Saturday, March 7, 2009

Fucking Haters!

I got this letter from the principle at my kid's school:


There has been a lot of talk around the halls, basketball courts and grocery aisles about a photo exhibit at our school. I have had a few people address the photo exhibit to me directly, with differing thoughts and views. I want to thank these brave people for coming to me personally to express their opinions.

For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, we were given the opportunity to host a photo display from a local community organization, Community Alliance of Lane County (CALC). The “Shared Community, Mixed Identities” exhibit that is posted in our halls reflects the multiracial and multi-cultural experiences of a significant and often overlooked part of our community. The people in the photos are diverse in terms of race, ethnicity, age, gender, gender orientation, gender identity, profession, religion and education.

It is our highest responsibility as a school community to create a place where children are connected, feel safe and welcome. It is my responsibility to make sure all children have that opportunity. When a student sees his/her identity reflected in the halls of our school, this school then becomes their school too, and we take an important step towards meeting the school district’s goal of creating an inclusive multi-cultural learning environment. For those of us who identify as members of the majority community, this sense of feeling welcome is often more automatic because we so frequently encounter people who are like us. For some of our children, they do not see themselves in the daily life of our school. This is why we brought in the photo array.

Some of the pictures and biographies created a sense of concern, anger, and/or fear among some of our families. Because I did not fully inform families that these pictures were going to be at our school, the complete photo array has been taken down for now. Before we bring this important photo display back into our school, we want to make sure that we are fully prepared to realize the teachable moments that are introduced when students interact with the photos. With support from the district and the larger community, I will be holding parent meetings to give parents a chance to express their concerns and to hear more about our school and the district’s commitment to equity for all children. This will also give us time to equip staff through training and conversation with the insights and tools needed to support children’s thoughts and questions. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.




What?? Do we really need parent meetings because we have pictures and biographies of LGBT people are in our school? Not actual LGBT people, mind you, just their pictures and a short biography! Scary! Anger inducing! So scary and anger inducing that the display had to be taken down! Does it really bother some people that the school their kid goes to might not judge people based on their sexual orientation or gender identity? I don't know. I really don't understand this at all. And why wasn't I included in any of these hall, basketball, and grocery store conversations? I'm feeling really left out!

5 comments:

LouDog said...

I don't know if I agree with you. I was incredibly frightened by the woman's beard in that one photo, it haunts my dreams to this day. Beware the thin beard...

MnM said...

Your comment was very passionate, and I agree with the basic tenet of what you are saying. Please used your passion to attend the meetings and speak up for your beliefs. Let the prinicipal know you will be supporting her. Put a face to your feelings. It feels good to say and type these things, blogs are an excellent way to vent and get your thoughts together, but it will only encourage the haters if uncontrolled rage is all that comes through. Please use your obvious gift for identifying predjudice in our schools, to effect change in our schools! You are a very powerful person, we all are individually. I dont' want you to 'hide' in an E-world..come on to the meeting! Let Ms. Blake know you'll be there to support her in a way that will empower her and other thinkers like her. I'll be there too, right along side you. Lets keep anger out of it if possible, though..it will be more effective if we try to first understand why these parents have their issues, their fears, where they are coming from. Understanding your opponents is key to educating them. the goal, after all, is to open peoples minds not to anger them into slamming them shut. So...come to the meeting, but I ask you, to leave the F word home!

Expat Wannabe said...

Who the "F" are you??

Enormous Plumes of Smoke said...

I think you have a stalker...

Expat Wannabe said...

haha! Yeah, I guess so! How exciting!