Monday, May 14, 2007

Teacher investigated for Refusing to Accommodate Students Observing 'Day of Silence'

From " City teacher accused of tossing out ‘silent’ students" by Maria Garriga, posted 5/10/07 at New Haven Register

A Sound School teacher was placed on paid leave Wednesday as district officials investigate an allegation that she ordered students who supported a gay rights demonstration to leave her classroom, a claim she has denied through her union representative.

The teacher, Pamela Green, could not be reached for comment. She has taught in New Haven for more than 20 years, according to union officials.

"The principal, the union and Human Resources met with the teacher and as a result of that meeting have additional information to collect at the school level. The hearing will be continued with the teacher once that information has been obtained," said Catherine Sullivan-DeCarlo, spokeswoman for the New Haven schools.

"The paid administrative leave is a standard practice for most investigations," said Andrea Lobo Wadley, personnel director for the school system.

Sound School students had the option of participating in a Day of Silence sponsored by the school’s Gay and Straight Alliance by remaining silent all day and wearing purple ribbons, school officials said. Students said many students, teachers and a vice principal wore the ribbons as well.

Jodi Waibel, 17, of Branford, wore a purple ribbon Tuesday to show her support.

..."This was a school approved activity. The purpose is to sensitize the general population to the gay, lesbian and transgender members of our community," Pynn (the principal) said. "The teacher, as I understand, told them they had to speak. I told them I would deal with the teacher. This is not something we are going to accept."


This is exactly the problem. Gays and lesbians now have the freedom to live according to their own beliefs but will not afford others the same freedom. They believe teachers should be REQUIRED to accommodate to promotion of the GLBT issues in the classroom.

Although we don't know all the details, this teacher seemed to be going about 'business as usual.' It is certainly appropriate to read plays out loud as a classroom exercise. Students refusing to participate in a classroom exercise should be disciplined - just as they would on any other day. They should also be willing to accept that discipline as the price of making their activism.

Accommodating students observing the DOS is not something all teachers (and not just Christian teachers) can do in good conscience.

Wisdom would counsel that, for the sake of students, teachers, and preserving peace in our public schools, the official policy of ALL public schools should be no accommodation for those seeking to use the classroom as a platform for promote a political agenda - any agenda. It is bad policy...

Read the whole article.