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Thread: Tenn. Senate OKs ban on teaching of homosexuality

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    Re: Tenn. Senate OKs ban on teaching of homosexuality

    A bill passed Friday by the Tennessee Senate would forbid public school teachers and students in grades kindergarten through eight from discussing the fact that some people are gay.
    Good for them! No way should this be a conversation for kids that age. Schools are teaching kids how to think, not what to think.

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    Re: Tenn. Senate OKs ban on teaching of homosexuality

    When I was in school, in 5th grade, they separated the boys and the girls and then taught us how a girls body works and then switched us and taught us how the boys body works. I think I remember them showing us condoms but I could be mistaken. I dont recall being taught anything in middle or high school about sex but the law around then may have changed. I also could just be forgetful. I do remember one of my friends having sex in the 7th grade. I remember not knowing anything about how boys and girls were supposed to act. I had a girl in middle school ask me if you could get pregnant by doing oral sex. The problem with not teaching anything, is you have kids learning about sex from other students and most likely it is wrong. I believe the average age of puberty now is 11. With that said, I think we should teach the basic in school, what the anatomy is of each gender, how to be safe and also present them the option to wait and try to stress that. I also think that if I was gay growing up in a school, I would feel very confused. You don't need to go into specifics. Maybe a few sentences, such as there are people that are gay. Being gay means that two boys like each other or two girls like each other. Some people are bisexual. They like both genders. Done. If there are more questions afterwards, they can be answered or if the parents in the area prefer, the default response can be "talk to your parents if you want to know more".

    I think in this situation you are damned if you do and you are damned if you don't. Not teaching it, implies that it is "wrong" to be gay and can have a negative impact on those who are confused. On the other hand, teaching it makes parents mad who don't want their kids to know about homosexuality or wish to talk to them in private about it. Either way I think waiting until high school to teach kids about their bodies is waiting too long.

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    Re: Tenn. Senate OKs ban on teaching of homosexuality

    Quote Originally Posted by apdst View Post
    Good for them! No way should this be a conversation for kids that age. Schools are teaching kids how to think, not what to think.
    Teaching how requires discourse of things that might not be clear. Saying don't talk about it does not teach how to think. Quite the opposite actually.

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    Re: Tenn. Senate OKs ban on teaching of homosexuality

    Quote Originally Posted by Boo Radley View Post
    Teaching how requires discourse of things that might not be clear. Saying don't talk about it does not teach how to think. Quite the opposite actually.
    I never said, "don't talk about it". If these questions are broached when a student is in the 11th of 12th grade, that is one thing. But, not kindergarten. Teaching such things in kindergarten smacks of indoctrination. That's not what grade school is for.

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    Re: Tenn. Senate OKs ban on teaching of homosexuality

    Quote Originally Posted by Boo Radley View Post
    Teaching how requires discourse of things that might not be clear. Saying don't talk about it does not teach how to think. Quite the opposite actually.
    Not everyone thinks homosexuality isn't wrong.

    Keep social issues out of academia. Do we teach our students about abortion at 4th grade? Perhaps gun control?

    Add this: what if public schools taught against it at the expense of your taxes? You probably wouldn't like that.

    The other option is that arguments for and against are added. Perhaps we should have a public school course about politics? Who controls such academia that will be read by young minds? I say leave it all out.

    Keep out your emotional beliefs. FOCUS on your truly academic criteria.

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    Re: Tenn. Senate OKs ban on teaching of homosexuality

    I'm fine with the notion of talking about homosexuality in schools if done in a fairly academic way, but not until at least middle school age...6th or 7th grade types.

    I understand the argument that confusion does harm to homosexual children regarding who they are and regarding how people view them. That said, the fact is that homosexuality represents a small segment of the population. I think more harm would be done, with regards to confusion, by teaching it at a younger age than not doing it. ALL kids are just beginning to figure out and understand their emotional feelings regarding attraction at that point, and even for straights it can be a confusing time. I think that teaching about it simply opens up further confusion for all of those people asking themselves "Wait, am I gay?". "Should I like boys/girls?". "Am I bisexual". "I don't feel gay, but he may be gay...does he like me or just want to be my friend?" etc. I think the "confusion" that is spoke about would simply be expanded to a larger percentage of the population rather than really fixed at that point.

    By Middle School I think kids have a bit better understanding of themselves, both those who have felt odd when it comes to the "normal" view of emotions and those who have an attraction to the opposite sex. At that point I think homosexuality can be taught and talked about a bit without as large of a cause for confusion on the part of the straight individuals within the group.

    I think at the younger ages, as relationships are being talked about, a teacher should just put in a mention that if any of it seems odd or out of sorts for anyone that they could talk to the teacher outside of class and that its normal to feel that way. This at least gives kids an avenue to possibly feel "Somethings different" and a invitation to get some information outside of the normal curriculum.

    I think outright banning any mention of it is a bit ridiculous, as at the absolute very least it should be discussed and referenced at a high school level. By that points many kids in todays society, where homosexuality is becoming more and more accepted, are going to be aware of it so acting like its just not there is going to make the teaching seem less genuine and important to the kids than anything.

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    Re: Tenn. Senate OKs ban on teaching of homosexuality

    Quote Originally Posted by Wake View Post
    Not everyone thinks homosexuality isn't wrong.

    Keep social issues out of academia. Do we teach our students about abortion at 4th grade? Perhaps gun control?

    Add this: what if public schools taught against it at the expense of your taxes? You probably wouldn't like that.

    The other option is that arguments for and against are added. Perhaps we should have a public school course about politics? Who controls such academia that will be read by young minds? I say leave it all out.

    Keep out your emotional beliefs. FOCUS on your truly academic criteria.
    It's all about context. No one is teaching homosexaulity. Instead, it is more about little Johnny having two moms or two dads. Kids start thinking at a very early age. They question many things, and for the student who lives this reality, it would be an appropriate discussion in class.

    And it would be a truel academic disourse. No emotion is needed. I worry about anyone being scared of what might be read on the whole. Sure, age appropriate is a proper concern. But, afraid of ideas? That's much of what ahs lead to book burnings and other such silliness. Our kids are reasonable intelligent, for the most part, and we should not fear ideas. To think, they have to see more than one idea. Yours is one. Something else is another.

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    Re: Tenn. Senate OKs ban on teaching of homosexuality

    Quote Originally Posted by Wake View Post
    Not everyone thinks homosexuality isn't wrong.

    Keep social issues out of academia. Do we teach our students about abortion at 4th grade? Perhaps gun control?

    Add this: what if public schools taught against it at the expense of your taxes? You probably wouldn't like that.

    The other option is that arguments for and against are added. Perhaps we should have a public school course about politics? Who controls such academia that will be read by young minds? I say leave it all out.

    Keep out your emotional beliefs. FOCUS on your truly academic criteria.
    I think you can teach about how some people have these emotions and feel this way without stating that it is either "wrong" or "right", but that simply it exists.

    In some ways it can be compared to masturbation taught in schools. Some religions find masturbation to be sinful and wrong, other people have no issue with it. Sex Ed can teach about what it is without indicating that its okay or not okay to partake in.

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    Re: Tenn. Senate OKs ban on teaching of homosexuality

    Quote Originally Posted by Temporal View Post
    Unbelievable. Well at least it wasn't my home state that did it.

    I guess don't talk about being gay and maybe less people will turn out gay, is the idea?
    Funny, I don't see anything in the article that supports your conclusion. Seems to me, discussions about sexuality should be left to counselors (vs teachers) who are trained in this field.
    Last edited by American; 05-23-11 at 12:02 PM.
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    Re: Tenn. Senate OKs ban on teaching of homosexuality

    Quote Originally Posted by Zyphlin View Post
    I think you can teach about how some people have these emotions and feel this way without stating that it is either "wrong" or "right", but that simply it exists.

    In some ways it can be compared to masturbation taught in schools. Some religions find masturbation to be sinful and wrong, other people have no issue with it. Sex Ed can teach about what it is without indicating that its okay or not okay to partake in.
    That, and it's not like homosexuality is such a hot topic in most sex ed situations. The conservative reaction is mostly to the POSSIBILITY of it being brought up. In reality I think it is hardly mentioned. Gays are a minority in this country and most places don't openly talk about it let alone understand it. Tennessee's decision has little to do with what is actually being discussed in classrooms right now, it is more pre-emption, and a partisan response to the kind of stuff that CA is doing (where homosexuality has far more public relevance).

    It bothers me when states pass laws in reaction to other states instead of looking at what might be objectively good for their own state. It's partisan politics gone awry.

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