Well, then clearly I should be gay!

A nun in North Carolina is facing well deserved criticism from students and parents after holding an assembly on sexuality at Charlotte Catholic High School. In this assembly she told students that some of the reasons people “become gay” include having divorced parents, watching pornography or practicing masturbation.

Now let’s face it, if this were true, there would hardly be a straight person left on the planet.

Dear Sister Mary HateMonger: children are born gay, or straight, or transgender, or whoever they are, and they are wonderful and beautiful and okay, just as they are! (PS, Dear Catholic Church: please stop having celibate/ignorant folks explain sexuality, you are only embarrassing yourselves).

The bullying of children at the hands of those we trust to educate them must stop. The bullying of children by those who claim to be “Christian” should be prosecuted.

If you are an educator and you are unable to treat all the children in your care with equal love and respect, regardless of your own “religion,” GET A NEW JOB!!! If you are a parent, paying good money to send your child to a private school, only to be bullied – take them out, take them out right now!

Every single one of us have at least two stories about teachers who deeply affected us as children. One is positive, and one is negative. We all had that teacher who went the extra mile, who made us feel good about ourselves, who had confidence in our abilities when we didn’t. Those are the people who change children’s lives for the better.

Most of us also have a story about a teacher who was cruel, or insensitive, who traumatized us in a way we haven’t forgotten. For many of us that was a gym teacher, or a math teacher, or someone who taught a subject we may have struggled with, and forever lost interest in, because they couldn’t take the time to be patient and kind to us!

Schools also seem to spend a lot of time worrying about what students look like, instead of how they feel or what they are learning. How many stories have we heard about students threatened with expulsion over their hair. This is especially disturbing, and full of racial undertones, when the student is singled out for their natural hair being a “distraction.” An African American student with puffy hair is not making a statement against the rules of the school. It is just the way her hair grows! What about the little girl who was asked to leave a “Christian” school because she did not dress like all the other girls! A little common sense may be called for here! Children should not be shamed for natural physical features or for the way they choose to dress and express themselves, ever!

Nor should children be shamed or embarrassed because of the make up of their families as we saw this week in a story out of Glenburn, Maine about a young girl who was turned away from the father-daughter dance she tried to attend with her big sister! Families come in all forms. The father-daughter/mother-son dance is long outdated! How about a child-parent dance, or a “child and whatever other signifigant adult in their life loves them and wants to take them to the dance” event! Tradition can be a good thing. However, when your tradtition makes children feel bad about themselves or their families, it needs to be changed. Children should never be ostracized from an event because their family structure is different from the other children in their school! What is the matter with people? Really!

Children who are bullied in school by adults and other children are at risk. Children who are gay or transgendered are at even greater risk. These children often fail in school, drop out of school, face depression, are often at greater risk for drug abuse and in the worse situations these children kill themselves. Suicide is the third leading cause of death in young people. According to the Center for Disease Control 4,400 children per year take their own lives.

All children need to hear the message that they are wonderful exactly the way they were born! That whether they are male or female, gay, straight or transgendered, they are loved and supported. If they are big or small, have straight hair or crazy puffy hair, or freckles or big feet, they are beautiful, absolutely beautiful, exactly the way they are. If their family is made of up of one mommy, or one daddy, or two daddys or mommys, that is okay! If their family consists of a grandmother or an aunt who loves them and takes care of them, that is wonderful too! School should be a place of acceptance, where children can learn without fear of being ostracized or bullied because of who they are!

School is not a place for adults to share their political agendas, their misinformation, or their personal faith. Children go there to learn to read and write, not to be indoctrinated! The schools in our communities should be safe, happy places, for all children, and its up to all of us, to make sure they are!

 

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Karen Foley

About Karen Foley

Karen Foley, has successfully been writing her blog for the BDN since May 2011. By successful, she means a few people read it, and she has not been sued, stalked or fired since starting it.