Saturday, January 28, 2012

Brightest Crayon In The Shed

Welcome back! Reading a long rant about the idiocy of an elected official can get tiring, even for the person writing it! I had to go stretch my hands... don't ask how.  Now, where was I? Oh yes... ignorance.

Now that I have debunked your sources, lets look at the entire reason you were on Michelangelo Signorile's show: The Don't Say Gay Bill. I figure my best bet at tearing apart your arguments are to examine them one at a time.  Let's begin...

-It is a parents responsibility to decide when a child is ready to grasp such a complex issue as sexuality and what they want to tell the child about that complex subject. Not a teachers. 

Sexuality is NOT a dirty word. In school, as early as kindergarten, we learn the differences between the sexes, between girls and boys. Girls have a vagina and boys have a penis and some are bigger than others. For a child to learn that while some families have a mommy and a daddy, it is imperative for them to learn that some have two mommies or two daddies, or one mommy and no daddy, or two grandparents or an aunt and uncle or two uncles... the combinations of what constitutes a family are endless, and no two are the same. Sexuality is NOT a complex issue. Boys like girls and girls like boys, and sometimes boys like boys and girls like girls, and that's just the way it is.

As children grow in school, so too will their understanding of what this incredibly simple concept means, and it will reinforce a positive, supportive, and non-judgmental attitude towards ALL people, not just those who fall into an incredibly narrow view of what constitutes "normal".

We send our children to school to learn, and why would we want to limit what they can learn, at any stage? The only thing that can come from limiting education would be ignorance, and that leads me into your next point...

- All children develop mentally at different rates. I do not feel a teacher with an agenda (Be it pro
or con) is the appropriate person to decide "Now is the time" for an entire class of children just because they may think one way or another on an issue and want to espouse it. 

What you feel is irrelevant. What you believe is irrelevant. How expansive and encompassing our educational system, and how effectively it can educate the future of our country is the only thing that matters. Giving children of all ages the tools they need to become constructive, intelligent and beneficial members of society is the exact thing teachers do. The only "agenda" they promote is one of a well-rounded and solid education, something our schools are severely lacking, but I'll get to that later.  If not for a teacher to determine "now is the time" for a child to learn that all people are different but that we are all equal, then who? The parents? If that is your answer, then I am sure every parent in the state of Tennessee would be perfectly happy homeschooling their children and we can completely abolish our educational system. Because, obviously, every parent knows better... just ask these guys! 

-A teacher is not a trained child psychologist or psychiatrist and could do as much harm as good to a sexually confused child. 

And neither are you, considering you have a BS in Management, and NOT child psychology, education, or any related subject.  What a teacher IS is a trained professional who has studied specifically for their chosen path, much like lawyers and doctors, only with a fraction of the pay and twice the workload.  Remember, teachers are the ones who TAUGHT the men and women who run this country, and I'm pretty sure they turned OK, present company excluded.

-I doubt many on the other side would want a teacher who said "Homosexuality is evil, dirty and wrong" just because they felt that it was what is appropriate, that it is what they thought the children needed to and were ready to hear. This bill ensures neutrality from teachers.

To which "other side" are you referring? I assume (there we go again, Stacey... he he he) you are referring to Liberals, a group of which I am a proud member. Without any basis in scientific fact, the statement "Homosexuality is evil, dirty, and wrong" (I added the Oxford comma you seem to have missed) could only be based on personal or religious bias, neither of which belong in ANY classroom, not to mention any government-funded organization.  There is nothing inappropriate in teaching acceptance and understanding, teaching that our differences are what make us unique as human beings, but attempting to validate an argument by interjecting an imaginary situation does nothing to further your point. It simply pisses people off and makes you sound like a baseless moron who can do nothing but hide behind bigoted scare tactics.

-Physically threatening behavior is what is and needs to remain covered for all groups. Not the sexuality of the victim. We already have anti bullying legislation passed in Tennessee (In fact I co sponsored it 2 or 3 years ago when it passed) so all children are protected from bullying in our schools. 

The motivations behind bullying are equally as important as the act itself. Much like in a murder trial, the prosecution must provide a motive to aid in conviction. We are a society of "why does this happen and what can we do to keep it from happening again" and protecting the victim of a crime (yes, bullying is a crime, even when its just an 8-year old.) Physical and mental anguish often leads to students missing school, going on violent revenge rampages, or even suicide. Note the rash of suicides among gay children in the past few years, all of which could have been prevented by greater understanding of the underlying cause. i.e. bullying because of sexuality.

ALL children deserve to feel safe, and a child who is bullied for possibly being gay deserves the same help and attention as would a child bullied for their religious or ethnic affiliation.

-We do not need an un equal justice system that creates special separate classes of protected people that gets special protection under the law. 

Then I guess every piece of civil rights legislation in the past sixty years should go out the window, eh? Remember when women weren't equal? Or African Americans? Or the handicapped? You don't? That's because you were born after the dreaded "liberals" had fought tooth and nail to write laws and amendments that would guarantee equal rights to ALL people.  Adding sexual orientation to a bullying bill will not create a separate class of people, only guarantee a group that already exists that their rights aren't playing second fiddle to anyone else's.

-Nor do we need to silence the first amendment rights of religious free speech of those in our schools whose family may hold different beliefs (as long as those beliefs are not physically threatening).

AND it all comes back to religion. Whatever beliefs anyone holds, the point of inclusive education is to show that all people in this society are equal, regardless of personal religious beliefs. Just because its against someone's religion doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Learning acceptance, compassion, and respect for your fellow man are all tenants of most religions, so why would you want teachers to ignore an entire group of people ( some of whom are the very children they teach)? Ignorance is no longer an excuse.

-While there is a scientific and educational need to mention the basics of heterosexuality when teaching the basics of reproduction (XY chromosomes, etc.) there is no scientific need to mention homosexuality as homosexuals do not naturally reproduce. 

Reproduction in the homosexual community has absolutely nothing to do with the acknowledgment of its existence. It is a part of our society, whether people such as yourself like it or not, and it will continue to be. End point.

-We are falling behind the rest of the world in math, science, and English amongst other things. Tennessee ranks about 46th in most areas. Social engineering is just one less issue teachers should have to worry about teaching as part of their curricula.

That is a terrible statistic, and the blame can only fall on legislators such as yourself, who waste time introducing meaningless, hurtful, antiquated and bigoted bills into our system to further destroy the very fragile educational environment we barely support.  If you spent more time securing funding for classrooms, raising teacher's salaries, and providing our schools with the technology, tools and staff they need to promote the healthy, effective learning environment our children deserve, and less time trying to pass divisive and unnecessary legislation that will only create a backwards, Draconian school system that ignores current social studies and advancements, then I'm positive Tennessee's (as well as the rest of the U.S.'s) educational ranking would be much improved.

Perhaps it's too much to ask for you to support our teachers, instead of trying to silence them.  Instead of being one of the most controversial (and despised) people in the country, be the one who promotes tolerance and justice for all. Quit being such an asshat and do something to build up the state of Tennessee instead of tearing it apart.

And the NEXT time you try to argue a point, make sure you have your facts, figures and sources straight, because honestly, the depths of your ignorance seem to know no bounds. Your sources are outdated and irrelevant. And for the love of your God, pick up a damn book once in a while. Since you seem so focused on education, you might want to expand yours.

That is all.

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