UNTEACHABLE MOMENT

Homophobic Town Enraged After Teacher Reads Perfectly Appropriate Gay Fairytale In Class

Omar_CurrieA North Carolina elementary school teacher has effectively been pushed out of his job for reading a book to his third grade class about acceptance and equality.

Omar Currie, 25, chose to read King & King to his Efland-Cheeks Elementary School pupils after a student came to him crying over being called “gay” by a peer during gym class.

“When I read the story, the reaction of parents didn’t come into my mind,” the openly gay teacher told AP.

“In that moment, it just seemed natural to me to read the book and have a conversation about treating people with respect. My focus then was on the child, and helping the child.”

The book tells the story of a prince whose mother wants him to marry. He meets various princesses and none feel right, then another price comes along and they fall in love. They are crowned king and king, and the book ends with a kiss.

KingkissMore than 200 parents and residents of the small 750-person town attended an open meeting to discuss Currie’s use of the book in class.

Some parents stood up to publicly tell Currie he’d die an early death and spend eternity in hell. We wonder where the kid who sparked the incident by calling another student gay learned that kind of attitude?

But the hate didn’t stop there. Currie received anonymous mail saying that being gay is a “birth defect” and accusing him of indoctrinating children through “psycho-emotional rape.”

Though Currie wasn’t officially disciplined by the school, he says administrators became hostile towards him, and he was upset the principle enacted a rule that teachers must inform parents of every book read in class, giving them the option to opt out.

“My reading of King & King was the 100% right thing to do,” he told Indy Week.

“There was no way I was going to have the support I needed to continue teaching [at the school].”

The assistant principal who lent Currie her copy of King & King has also resigned.

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89 Comments

  • Glücklich

    Efland-Cheeks?

    Does the town have an unemployment rate greater than 20%? Sounds like a lot of people with too much free time.

  • Atrius

    The intolerant and bigoted South strikes again. No surprise.
    I live in East Tennessee and the South is the most backward and ignorant place in the U.S. and they’re unapologetic about it and often proud of the fact. Screw this place.

  • Stache99

    Wow. Just teaching kids to not be bigots. Of coarse if the teacher was homophobic and taught that then the town would have no issue at all.

  • stevenb

    I wish I would have had a teacher like him when I was being called “faggot” in school.

  • martinbakman

    Finally! Quear-tee didn’t call something gay “controversial”. It WAS “perfectly appropriate”.

  • BJ McFrisky

    The parents overreacted, as parents usually do, making it tantamount in this PC-obsessive society that he first obtain their approval—especially when the pre-pubescent are involved.

  • Masc Pride

    These parents actually have a legit complaint, though it’s not the one they’re making. As a parent, I would have a problem with this too because it’s not Mr. Currie’s place to introduce these types of topics. He overstepped his boundaries. Parents have a right to decide when and how they want to talk to their kids about these things. True, the responses from some of the parents indicate they would never do so or may do so with prejudice, but their kids are still THEIR kids. When Mr. Currie has children, he can call the shots on how these things should be handled.

  • AtticusBennett

    @Masc Pride: it’s fitting that you made this comment. a broken boy from a homophobic family defending the very culture that’s left him a pathetic closeted internet troll.

    it’s never too soon to teach kids to understand and embrace diversity. some kids have gay parents. they’re not confused by this. confusion only occurs when kids have been previously taught to hate.

    there’s nothing remotely inappropriate about the book, nor the teacher’s actions. what’s inappropriate is anti-LGBT bigotry.

  • Kangol

    What a loss for these children, especially that little kid who was being bullied for being “gay.” The parents are acting out of ignorance and fear, but I hope many of the children see that there’s nothing wrong with being gay/lesbian–or bi, intersex, or trans–because they’re the future, not their bigoted parents.

  • Stache99

    @Masc Pride: What exactly are “these type of topics”? Should we have a law made (don’t say gay) like they do in Russia?

    It sounds like he’s a great teacher. Just a crappy town.

  • Masc Pride

    @Stache99: Parent topics. You don’t overstep boundaries with other people’s children; that’s just asking for it. You don’t discipline other people’s kids. You don’t put your hands on other people’s kids. You don’t discuss topics that are more appropriate for the parents to handle. You don’t have kids, so you don’t understand. Most parents (bi/gay/str8) understand these things almost automatically. From some of the responses, this does sound like a rather homophobic southern town, but this teacher was still out of line. It would’ve been much more appropriate to contact the parents of the two boys that had the fight and have a discussion with them and the boys.

    Now it seems a lot of these parents are angry and will probably end up filling their kids with even more homophobic ideas to offset Mr. Currie’s stunt, and of course Mr. Currie and assistant principal are now without jobs. So who won?

  • AtticusBennett

    “So who won?”

    the kids who heard the story, and saw the despite living in a homophobic town with homophobic parents, the rest of the world has indeed made the great mental leap from the dark ages.

    had you heard this story as a boy, or had parents who promoted LGBT equality, you wouldn’t be the coward you are today.

  • charmin88

    First of all let me bring up the fact that the teacher is a cutieeeeee! Second the parents over reacted seriously. He should not have lost his job.

  • rickhfx

    Masc Pride
    Topics like evolution, origin of the species, the solar system, science, geography, math, the fact that the earth isn’t flat, sex education, history, all very touchy topics for a lot of religious people. How about the history of the catholic church an organized crime ring of pedophiles, and homophiles. So you don’t discipline other peoples kids, so you let the run amuck in school and other peoples houses. yup sure you do. Bless your soul. Next.

  • AtticusBennett

    a teacher who teaches their students not to discriminate against or hate LGBT people is doing their job.

    countless kids grow up with anti-gay parents, and a teacher like this one may end up being the only thing that saves their life. or helps them become something more in life than a right-leaning closeted internet wimp.

  • kurt_t

    I think this is a pattern we’ve seen before and that we’ll continue to see for many years to come. Here’s the pattern as I see it: Step 1: a student in a public school who’s gay-identified or who has same sex parents or who is perceived as gay encounters bullying. Step 2: a teacher, administrator or peer group addresses the problem through some sort of effort that involves presenting gay-positive messages to the entire student body or some subset of the student body that includes both the suspected bullies and neutral or perhaps gay-friendly parties. Step 3: parents who are antagonistic towards gay-positive messages say “Stop that right now. You can’t tell my children being gay is morally acceptable. That violates my personal beliefs.”

    So what you’re left with is an environment where anti-gay bullying is protected. And I suspect that’s what most of these parents in Effland want. I suspect they regard gayness as a contagious disease that needs to be eradicated at all costs, even if part of the cost is the brutalizing and terrorizing of children.

    I think really what it comes down to for these people in their most private thoughts is “Better somebody else’s child should live in terror and hopelessness and suicidal despair than that my child should become infected with the disease of gayness.”

  • Masc Pride

    @rickhfx: With your punctuation and lack of structure, it’s really hard to tell what you’re saying or asking. I’ve never read any articles about parents being outraged over their kids being taught math, science and geography, so I can’t speak on that. However, evolution is another topic that is best left out of the classrooms of kids of fairy-tale reading age. Maybe fairy tales will become like the Pledge of Allegiance in school: We’ll just have to X it out completely as not to risk offending either side.

  • AtticusBennett

    closeted AND has problems with evolution being taught? are you really just a republican straight person trolling?

    http://littlekiwilovesbauhaus.blogspot.ca/2015/02/homophobic-bigots-protesting-non.html

    check it out. Ontario updated their sex-ed curriculum, and homophobes are totes pissed.

    they don’t want their kids to be taught that being gay is natural and A-OK. they’d prefer their gay kids kill themselves, and their straight kids to be homophobic bullies.

  • koala

    I get that we are still working towards homosexuality to be fully accepted, but the idea that homosexual relationships have to be introduced separately from heterosexual ones is very hetero-normative. Had this been a book about a king and a queen there would be no issues. What happened to love is love?

  • tsginamarieva

    @Masc Pride: @Masc Pride: I disagree with you Masc Pride. The teacher dealt with an exigent circumstance. A child had come to him in distress over being bullied and he responded in a sensitive, nonconfrontational manner. He didn’t call out the individual students who had done the bullying, he used the occasion as an opportunity to introduce all of the students to the idea of tolerance and respect for others. I think what he did was perfectly appropriate. He didn’t promote an “agenda” or attempt to teach the students anything but mutual acceptance.

    You know, there are times when bigots shouldn’t get automatically get their way just because they’re loud and obnoxious.

  • tsginamarieva

    @Masc Pride: You’re wrong, Masc Pride. Of course teachers and administrators discipline other people’s children. It’s part of their job. It happens every day in every school in the world. This was a perfect opportunity for the Administration of the school to say to the protesting teachers that, contrary to what they seem to want, gay people aren’t going to go away. They are here, in America, everywhere in America, and those parents and children have to live side by side with them the same as they do with people of every ethnicity, gender, age, creed and origin. The book the teacher read was age-appropriate, and completely devoid of potentially offensive immagery or content. It simply helped to demystify the concept of “gay” for young people who obviously had skewed understandings of the term.

    I would virtually guarantee that those protesting parents, if they’d been confronted and shown that they weren’t going to get their way, they would have backed down. Bullies always do.

  • tsginamarieva

    Protesting parents, I meant to say.

  • Masc Pride

    @tsginamarieva: In order to disagree with me, you’d have to understand what I was saying. I’m not accusing Currie of any “evil agenda”. I’m generally saying this wasn’t a teacher’s area. Third graders are too young for a teacher to discuss certain matters BEFORE their PARENTS have the opportunity to do so. It is also not up to that teacher to decide when the right time to discuss these matters should be. I understand why most here are very sensitive and subjective, but what I’m saying applies generally to lots of things that have nothing to do with sexuality. Generally speaking, a teacher is not the parent. If you read my reply, I included a non-sexuality-related way to teach respect.

    Read some of the responses that came from some of these parents after the fact; can you imagine what they’re probably telling their kids about gay people now? Guarantee you it’s everything but tolerance and mutual acceptance. Counterproductive. And both faculty members involved wound up resigning, so there’s that…

  • Bob LaBlah

    Girl should have known that would have been the reaction from the parents. I hate to see people fired in todays job market. Or should I say I hate to see people forget that there are no less than twenty applicants waiting to take the job you claim to hate (till the paycheck stops coming in and the benefits stop). He brought this one on himself. He is still young and will recoup. The question is when. Hopefully he isn’t a known discipline case.

  • AtticusBennett

    @Masc Pride: false.

    parents who teach their kids to hate don’t get to have a say. it’s 2015. we all know why you’re taking this stance: you’re a right-wing coward and an idiot.

    “i don’t want kids learning that gay people are OK until AFTER i’ve told my kids that gays are disgusting!” – Masc Pride’s Dad

  • Stache99

    Most of this hysteria was just an excuse to get rid of the gay teacher. Most of these parents showing up showed their true bigot colors.

  • DDstar1me

    Folks, the south is still struggling with their colors. Should we expect anything less?

  • Kieran

    But if he read the kids a story about War, glorifying the military killing and blowing up “evildoers”……that’s cool.

  • Bob LaBlah

    @Kieran: I bet he wishes now he had read Mary had a little Lamb or Hey Diddle, Diddle. (Speaking of the latter, Hey Diddle, Diddle, Giancarlo85 a dish can not run away with a spoon in real life).

    I am so grateful I came along during an era (3rd grade) where we went home from school and watched Mighty Mouse beat the living shit out of cats and the good ol’ Three Stooges and their brand of humor. We did have one queen during my cartoon days that never caught on nor was really exposed as gay, but we all knew she was. See for yourself and draw your own conclusion.

    I always felt and now see the damage shit like The Care Bears, Strawberry Shortcake and other non-physical cartoons have had on many of you.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKhzq1Qx-P8

  • djw67

    @Masc Pride: not really – this is a debate about whether it is morally wrong to treat gay kids/people differently ie not let them hear stories that reflect their own life. Would there have been consultation with parents about reading a prince and princess book to a female child who was for the sake of arguemet was upset that a boy she liked did not like her back …

  • Masc Pride

    Not really — no one said any of these kids are even gay. That’s not what this story is about at all. One of them was simply called “gay”, that doesn’t mean this 3rd grader is actually gay. Kids toss the word around meaning “dumb”. It’s not necessarily an “outing” at 8 years old.

    If this does become a huge thing in schools across the country (which I highly doubt), then this policy of having parents’ approval of stories to be read to their kids is a reasonable solution. Or we just might have to drop fairy tales altogether.

  • LovelyLabyrs

    The world is currently in a transition stage where these schools, parents, the law etc are at differing stages of accepting homosexuality. Therefore we need to bear this in mind when approaching and educating on this subject.

    I feel that the teacher should have addressed the immediate situation by saying that the names were unacceptable. Then there should have been a letter sent home saying that this book WILL be read in class, and parents are being notified because there has been instances of unacceptable homophobic bullying and notification will give the parents chance to discuss relevant issues.

    Parents then have the opportunity to keep their child from school (but still be aware that regardless of opinion, bullying will not be tolerated). More importantly, it will not be a case of the school springing the topic and related issues on the children, when parents may not yet have touched on that issue with their child. A story on that topic will inevitably raise dozens of questions (difficult to answer without bias), and turn into a lesson.

    I would like notification about contentious or contemporary issues to be discussed ahead of time, so that i can put them in context or prepare my child.

  • dinard38

    Well, I guess that I, like Masc Pride, will have the minority opinion here. This teacher did indeed overstep his boundaries. As a single parent of two boys, I also would have had a problem with this because it is not Mr. Currie’s place to introduce these types of topics.

    We all know that subjects such as religion and sexuality are taboo subjects when it comes to our children. Whether or not we agree with how a parent raise their child or the belief systems they instill in their children, they have the right to raise their children how they see fit.

    Besides, Mr. Currie reading this story does not even match the circumstances. Not really. A kid was just called gay by some knuckleheads. Doesn’t mean the kid is gay. They’re a bunch of nine year olds. Most nine year olds don’t understand sexuality. The appropriate action from the teacher should only have been a talk to those students to let them know that name calling was inappropriate, and if it continued, then have a chat with the parents. Simple as that. I doubt if these kids fully understand the word they’re using. I don’t understand how the teacher thought that this was the right time to share this book.

  • jwtraveler

    @Masc Pride: If you are a gay man (and I’m assuming you are), it makes me very sad that you feel this way, that you have so much internalized homophobia that you don’t believe children should be taught to respect and accept all different kinds of people, including people like yourself. You call yourself Masc Pride; I hope you are able to develop some Gay Pride.

  • Avery Alvarez

    @dinard38: Can you name what, specifically, about the book was sexual or of a sexual nature?
    Did the characters have sex? Did they discuss having sex? Was there explicit language or nudity?
    How, exactly, is this different than, let’s say, a Disney fairytale?

    People sent the teacher hate mail? They told him that he’d, “Die early and in a fire”? Presumably the same parents that thought a book about two princes was too inappropriate for their children?

    @LovelyLabyrs: You seem to to be more concerned children will be exposed to a story about two princes than they will to people who would send threats and openly condemn people to death? What’s your motivation here? To justify homophobia?

  • Masc Pride

    @LovelyLabyrs: “I would like notification about contentious or contemporary issues to be discussed ahead of time, so that i can put them in context or prepare my child.”

    This is exactly what I’ve been saying. I agree 100%.

    @dinard38: I agree. Interesting to see you’re also a parent as well. I find it funny how people that don’t have any children always seem to have the most absolute child-rearing advice.

    @jwtraveler: Straw man argument! Please quote where I supposedly stated kids shouldn’t be taught respect and acceptance. Feeling entitled to point the “self-loathing” finger at other guys because you can’t handle what they’ve said is another form of internalized hatred for other bi/gay guys. I hope you develop some pride and love for yourself and your fellow bi/gay man that will help you learn to disagree without character assassinations.

  • Dakotahgeo

    It sounds as if the South needs a few more “Sherman’s Marches” to clear it of the homophobes and false christians. As usual Masc Pride makes an ass of himself. Too bad his parents weren’t neutered and/or spayed.

  • DarkZephyr

    @dinard38: What is it about the topic of being gay that you feel is too taboo for young children? Do you think that being gay is wrong or do you think that it is perfectly OK? If being gay is perfectly OK, not unwholesome or wicked, etc, then what is it about the subject of being gay that is taboo for children? I would appreciate it if you could help me to understand. I do not have my own children but I raised my youngest siblings and was very vested in their futures and cared a lot about their well being (and continue to do so). As someone who has raised children, signed their permission slips, wrote their absentee excuses, was called by teachers, etc. I do not see what this teacher did as being wrong so if you could help me to understand why you see it as wrong I would be very grateful. Thanks. :)

  • Giancarlo85

    @Masc Pride: Maybe if you want people to understand what you are saying you would make an actual argument. You are basically agreeing with the parents on this matter? Well, children are taught things all the time… and not always by their parents. Do you express similar outrage when there are certain matters on television shows or movies?

    Or would you agree with parents who think evolution is indoctrinating their children?

    Sometimes I wonder about your mental sanity.

    @dinard38: Except the book had nothing of sexual nature in it. The book wasn’t even explicit.

    You two really have no real argument to speak about. You are just making things up and you don’t like gay people. Children see heterosexual couples all the time in the media. They are told heterosexual couples are fine and acceptable. So what is the issue here? The book wasn’t anything explicit.

    You and Masc pride are two broken self conflicted people who agree with those spreading hatred.

    • Dakotahgeo

      @Giancarlo85: Thank you! There ARE actually people who do hate themselves. dinard38 and Masc Pride serve as fine examples!

  • Transiteer

    Why are so many in the South, so Stupid?

    • Dakotahgeo

      @Transiteer: Simple… Inbred siblings! The gene pool remains shallow and water is leaking out.

  • RobvR

    @Masc Pride: The teacher did nothing else then inform the children that besides boys who love girls there are also boys that love boys by telling a innocent fairytale. I agree that certain social issues are up to the parents but if what if it was about race or religion? If someone called a black boy the N-word he could have told a fairytale about a white prince who marries a black princess (or the other way around). Would anyone have problems with that? I don’t think so. Some parents will still be against interracial relations but that’s not an argument for the teacher not to speak about it. Just because homosexuality is still a more sensative issue in mainly religious circles it’s no excuse to keep children in the dark. Someone who doesn’t believe in evolution still has to learn about it at school. That’s what schools are for. Whatever else the parents think is up to them. They can still tell their children they don’t agree with everything told at school.

    • Dakotahgeo

      Thank you! As a former teacher of 50 years I had zero problems with classroom content. If the parents bitched, I simply referred them to the ACLU and we’d let them decide… no problems ensued.

  • Masc Pride

    @Dakotahgeo: If I was as close to death’s door as your old ass, I would be kinder to people.

    @Giancarlo85: “Mental sanity”? God, you’re dumb!

    • Dakotahgeo

      @LadyL: Thank you, LadyL! Asusual, you’ve pinned Masc Mask’s ass to the garage door. Again, my thanks!

  • Masc Pride

    @RobvR: Nowhere does it say that any of the kids involved are gay. They’re third graders (which BTW, 8 year-olds are a bit old for fairy tales anyway). The word gay was used as an insult. This was a time to teach these two kids a lesson about name-calling. Mr. Currie chose to turn it into gay sensitivity training by reading the whole class a gay love story. He made this more about himself than actually rectifying the problem between the two kids.

    As far as “keeping kids in the dark”, no one has suggested that. Everyone who has objected here has done so on the basis that TALKING ABOUT THESE THINGS FOR THE FIRST TIME IS THE PARENTS’ RIGHT. Can’t be any clearer. Currie seems very much like the type that thinks “the parents are moving fast enough, so I’ll just give them a little push”. It’s a lot of nerve, and he got exactly what he deserved for abusing his authority and imposing his views onto other people’s kids without their consent. These parents could be the most homophobic people on the planet, but that doesn’t remove their right as parents to raise THEIR kids with their views and values.

  • Masc Pride

    @RobvR: If a child called a black child the N-Word, that is NOT a time for fairy tales! That’s definitely a time where the child should disciplined immediately and directly, and parents should be contacted and
    scheduled to meet with the teacher. Trying to handle a moment like that with a fairy tale is inappropriate as well (and most likely totally ineffective).

    The fact that a lot of you guys seem to think reading fairy tales is an effective way to handle everything with kids just shows you don’t have kids and don’t really even know what you’re talking about at all.

  • Clark35

    @Masc Pride: Very true. Reading them a kid’s book is not going to stop the bullying/harassment that the one kid did to another kid. Talking to them both together in private will though.

  • LadyL

    And can we talk about how many self-loathing closet cases are among those parents and school administrators that pushed out that teacher? Disgusting. My hat’s off to the brave and compassionate Mr. Currie, and I feel for his students. I hope they survive their parents’ fear, ignorance and lies.

  • LadyL

    @Masc Pride: God, you’re obtuse. Do you really suppose the teacher just read the book and then completely walked away from the issue?

    No one here has said that “reading fairy tales is an effective way to handle everything with kids.” You’re attempting to win a flawed argument by putting words in other people’s mouths. Currie was trying to address the ignorance and intolerance of the bullying that child had suffered–the book was an age-appropriate way of beginning an important conversation about diversity and respect.

    • tsginamarieva

      I couldn’t agree more LadyL!!!

  • Masc Pride

    @LadyL: Likewise, your PoV is asinine and saturated in subjectivity and self-importance. We can agree on something! I’m going by the information given in the article. And apparently Mr. Currie felt soooooooo convicted in his belief that he resigned after supposedly feeling a little heat (even though there was no disciplinary action) from admin, so he DID ultimately walk away from the issue.

    “You’re attempting to win a flawed argument…”

    That makes absolutely no sense. Did you go to school with “Giancarlo”? The response you’re referring to was directed at ONE person who was citing fairy tales as an effective method of conflict resolution for kids. If you want to be bitchy, fine, but at least get all your facts straight beforehand.

    The book Currie read had NOTHING to do with the name-calling in this situation. It wasn’t necessary, and it ended up causing more problems than it helped. Are you dumb enough to think these parents are home teaching tolerance and acceptance now that they’re pissed off about this?

  • DarkZephyr

    The bullying child called the other child “gay” because he clearly sees being gay as a lowly and vile thing. He likely got that attitude from his parents, because children that have not been indoctrinated to hate by their folks are usually just fine with it being gay. The book Curie read showed that being gay was NOT a lowly and vile thing, so it was absolutely appropriate for this situation. It was a children’s book and was 100% age appropriate. Only someone who on *some* level or another thinks that there is something defective, wrong or shameful about same sex attraction could *possibly* think that the subject matter was something that should be “left up to parents”.

    I quite clearly recall this incident that happened when I was 8 years old. My parents took myself and my two brothers (my other siblings were not born for years to come yet) with them to place an order at a furniture store for a new dining room table. From there we were to go to the movies. I was pretty bored and impatiently waiting to go see the film. But the guy who came to help us was a very feminine man and at 8 years old I was well aware of my attraction to other boys and had a fairly clear understanding of what it meant to be gay (though of course I was too terrified to even dream of telling my folks at this young age), so I recognized who and what this man was. I felt a small sense of comfort that this guy who I just knew deep down inside myself was probably also attracted to “boys” (all males were “boys” to me at that age). My parents were talking to him and he said something to them and my father repeated back what the man had said to them. But he repeated it in the same effeminate speech pattern as the man. I could tell instantly that my father was mocking him and making fun of him. For his part the furniture salesman just kind of laughed nervously and continued to help my parents. But it made a huge impression on me. It told me that what I was was something that my father would make fun of and it made me feel f***ing terrible for days to come. Later on an *outside source* that dared to speak to kids about this issue brought me comfort and brought me out of the suicidal tendencies that I slowly began to develop due to the ridicule at school as well as my own father’s homophobia. It was the actress Amanda Bearse, I had seen her on a PSA directly addressing youths and telling us that being gay was OK and not bad. The relief her words brought me made me cry. I needed to hear that. It was not something I was hearing from my parents and certainly my bullies were not hearing how wrong homophobia was from *their* parents. Sometimes the one to save young LGBT lives AND to educate homophobic bullies is someone who is absolutely NOT their parent.

    These particular parents stood up at the town meeting and declared to Currie’s face that he was going to die young and burn in Hell forever. They were not pissed off because a teacher inappropriately did something that should have been THEIR job, they were pissed off because they are homophobic jack asses who don’t want their kids to hear “gay is OK”. Which is ALL that book is saying. That “gay is OK”. But apparently for some of you that simple concept is just too controversial for 8 year old children. As I have already said, that sort of attitude can ONLY come from someone who on *some* level or another thinks that there is something defective, wrong or shameful about same sex attraction.

  • DarkZephyr

    And P.S. This didn’t make them more homophobic and less willing to teach their kids tolerance. They were never going to do that. But at least the kids have now heard another POV. And they needed to hear it badly.

  • Dakotahgeo

    @Masc Pride: LOLOL… To quote a good friend of mine, “I’d rather die in my sleep like my grandfather, than screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car!”
    Try again, Snooze Alarm!

  • Masc Pride

    @Dakotahgeo: Lol whatever that means! Pop your Aricept and call it a night, old man.

    • Dakotahgeo

      @Masc Pride: And you expect adulation for such puny remarks? You’re a rank amateur. People on here don’t have too much good to say about you. You’ve left a brown stain in your wake. I’ve wasted enough time on adult children such as you. Hasta luego siempre!

  • Giancarlo85

    @Masc Pride: And you’re a raving lunatic with mental problems. Probably caused by your use of steroids. Too bad steroids just made you fat. You never read shit on here. You always respond on a whim and sound like an idiot in the process.

  • Giancarlo85

    @Masc Pride: You uneducated nasty little man. Nothing you post makes any sense. Your posts are riddled with shitty grammar and incoherent sentences. Who are you trying to convince on here?

  • jwtraveler

    @Masc Pride: We live in a very punitive society. Spanking, zero tolerance, detention, suspension, expulsion, imprisonment, life without parole, death. We seem to think that punishment is the solution to all behavior problems. Maybe if we made more of an effort to talk to children and teach them to respect one another, we wouldn’t have to mete out so much punishment.
    This teacher had the absolute correct approach. Third graders are not too young, or old, to be taught sensitivity and respect for their classmates without resorting to embarrassing, shaming and punishing them for mistakes.
    It’s far more effective to teach children not to hurt others because it’s wrong than not to hurt others because they’ll be punished if they get caught. Of course, that’s not the Christian way.

  • Masc Pride

    @Giancarlo85: FAIL! No one gets fat because of steroids. Anabolic steroids INCREASE the metabolic rate. Talk about responding on a whim and sounding like an idiot…

  • Masc Pride

    @jwtraveler: Oh, now you want to have a civilized conversation? Okay.

    “Maybe if we made more of an effort to talk to children and teach them to respect one another, we wouldn’t have to mete out so much punishment.”

    I can halfway agree with this, but it’s a parent’s job and no one else has the right to step in and impose.

    “Third graders are not too young, or old, to be taught sensitivity and respect for their classmates without resorting to embarrassing, shaming and punishing them for mistakes.”

    This is a very intellectually dishonest argument. I never said kids should not be taught these things. You’re being manipulative and purposely leaving out how they were also taught about alternative sexuality (which we all know is still a controversial subject) in the process. Currie chose that exact book for a reason. It also wasn’t even necessary to teach the kids to generally be kinder to each other. You and others are stuck on the matter of homosexuality being discussed, even if in a forceful manner. What I am saying is about who has the right to discuss it and when. It’s not inappropriate to discuss homosexuality. It becomes inappropriate when you are not the parent and you are taking it upon yourself to discuss it with someone else’s child without the consent of the parents.

    Again, Currie’s actions were not an effective approach because he abused his authority, pissed off the parents of the kids (who are actively working on getting the book completely banned) and wound up unemployed (along with the assistant principal). What exactly do you feel was resolved as a result of all this?

  • RobvR

    @Masc Pride: Once again, all the teacher did is inform the children that there are also boys who like boys. He didn’t give them information that’s to difficult for them to handle. There’s a difference between homosexuality and homosex. He only told them about the first. It’s ridiculous to wait untill the parents will tell them in a case like this. Even by using capitals, that doesn’t make your statement right. And why does it matter if the child is gay or not (I never said he was)? It’s indeed the namecalling that matters, not wether it’s true or not, and needs to be corrected. And to honest, I think it’s wrong to call the parents to school immediatly if someone calls the N-word or any other. First correct the child yourself and if that doesn’t work then call them. Children often don’t know how cruel their remarks are but by calling their parents you scare the s**t out of them and make it bigger than it was to them. Besides, all my life people have made remarks about my hair color (yeah, ginger). My parents were never called. School have to make you learn to tolerate and be tolerated.

  • [email protected]

    First, I feel that this teacher did nothing wrong with reading the short story to the students in an effort to teach them; it is a sound pedagogical practice used in early childhood education. Second, and more importantly, the teacher should have used common sense regarding what he was doing. Regardless of whether he was morally correct, he had to have known the outrage that his actions would spurn in this town. I cannot fathom that an openly gay man would be unaware of the public’s opinion of homosexuality. Let me be clear, I am not defending this abhorrent little nest of bigots, nor would I ever wish to teach in such a place, but he seems to have used poor judgement. Third, I respect greatly the assistant principal that resigned along with him; h/she could have easily claimed ignorance and stated that h/she had no knowledge the class, as a whole would gain exposure to the book. Not very many people would stand up like that.

  • Masc Pride

    @RobvR: Once again, you can try to reword everything as innocently as you want, but an adult discussing any controversial subject matter with other people’s kids (and without parental consent) is always inappropriate no matter what the subject may be. This book would’ve been a cute and appropriate way for a gay couple to help explain their relationship to their own kid(s). You’re playing word games with homosexuality vs. “homosex”. Simply having an opposing viewpoint doesn’t make your opinion right either. I put certain words in caps because you were totally discarding key elements of what I said in order to create the argument you wanted to argue.

    This situation can easily be flipped. Let’s say you have an 8 year-old kid. One day you drop your kid off at school. For whatever reason, a teacher feels it’s his place to have a conversation about why “homosexuality is not God’s way”. Think there are no children’s books that discuss this matter from that stance? There are! I’ve seen them with my own eyes. And don’t forget the most popular book in the country that is deemed appropriate for all ages and even serves as the doctrine for the most popular religions in the U.S. totally backs up his point of view. Still perfectly appropriate, right?

  • Masc Pride

    @Dakotahgeo: Yet another intellectually dishonest argument! Queerty queens don’t have too many great things to say about anything or anyone. I’ve seen a few members tell you about yourself as well. Click on any story here and there are usually several cat fights in progress.

    • Dakotahgeo

      @Masc Pride: As IF anything you had to say to me counted?! You’re a crude, crass individual who had no proper upbringing. I generally take no notice of comments by lesser elements such as you.

  • AtticusBennett

    if you can’t tell the difference between teaching 8 year olds to hate gay people, and teaching them to respect gay people, then you’re probably a right-leaning coward whose parents wish they’d paid for that abortion all those years ago.

  • Jeremi

    After reading all the comments here and seeing the debate that this has generated, I believe that there’s a larger debate here that isn’t being outwardly commented on, but is the true crux of this debate. I would have to agree with most everyone who has posted that the story used was innocent enough and the purpose the story was used in such a way to foster comraderie between the students and to teach respect among students and their background despite differences, as schools have the responsibility to do in order to minimize conflict among students. However I would also agree with Masc Pride and the other parents that the responsibility for discussing taboo subjects rests on the parents first. Obviously some subjects the school will eventually teach at a certain age (how sex works, STDs, etc.) in high school, but it still gives parents the opportunity to teach these lessons first to impart whatever wisdom/values they wish to their children.

    That said, the debate here is truly a matter of whether or not sexuality, specifically in respect to types of relationships that exist, is/should be considered one of those taboo subjects in society today, and in my opinion it isn’t. While I agree that a parent has the right to teach their children whatever they want to teach their children (regardless of how harmful these lessons can be to the child/other children), I’d have to say that acknowledgement and respect of non-hetero status is actually important enough to warrant schools educating about it. When talking about the child’s learning world and fostering the child’s ability to grow educationally and not be hindered emotionally, schools do shoulder the responsibility to ensure that children are not physically/emotionally harmed on their campuses. Yes this means that teachings such as bullying is wrong and name calling is inappropriate and harmful are crucial. However, the why is important as well. Now while it is true that not all kids at that age know what a “gay” person is, many do, and it’s still inappropriate and can be damaging for kids to be using it as an insult (hell, to insult each other at all). Additionally, while maybe not in this small town, there are kids who know they’re gay at this age, just like there are kids that know they are straight. There are also kids that know that they come from a gay single parent or couple and thankfully have no shame about this. These conversations are ALWAYS going to come up in school, not only due to the curiosity of the kids and the fact that kids may want to spend time with new friends outside of school, but especially as kids still have to do and share those art projects of what their family of origin looks like. Yes one could very easily argue, and rightfully so, that administration and teachers should be on board that this is happening, why it needs to happen, and inform parents first, but also make it known that the names and bullying behavior regarding it will not be tolerated whether their kids are in attendance for the story or not. But truth be told, kids are going to discover that there are people different than themselves in school at some point, better to be taught to accept and embrace that diversity rather than to make it hell for them instead.

  • DarkZephyr

    @Jeremi: “After reading all the comments here and seeing the debate that this has generated, I believe that there’s a larger debate here that isn’t being outwardly commented on, but is the true crux of this debate……the debate here is truly a matter of whether or not sexuality, specifically in respect to types of relationships that exist, is/should be considered one of those taboo subjects in society today, and in my opinion it isn’t.”

    This is exactly what I keep trying to get certain posters to address about their position. How they can even say that the subject of being gay is “taboo” for kids. I agree with you completely. It is NOT one of those taboo topics. To think that it IS “taboo”, one would have to think that there is something defective, wrong or shameful about same sex attraction.

  • DarkZephyr

    By the way, those who are claiming that the bullying child’s use of the word “gay” was unrelated to homosexuality are flat out wrong. Queerty doesn’t always tell the full story or cover all of the details and this story is no exception. In addition to calling the boy “gay”, the bully voiced his reasons for thinking that the boy was gay. Because he felt that he “acts like a girl”. The bullying child knew exactly what being gay means and he definitely considers it a bad and lowly thing and he attacked the other boy because he perceived the other boy as gay. So it was no shock when I read about how the parents stood up during the meeting and told Curie that he would die early and burn in hell for all eternity for being gay. Make no mistake, the bullying child is indeed a budding homophobe and he learned to be one from his parents.

  • RobvR

    @Masc Pride: Too bad you see the difference between homosexuality and homosex solely as a word game. Apparently you consider every couple you see as two people who only think about screwing each other’s brain out, nothing more. No caring, no shared loving memories, just hard sex. Maybe I’m just to romantic. Sorry, blame’s on me. And what’s controversial is a subjective concept. However, I would never sent my kid to a Christian school just to be sure he’ll never get to hear those hate speeches. If the teacher talked that way of foreigners or Muslims I’d be pissed too. Hate is hate, whether it’s based on a religious book or not. Of course everybody is allowed to believe whatever he or she wants but when you act upon hateful texts you are out of line. If orthodox Christians spoke the same way of black people in public as they do of gays they’d be in big trouble. At a public school religious views should not be singled out to stand above the rules. But I guess that’s something we’ll never ever agree on. The thought that gay parents may use the fairytale to explain their relations to their children made me laugh. Whose parents ever explained their love of one another? Children automatically assume their parents love each other. As for the bible, I think most homophobia comes from religion, Christian or not, and therefore I don’t like it (to put it mildly) but like I mentioned above, as long as others don’t act upon it there’s no problem.

  • Masc Pride

    @Dakotahgeo: “I generally take no notice of comments by lesser elements such as you.”

    This conversation (that YOU initiated) proves different. Luckily, you don’t have to much longer to be so bothered by my opinions…or anything else. RIP in advance!

    • Dakotahgeo

      @Masc Pride: Both of my parents lived well into their 90s. Not too worried ’bout that! ;-) You still beg to be educated.

  • Masc Pride

    @RobvR: I didn’t say anything about couples being defined solely by sexual activity. You’re putting words in my mouth, as you have been doing in order to oppose me on things I haven’t actually said. Now you’re talking about blacks and Muslims and doing everything BUT answering the question I asked you:

    Let’s say you have an 8 year-old kid. One day you drop your kid off at school. For whatever reason, a teacher feels it’s his place to have a conversation about why “homosexuality is not God’s way”. Think there are no children’s books that discuss this matter from that stance? There are! I’ve seen them with my own eyes. And don’t forget the most popular book in the country that is deemed appropriate for all ages and even serves as the doctrine for the most popular religions in the U.S. totally backs up his point of view. Still perfectly appropriate, right?

  • RobvR

    @Masc Pride: To answer your question, God has no right of speaking at a public school. School should teach children to approach things on a scientific and humanistic base. And from that view homophobia is no different from racism. So yes, I would object to a teacher giving my child his religious opinion (unless of course the child ask asks for a religious argument). Of course there are books that take a religious stand. There are also books that consider blacks to be less worthy than whites. The fact that they exist doesn’t give them scientific or philosophical base that they’re right. Like I said ” As for the bible, I’m not American, and where I’m from we prefer to keep religious views from public opinion. If my prime minister would end a speech with “in God we trust” or even “God bless us” he’d be (rightfully) slaughtered by the press. If the school is Christian they’re right to object, but if not they’re supporting discrimination. So no, not appropriate, but that’s not my problem since I live in a country where the government and religion are not interwoven (at least not so much as in the USA). Keeping religion out of public American live is not my fight.

  • Masc Pride

    @RobvR: Then with all due respect, you’re being a bit hypocritical. In Currie’s case (which you agree with what was imposed), you felt like it would’ve been “ridiculous to wait until the parents will tell them in a case like this”, yet in this hypothetical situation (where you disagree with what was imposed) you would object to someone imposing their beliefs onto your child. As you said earlier, what is considered taboo can be subjective. In the U.S., there’s still gray area with religion even in public schools. Some states still allow the Pledge of Allegiance, including “one nation under God”, because it’s technically a pledge to the nation and not to God. Some states say the kids can decide for themselves. Some states say they need a note from a parent to be excused. What’s okay and what’s not is kind of case by case depending on what state and what’s said. By this school’s new policy, it wouldn’t be okay for Currie to read this book to this class again. You’re very absolute on what you feel these American parents should accept in this situation, yet when I pose a hypothetical scenario, all of a sudden American life is not your fight.

  • Masc Pride

    @DarkZephyr: Jeremi also stated “the responsibility for discussing taboo subjects rests on the parents first.” I understand that you don’t feel it should be a taboo subject, but you are not the parent of any of these kids. By the response from the parents after this incident occurred, we can conclude that they felt this issue was taboo for their kids. You can disagree with how they feel, but that doesn’t change that their rights as parents were violated. When you have a kid, if you want to talk to him or her about how “some boys like boys” as soon as he or she exits the womb, that is your right as that kid’s parent. It’s inappropriate to start that same dialogue with a kid that isn’t yours, and that’s all anyone who’s objected to this has said (as far as I’ve read).

  • RobvR

    @Masc Pride: The fact that American life is not my fight doesn’t keep me from staying silent. That’s a non-argument. I’m not Russian either but that doesn’t keep me keep me from being silent on the Russian anti-gay legislation either. And don’t get me started on the pledge of allegiance. In Europe we know where unconditional patriotism leads to. It usually leads nothing good (exceptions confirm the rule). I do admit I stand for humanistic views on life and that religious should be kept private. What you fight is rather the definition of what’s subjective. I do believe that American life should also keep religious beliefs to be kept private. But as in the US the opinion in Europe also differ tremendously per country (or state, from your POF). Therefore I agree what’s being said in what state.(I don’t agree with every rule from Brussels, the “European Capital” likewise). I’m afraid we’ll never agree on this issue but I prefer to keep the discussion decent. I know I’ll never convince everybody who opposes me concerning this issue but that’s not ever possible. I would, however, like to note that you (unlike many others) are able to stay open for deviant opinion and I appreciate you all the more for it and I hope that you’ll be tolerant for deviant opinions.

  • Masc Pride

    @RobvR: That statement actually wasn’t meant to be an argument. I just found that part of what you said to be a little hypocritical being that you have a very strong opinion on the story.

    Likewise, I can also appreciate that you’ve been able to express opposition without reducing yourself to ad hominem/name-calling as that is quite rare on here. I totally believe church and state should be separate as well BTW. We’ll just agree to disagree on the other stuff.

  • RobvR

    @Masc Pride: When it comes to discrimination (especially of gays, since I am one) it’s not strange that I have strong opinion. You may find it (a little) hypocritical but it’s just my opnion that equality is a human right. Of course not everyone will agree with me. But that does not give them the right to say things that are against the law and then hide behind religion values. But enough for now. Your last sentence says it best. Without disagreement no discussion.

  • DarkZephyr

    @Masc Pride: Its been quite some time since you and I have dialogued.

    Let’s keep in mind that the bullying child DID understand to a degree (and from a bigoted viewpoint) what it means to be “gay” in the sense of being homosexual. And he was using it as an insult because he felt that the bullied child was “acting like a girl”. The concept of “some boys like boys” was broached by the bullying child and not by the teacher, and it was broached in a demeaning, homophobic way (which incidentally suggests to me that his parents had probably already broached the subject to *him* or had spoken about it in front of him and taught him that it was bad). Currie didn’t whip the book out for no reason whatsoever just for the fun of it.

    You have made it clear that you think it was wrong for Currie to have read the book to the class, that he violated the parents’ rights and as you know I disagree with that position. So that is established. I doubt that we will change each other’s minds about this aspect of the conversation. But, I would be interested in knowing how you would have handled it yourself. Please keep in mind these facts. 1) The bully was the one who broached the subject of homosexuality. 2) He did so in a way that clearly indicates that he considers being gay a lowly and bad thing to be made fun of. 3) he caused the other child to cry as a result. If you were the educator of these children, what would you have done? And, as an educator would you have allowed the bully and the other classmates to go on thinking that being gay was a lowly and bad thing worthy of ridicule? How could you solve this entire dilemma without doing anything that you would regard as a violation of the rights of the parents?

    “By the response from the parents after this incident occurred, we can conclude that they felt this issue was taboo for their kids.”

    I personally do not conclude that they felt that the subject of homosexuality was taboo for their kids. I conclude that they didn’t want their children told that homosexuality was OK and not evil or wrong. I think that if Currie had read a book condemning homosexuality I think most of them would have been perfectly fine with it, after all they likely allow their children to hear readings from the Bible which is exactly such a book. So in other words, I conclude that for them saying “gay is OK” = taboo. Saying “Gay is evil and sinful and worthy of being mocked and ridiculed” = A-OK.

  • Masc Pride

    @DarkZephyr: Thought you were relatively new. I don’t remember discussing anything with you. I’m just going to respond to the first and last parts:

    I don’t know that the word gay was used as a homophobic slur. This account simply says one kid called another kid gay during PE class. Where did you read that one boy thought the other was “acting like a girl”? Just curious. From this story, we don’t even know the gender(s) of the two kids. As far as the child being the one who brought up homosexuality first, even if that’s true an adult should know better than to play off the inappropriate things kids do.

    However you want to spin what was deemed taboo, it doesn’t change what I’m saying and what obviously prompted the school to establish a policy to prevent this from happening again. You and other members keep explaining how you all feel and what you all feel should be okay, but these aren’t your kids. If you have a kid and want to read that kid gay fairy tales before he or she is even old enough to understand any of it, I’d argue that that’s 100 percent your right as the parent. You don’t get to call the shots with other people’s kids though. It’s always a bad idea to overstep boundaries with another person’s child.

  • DarkZephyr

    @Masc Pride: “I’m just going to respond to the first and last parts:”

    So basically you are choosing to ignore the actual crux of my reply, which was my question about how you would have handled it.

    “You and other members keep explaining how you all feel and what you all feel should be okay”

    I actually didn’t do that in my last post to you. I just wanted to see how you would have handled the situation personally, while bearing all the facts in mind. I figured you had such a thing in mind when you chose to speak out against what the teacher chose to do in this situation.

    “Where did you read that one boy thought the other was “acting like a girl”? Just curious. From this story, we don’t even know the gender(s) of the two kids.”

    This story broke elsewhere on multiple sites before and after Queerty covered it and as I stated in a previous post under this particular article, Queerty didn’t give all of the facts.

    From Huffington Post: “There was a group of boys that had been referring to the child as a girl or a woman, saying ‘OK, woman,’ or ‘OK, girl,’” Currie told HuffPost. He stepped in and addressed the issue, he said, but then it happened again. “This particular child who was being bullied was very, very upset.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/18/omar-currie-gay-fable_n_7306388.html

    The gender of the children is also revealed in other articles (The following is also from Huffington Post):

    “RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — After a third-grader tearfully recounted how another boy had called him “gay” during gym class, teacher Omar Currie chose to raise the issue during story time by reading his students a fable about a prince who falls in love with another prince, ending with a happily-ever-after royal wedding.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/17/omar-currie-resigns-_n_7603964.html

    The reason he was called “gay” was because these other boys felt that he was acting like a girl. To them, being a boy who “acts like a girl” must mean that you like other boys.

    Another thing that I found interesting while reading other, more in depth articles about this incident, was that some of the “pissed off parents” from the meeting didn’t even have children in Currie’s class BUT the majority of the 200 community members that showed up actually supported Currie.

    I don’t know what the other faculty was doing to him that made it so hard for him to continue there but I wish he had not resigned.

  • Masc Pride

    @DarkZephyr: I wasn’t trying to ignore you, and I didn’t see that part as the crux of your rather lengthy reply. I had actually already stated some appropriate ways to handle spats between kids, so I simply didn’t feel another explanation was necessary.

    Thanks for the two HP links. Having read a few more details, I feel like the fairy tale was even more of a bad idea, particularly for the kid who was being taunted. This teacher sort of inadvertently outed this kid (who probably isn’t even gay) by using this situation as a calayst for a discussion about how some boys like boys, and in front of the whole class. As I said before, it would’ve been far more effective and appropriate for the adult to gather the kids directly involved and guide a general conversation on name-calling. It probably would’ve also been a good idea to talk privately with the targeted kid so that he knows someone’s watching and knows he has someone to go to. In reading four articles (outside of Queerty), none of them mention Currie doing anything more than just reading this book as a means of conflict resolution. By Currie’s own admission (in one of your links), some of the kids expressed feeling uncomfortable by the story. There’s also quite a bit of info about how Currie’s own experiences prompted him to do what he did, which makes it seem like he made this situation partly about himself, which at least explains why there was no real resolution for these kids.

  • Masc Pride

    @DarkZephyr: Also, for a problem like this it’s not unusual that parents that didn’t have kids in Currie’s class were upset. It’s a small town, so it’s probably a very small school, which means teachers have interactions with all the kids.

    I agree that it’s odd Queerty chose to focus on the more outrageous reactions while omitting that part about how some parents supported his decision. Since Currie was never disciplined and apparently did have some support from parents, it’s also odd that he would just bail out. I read one account where he says he quit because he was insulted that it was even an issue and that the school didn’t back him up enough. He wasn’t pushed or forced out. By his own admission, he left completely on his own volition, which raises some questions on just how much he believes in the cause he was seemingly so passionate about before there was a problem.

  • Marky

    @Masc Pride: You don’t have to go through the system to pressure someone to leave their job; you know that. Come on.

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