Monthly Archives: October 2010

Wish me luck…

UPDATE

I passed and it was a great experience. 

Tomorrow morning I will defend my dissertation, “The Sound of Silence: Educators managing and reproducing heteronormativity in a middle school setting.”

Wow am I nervous.

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Everyman becomes neanderthal man in two news cycles….

And not a moment too soon

Clint McCance, vice president of the Midland School District in Pleasant Plains, Ark., told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Thursday night that he will resign his seat and is sorry that he wrote on his Facebook page that gay kids should kill themselves.

The story of his facebook antics on October 20th (Spirit Day: In memory of LGBT suicide victims)  hit the gay blogs three days ago and hit  mainstream media yesterday morning.

This elected school official, McCance can now be remembered for a hateful internet posting in which he suggested he will wear purple the day all the gay kids finally commit suicide.  He followed that sentiment up later by announcing his pleasure in deaths of gay people due to AIDS, and as a closer stated that as a ‘father’ and a ‘Christian’ he would disown either of his two children and never see them again if they told him they were gay.

And while the education community of Arkansas denounced his tirade as offensive, they were each careful to note he spoke as a private citizen and thus was his actions were officially NMP (not my problem), and as you can then assume none of them initially called for his resignation.  Continue reading

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In the News

Bullying…. Hazing….. Incident….. Altercation

In case you wondered… these are some of the many decontextualize buzz words used in the MSM to indicate a story about sexual and gendered violence at school or at a school related event.

Yes each word is missing the ever important fact that the violence in the cases is sexual in nature and is justified in the acts of the aggressor by the gender and or gender performance of the victim. So no, the term ‘gay bashing’ doesn’t often turn up news stories around the nation. But do a few searches for team hazing and then read the details – who are the hazers – who are the kids getting hazed and exactly what is being done to their bodies….hmmm

Oct. 2o, 2010: 

Football Coach Kicked Off Team Amid Hazing Allegations

“We were just playing around. We all got excited after a football game and humped each other,” said the student. That he claims, led to players bullying and name-calling, saying, “You’re gay, lesbian,” said the student. 
Of course this ‘horseplay’ / mock rape took place under the coaches supervision.

Oct. 20, 2010: 

School Football Team Hazing Allegations Surface

“A JV football player’s dad informed the school about the incident in the locker room where several older boys forced the younger ones to endure their teammates’ genitals on their faces.”
The leadership in this story knew what a was going on but appears to have thought this sort of male domination and sexual humiliation was kinda normal and didn’t feel the need to discuss it with parents.  “The father who reported the hazing tells WJZ that he was also upset that the school didn’t tell parents until he raised the issue.”

I could find many more stories like these during every sports season, but you get the point.

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In the news: Gay bashing directed at youth “may be a civil rights violation”

UPDATE

Apparently if I dug a little deeper I would know that the Office of Civil Rights is just as luke warm about the ‘civil rights’ of LGBTQ youth as the Department of Education. Oh how quickly we do the flip from targeted bias against a specific identity group to ‘bullies’. It’s the Godwin’s Law of hate crimes.  The longer a discussion about a bias attack goes the higher the probability for sterilizing the conversation of any discussion of the cultural and personal presence of bias functioning as the motive for the attack.

“Bullies” without the very tangible and measurable social and political power of anti-gay structures, assumptions, and social status wouldn’t pose much of a threat to LGBTQ people. The bully ain’t the gun, he’s the monkey holding it.

ORIGINAL POST

Musings on today’s headlines

A Marshalltown High School student named Tim Counts has started a face book campaign and is planning an ‘event’ devoted to hating on the gays of Marshalltown.

According to the Facebook event, Tim Counts started the group event  “Gay Shame Week” which is apparently set to start next week. At least 35 people, including many Marshalltown students, have replied that they are “attending” the event.

(but he notes:) Continue reading

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If you wore purple for a day… perhaps this could be your next step

UPDATE

The report following Monday’s school board meeting was very positive.
Beaverton School Board passes nondiscrimination resolution
Here are a few highlights…

During an emotional school board meeting Monday night, parents and school board members talked about the need to change, and the board took the first official step by unanimously approving a resolution of nondiscrimination.
…..
A couple of board members choked up as they talked about their concerns and the need for change. Over the past month, they have received letters and e-mails with stories of bullying, harassment and discrimination involving sexual minorities in the district.

The district and the state already had non-discrimination policies in place to prevent just this sort of unfair treatment.  Just like every school in the state of Oregon is already required to have bullying and harassment policies in place which address specific forms of bias including gender identity and sexual orientation.

The gap between discrimination, bias, and harassment laws, policies and practice is filled with invisible people left on their own to fend off daily assaults and group attacks. I am quite sure the “letters and e-mails with stories of bullying, harassment and discrimination” were eye-opening to the school board.  I somehow suspect they were surprised and even scandalized by the kinds of things people do to someone who has been marked as a social target.   Good.  A policy or resolution is only worth the effort if it is applied and practices change.  Lets hope this decision empowers a cultural change in the community.

ORIGINAL POST

A second Make it Better post.

 News broke yesterday that the gay student teacher who was removed from his placement for identifying as gay is going to be reinstated in his classroom. The decision to reinstate Seth will be discussed at a Beaverton School Board meeting this coming Monday. This morning I am left wondering who from ‘the public’ will be present at that meeting.

In an earlier post I talked about Seth and the impact of his removal.  I noted the lack of positive role models for LGBTQ youth and the biased leadership of the teacher training programs at WOU and PSU.  I suspect neither of those programs would have advocated for Seth’s return to his classroom since both program heads see LGBTQ people as second class folks who should know when to keep their mouths shut.  Pretty much the same position the Beaverton district originally took. Continue reading

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Today’s news: Make it better!

In Washington state a young gay man’s suicide on October 19th has been reported. The report hints at the homophobic harassment he was likely facing at school.

Meanwhile in the other Washington our Fierce Advocate promised us that someday it will get better. But not because he plans to take any political action whatsoever.

And Dan Savage continues to be the most articulate and thoughtful hero of the day.  I heart you Dan.

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Life is precious

Corey Jackson

Oakland University Student Corey Jackson took his own life on Tuesday, October 19th, 2010.

Members of his family all say his social life and subsequent personal disposition were gravely impacted when he came out to his peers as gay.

“He said ‘I don’t know what’s wrong. Ever since I came out people are treating me different. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know where I belong,” Jones said.

Continue reading

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