I usually avoid politics and social commentary outside the strict realm of Education on this blog. I’m a human with opinions, yes, but I choose to focus my efforts on a subject I feel I have some mastery in. That said, I’m writing an open letter about an issue I feel profoundly about- as an educator as well as a human. In case you’re unaware, there is an ill-conceived attempt to ban LGBT students form the prom at a High School in Indiana. A teacher has supported and spoken in favor of the effort. There’s an article here that’ll bring you up to speed. The following letter is to the superintendent of the district she teaches in. The letter (which I have sent via email) follows:
Dear Mark Baker,
I’m writing to you as a long-time educator. I am writing to you as a human being.
It is incumbent upon you to immediately dismiss Diana Medley from your staff. Her recent public statements have (and this is beyond doubt and debate) caused serious harm to an already at-risk population of students in your system. You are duty bound to provide first and foremost a safe environment for your students, and Mrs. Medley’s statements make it clear that she does not value as human beings a significant populations of your students. She has publicly stated that they “serve no purpose” and such a statement sends a clear message to her (and your) students: they have no worth.
The suicide, depression, and homelessness rates of this population are far above that of the general student population. This qualifies them as at-risk implicitly. To make such a statement about such a fragile population therefore puts them further at risk. Such actions by an educator are unacceptable.
Thank you for your time,