school fail

Seth Stambaugh Booted From Oregon Elementary For Telling Students He Cannot Marry Another Man

Seth Stambaugh, a 23-year-old graduate teaching student at Lewis & Clark College, says he was removed as a student teacher at a Portland, Oregon area elementary school because he told students he is gay. Or was it because he dared discuss the state’s same-sex marriage ban?

The first complaint against him came from a parent focused on the way Stambaugh dressed. The complaint came on a day Stambaugh was wearing “pressed slacks, a button-up oxford shirt, and a cardigan that was a gift from his grandfather,” according to his attorney. Sexton Mountain Elementary Principal Don Martin at that point did nothing about the parent’s issue.

Later that week Stambaugh, who was helping instruct 4th and 5th grade classes, responded to a student’s question about whether he was married. Stambaugh said no, because he “would choose to marry another guy,” and that would be illegal. The conversation ended with the student asking Stambaugh whether that meant he liked liked to hang out with guys, to which he responded, “Yeah.” That exchange made it back to the parent who filed the original complaint — and he promptly threatened to pull his kid out of the school.

So the principal called administrators at the Beaverton School District — which in 2008 was sued by former teacher Wade Willis, who claimed he was “harassed, intimidated and humiliated” for trying to produce The Laramie Project at the school in 2005 — and said Stambaugh was to be banned from teaching in the district and asked Lewis & Clark to reassign him. (Stambaugh says his comments were described to him as “inappropriate.”) The district’s spokeswoman Maureen Wheeler is quick to note Stambaugh wasn’t actually fired, since he was never an employee, but a student teacher enrolled through Lewis & Clark. She would say only “there were the concerns about the conversation with a fourth grade student.” And yet, she says, “The district’s policy and practice is nondiscrimination. We seek diversity in our hiring and we create safe and inclusive environment for students and staff.”

(Lewis & Clark spokeswoman Jodi Heintz is quick to defend the college: “We categorically deny that we had the final call on what happened with Seth.” The Portland Mecury says “Lewis and Clark received a phone call that Stambaugh had been removed from the school. Usually when there is a conflict between a student teacher and a school, someone from Lewis and Clark sits down and talks it out with the school. In this case, there was no discussion, says Heintz. ‘The fact that we were completely cut out of the process was an aberration,’ she says.”)

And thus we have the classic example of adult human beings confusing “sexuality” with “sex.” In an environment where teachers and students would be free to discuss their heterosexual marriages and unions with the class (“And Billy, what kind of work does your mommy and daddy do?”), the gays are forbidden. So long as they shut up about anything remotely related to their private lives, they’ll be permitted around children.

Earlier this week, Stambaugh told an audience at Lewis & Clark open forum this week he was “joyous beyond belief” following his first week in the classroom. “The long hours, the tiring days, they paled in comparison to the sheer energy I got from being in that classroom: from teaching.”

Yeah, get rid of this guy.

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  • j

    Fucking typical. The sexuality/sex thing is so true and I’m so tired of straight people that tolerate me until the cogs in their brain get turning and they realise that I have “GAY SEXXXXX!X!X!X!X!X”, they can take their disgusted looks on their ugly fuuuuuc1cing faces and run with them as far as I’m concerned. We don’t make any judgements about their sex lives. Then again, we aren’t in the majority.

  • [email protected]

    It’s a damned shame that heteros. keep sexualizing Gay people, as if any mention of us is “inapprorpiate”, or some mention of sex in the class room. It’s deeoly offensive–it’s a trisk that NOM often exploited during Prop 8 which is ironic conbsidering Maggie Gallagher has declared we are entitled to dignity and worth…. Where’s our “dignity” when they continually sexualize us as being “inappropriate” to children?

  • Dollie

    Queerty hit the nail on the head with the “Sex v. Sexuality” theory.
    Shame on the school for siding with the parent! Said parent is probably raising another little anti-gay bully, subsequently making openly-gay teachers (ROLE MODELS!) all the more important!

  • Dax

    Hmmmm. Tricky situation. If he were out to the other teachers, I wouldn’t have a problem, but there was no need for him to expound this bit of personal info. to a group of nine and ten year olds. IMO that’s like teachers allowing kids to call them by their first names, which school admins. tend to frown on too. There should be a thick line in-between professional and personal when it comes to the information teachers divulge to students — particularly when it’s elementary school age.

  • AdonisOfFire


    Sure, so he isn’t supposed to be a 3-dimensional human being because he is a teacher? Ridiculous, he should sue the school district for discrimination and damages to his career and emotional stress.

  • Josh

    @Dax: While I agree with you in principal, if all this young man did was explain WHY he wasn’t married, in straightfoward terms as described, this is a non-issue forced on the school by a closed-minded religious bigot.

    When I was younger, I got fired from a teaching job – at a Christian school – because I has the temerity to explain how the X-Man Phoenix got her codename. I explained it, in context, but because I made mention of the mythology from which the name is derived, I was fired for ‘preaching Eastern religion’ at an innocent child.

    Religion is a poison, and one that has victimized far too many minds, young and old, and cases like this one clearly show how insidious it really is.

  • Vman455

    @Dax: There’s nothing tricky about the situation, and Stambaugh in no way crossed a line. First, the information he divulged was simply that he was not married to a woman because he likes men, which sounds to me like a completely innocuous conversation, at worst. The same type of information is divulged to elementary school students regularly when female teachers are addressed as “Mrs.”, “Ms.” or “Mz.” depending on their marital status. Second, the comparison with calling teachers by their first names is irrelevant here–unless you can produce a case where a student teacher was removed by the school because a student addressed him or her by first name. The administration in this instance clearly “frowns on” Stambaugh’s divulging his sexuality, even obliquely, to a student, but “frowns on” and “lets go” are two reactions entirely different in scope.

  • uu

    @Dax: Then teachers should also be fired for admitting to pupils that they are married. And for sharing similarly quotidian details.

  • David Ehrenstein

    It’s really disgustiung the way heterosexuals flaunt ther sex lives.

    Especially in front of the children.

  • uhoh

    If I’m the parent of a 4th grader, then I don’t want his or her teacher telling them he’s gay either. “No I’m not married”, followed by changing the subject back to teaching should have been how he handled that. I don’t know where the hell his head was at when he answered the question the way he did, but it was the WRONG way to go about it.

  • Todd

    Stambaugh did not initiate the discussion. I might question his judgment if he brought the subject up out of nowhere for a fourth-grade classroom.

    This was started by a student’s question — a question that the teacher answered honestly.

    In my opinion, this whole fiasco is a teaching moment.

  • Josh

    @uhoh: Why not? Why do you think he should be held to a different standard than a straight teacher? Why should he pretend to be something he isn’t? Do we want our kids to grow up thinking it’s ok to lie? To hide who you are so that people will accept the false you?

    He answered in a totally age appropriate way, according to the story. Honest, to the point, without any unneeded details. And that frankness was repaid by bigotry.

    Homosexuality – like heterosexuality – is not the same thing as homo sex.

  • B. Hill

    Not every parent wants their child being taught by this guy ok.

  • Josh

    @B. Hill: Why not?

  • [email protected]

    @Dollie: But, they don’t want us to be “open” or “out” in school, for fear of us exoposing their kids to “sex” or “adult situations”! Anyone else remember when TV went through that brief period of branding all shows with an “H” for “homosexual content”?!

  • Vman455

    @B. Hill: Yeah, the same way it’s OK if parents don’t want their kids taught by someone, say, in a wheelchair. Or with blond hair. Or who’s Middle Eastern.

    IT’S NOT OK!

  • Flipper

    @uhoh: So, then, I assume you’re equally outraged when a heterosexual teacher states that (s)he is or is not married? Any female teacher who goes by “Mrs.” anything should automatically be removed from the classroom, since we know her marital status. Wedding rings must go, and no personal pictures in the teacher’s office.

  • Enron

    Sounds to me like that student wanted a piece of Seth. If I were him, I would make him my Mr. Robinson, he is just absolutely handsome, love his eyes and strong jaw line. Looks like a guy I have seen around town I have a crush on. Stories like this though prove we have a very long way to go and equal rights does not end at marriage, the workplace remains a complex and very intolerant environment for LGBT folks, Seth has proven that.

    This world will remain homophobic till the day we all die, I have learned to accept it as the sad reality, even my homophobic sibling who just came back from vacation was so angered by American society and what he calls its “over liberalization”. Saw two lesbians in a bar and thought it was just disgusting because they were showing affection to each other. We just can’t get a break anywhere from almost anybody around this world.

  • uhoh

    Excuse me folks, but I didn’t say anything about teachers HIDING their marital status. (BTW, a married woman whose name is MRS. Smith is still being as formally addressed as a married man who is Mr. Smith.) What I said was that this guy should have answered: “No I’m not married” and moved on right there. If he were married to a woman, man, whatever, then he could have said “Yes I am married” and from there, he should have STILL changed the subject. It was his little add on comment that was inappropriate. The kids didn’t need to know who/what he goes home to every night. Just teach the damn subjects you were hired for, and leave the specifics of your personal life at the door.

  • Michael

    Towleroad has the contact info for the principal and superintendent involved posted. Drop them a line, maybe 10,000 lines.

  • Josh

    @uhoh: So you have a problem with honesty. Good to know. Also, you are clearly advocating for ALL teachers to remove all displays of family and any life outside of the classroom.

    After all, they don’t need to know that Mrs. Gold goes home every night to Mr. Gold. That might cause those poor little kids to think about Mr. and Mrs. Gold having sex, right?

  • Gene

    The moronic teabagger mentality is invading Oregon.
    This teacher should be lauded for his honesty. In this day of gay youth topping themselves because of bullying, positive role models are needed to show them that hanging themselves or jumping off bridges is not the best way to escape harassment.

  • Gene

    Religion is a psychopathological condition based on superstitions fomented by tyrants and priests, witch doctors to control the masses through guilt and fear.
    Every god, demigod, spiritual entity are the product of the imaginations of the deluded to explain the mysteries of the world and universe and explain the phenomenon why the sun rises, the moon waxes and wanes, lightening and thunder, etc.

  • ewe

    If the educational system cannot handle gay employees speaking casually about their lives in response to a question then they can refund our gay taxes. File a lawsuit.

  • ewe

    Why does the complainant get to remain anonymous? The parent(s)are not minors. Drag him/her/them out of their closet of acceptable hate that the system protects. If people knew they would be exposed and subjected to inquiry in the public square when it comes to issues in the public square which is what a public elementary school is then they might STFU.

  • Mums the word at work

    I feel for the guy. I currently live in a ‘square state’ that has no employment protections for gays (c’mon w/ENDA already!) and I’m a therapist that works with kids & teens. I already know that if I were out at work then some of the case managers would be so unprofessional to gossip it to the parents and foster parents of the kids I work with. Then sure enough there would be complaints of my not working with children in one-on-one therapy, etc.

    So I have to make sure to censor any responses about any aspect of my personal life, or even work life (I have worked with gay orgs in the past). I live in an area where it’s looked as uncommon if one is not heterosexually married, and I hate being as what I see as dishonest as members of our military are forced to be with DADT. I used to live in San Francisco and was completely open and it wasn’t an issue, and now I have to censor myself due to the ignorance of those around me in the community in which I have to live.

    If your in ANY position that works w/kids and you are not in an area or state where you can be open about who you are, it is annoying as hell to have to appease those who are homophobic just so you can keep your job, when you shouldn’t have to worry about it at all.

  • Josh

    @ewe: Should be a law…

    “If by your actions, misguided/deliberate/mistaken or otherwise, you cost a person their job due to your own ignorant bigoted douchebaggery, you do not get the right to privacy in any story that is published about your actions. Live with the consequences, good or bad, of your decisions and actions. Like an adult.”

  • alex

    I often find fault with the questionable logic of many Queerty posts. Therefore, I think it’s only right that I commend the site for this well-stated and thoughtful analysis of the situation.

  • wmcarpenter

    Seth is a standup guy and did absolutely nothing worthy of being booted like this. Beaverton is a pretty awful place, so for those of us around Portland it may come as no great surprise. Still, he simply stated the law in this state. He didn’t preach and didn’t disclose intimate personal information that was inappropriate for the classroom. I can only hope the school sees some kind of retaliation for this terrible decision.

  • ewe

    @Josh: oh great. so you support “after the fact” legislation. Do you have any idea how much damage and emotional stress occurs for the innocent who are accused?

  • Josh

    @ewe: …What? I have no idea where the heck you got that from.

  • ewe

    @Josh: I comprehended it from your comment Number 27. In order for your quote to ring true then the accused must first lose their job, file a lawsuit against the party, subpoena hostile witnesses to prove any misguided, deliberate or mistaken behavior. I assume you meant that because that is what your quote entails.

  • Michael

    Sorry, but I really do not think it appropriate for this teacher to let the conversation from a 10 year old stray into a discussion about the teacher’s personal life. I’d feel the same way if he was hetero. I remember a teacher from many years ago, who was asked the question; “Are you ‘Mrs.’ Jones?” To which she replied; “It’s ‘Ms.’ Jones, now open your books to page…” The class pretty much understood her personal life was not going to be discussed in the classroom, and I respected her for that.

  • Gene

    @Mums the word at work:
    Your having to censor yourself and go back into the closet may cause you to not to be able to fully care for your clients by shutting off your real life.
    If I were in therapy with such a counsellor, I would feel cheated if I found that they could not be open and honest.

  • Gene

    For some there seems to be a presumption of shame attached to being gay. Or Black, Or Asian. Or Latino, whatever.
    Should this teacher lie. Should he hide the truth and leave the student to live in ignorance? To live in engrained prejudice?
    There is far too much fear laden ignorance permeating our culture today and it harms the psyches and kills the victims. The worst source of this ignorance is bred and fed by religion. Just how many more millions will be sacrificed on the altars of the insanity of religion?

  • Josh

    @ewe: Wow. Just…wow. I was making a point using ironic humor. Y’know, in case you couldn’t tell from my use of such legalese as ‘douchebaggery’…or by looking at my earlier posts to get an idea where I stand on this matter.

    Oh, and also, here – I’m gonna spell it out for you: Seth was fired because an ignorant. bigoted douchebag made a complaint. Seth’s story gets out, but his accuser/morally-ignorant complainer hasn’t been IDed and one could say that the media, by hiding that information, is protecting the ‘criminal’ and exposing the victim to greater harm by broadcasting HIS information. Therefore, with that in mind, I posted that the law should require the accuser to be publically known as a bit of ironic humor since we all know that the laws are stacked on the sides of anonymous informants – for good or bad. You missed that because either you didn’t take the time to read my other posts for an idea of my stance on the matter, or you were too caught up in your little tizzy to catch on to what I was saying.

    Does that help you understand my post any better?

    Gods…I was AGREEING with you! Nurture your sense of humor, man, and put your sense of self-righteous indignation on the shelf for a while, k?

  • Gene

    Is it not a tenet of law based on Common Law that the accused has the right to face his accusers? Or is this now a totalitarian state where informants can denounce someone to the authorities with impunity? Comrade Stalin would be so pleased to see his system still functioning!

  • Cam

    It sould seem that the state of Oregon shouldn’t pass laws of questions about them are going to make others so uncomfortable.

    Typical bigots, they just want all gays to dissappear. Well it sounds like this school distrcit hopefully has another lawsuit on it’s hands.

  • Aaron

    @Gene: Hah, it’s funny you mention Stalin negatively in this post, when earlier you were espousing his own views. All those poor fools who choose to believe in god or gods…. they’re clearly insane and we should just get rid of them since they’ve caused us nothing but trouble… right, eh? The vast majority of dictators were Athiestic in their views; Stalin, Lenin, Mao, Pol Pot, Ho Chi Min, Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong Il….. all essentially your own views: religion is for the weak minded (and in their cases, the “bourgeois”) and unedumacated. Keep in mind these people, combined, killed many more than say, Christianity. 1/2 of them outlawed Homosexual acts.

    My point though, is that being religious does not mean you’re stupid, it does not mean you’re weak willed, it does not mean you’re a bit, and it certainly doesn’t mean you’re crazy. You can be a bigoted fool without religion at all (though it would seem that yes, the accuser in this case was undoubtedly religious)- I mean, just look at Richard Dawkins. (Millions read his books… and follow them, well, religiously. So how is that any different and less brainwashing than religion)

    But I don’t know why I’m arguing about religion right now. It doesn’t even matter much in this case. What matters is that somebody is being discriminated against for telling it like it is, and that a school system let one parents convince them to Kick somebody out without any real investigation. Oregon seems to love to think it’s as Diverse and Tolerant as its neighbor States to the North and South. But it’s not, if this isn’t evidence enough.

  • JoeyO'H

    You can bet if the teacher had been straight and answered he wasn’t married becuase he hadn’t found the right woman yet, this would be a non-issue.

  • Jimmy Fury

    @Michael and @uhoh: Let’s pretend for a moment that what he said was inappropriate. It wasn’t, as JoeyO’H’s comment made unarguably clear, but let’s pretend it was.

    It still doesn’t warrant the school’s punishment. He’s a Student-Teacher which means he’s still extremely new. All first time teachers make mistakes, it’s part of the learning process. Even *if* his response was inappropriate it wasn’t worth him being pseudo-fired and BANNED from teaching in the ENTIRE DISTRICT.
    That’s just fucking absurd.

  • ewe

    @Josh: I responded to your comment addressing me. Keep your dismissive attitude to yourself Josh. The words in comment 27 speak for themselves. You misspoke, then you amended your thoughts to what you really meant. That has nothing to do with me accurately reading what you originally wrote.

  • ewe

    @Gene: That is not true. The school is his ultimate accuser. He can address the school in court and face the human being who made any assertions of illegality.

  • ewe

    @Gene: The accusing parent of the child is not a minor and we are not discussing rape. No protection of anonymity should be afforded.

  • Jaroslaw

    Michael, Uhoh, Dax –

    You are obviously ignorant about children and sexual development. Many children as young as 9 or 10 or earlier realize they don’t fit the norm and need role models too.

    As far as what is “inappropriate” conversation – I’m sure 99% of the parents have no problem letting their children see hideously violent movies, as well as every other kind of immoral vice – in case you didn’t notice, stealing, blowing up buildings, arson, fraud – everything EXCEPT Gay sexuality is a topic in movies.

    But to let children know that same sex individuals can care about each other? THAT is inappropriate while children see 100’s of murders on TV every year? Stop being such hypocrites and stupid ones at that.

  • Frederick Carter

    I think in light of the recent gay teen suicides, due to bullying in school, it’s totally unacceptable that the Beaverton School District would remove this obviously dedicated student teacher from his internship position. I speak from personal experience, as a former openly gay middle school teacher in CA, that LGBT students are desperate for LGBT role models, especially in times of crisis. Please contact both the principal and the superintendant of the Beaverton School District, at the email addresses listed below, and insist that they apologize and reinstate Seth Stambaugh.

    Principal Don [email protected]

    Superintendant Jerome [email protected]

  • Josh

    @Gene: I am quite certain that Seth HAS faced his accuser. What is NOT the law, for good or bad, is a provision allowing us, the public with no direct tie to the case, to know the identity of the accuser. This is a very good thing in capital cases, allowing for the accuser to have safety in anonymity, but is terrible in cases like this, where things are not life threatening.

    The fact that I have to explain this, not once but TWICE, is crazy. Grow a sense of humor and a degree of reading comprehension…

  • Jo

    @Michael: First of all, “many years ago”? A LOT of things happened “many years ago” that have been proven to be oppressive, in poor judgement, and in general just messed up. You might want to be a little more specific, and/or think about that a little further before using an example from “many years ago” since this is NOW.

    Secondly, if that teacher instead would have answered, “Yes, I am married to Mr. Jones.” or, “No, I don’t have a husband.” would she have been fired? THAT is the point that we are getting at.

  • Josh

    @ewe: right. I’ll be sure not to use humor or nuance to make my points when you’re around. Don’t want to set off another knee-jerk, poorly educated response from a humorless literalist…

  • Hyhybt

    I’m more than a little confused about why someone would file a complaint for his wearing pants, shirt, and sweater. Had he shown up in a rainbow thong instead, that would be different.

  • JoeyO'H

    Andy Towel as well as Frederick Carter here have published email addresses for the Beaverton School District. They have heard from me! I recieved an email in return from Superintendant Jerome Colonna’s office who is, of course, out of the office. It will be there, as I’m sure with hundreds if not thousands of others, when he returns.

    This discrimination against gays has to stop. Stambaugh did nothing wrong. He did not offer inappropriate or too much information. I think this student’s parents have discussed the teacher’s sexuality at home. This may have led to the student pressing him for answers at school. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if the parents pressed the student to speak to the teacher about his marital status since they seem to be on a witch hunt with him from the get go beginning with a complaint over the teacher’s attire and appearence.

  • ewe

    @Josh: Now your insecurity is just coming off as dumb. Drop it Josh. It’s trivial.

  • Josh

    @ewe: My insecurity, your inability to understand context and irony…either way you look at it, you’re right. It’s trivial and not worth wasting more time on. Just do me a favor – and yourself as well – try not to be so knee-jerk in your reaction to things and try to look at posts in proper context.

    That way you can avoid coming off as ignorant in the future.


  • SageLinear

    Look if you wanna be gay and play with other mens genitals and anuses and what have you, that’s YOUR business…but don’t bring that up around kids.

  • Jo

    @SageLinear: Uhh… it looks like YOU are the one bringing that up.

  • Gene

    I posed questions, not statements. Are there not provisions to protect the victim from being physically exposed to the accuser?
    The accusers of this teacher should not be able to hide in anonymity. They are moral cowards and apparently bigots or religious fanatics to be so hateful.

  • Eddy

    Why a teacher would make a political statement in a grade school class is beyond me, even if he didn’t start the conversation, he’s the adult, act like one.

    All he needed to say is, “NO”. Why he chose to reveal more to a student is beyond me. I have said the same thing in my classes. He is young and perhaps he hasn’t learned but I’m sure he knew what he was doing.

    When you teach grade school kids, you get a plethora of questions that if you answered “honestly” can get you in a lot of trouble.

  • Gene

    My referral to Stalin, Hitler, Erich Honecker et was their use of denouncers working with the secret police to expose enemies of the state. Being gay was being an enemy of the state. It meant arrest and either a bullet in the back of the head or off to a concentration camp to be worked to death as slave labour.
    I did not say being religious was stupid. I did infer being religious is to be delusional and a mental disease.
    To believe in gods or invisible entities that are the figments of the imagination is irrational. Priests and witchdoctors claim that they can intercede with these so-called deities on the behalf of the masses if they are willing to pay the price and fill their coffers to overflowing and build great temples to appease the gods.
    The promoters of religion are very cunning and very bright as evidenced by how contagious and widespread the disease. Billions have been infected.
    Oregon is being infected by mass hysteria of the teabaggers. We have often had to fight tooth and nail to keep the religious right from taking away what few rights we have. We have not always been successful. We still do not have the right to marry. We did achieve protection from being discriminated against in the work place and housing.
    I hope that this teacher takes that school district to court and sues them for everything they have got. I hope the reaction to the actions by the school administrators will mean they lose their jobs.

  • Gene

    The principal and the superintendent are blocking their emails. Both of my messages to them were rejected.
    Must be getting a wee bit too hot for them.

  • Michael

    @Jimmy Fury: His employer is answerable to the taxpayers. There are many layers of leniency and arbitration and even unions which can be used. Chances are, as is often the case here, there is much more to this story.

  • Josh

    @SageLinear: No one brought up sex but you. Why are YOU so obsessed with gay sex?

  • Ambrose

    @Eddy: You’re off base on this one, Eddy. The student’s question was probably predicated on the assumption that the teacher was heterosexual and Mr. Stambaugh simply answered in a more truthful–way rather would have been the case had he allowed those assumptions to go unchecked. And, why is his honest answer that he currently has no legal right to marry (except of course a sham heterosexual union) a “political statement?” I don’t believe he explicitly advocated any particular political position–he simply answered the question in an honest–and, it seems to me, appropriate–way.

  • Josh

    @Gene: Which…is EXACTLY my point when I said that anonymity for the accuser in capital cases is a good thing, but is a bad thing in non-life-threatening cases like this. And as I said in yet ANOTHER post, the accuser should have to live with the consequences of his bigoted, ignorant douchebaggery…

    Am I taking crazy pills here, or are people just seeing what they WANT to see and not paying attention to anything else…?

  • southpaugh

    @uhoh: That’s just silly. I knew I was gay by the time I started first grade, but the only reference I heard about it at all was from peers ridiculing the condition. It would have been wonderful to have heard a calm word on the subject, especially from an authority figure. Clearly, the parents are unrealistically afraid an honest answer would encourage experimentation or full bloom acceptance of a child that may be so inclined. Of course, they don’t understand that if it ain’t already there, it ain’t gonna appear outta noplace. What we have here is an hysterical reaction by an ignorant parent, over protective of their darling children who probably fare better than the parents at least until they get remoulded in the parents’ image.

  • ewe

    @Josh: You are the one who should be explaining an apology for writing something that is opposite to what you now supposedly mean. Instead you try to turn it around by assuming people are not quite as sophisticated as you for not understanding your personal brand of humor and irony. You come off as an Agay wannabee. Go bother someone you can actually dominate and feel free to have the last word if you must. I am not interested in your narcissim.

  • ewe

    @SageLinear: No one brought up the subject of genitals except you ASSHOLE.

  • Andy

    To: [email protected]
    Cc: [email protected]

    It’s shameful that you’d fire a teacher for being honest to students. Never forget *our* money pays for *your* jobs.

  • Josh

    @Eddy: He didn’t answer with a political answer. He answered a simple question with a simple fact. Facts are not inherently political, you know. They’re just facts. People like you turn a simple statement of fact into something unwholesome because it suits you. If ignorant bigots didn’t get to make the rules, this would be a total non-issue.

  • Josh

    @ewe: Except that you obviously ARE interested in my “narcissism” because you keep displaying your ignorance with every post you make. If you are SO certain I should apologize for something, quote me. I don’t want your interpretation of my words. I want you to use my ACTUAL words to prove I said something inappropriate. And please try to use context so that I don’t have to correct you…again.

    Also? What the flying hell is ‘agay wannabe’ anyway? I’ve done quite well for myself at being gay for over thirty years. I just don’t act self-righteous about it and take the time to discover if the person I’m about to attack verbally has OTHER posts that might help me understand the context of the quote I’m so upset about before I blow up over a jokey comment and come off looking like a humorless ass.

    If that’s narcissism, so be it. And hey. If you can actually point out something I actually said that deserves apologizing, I’m man enough to do so. Are you?

  • Josh

    @ewe: PS – If you’d rather just admit that you made a mistake and didn’t get the joke, that’d be cool too. Clearly you’re the only one who had a problem understanding the point I was making, and there’s no shame in admitting you just made a mistake. Everyone does, now and then, especially over heated topics like this, where ACTUAL enemies of equality come and post.

    Do yourself a favor, ewe, and go read the posts I wrote before the one you’ve taken such illogical offense at – and the posts I wrote that DON’T directly involve you – and see if maybe, just maybe…you jumped to the wrong conclusion. I can wait.

  • Josh

    @Gene: Amen. As a fellow oregonian, I have been watching the teabagger scourge making inroads in our fine, ostensibly liberal state with horror. It’s true, though, what they say…In Oregon, the cities are liberal, by and large, thanks to our education, by the rural areas, dominated as they are by churches and religiosity, are anything but liberal.

    One thing that keeps giving me hope, though, is that every time equality comes up for a vote and we lose, it’s by a smaller and smaller margin every time. Even the horrific idiocy and rank opportunism of the Teabaggers can’t stop progress for long.

  • Eddy

    People, I am a homo who has taught grade school kids. You do not tell a young kid that you cannot get married because you aren’t allowed to… because you would marry a man. This is a child and YES, I knew I was gay at that young age and having taught school-age kids, children know a lot more than what parents assume AND they do more than what parents think.

    However, we are teachers and authority figures and this was in the context of school, not outside, not after hours etc.

  • Josh

    @Eddy: So, ok, lets play with this. Let’s say that Seth HAD simply responded with, “No, Timmy, I’m not married.”

    And then Timmy replied, as every little kid does, “Why not?”

    My mother tells a story about me to everyone who asks. She knew I was gay from the time I was a little boy. One day, I ran over to her – I was six years old – and asked her, “Mommy? What does ‘gay’ mean?”

    How does one respond to this question from a six year old? Does one react in terror and disgust and scream and holler about anal sex and hell and AIDS?

    She responded in the only way that makes sense: “Gay is when two men love each other the way Daddy and I love each other.”

    I didn’t rush out and start having unprotected anal sex with animals all of a sudden. I nodded, satisfied with an answer that made sense to my six year old brain and sent back out to play.

    It is ALWAYS better to be honest (if tactful) with a kid than to deceive.

  • Aaron


    Yes…. and save for Hitler, they all did the same to almost all religious people.

    And has religion ever been proven? No. There have been some crazy things that science has never proven that back up religion, though. You know what else hasn’t been proven, for the most part? Theoretical physics. Hence the big bang THEORY. There is no concrete evidence to suggest it really did happen (though I do personally believe in it ( as well as the majority of theoretical physics- nor do I KNOW them, though. Just like I don’t know god or gods exist…. which I believe in far less than I do science). So I could just as easily call you brainwashed. If religion is the cause of bad things, than what about Joan of Arc? Martin Luther King Jr. (and his wife, who supports LGBT people)? John F. Kennedy? Ghandi? Hell, Darwin and Einstein weren’t even athiests; They were agnostic. Oh, and that one guy, too…. gah, what was his name? Oh yeah, Jesus Christ. Not to mention the many Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Pan, Omni, etc. people throughout history who have been religious. The point is these were all sane people, and it all really depends on ones outlook and what they DO with their ideas (unless we’re talking about dictators, But I’m not right now).

    And yes, while Portland is a liberal place, the majority of the state isn’t, from what I’ve seen (and from living right above it). Hell, Oregon and California both have their constitutions BANNING same sex Marriage- Washington just has a statute. A lot easier to overturn than an entire constitution.

  • Clay Boggess

    Any time you are outside what is accepted as the norm you are going to be under scrutiny for what ever you say or do. You are under a different standard than everyone else. That’s just the way it is. It sounds like the student teacher was ‘politicizing’ his response to the student when he talked about the fact that he couldn’t get married because he was gay. Should that have even been brought up in the first place? Perhaps he was carrying a grudge or was angry about it and was merely venting his frustrations. What ever the reason, if he had kept this to himself nothing probably would have happened to him. Everyone, whether straight or gay, needs to be careful what they say or do around children. That’s just the way that it is.

  • Jaroslaw

    #73 – Eddy – why is it kids know more and do more than parents assume or know about? Did these parents all of a sudden forget what they did as kids? Why the attack of misguided morality and narrowmindedness when they become parents? I never understood this. Hypocrites at best, morons or what is worse, I don’t know.

  • Daez

    I had mixxed feelings on this one. On one hand, I wondered, like many, does this kind of talk actually belong in the class room? I’m not talking about being gay/lesbian. I’m talking about bringing your personal life into the classroom. Then I realized, I had plenty of teachers that talked about their spouses. I even had a teacher that said the word gay was “hijacked” by evil dispicalbe people and that it should still mean happy as far as she was concerned. In that day, she wasn’t even reprimanded for using her position to teach such a hateful biggoted belief. I would hope that would not be the case today.

    In the end, I believe whole heartedly that this kind of talk DOES belong in the classroom and anyone trying to keep it out needs to wake up and realize this is 2010. Its time that the Xtians start following what is preached and JUDGE NOT LESS THEE BE JUDGED. I actually love the way my dad said it, if God wanted to judge people on this earth he doesn’t need a bunch of organizations to run around and do it for him he would just do it himself.

  • Jaroslaw

    #59 send a paper letter if emails are blocked.

  • ewe

    @Eddy: First up, who in the hell today refers to themselves as a “homo”? I am suspicious of you. Second: Don’t actively promote the status quo to openly gay people Eddy. You are full of shit. The bottom line is that if it is ok to go around telling kids that i am not married to a person of the opposite gender without repercussions of any kind then it is an equality issue at stake as gay people in any workplace. You are helping NO ONE INCLUDING CHILDREN with your closeted crap. I want to symbolically ring your neck. You can take your nonsense and flush it down some toilet.

  • ewe

    @Eddy: And i guess they can use you and your “homo” self as a support system to bash little children with gay parents as well. I assume you will support that to just because…. Slap yourself silly Eddy and wake up.

  • ewe

    @Eddy: When you teach grade school kids, you get a plethora of questions that if you answered “honestly” can get you in a lot of trouble.

    Read more:

    Well that is what happens when you live in fear Eddy. You allow others including the system itself to retaliate against you for just being you. And your own words support keeping that oppression and rhetoric as status quo. I despise your hypocrisy. And again, who in their right mind today is going around calling themselves a “homo”. I am very suspicious of you and your agenda Mr. Eddy.

  • Jeffree

    Two “myths” may be behind this whole brouhaha: 1) Homosexuals “recruit” children into the “lifestyle”, and 2) Gayness is contagious.

    The parents, to my mind, may have set their offspring to ask that question, based on those myths.
    Sounds like a bear-trap to me.

    Even if they didn’t, why would a grade-schooler be reporting such details to parents? Usually the response to “What happened in school today?” is “nuthin'” or “Suzie spilled glue all over her desk.”

    Second unanswered question: If this concerns a “student teacher” why hasn’t his own college backed him up? Have they spoken up?

    I strongly suspect there’s a big ole back-story to this debacle ! An investigative reporter might be able to dig up what really caused this here chain of events.

  • the crustybastard

    The law that makes you a second-class citizen allows you to be punished for noting that fact.

    It’s positively totalitarian.

  • Cynical

    America the land of the free! bahahahaha! I think there’s more freedom and equality in North Korea than America.
    Stop the hate!

  • Phurk_Phred_Pheltch

    @B. Hill:

    And I guess not every parent in the 1950’s wanted their white kids to be taught by ‘n*ggers’ or people whpo married one. How dare they expose those innocent white children to the evils of miscegenation!

  • Phurk_Phred_Pheltch


    LOL… “The kids didn’t need to know who/what he goes home to every night.” That ‘what’ is either dehumanizing the male, or insinuating that gay is equal to bestiality.

    “Just teach the damn subjects you were hired for, and leave the specifics of your personal life at the door.” I had this science teacher in 8th grade, Mrs. McCommas, hardline churchie hoe, even handed out a Disclaimer before going into the parts of our text books that dealt with EVILution, I also had some casual conversations with her during class down time with the other students present, it was about Prayer In School. I said to her if they allowed prayer in school then she’d most certainly have to deal with kids of other faiths praying to Satan or Allah or whatever right next her own children, that little tidbit upset her quite alot and made her rethink her stance. I guess instead of allowing that conversation to pass as just a conversation, I should have reported it to the principal and tried to get the bitch in trouble for discussing her religion and got her fired?

    Would’ve been fun, but I doubt the hick school I went to would’ve given a damn, or more like they would’ve been pissed at me for causing a ruckus.

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