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Author Topic: Teacher Suspended for "gay" article.  (Read 4409 times)

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Offline kylie

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Re: Teacher Suspended for "gay" article.
« Reply #50 on: November 05, 2009, 02:34:03 AM »
I know this is wrong in society, but like it or not the majority of the America can accept people dying in wars, and babies being aborted, much faster than they can accept a teacher introducing such a topic as homosexuality in the animal kingdom which naturally, (and proven by the previous 40 something posts) leads to introducing homosexuality in the human kingdom to their children.
    What is your basis for claiming that such a majority faction, as it were, actually exists?  Granted, there is obvious basis to assume that some opposition to this sort of education exists.  There is the aggressive "defense of family and childhood" sort of rhetoric in circulation, but I think that may well only be coming from a vocal minority. 

http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1107/polling-evolution-creationism

     It's possible you could be right, because the religious right is so fixated with opposing teaching biology regarding evolution.  The only numbers I have found on this (not having researched it at any length) suggest that the polling questions are really open to various interpretations by the respondents.  But there is a trend away from creationism in the last few years, and only a minority would have only creationism taught rather than evolution...    You could perhaps point to statements like, "polling finds that a solid majority of Americans over the past 20 years has supported the teaching of both evolution and creationist accounts of the origins of life."  I'm dubious on how useful that is for predicting the next 20 years, though.  If the issues are connected to this degree, then the status of gays in the 1980's, say, also didn't change so fast that it was a solid indicator of how much recognition they would gain by the 2000's.  The direction of change actually turned out to be historically consistent (and the AIDS crisis helped fuel gay political activism during the 1980's, which probably helped) -- but the yearly change was about 1% in national polls, probably less than the margin of error.

http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_marp.htm

     On gay rights alone, if we take marriage as an indicator, some polls indicate that the majority of Americans are actually in favor of gay marriage.  Of course, that doesn't speak directly to what numbers would favor discussion of sex acts among animals in high school.  It just makes me wonder more how you could show that a majority would necessarily object to it.  Has there been a national poll on this kind of issue per se?  ...We do have national polls showing that in addition to long-term national trends toward increasing support of same-sex marriage, the positions youth take on homosexuality appear to be more tolerant or more accepting than those of prior generations.  To me, that suggests again that whatever the present numbers, the historic trend may actually be toward more interest in a broad scientific exploration of sexual orientation.  In that sense, if schools do not at least facilitate exploration of the issue (again - while it's increasingly mentioned in the news), they are arguably doing a disservice to their students.   

Quote
A parent's child... I'm more inclined to believe that a parent will always see their child as their baby from the instant it's born until it's 110. They do that, it's how it normally works. Normally this protection is a good thing, but when an educated teacher decides to introduce the topic of homosexuality to these parents children... He HAD to expect repercussions. It would be extremely naive of him not to.
     Again, the class is dealing with approaches to debate and you can hardly expect that to be discussed without using a real controversy.  Illinois also recently legislated that parents of minors about to have abortions must be notified.  So, I suppose you could have as easily mentioned that suspension could have occurred for "allowing" them to debate abortion.http://catholicexchange.com/2009/11/05/123333/ 

     Of course, if elders feel like opposing something they will, without much regard to the wishes of youth.  They will go out of their way to blindfold people who soon enough will be expected (and often, demanded) to vote, get married and/or go to war.  The next generation will be told positively how and why, as good little sheltered junior citizens, to do such things -- and information to the contrary is restricted.  No argument there, but not much to discuss about it either.  Often enough, educators are just damned if they do and damned if they don't.  Some of the specific points they are attacked over are much more debatable.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2009, 02:37:52 AM by kylie »

Offline Scott

Re: Teacher Suspended for "gay" article.
« Reply #51 on: November 05, 2009, 03:30:27 AM »
Are you asking me to provide you examples of the evils that the majority of the general public is more willing to accept than accepting homosexuality? I don't think I can do that without offending anyone, and starting additional discussions on different topics in this thread. I assure you that they exist though, and am willing to PM them to you.

"Again, the class is dealing with approaches to debate and you can hardly expect that to be discussed without using a real controversy.  Illinois also recently legislated that parents of minors about to have abortions must be notified.  So, I suppose you could have as easily mentioned that suspension could have occurred for "allowing" them to debate abortion.http://catholicexchange.com/2009/11/05/123333/

It very well could have been, but it wasn't the reason for his suspension.

     Of course, if elders feel like opposing something they will, without much regard to the wishes of youth. They will go out of their way to blindfold people who soon enough will be expected (and often, demanded) to vote, get married and/or go to war.  The next generation will be told positively how and why, as good little sheltered junior citizens, to do such things -- and information to the contrary is restricted.  No argument there, but not much to discuss about it either.  Often enough, educators are just damned if they do and damned if they don't.  Some of the specific points they are attacked over are much more debatable.


I never said it was right, I only said that it happens. 

Offline kylie

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Re: Teacher Suspended for "gay" article.
« Reply #52 on: November 05, 2009, 04:55:56 AM »
Quote from: Scott
Are you asking me to provide you examples of the evils that the majority of the general public is more willing to accept than accepting homosexuality? I don't think I can do that without offending anyone, and starting additional discussions on different topics in this thread. I assure you that they exist though, and am willing to PM them to you.
     Well, I'm not sure where you got this idea of a competition between various "evils."  I wouldn't dispute that the "general public" (as a political system that is - not as public opinion) tolerates lots of dubious things.  I'm not so sure that "accept" or desire are terms that I would use to describe that.  But I'm picky about a line between mere toleration (which to me borders on resignation) and more positive acceptance. 

     All I was saying is, I don't know that there are statistics to show that a majority of Americans would probably line up against mentioning how orientation appears among animals in school.  I tried to imagine how you might guess that could be true, and guesses are fine...  Just, proving a majority sounds unlikely to me at this moment.  I think it's also possible that national opinion on this particular issue could be very mixed.  (Granted, I don't know much about Illinois alone.)  Or maybe, a small national majority could side with the teacher - much as they have turned positive on gay marriage.  I haven't seen good numbers to say for sure either way.

     By the way, I'm not trying to pigeon hole you here as if you were necessarily for the suspension.  There's always this vague range in the Politics section between struggling to explain things, and people debating them.  On this particular post, I'm more concerned with the details of proposed explanation.

Offline KotahTopic starter

Re: Teacher Suspended for "gay" article.
« Reply #53 on: November 05, 2009, 01:43:27 PM »
I would like the explanation as well, no offense. I'm not sure I am following the argument.

If the argument is that he simply should have expected his student's parents to be pissed off... They weren't. It was another teacher that was pushing for the suspension. I believe this was in the first article.

A majority of the parents showed up in support of him at the school board meeting. :/

Being my thread, I would assume that if Vekseid had no objection, that any proof you had to support your claim is fine by me.

Offline Trieste

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Re: Teacher Suspended for "gay" article.
« Reply #54 on: November 05, 2009, 02:03:51 PM »
Actually, Kotah, it doesn't say who reported him in any of the articles you've linked, and it doesn't say how many parents did or did not show up. All you did was post a picture of protesters with no article. >.>

Offline KotahTopic starter

Re: Teacher Suspended for "gay" article.
« Reply #55 on: November 05, 2009, 02:20:30 PM »
o.o One sec to let me find them. I messed up the link thing... It was supposed to link if you clicked the picture.

*grumbles*

the edit: Ok, so I'm not sure exactly what happened. I was under the impression it was another teacher (from the face book group I joined). These how ever said it was one parent (perhaps she is also is a teacher? I dunno. It doesn't give her name to look it up.)

http://www.ksdk.com/life/programming/local/tisl/story.aspx?storyid=188783&catid=97

http://www.14wfie.com/global/story.asp?s=11415746

Students speak for Mr. Dan DeLong at Southwestern School District Board Meeting

What's not included in either of the links is the petition that the students had created with somewhere around 3000 signatures against the suspension. (It's a small town, and I am super impressed they would get so many. The town only has (approx) 6500 people in it and the immediate area.)
« Last Edit: November 05, 2009, 02:36:48 PM by Kotah »

Offline Jude

Re: Teacher Suspended for "gay" article.
« Reply #56 on: November 05, 2009, 05:43:02 PM »
I'm wondering how many people actually read the article that are discussing it.  I'm guessing a very small portion of people here did.  Homosexuality existing in the animal kingdom is not what it's about.  That's an indisputable scientific fact.

The article is about a transgendered scientist's opinion that sexual selection fails to explain why homosexuality is so prevalent.  The crux of her opinion is that homosexuality is a positive trait from the point of view of natural selection.

P. Z. Meyers is quoted of accusing her of straw-manning Darwin instead of looking at the current scientific theory in the process of doing her research.  I could see critiquing that, but basically doing so would come down to arguing whether or not homosexuality is a positive trait for survival and communities.  Isn't that a bit too heated, applying judgment to sexual orientation?

It's a good idea to actually read the article before you talk about it.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2009, 05:51:34 PM by Jude »

Offline Trieste

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Re: Teacher Suspended for "gay" article.
« Reply #57 on: November 05, 2009, 05:48:28 PM »
Although I didn't say it in 90-point font, that's essentially what I said a page or so back.

It's still under debate as to whether homosexuality is an integral part of animal sexuality. Darwin's theory of sexual selection states one thing. Modern scientists are starting to move away from Darwin's original theory because of their hypotheses about observed behavior in animals.

Those hypotheses could be wrong. That is the debate.

Chill. :P

Offline KotahTopic starter

Re: Teacher Suspended for "gay" article.
« Reply #58 on: November 05, 2009, 10:04:22 PM »
Quote
This whole view of the sexes as being at war is just so flawed from the start. First of all, there are all these empirical exceptions, like homosexuality. And then there’s the logical inconsistency of it all. Why would a male ever jettison control of his evolutionary destiny? Why would he entrust females to serendipitously raise their shared young? The fact is, males and females are committed to cooperate.”

Quote
The advantage of Roughgarden’s new theory is that it can explain a wider spectrum of sexual behaviors than Darwinian sexual selection.

Quote
Other biologists think Roughgarden is exaggerating the importance of homosexuality. Invertebrate zoologist Stephen Shuster told Nature that Roughgarden “throws out a very healthy baby with some slightly soiled bathwater.” And biologist Alison Jolly, in an otherwise positive review of Evolution’s Rainbow for Science, conceded that Roughgarden ultimately fails in her ambition to “revolutionize current biological theories of sexual selection.” As far as these mainstream biologists are concerned, Roughgarden’s gay primates and transgendered fish are simply interesting sexual deviants, statistical outliers in a world that contains plenty of peacocks. As Paul Z. Myers, a biologist at the University of Minnesota, put it, “I think much of what Roughgarden says is very interesting. But I think she discounts many of the modifications that have been made to sexual selection since Darwin originally proposed it. So in that sense, her Darwin is a straw man. You don’t have to dismiss the modern version of sexual selection in order to explain social bonding or homosexuality.”

Roughgarden remains defiant. “I think many scientists discount me because of who I am. They assume that I can’t be objective, that I’ve got some bias or hidden LGBT agenda. But I’m just trying to understand the data. At this point, we have thousands of species that deviate from the standard account of Darwinian sexual selection. So we get all these special case exemptions, and we end up downplaying whatever facts don’t fit. The theory is becoming Ptolemaic. It clearly has the trajectory of a hypothesis in trouble.”

Roughgarden’s cataloging of sexual diversity has challenged a fundamental biological theory. If Darwinian sexual selection—whatever its current variant—is to survive, it must adapt to this new data and come up with convincing explanations for why a host of animals just aren’t like peacocks.

I find that just loaded with things to debate.

Offline kylie

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Re: Teacher Suspended for "gay" article.
« Reply #59 on: November 06, 2009, 01:44:24 AM »
Quote
Homosexuality existing in the animal kingdom is not what it's about.  That's an indisputable scientific fact.
     I don't think we know enough about other animals' symbolic understanding of their own social order (to the extent they have such cognition at all), to be calling them "homosexual."  Try same-sex acts, maybe...  Homosexual is a very human term that includes whole social systems.  Among humans, its history includes the experience of being stigmatized politically and psychiatrically.  It's hard to compare that neatly to whole species where same-sex activity is more prevalent.  No one's asked about the animals' uniform ability to demonstrate consent to us so far...  Among other animals, we can aspire to observe "functions" but there is limited symbolic language for us to interpret.  Among humans, the science holds increasingly that interpretation and shared subjective meanings are centrally important.  I would expect some students to challenge the initial notion that human society and other species organizations are, pardon the pun, essentially of the same animal.

Quote from: Jude
Isn't that a bit too heated, applying judgment to sexual orientation?
     Well, it seems that everyone but the schools is fully involved -- so it's tricky for educators to practically or responsibly do otherwise.  Claiming to be above the fray in such a situation is hardly equal to not taking a position.  It's just a question of whose J/judgment, and on what grounds.  Democracy (to say nothing of wider cultural exchange) is quite handicapped when citizens are blocked from sharing information on real issues.  It also seems obvious to me that the conservative movement is most interested in keeping this particular discussion out of the schools, along with many, many other things it would coral under a strained rubric of "family" or "religious freedom."

     One thing I see in covering this article:  It should give students a chance to notice how many different approaches people are taking in arguing about the significance of sexual orientation.  There are some people who assume fervently that sexes are always locked in dichotomy and that one drop of same-sex intercourse (regardless of all context) must be categorized as "homosexuality."  Others approach sexuality more through critiques or play with socially constructed gender frames.  Some do not define sex itself primarily as intercourse.  Some focus on practical differences and political effects that go with being in this "moral majority" or that liberal minority.  The article at least brushes - though very unevenly - with questions in biology, sociology, politics, psychology, and economics.  It's a good starter to press people to say something about initial premises and strategies.   
« Last Edit: November 06, 2009, 01:49:45 AM by kylie »