« Go back a post || Return to G-A-Y homepage || Haul tail to next post »


And we're the ones they accuse of stifling speech?!

by Jeremy Hooper

We've written a few times about Charla Bansley, a Maine-based Concerned Women For America personality who's front and center in the attempt to roll back marriage equality in the Pine Tree State. So that being the case, we thought we would highlight this comment that someone who claims to be one of Ms. Bansley's students recently left on our site:

I actually am a student of Ms. Charla Bansley. In our English class, of which she teaches, we were, school wide, given the project of writing a letter to the editor of our local newspaper, the Bangor Daily News, expressing our views on same sex marriage, whether we were for it or against it. I, myself, decided to write for it. Well, that turned out to not be such a good idea after all. I almost got expelled. I was specifically told, that I was allowed, as everyone else was given the choice, to write one way or the other and that would not effect my grade. I found out that was true, but what I wasn’t told was that if I was to write for Gay marriage, my letter would be given to our principal, my parents, and our “superintendent”. The outcome was that a meeting was called, (now this is a Christian school, mind you, and a very strict one at that, in some respects), to discuss my letter. My mother had signed off on letting me admit my letter, but had not remembered doing so, (I had been in a rush that morning and asked her while she was still in bed, bad idea.). So the meeting was held one night after our church service, and we sorted the matter out, I claimed to have been the “Devil’s Advocate,” which I most certainly was because I hate to follow a crowd, and I wrote for it (as everyone else had wrote against it. Given there are only 50 something kids in our high school.) Later on I was informed by my father that if that meeting had not gone well, I most probably would’ve been expelled. I was shocked, dumbfounded! I could not believe that my little one page letter, (which didn‘t get published after all, even though I got a B on it.), could’ve possibly have gotten me expelled. I do love my school, and Ms. Bansley is a wonderful teacher, don’t get me wrong about that, I just wished to express this somewhat publicly.


Now, we of course support the right of private Christian schools (in this case, Calvary Christian School) to set their own faith-based policy and teachings. But if true (and if it's a lie, it'd be a pretty random one), this only further highlights the myopic, one-sided choir-preaching that has so thoroughly muddied America's fight for civil marriage equality.

What these anti-equality folks don't seem to realize is that if they'd allow divergent viewpoints, they'd come across as far more credible. They could trust their instincts and let the chips fall where they may. But instead, they typically only allow dissent on LGBT issues to run the limited gamut that spans from "very homo-hostile" to "I'll leave 'Will & Grace' on for four minutes but not five." In doing so, they immediately invalidate (or at least severely weaken) their "culture war" opinions. Or at least they do so in the minds of anyone who views the world as a conversation rather than a monologue.

To this anonymous student, we say: Never stop advocating, be it for the "devil" or for a persecuted minority group. Once constrained adolescence turns into independent adulthood, you may find that most people actually prefer to hear multiple points of view!

space gay-comment gay-G-A-Y-post gay-email gay-writer-jeremy-hooper

Your thoughts

"I do love my school, and Ms. Bansley is a wonderful teacher, don’t get me wrong about that, I just wished to express this somewhat publicly."

This sounds exactly like what someone in denial would say. A good school would not promote this kind of a teacher, and a 'wonderful teacher' would not exercise this restraint over freedom of expression. To have been expelled from this intellectual cesspit would have been doing your education a favour.

Posted by: a | Jul 15, 2009 3:00:49 PM

Funny... The very one bitching about how hate crime laws will "muzzle" church teachings about homosexuality and limit the 1st Amendment are the one restricting, or at least challenging, it themselves.

Posted by: Jeff Chang | Jul 15, 2009 3:03:33 PM

And these are the people who rant about liberally biased college professors harassing conservative kids.

Posted by: Jake | Jul 15, 2009 3:08:29 PM

Wow, this makes the Catholic High School I went to look amazing. The majority of the students were a bunch of idiots and I heard gay slurs all over the place, but the teachers were always very good about stopping it if they could.

Back in grade 10 in religion class we were suppose to write about some issues and our points of view on it, and homosexuality wasn't on the list but my friend and I asked our teacher if we could write about it and she was fine with that. The marking was a little unfair, she gave us an 80% even though she put two comments on the whole paper and both were kind of... silly.

In one instance my friend wrote "I'm glad that gay people are portrayed on TV more often now," to which the teacher wrote, "yes but Tv doesn't always represent things that way they really are." And we're like.... okayyy.... what’s your point?
And in another instance we had written, "it is wrong to discriminate against people because of their sexuality," and she wrote, "yes but it's also wrong to discriminate based on race, age, gender, ect." Which is all well and good, and obviously we know that, but the paper WAS on homosexuality, not those other things. Still, the whole thing went over wonderfully compared to the story above.

Then in grade 12 we had to interview two married couples. I faked both of the interviews, of course. In one I pretended to interview my parents and in the other I pretended to interview a married lesbian couple. I can't remember the exact grade, but it was 90% or above and there was no fuss.

Can't believe I'd ever think that my high school would be a good example for any other high school, but in this case it was!

Posted by: Eva | Jul 15, 2009 7:04:14 PM

To the first poster: I don't think it's fair to assume that this student is in denial simply because she still likes her teacher and her school. We only heard this story, whereas she is there every day, amidst the staff and her fellow students, and perhaps she sees many wonderful attributes of her community that aren't mentioned here. She had the guts to tackle a topic in such a way that she knew would be in the minority (even if she didn't realize just how strongly her school would react), and for that she deserves to be applauded, not judged for her refusal to reject everything associated with that community.

Posted by: Rachel Snyder | Jul 15, 2009 8:15:08 PM

Saying that one should be applauded for taking the easy-to-swallow blue pill rather than taking the harsh, red pill is absurd. When a point in life comes when you have the option of either living in ignorance or struggling for the sake of the truth, who would ever claim that the former deserves to be applauded?

Posted by: a | Sep 23, 2009 12:16:14 AM

Unlike in the Matrix, in real life change comes slowly and step by step. Pretty much no one ever has those sudden taking-the-red-pill complete and utter change of hearts without at least a few slow realizations or small rebellions beforehand, and mostly the red pill change in mentality comes after many many of those things.

The writer, if he is telling the truth, is to be applauded for standing up and making one of those small rebellions, because hopefully our applause will let hir know that zie should continue doing them.

Posted by: Linds | Sep 23, 2009 1:06:01 PM

If Ms. Chanley was such a good teacher, this student would not be nearly as illiterate as the post would indicate. What atrocious grammar!

Posted by: PaGuy | Sep 23, 2009 4:08:17 PM

Pardon me, it is Ms. Banley.

Posted by: PaGuy | Sep 23, 2009 4:08:53 PM

Remember: The action taken was for the student's own good! Pure Christian love motivated Mrs. Bansley, a good Christian woman, to report this student's deviant topic for the writing exercise. As America's best Christians, we can't allow a wayward thought to lead a young mind to Satan's workshop. In the future, similar evil conduct should be handled by even more stringent measures to teach our good Christian students Christ’s way of Love. (This message paid for by America's Best Christians, Inc. Visit our website and check out the Good Christian Student Muzzle. Only $29.99 + shipping. Battery encouraged but not included. Go to www.muzzlesbyjesus.com).

Posted by: Coxygru | Sep 24, 2009 7:29:30 AM

If this student's story is true, then it demonstrates that the school did not engage in an educational assignment, instead they subjected the student body to an thinly veiled form of indoctrination. It would have been far more honest of the school to have all their students write letters opposing gay marriage. Apparently 'dishonesty in service of an agenda' is one of those so-called family values.

Posted by: PW | Sep 25, 2009 2:17:11 PM

comments powered by Disqus

G-A-Y Comments Policy

Related Posts with Thumbnails