Great Way For A Teacher To Act

Happy Friday!

It has been a very long week, hasn’t it?

I was reading through the news and I came across a story about a teacher who gave one of the worst possible responses to a student newspaper LGBTQ issue. He did so by writing a letter to the editor of the school paper, to be published for all the students to see. At one point he wrote:

I love the staff and students at SLOHS. My students know that. But I love God more, so in obedience to Him, I am writing this letter.

Yeah, uh… he loves the staff and students? This sounds like one of the typical “I love you, but I hate everything about you” type of people. You know the kind. They swear they love everyone just because they know they are supposed to, but they don’t really. To me, you don’t show love to someone by giving them that letter. The rest of the letter appears to be quoting from the old testament. The thing is, it also says in multiple places not to judge others. I’m not going to delve into a biblical debate with people, because I don’t know that much about it. For most of my life I was “unchurched”, and I freely admit I don’t have all the answers.

What I do know, however, is that you don’t go around telling a bunch of teenagers they deserve to die, which is basically what this guy said. Even if you think they are awful, terrible people, and are doing terrible things, you don’t tell a bunch of teenagers that. Especially not if you are one of the people who are in charge of taking care of those teenagers, like a teacher. Like this guy.

Teenagers are volatile. All teenagers, basically. They are sometimes troubled, for any of a variety of reasons. Sometimes they are struggling at home or in their personal lives. Especially those who are LGBTQ. Let’s face it, all of us had a hard time as teens, but most of those of us who are LGBTQ had a harder time than most. What this teacher did is not much different than the online bullies who tell a kid to go kill themselves. How are we all going to feel if one of his struggling students takes his words to heart, and decides she really should just die and ends up killing herself because of him? I mean he has some of those struggling students in his class! It’s ridiculous for this man to act in this manner.

I know some are going to say he has a right, freedom of speech and all that. Yes, he sure does. But your freedoms don’t come without consequences. This teacher should know better than to do something like this. He should be more adult about it. I just cannot believe he would write this letter to the editor of the school newspaper so it would be published. If he wants his freedom to be a mean spirited jerk then he shouldn’t go out of his way to make sure his students at school see him doing so. But that’s just my two cents.

Anyway…

Still editing. Getting there.

Have a good weekend!

Does The 1964 Civil Rights Act Protect LGBTQ Employees?

In 1964 Congress passed the Civil Rights Act, which extended protection to employees so they couldn’t be fired because of race, religion, national origin or sex. For much of the time since this act was passed most people (including courts) thought that the meaning of each of those protected classes were pretty straight forward. But is it?

Over the years there have been multiple court cases where LGBTQ employees have sued their employers for firing or not promoting them. In most of those cases the court ruled that the term “sex” in the law referred only to discrimination based on whether you were male or female (biologically), and that it does not cover sexual orientation. In fact, just last month a 3 judge panel of the 11th Circuit ruled that it is legal to discriminate against a gay or lesbian employee. They used some pretty strange logic to come to that conclusion, but that’s what they ruled.

But this week a full panel of the 7th Circuit in Chicago ruled 8-3 that the Civil Rights Act actually does protect someone from being fired or not promoted for being gay or lesbian. Further, 8 of the 11 judges actually were appointed by conservative presidents, so people really can’t claim this was an activist court appointed by an activist president. This probably means that at some point we’re going to wind up with this being decided by the Supreme Court, since we have circuits clashing. Not necessarily, though, because the full panel of the 11th Circuit have decided to rehear the case from Atlanta.

Most judges who have ruled against sexual orientation being protected have claimed that Congress didn’t specifically say so, and that they must read the most narrow meaning into the law. The problem with that, of course, that even if you do so you end up ruling that we are protected. And in the ruling in Chicago, that was what they found. The Chief Judge, Diane P. Wood, wrote in the ruling that the claim in this case is no different than a woman being rejected for a job in a typically male job, like firemen and construction, just because she is a woman. That she is being disadvantaged because she is a woman.

This is basically saying the same thing I’ve thought courts should be saying for a long time: A man has a relationship with person A (who happens to be a woman) and he is promoted, hired, or not fired. A woman has a relationship with the exact same person A (still a woman), and she is not promoted, not hired, or fired for it. This is discriminating against her because she is a woman right on its face. If a man can do something and not be disadvantaged, yet a woman does the exact same thing and is, then it is discrimination! Obviously!

The only thing I don’t understand is the arguments against this very obvious ruling. Let’s hope before long people all over the country are protected, not just those living in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana, which are the states covered by the 7th Circuit.

It’s progress. We need more, but let’s celebrate our victories on the path to complete equality.

Have a good weekend!

Another Week of Bad Decisions By Governors

I’m having one of those days where nothing really comes to mind. I’m kind of lethargic. I’ve been sitting here, trying to write, trying to listen to an audio book, trying to write a post. Nothing seems to work, really. Just kind of blah. I blame the weather, since I haven’t seen the sun here in KC for more than a few minutes in like 87 years or something.

But I did think of a couple of things in the news that I just want to talk about.

Kansas Governor Brownback vetoes medicaid expansion.

Okay, so he says this is fiscally irresponsible, and he says it doesn’t cut funding to Planned Parenthood, and he says a lot of other crap. The fact is, if this was aid that was coming from a law that was passed by George W. Bush instead of Barack Obama he’d be all over it. He would have been pushing for the expansion years ago. But he, and some like-thinking people, hate medicaid. Or seem to. The money would have come from the federal government, so it wouldn’t touch the state’s budget.

Yes, I realize it still comes from taxes paid by Kansans, but it’s for a good cause. But They pass tax cuts for all the businesses in Kansas. They cut school funding, take money from road repairs and from children’s health programs, but they must make sure the business owners (some of whom don’t even agree with them) get their tax cuts. And now Brownback turns down a chance to extend aid to tens of thousands of elderly and poor Kansans.

I firmly disagree with his decision. On a scale of 1 to 10 on how bad this decision is, I’d give it a Z. Yeah, it’s so bad I had to stop making sense.

The other, really, really bad decision from a governor this week happened in North Carolina, when Governor Roy Cooper signed the “repeal” of HB2.

This one sounds great. If you haven’t heard about HB2 (hey, read the news once in a while, m’kay?) you can see my views and opinion on it in my previous post. So yeah, the repeal sounds great. Except it’s not a repeal. It doesn’t repeal… basically anything! Why in the world did Governor Cooper agree to this? He ran against HB2, and this bill keeps nearly every one of the discriminatory parts intact! I don’t know why they didn’t just do a quick one line repeal, just “we repeal HB2′ and call it good.

Okay, well, I do know why they didn’t do that, but I wish they would have. They didn’t do it because the same jerks who passed the HB2 bill are still in their legislature. They still have this horrible idea (silly as it is) that all transgender people are insane sex addicts who will attack their little girls. Maybe they don’t, maybe they just get so scared by the idea that their little girls may be attacked that all logic goes out the window and they don’t realize that this bill still doesn’t prevent some pedophile from entering the ladies room and attacking their daughters.

That was already illegal, anyway!

So maybe they were so blinded by this silliness that they had to block someone from coming in, anyone, so they’d feel like they were doing something to protect their children, and LGBTQ people were their easy target.

Or maybe they are self righteous bigots who were looking for any excuse to target LGBTQ people, and they thought they’d scare the public to get support by claiming it was to protect the children. This seems more plausible. In any event, I have this feeling that over half of America who have used the bathroom in public this past month probably did so with someone who was transgender at some point, and most of them never noticed. It was a non-issue, so the people in NC need to stop making it one.

Transgender people aren’t in the bathroom to attack your women and children any more than tall people, short people, left handed people, or people with brown hair are. In fact, I’m guessing far more women and children were assaulted in public restrooms in the past year by people with brown hair than were assaulted by transgender people, so we should probably outlaw those horrible brunettes using public restrooms.

Ban those perverted brunettes from using public restrooms in NC now, before it’s too late! Do it for the children!