Regardless of how one may feel about the right for gay people to get married and Marriage Amendments, this type of amendment would, for the first time, write discrimination into the Wisconsin Constitution. The forces behind this amendment are without a doubt proponents of discrimination who will not give up ever! I have been around long enough to know that one cannot reason with religious zealots and I have no interest in doing so. I am very concerned, though, when a group that is called the American Family Association sends out this action alert that attacks gay/lesbian/bi/trans students, the National Education Association and this country's teachers.
I did not attend the NEA RA this year so I am strictly speaking as an experienced teacher who has seen just about everything in 30 years service. The AFA position on homosexuality in schools seems to be to completely ignore its existence. To insist that teachers and support staff not attempt to understand what approximately 10% of our students are going though would be tantamount to malpractice. Students are in classrooms every day working though what for them is a very confusing time sexually. GLBT populations have a very high rate of suicide, and are the targets of extremely cruel bullying. Are teachers supposed to ignore this type of behavior? One would only have to witness one such act of bullying in order to realize the immorality of the bullies. Sadly, there are those in the so called American Family Association that are be functioning as adult bullies. The AFA's position is immoral regarding these children. Thankfully, the National Education Association is being the adult on this issue.
The NEA, I am certain, is a proponent of all families that are an emotionally stable and healthy place for children to grow up. Teachers and support personnel welcome any family who wishes to become involved in their son or daughter's education. I have seen many marriages between "one man and one woman" that unfortunately have not been positive places for kids. Sexual, physical and emotional abuse is much more common than the AFA and their postcard image of families would like to admit. Unfortunately, many children who grow up abused eventually become the abuser. Failing to acknowledge and intervene in student problems in today's schools is a serious mistake and would continue the cycle. Schools are much more than reading, writing and arithmetic. A moral family orientated society would make sure that every student received a great public education.
Lastly, the AFA stated that the NEA refused to back a resolution concerning sexual contact between students and staff. In mentioning this, they seem to suggest that teachers and staff support sex with students. This insinuation truly exposes the AFA as NUTS! Thank goodness there are LAWS that prohibit sex with minors! Anyone crossing this line deserves the fullest prosecution of the law. It is ridiculous to insist that the NEA weigh in on something as illegal and immoral as this? Is it necessary that we continue to reinvent the wheel concerning everything in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Pledge of Allegiance. Come to think of it doesn't the Pledge conclude with "with liberty and justice for ALL". One would hope that all students have the same rights. I wish this was all just a bad dream!