and had asked my mother about it, not even sure what I was asking about, and had been told basically that I was too young and I'd know when I was older. So wasn't it natural to assume that if *I* was too young, then so would a friend of mine in the grade below?

I wish I'd known a bit more about being gay when I was younger. I might still have that friend. I might not have had to date a guy to try to prove to myself that I was "normal".

People trying to shield kids in schools don't really know the half of it... Censorship is a lot more harmful than knowledge.

Posted by: Anon | Mar 20, 2007 6:43:50 PM

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