The Illinois teacher, Dan DeLong, who was suspended for offering an alternative assignment which involved reading a scientific article about homosexuality has been reinstated.
DeLong returned to his classroom on Tuesday.
The local newspaper reports that on Monday, November 4th the school board held a, “6.5-hour disciplinary hearing over his use of controversial literature to discuss sex in the animal kingdom.”
And according to the report more than 200 people, supporters of DeLong, lined the sidewalks outside the meeting with signs of support and chanting, “Broadening minds is not a crime.” During the one hour open session of the meeting a high school junior presented the board with a petition of 204 students supporting the teacher. Students gave passionate speeches supporting DeLong’s teaching methods with this compelling quote pulled by the reporter:
“We wouldn’t have such a crowd if this wasn’t so, and this passion can be seen here tonight in the hearts of all the people who have come to support him,” she said. “Dan Rather once said, ‘The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes you to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick of truth.’ Mr. DeLong believes in us, and now it’s time to show that we believe in him, too.”
And finally, since every party has its pooper, I might as well share the dismal final paragraph of this article:
The board went back into executive session for another 90 minutes, and after coming out, DeLong read a statement noting that he and the district had resolved the issue. In his statement, DeLong admitted the material in question was inappropriate for sophomores. He apologized and said the district would issue him a “notice of remedial warning.”
The inappropriate material in question was as I noted earlier, this article from Seed Magazine. So DeLong got a remedial warning. It seems the board decided the best move was to allow this straight married white male teacher to recant his lesson on diversity with a public warning. I suppose things might have worked out differently for someone less reasonable.
Still in all, I’d give this one rainbow and a pretty unicorn. I mean, did you see the student response, as well as awareness that was spread over this little debacle for the district.
Not to mention the number of people across the virtual spectrum who have now seen and perhaps even read the article “The effeminate Sheep and Other Problems with Darwinian Sexual Selection: The Gay Animal Kingdom.” Shoot that realization just forced me to add little bunnies and birdies to the whole affair. Happy Saturday!