Student teacher, Seth Stambaugh, appears to be subject to a new policy of “don’t ask, don’t tell . . . and don’t answer” regarding his sexual orientation. Stambaugh truthfully answered the question of a student about his being gay and was promptly re-assigned due to objections from a parent. He is now suing for discrimination.
A fourth grader asked Stambaugh if he was married and he answered he was not. The student then pressed the question on why he was not married. He replied that it was not legal for him to marry another man. The student then asked if that meant that he would hang out with guys and he answered in the affirmative. A parent was told of the exchange and reportedly objected to the school. District administrators then told Lewis & Clark College to find Stambaugh, 23, another school. His attorney also says that the same parent previously complained about his appearance, which includes a pony tail.
Beaverton School District spokeswoman Maureen Wheeler insists that it was a proper decision due to “concerns were about the professional judgment and age appropriateness.”
For its part, Lewis & Clark stated the obvious problem of allowing heterosexual teachers to answer such questions but not homosexual teachers. Scott Fletcher, Dean of the Graduate School of Education and Counseling noted “[t]here is no doubt that the issue of GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender) teachers coming out in elementary and secondary schools is unjustly complicated by a heteronormative culture.”
While some teachers might have avoided the legality issue with a fourth grader, I do not see why the teacher is expected to conceal his sexual orientation as a general matter. Moreover, if the school believes that the exchange went too far, it would hardly seem the basis for this type of action.
Source: Oregon Live
Kudos: Bill S.